THE cry from the back of the Fir Park main stand sought to offer reassurance. Thirty minutes into a game that would not only get football stopped but prompt those in attendance to question their life choices, one wag declared “right, next goal the winner”.

It was at that point I realised I’d forgotten to pack my sleeping bag.

Indeed, if it wasn’t for the merciful finish from Allan Campbell on the 66th minute which soon triggered Curtis Main’s strike four minutes later, this report may well be still at an embryonic stage waiting for something to happen as dawn breaks over Lanarkshire.

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As you may have gathered, to say Motherwell’s 2-0 win over St Johnstone wasn’t a classic is like saying the Scottish rugby team were narrowly pipped on Saturday in a good-going romp. At half-time, both teams were lucky to be at zero, a bit like the temperature.

Motherwell rallied on Saturday after gifting Partick Thistle a lead to recover a draw that really should have been more. Here, Tommy Wright’s St Johnstone were given no such courtesy as they slumped to their fourth Premiership defeat on the spin, with their last league win coming at Ibrox back on December 16. It’s an alarming sight for St Johnstone who have for so long been regular members of the top-six club come the business end of the season. Twenty four games into this campaign and the Perth club sit eighth six points off bottom club Ross County and now six points behind Motherwell who clamber above Kilmarnock into sixth. And they deserved it.

The renaissance at Fir Park has been notable and it continued, albeit belatedly against St Johnstone. You always got the impression at least one of these teams had more to give – if not there was something far wrong – but Motherwell also appeared the more likely of the two. While the two midfields failed to fire – with the exception of the outstanding Campbell - the front two of Main and Nadir Ciftci always looked capable of mustering something between them.

At the other end, there was little to shout about from Wright’s team. A Stefan Scougall shot straight at Trevor Carson after three minutes with him hobbling off injured soon after, while a Blair Alston free-kick was rifled straight at the Motherwell goalkeeper. That, as they say, was about that. It said it all that referee Don Robertson almost started the second half with Carson yet to be on the pitch, much was his anonymity during the first 45.

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As mentioned earlier, the opening half was dire stuff but there was the odd claret and amber flicker. Main tried his luck from a Campbell cutback which was well tipped over by Alan Mannus, while the former Portsmouth forward’s turn and shot inside the box was well held on 25 minutes.

Coming into the game, Main had bagged three goals from his first five games for Motherwell, and you got the feeling his fourth wasn’t far away. On 34 minutes he no doubt that he had it on the back of Campbell’s cute slipped pass on the edge of the area which resulted in a thumping left-foot shot crashing off the bar from the edge of the box.

The 25-year old would go on to spurn two glorious chances early in the second half within the first seven minutes. The first he dragged wide from 10 yards, while a couple of minutes later a clever ball around the corner from Ciftci had him one-on-one with Mannus, but the keeper did well to spread himself.

However, Motherwell wouldn’t be denied and it was teenager Cambpell who grabbed it. Main had a hand in it by slipping the ball out to Andy Rose. His drilled ball from the left skidded along the six-yard box for the in-rushing Campbell to slide in.

Four minutes later it was two and game over. This time it was Richard Tait’s cutback who found that man Main, and he showed no hesitation to take one touch and despatch the ball low across Mannus and into the bottom corner.

Louis who?