Love Street closes with drab draw

St Mirren's last ever league game at Love Street ended with a whimper rather than a bang as they were held to a drab 0-0 draw by Motherwell.

Last Updated: 03/01/09 at 17:32 Post Comment

Love Street: Closes its doors

Love Street: Closes its doors

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Saints had hoped to bring to an end more than 114 years at the stadium on a high but neither side was able to find the back of the net in a Scottish Premier League clash which failed to live up the huge build-up.

In fact, the biggest cheer of the game came early in the second half when the PA announcer revealed an impressive 10,189 fans had crammed into the ground to bid their farewells.

There was a cup final atmosphere in Paisley ahead of the game, with black and white flags flying from cars in the town and the Paisley pipe band playing 'Scotland the Brave' for the capacity crowd ahead of kick-off.

There was also a plea from club bosses for fans to refrain from taking any souvenirs - such as seats or turf - at the end of the game, with the possibility of a Homecoming Scottish Cup replay against Brechin still to take place at the old ground before the move to the new Greenhill Road stadium later in the month.

St Mirren headed into the clash full of confidence after notching up four consecutive wins in December.

But the party atmosphere quickly turned sour when Hugh Murray picked up the first booking of the game after just seven minutes for a challenge on Jim O'Brien.

Saints did manage to carve out the first real chance when Stephen McGinn played the ball out to Garry Brady on the right and he set up Andy Dorman for the shot.

Goalkeeper Graeme Smith did well to parry the strike and the home side failed to capitalise on the resultant corner.

St Mirren were threatening again when Dorman burst into the box and flicked the ball into the path of Dennis Wyness as he bore down on goal but Smith was on hand to cover before the striker could unleash the shot.

Mark Howard was then called into action when a David Clarkson ball broke to Keith Lasley in front of goal and his close-range shot was blocked at the post before the danger was cleared by a Saints defender.

Murray - Saints' longest serving player - could have been the hero with a speculative shot just before the break but he drove narrowly wide of the upright.

Following a first half devoid of any entertainment, Motherwell tried to grab the game by the scruff of the neck after the restart.

Howard had to react quickly to smother an O'Brien shot early in the second half, before blocking a decent angled drive from Clarkson.

Saints were in need of a cutting edge in front of goal and made their first change with 64 minutes gone when Jim Hamilton was withdrawn for Craig Dargo.

Dargo wasted no time in trying his luck but Smith was up to the task and managed to gather comfortably.

Another Saints substitute, Steven Robb, blasted over with a right-foot shot with 10 minutes to go as the home side tried to give their supporters the win they desperately craved.

Tom Brighton was then only on the park for a few minutes when Motherwell claimed he handled a Maros Klimpl shot but no penalty was forthcoming from referee Alan Muir.

Chris Porter was almost the party-pooper with a lovely swerving effort and St Mirren looked on in relief as the ball fell wide of the post.

There was another failed penalty shout from the visitors at the end - for a McGinn challenge on Paul Quinn - but Saints at least ended the occasion by avoiding defeat.

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