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Kevin van Veen penalty earns managerless Motherwell win over St Mirren

Motherwell claimed all three points less than 48 hours after parting company with manager Graham Alexander but St Mirren's miserable start to the campaign continued.

Kevin van Veen penalty earns managerless Motherwell opening weekend win over St Mirren SNS Group
Kevin Van Veen celebrates after netting from the spot.

Caretaker manager Steven Hammell led 10-man Motherwell to their first opening day league win since 2016 as Kevin van Veen’s penalty earned a 1-0 win at St Mirren.

Van Veen struck in the 42nd minute after Scott Tanser had been penalised for handball by referee John Beaton.

The visitors had Ricki Lamie sent off in the 82nd minute but held on for their fourth league win of 2022, half of which have come against St Mirren.

The hosts were left to rue some poor finishing and the brilliance of Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly, who pulled off two outstanding saves.

Hammell had less than 48 hours to prepare for the Paisley trip following the departure of Graham Alexander in the wake of Motherwell’s 3-0 aggregate defeat by Sligo Rovers in the Europa Conference League.

The game burst into life when Saints created a flurry of chances around the half-hour mark. Jonah Ayunga got in behind but struck well over with his left foot.

Ryan Strain shot over from 10 yards after getting the better of Barry Maguire and Kelly soon pulled off a superb one-handed stop from Ayunga’s header before Solholm did well to stop Alex Greive netting the rebound.

The visitors picked up and Tanser was penalised after blocking Blair Spittal’s shot. The wing-back protested his innocence before Van Veen sent Carson the wrong way from the spot.

Saints created a steady stream of chances. Strain fired well over after a clearance dropped to him in yards of space, Keanu Baccus headed straight at Kelly from 12 yards and Curtis Main headed wide from closer in.

The Motherwell goalkeeper then surpassed his first-half stop by throwing himself to his left to guide Main’s close-range header away from goal.

However the managerless visitors were able to hang on and claim three points on the opening day.