Stephen Robinson defends Mark O’Hara after penalty miss costs St Mirren

St Mirren drew 0-0 with Motherwell on a stormy afternoon in Paisley.

Stephen Robinson defends Mark O’Hara after penalty miss costs St Mirren SNS Group

Stephen Robinson jumped to the defence of Mark O’Hara after the St Mirren skipper missed a second-half penalty in the goalless draw with Motherwell.

O’Hara had his spot-kick parried away by Liam Kelly shortly after half-time, and the Buddies then survived a number of close-calls as the visitors failed to take advantage of four one-on-one opportunities.

St Mirren slipped to fourth in the cinch Premiership table, dropping behind Hearts on goal difference.

“There’s no criticism of Mark, people miss penalties – he’s brave enough to step up every week and take them,” said St Mirren boss Robinson.

“Even the rebound is affected by the wind, it puts it back to him so quickly he can’t react.

“Credit to Liam, he makes a good save and Mark misses it – it happens in football and you dust yourself down, we had chances to win the game outwith that.”

Despite his side losing their grip on third place in the Premiership table, Robinson insists that every point picked up is a positive for Saints.

The windy conditions caused havoc for both teams during a fiercely-contested encounter in which neither side was able to find a cutting edge.

“The wind plays a huge part in the game of course, it’s very difficult to be able to play but credit to both teams – for a neutral I’d imagine it was quite an exciting game,” added Robinson.

“Every point when you are St Mirren is a point gained, trust me.

“This group have raised expectations way above where they probably should be which is great and that’s credit to them.

“We’re a similar sized club as Motherwell and you could see how delighted they were to get a point at the end – it maybe shows how far we have come and it’s up to us to keep meeting those expectations.

“I believe we are, we’re sitting fourth in the league in the middle of December. I’m sure at the start of the season we would have been happy with that.”

Manager Stuart Kettlewell was frustrated as the Steelmen failed to take their chances and end their search for an elusive victory.

Motherwell have not managed to register a win in their last 14 league fixtures and have slipped into the relegation play-off spot.

“Ultimately we can all debate and argue about what happens over the course of 90 minutes but we by far had the best chances in the game,” Kettlewell said.

“I understand that Liam Kelly makes a save from a penalty and one down to his right-hand side from Thierry Small, outwith that the clear-cut chances in the game were ours.

“I expect when certain guys are landing in those positions, like Blair Spittal, Callum Slattery, Mika Biereth, Theo Bair towards the end, I’m thinking we’re getting the right guys in position to convert them.

“There’s a little bit of frustration of course that we’ve not come away with three points because I thought we were well organised, well drilled in tough conditions – it was always going to be hard coming here without the wind, the rain and everything else that came with it.

“We want to win a game, we want to try break this duck and move in the right direction, but performance-level wise and what we put out on the pitch today, I’m relatively happy with overall.”

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