St Johnstone and Motherwell remain level on points in the Scottish Premiership’s mid-table after sharing the spoils of a limp affair in Perth.
The visitors had been rocked before kick-off by the loss of Allan Campbell and Barry Maguire to Covid-19 isolation following Scotland Under-21 duty.
They edged in front after fellow midfielder Mark O’Hara finished clinically after a fine flowing move.
But Steve May equalised from the spot after being fouled by Bevis Mugabi.
It means Callum Davidson’s hosts have suffered just one defeat in eight games – and even that was on penalties after a 0-0 draw with Dundee United in the League Cup.
Motherwell stay ahead of Saints on goal difference, with the sides meeting again in seven days time in the second round of the League Cup at Fir Park.
Scottish football had been shaken overnight by the news that 11 members of the returning Scotland Under-21 squad were self-isolating, with three having tested positive for Covid-19.
It meant Motherwell, already licking their wounds after a 4-1 home drubbing by Celtic last time out, had to do without two first-choice midfielders.
Matters would have deteriorated further for Stephen Robinson’s side had goalkeeper Aaron Chapman not been quick off his line to block from Craig Conway.
Other than that, it was turning out as you would expect from a game between a side who had not lost a goal in their previous four home games and visitors who had won their last two Premiership games on the road without conceding.
That was until an intricate flowing move from one end of the park to the other opened up the Saints defence and, when Liam Polworth’s shot was blocked in front of goal, O’Hara was on hand to gobble up the rebound from close range.
Saints’ chances of recovery were hampered by the loss of Callum Davidson as the combative midfielder, who seems to be so often in the wars, was taken off on a stretcher having landed awkwardly on his shoulder.
However, they were handed the equaliser when Mugabi’s awkward challenge upended May and the striker stepped up himself to score from the penalty spot.
The second half was virtually bereft of chances as two evenly matched sides cancelled one another out, but Saints striker Chris Kane should have secured a win for the hosts only to fire wastefully over from close range in the dying moments.
More to follow.
- 15McNamaraBooked at 81mins
- 18McCannBooked at 86mins
- 8DavidsonSubstituted forBrysonat 30′minutesBooked at 40mins
- 7ConwaySubstituted forO’Halloranat 61′minutes
- 14MaySubstituted forKaneat 86′minutes
- 31GallagherBooked at 81mins
- 29LangSubstituted forWhiteat 87′minutes
- 44ColeSubstituted forLongat 63′minutesSubstituted forLamieat 77′minutes
Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Motherwell 1.
Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Motherwell 1.
Craig Bryson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Liam Polworth (Motherwell).
Attempt blocked. Liam Polworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan White with a headed pass.
Attempt missed. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is too high.
Attempt blocked. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by David Wotherspoon with a cross.
Offside, Motherwell. Liam Polworth tries a through ball, but Declan Gallagher is caught offside.
Substitution, Motherwell. Jordan White replaces Callum Lang.
Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone).
Nathan McGinley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Stevie May.
Attempt missed. Stephen O’Donnell (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Offside, St. Johnstone. Stevie May tries a through ball, but Scott Tanser is caught offside.
Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Scott Tanser.
Dan McNamara (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Dan McNamara (St. Johnstone).
Liam Polworth (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.