Eight-man Motherwell crash 4-1 at St Johnstone

Motherwell endured a nightmare second half at St Johnstone on Saturday as they had THREE players sent off in a 4-1 Scottish Premiership defeat.
Alex Fisher heads home Motherwell's first half goal at St Johnstone (Pic by Ian McFadyen)Alex Fisher heads home Motherwell's first half goal at St Johnstone (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Alex Fisher heads home Motherwell's first half goal at St Johnstone (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Keeper Trevor Carson, skipper Carl McHugh and defender Charles Dunne all saw red on a dreadful afternoon for the Steelmen.Yet Motherwell bossed the early possession but were stunned when St Johnstone took the lead with their first attack on seven minutes.The Steelmen defence failed to deal with a ball in from the right and Steven MacLean diverted the ball past Trevor Carson.And it was 2-0 Saints on 17 minutes when Michael O'Halloran skinned Richard Tait, cut inside from the left and fired into the far corner.Murray Davidson headed over following a right wing corner for Saints before the Steelmen pulled it back to 2-1 after 27 minutes.Carl McHugh's inswinging free-kick was deflected to Andy Rose at the back post and the former Coventry City midfielder headed the ball past Alan Mannus.McHugh was then booked for a foul on David Wotherspoon before the last action of the half saw Gael Bigirimana's snap shot from the edge of the box go wide of the left upright.Motherwell almost levelled matters just four minutes into the second half when Mannus made a brilliant save to deny a Rose header after McHugh's flighted free-kick to the back post.The men in black continued to look the better side and McHugh headed well over at the back post after a Cadden corner.Charles Dunne volleyed wildly over before 'Well gaffer Stephen Robinson sent on prolific forward Louis Moult for Ryan Bowman.The game's first major controversy on 63 minutes saw Motherwell reduced to 10 men when keeper Trevor Carson received his marching orders.The 'Well custodian came rushing out to grab the ball near the edge of his box but was adjudged to have handled outside the area. Referee Craig Thomson consulted with his nearside linesman before sending the former Hartlepool United number one packing.Motherwell responded to going down to 10 men for the second time in three days by bringing on sub keeper Russell Griffiths for Bigirimana.But the Steelmen's hopes were scuppered when O'Halloran embarked upon another run through the away defence before sending in a low shot which beat Griffiths.There was yet further heartache for the away side when captain McHugh was sent off after receiving a second booking for lunging in on Brian Easton.But Motherwell kept plugging away and Rose had an 80th minute volley turned round the post by Mannus.Saints sub Blair Alston cut in from the left wing and shot just too high before Ben Heneghan sent an effort just wide at the other end from Chris Cadden's centre.The crazy events continued as 'Well were reduced to eight men when Dunne was dismissed for a challenge on Cummins at the expense of a penalty, although it looked as if the Saints striker had tripped over his own feet.Further salt was rubbed into Motherwell wounds in injury time when Murray Davidson shot home Richard Foster's cross from the right.Motherwell: Carson, Tait (Tanner 69), Heneghan, Bigirimana, Cadden, McHugh, Bowman (Moult 56), Rose, Fisher, Dunne, Kipré.Referee: Craig ThomsonCrowd: 3451