McCall hails Motherwell draw

PA Sport
Stuart McCall praised Motherwell's never-say-die spirit after the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone

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Stuart McCall praised Motherwell's never-say-die spirit after the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone

Motherwell boss Stuart McCall savoured their 1-1 home draw against St Johnstone as one of the best results of his managerial career after Bob McHugh secured an unlikely Clydesdale Bank Premier League point.

Motherwell were trailing to Murray Davidson's 58th-minute header and were down to 10 men after Stevie Hammell had been shown a straight red card for a penalty box challenge on Chris Millar.

Saints looked destined to claim three points against a visibly-tired side following their Champions League defeat against Panathinaikos in extremely hot conditions on Wednesday.

But, with youngsters Steven Hetherington and Zane Francis-Angol on and Omar Daley, who had a tight hamstring, and ill skipper Keith Lalsey off the park, McCall was delighted to see McHugh slot home in the 78th minute following good work by Nicky Law.

Motherwell even came close to winning the game after St Johnstone striker Rowan Vine had been sent off for a second bookable foul on Shaun Hutchinson. Alan Mannus saved well from Michael Higdon and Simon Ramsden before Hutchinson's shot was cleared off the line.

But McCall was more than happy with one point, especially considering Darren Randolph had saved Dave Mackay's penalty moments before the opener.

The former Bradford manager said: "That's one of my most pleasing results. Without making excuses for the boys, I know what they went through the other night in Athens - the heat, the size of the park, the quality they were up against. And to go with the same 11, bar one change, I feared as the game went on.

"I felt if we wanted to win the game we would have to be ahead at half-time because of the exertions the other night. We got back at Fir Park at half five on Thursday morning."

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas could scarcely believe his side had not wrapped up three points.

"Apart from the first 15 minutes, it was a very good performance," Lomas said. "But when you go up and they have got 10 men, with the chances we had, we have got to finish them off. We could have lost it, that was the ridiculous thing. I thought we passed the ball well and looked a threat going forward."

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