Motherwell celebrate
Devante Cole (right) netted his second goal of the season

Graham Alexander believes he has “a good base to build on” at Motherwell despite being pegged back by St Mirren in his first match in charge.

The 1-1 draw took his side a point clear of Ross County at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership.

Jamie McGrath converted a penalty – a decision with which Alexander disagreed – after Devante Cole’s opener.

“Certainly there’s a group of players there that can win games,” Alexander told BBC Scotland.

“I’ve seen a real good base to build on. If we can do that with the players that we have now, which I think that we can, it would be great. A couple of additions would be great as well to enhance that.”

Motherwell, now without a win in 11 games, move up a place to 10th, while St Mirren drop to eighth.

The Paisley side tried to pepper the Motherwell goal with shots in the early stages, but Marcus Fraser, McGrath, Lee Erwin and Kyle McAllister were all off target.

Alexander’s new charges slowly took control and should have taken the lead when Tony Watt met Liam Polworth’s lovely cross, goalkeeper Jak Alnwick blocking at point-blank range.

Cole flashed a shot wide but was successful with his next effort when St Mirren failed to clear their lines at a corner. Defender Conor McCarthy headed high into the air and Watt nodded down for Cole to finish.

Home manager Jim Goodwin sent on new loan signing Eamonn Brophy in place of McAllister in the second half and Ethan Erhahon placed a shot narrowly wide from McGrath’s cutback.

Erwin was deemed to have been felled by Bevis Mugabi with his back to goal and McGrath’s finish from 12 yards was composed.

Ilkay Durmus tested debutant Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly at a free-kick and Mark O’Hara did likewise with Alnwick at the other end.

Man of the match – Jamie McGrath

Jamie McGrath scores a penalty for St Mirren against Motherwell
McGrath was involved in much of St Mirren’s best play and took his penalty with aplomb

What did we learn?

St Mirren adopted a shoot on sight policy early on but did not really test Kelly until the second half.

Goodwin’s men did not heed the warnings from Polworth’s prowess, nor Cole and Watt being busy in attack, but they stayed in the game and were rewarded with the spot-kick.

Positives, then, but also plenty to work on for Alexander. The performance overall was decent, but the lack of a second goal and an 11th penalty conceded this season made for a frustrating end to proceedings.

What did they say?

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: “Motherwell started the game much brighter. We struggled with their set plays in the first half. Unfortunately, that’s where the goal comes from.

“Second half we were a lot more like ourselves and deservedly got a point in the end. At the time, I thought it was a penalty.”

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander: “I’ve got to be frustrated with the penalty. I don’t think it was a penalty. I’m disappointed for the boys because I thought they worked exceptionally hard.

“We’ve got a good point away from home. We know we weren’t going to get ourselves out of trouble in one day. We weren’t going to go the other way either. We took a step forward by getting a point.”

What’s next?

St Mirren are away to St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership next Saturday (15:00 GMT). Motherwell’s next league game is against Rangers at Fir Park next Sunday (12:00).

Player of the match

McGrathJamie McGrath

St Mirren

  1. Squad number17Player nameMcGrath

  2. Squad number1Player nameAlnwick

  3. Squad number23Player nameErwin

  4. Squad number2Player nameTait

  5. Squad number11Player nameDurmus

  6. Squad number5Player nameMcCarthy

  7. Squad number7Player nameDoyle-Hayes

  8. Squad number4Player nameShaughnessy

  9. Squad number22Player nameFraser

  10. Squad number10Player nameMcAllister

  11. Squad number21Player nameConnolly

  12. Squad number29Player nameBrophy

  13. Squad number25Player nameErhahon


  1. Squad number44Player nameCole

  2. Squad number13Player nameKelly

  3. Squad number32Player nameWatt

  4. Squad number19Player namePolworth

  5. Squad number16Player nameMugabi

  6. Squad number6Player nameCampbell

  7. Squad number31Player nameGallagher

  8. Squad number11Player nameHastie

  9. Squad number33Player nameO’Donnell

  10. Squad number3Player nameCarroll

  11. Squad number7Player nameO’Hara

  12. Squad number9Player nameWhite

  13. Squad number15Player nameMaguire


St Mirren

Formation 4-5-1

  • 1Alnwick
  • 22Fraser
  • 5McCarthy
  • 4Shaughnessy
  • 2Tait
  • 10McAllisterSubstituted forBrophyat 57′minutes
  • 17McGrath
  • 7Doyle-HayesBooked at 47mins
  • 25ErhahonSubstituted forDurmusat 76′minutes
  • 21Connolly
  • 23Erwin


  • 6Sheron
  • 8Flynn
  • 11Durmus
  • 14MacPherson
  • 15Finlayson
  • 16Foley
  • 26Lyness
  • 29Brophy
  • 33Jamieson


Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Kelly
  • 33O’Donnell
  • 16Mugabi
  • 31Gallagher
  • 3Carroll
  • 6Campbell
  • 7O’HaraBooked at 14mins
  • 19Polworth
  • 11HastieSubstituted forWhiteat 72′minutes
  • 44ColeSubstituted forMaguireat 84′minutes
  • 32Watt


  • 2Grimshaw
  • 5McGinley
  • 8Crawford
  • 9White
  • 15Maguire
  • 17Seedorf
  • 23Morrison
  • 24Devine
  • 26Cornelius

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