Saints denied by Jutkiewicz double

Lukas Jutkiewicz netted a late double as Motherwell came from two goals down to claim a 3-3 draw in a thrilling finish at St Mirren.

Last Updated: 24/10/09 at 17:53 Post Comment

Jutkiewicz: Netted a brace

Jutkiewicz: Netted a brace

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St Mirren were heading for a third consecutive victory when Hugh Murray grabbed his second goal with 18 minutes left, but Jutkiewicz twice finished brilliantly.

Murray and Andy Dorman had both put St Mirren into deserved leads either side of Ross Forbes' controversial 49th-minute penalty.

Motherwell's previous three away games had yielded just one goal but they retained their unbeaten record on the road after boss Jim Gannon threw men forward.

Saints had more bad news to digest after injury-jinxed Tom Brighton was carried off on his first SPL start since the opening day of last season.

Motherwell, with Stephen Craigan recalled for hamstring injury victim Stevie Hammell, saw a lot of the ball in the opening stages but mostly inside their own half and both Jack Ross and Dorman were off target from long range.

Dorman forced the first save when he took advantage of some space down the left to burst into the box, but John Ruddy blocked as the midfielder shot under pressure from Steven Saunders.

Ruddy again foiled Dorman when he dived to save a 25-yard curler and Billy Mehmet shot straight at the Motherwell goalkeeper after Yassin Moutaouakil had lost possession.

Paul Gallacher helped a powerful 30-yard strike from Forbes over the bar but Motherwell were lacking the sharpness required to create chances and Ross blazed over after good hold-up play by Mehmet.

St Mirren took the lead on a 42nd-minute breakaway after Motherwell lost possession just inside their opponents' half, although Giles Coke claimed he had been fouled. Mehmet crossed low from the left across the 18-yard box and Murray slotted the ball in off the far post.

Brighton was carried off in stoppage-time after his touch allowed Saunders to make a challenge on the edge of the box, after Motherwell had again gifted possession. Michael Higdon took his place.

Humphrey replaced Coke as Gannon switched to a 4-4-2 in the second half and his pace immediately drew a booking for Lee Mair's cynical foul.

Motherwell kept the pressure on and levelled after Stevie O'Reilly pointed to the spot when O'Brien fell under Murray's challenge.

The shellshocked St Mirren midfielder looked to be outside the box and was rooted to the same spot as his team-mates surrounded the referee, before Forbes sent Gallacher the wrong way.

Shaun Hutchinson replaced the concussed Saunders and soon blocked Dorman's shot after a poor clearance.

But Motherwell again failed to clear and substitute Higdon flicked the ball back into Dorman's path for the midfielder to stab past the onrushing Ruddy in the 59th minute.

Gallacher blocked at his near post following a powerful strike by Jutkiewicz but Saints still looked the likelier winners.

Murray volleyed over after Dorman's cross caused havoc in the Motherwell area and he netted from a far more difficult chance in the 72nd minute.

The midfielder collected a crossfield pass on the right edge of the box and his driven ball evaded everyone and flew into the far corner.

Jutkiewicz kept the game alive by firing just inside the far corner two minutes later after Reynolds had set him up inside the box.

Well went for broke as striker John Sutton replaced right-back Moutaouakil and Jutkiewicz netted with nine minutes left.

The hosts remained inside their own box after a series of corners and the on-loan Everton striker chested down Humphrey's cross before holding off several defenders and lashing high into the net.

The visitors stayed on top and almost snatched victory on the break but Gallacher pushed Murphy's low drive just past his far post, before St Mirren midfielder Steven Thomson was inches over following a last-gasp goalmouth scramble.

Both teams will have little chance to reflect on their dramatic encounter as they meet again in Paisley in the Co-operative Insurance Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.

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