Scottish Premiership Wrap: Motherwell, St Johnstone clinch narrow wins

4 August 2013 18:31

Motherwell left it late to seal all three points in their opening Scottish Premiership game of the season on Sunday.

Last season’s runners-up in the now-defunct Scottish Premier League controlled the vast majority of their fixture against Hibernian, but had to wait until seven minutes from time to break the deadlock through Henri Anier.

The Estonia international, making his league debut for Motherwell following his loan move from Viking FK, finished smartly to give Stuart McCall’s side a well-deserved win.

Hibernian started the game well but Motherwell were soon in command, with Iain Vigurs and Bob McHugh wasting decent chances.

Scott Robertson went close for the home side with a stinging volley around the hour-mark, but Anier’s late goal proved decisive.

In Sunday’s other Scottish Premiership clash, last season’s third-placed finishers St Johnstone also got off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory over troubled Hearts at McDiarmid Park.

Hearts are facing an uphill struggle to retain their top-flight status after being deducted 15 points for entering administration, and Stevie May’s first-half strike ensured their season started with a defeat.

St Johnstone were on top from the outset and it took striker May just 25 minutes to put them in front with a brilliant individual effort.

The 20-year-old Scot picked up the ball on the left-hand side and curled a spectacular shot beyond Jamie MacDonald in the visitors’ net.

These results mean Motherwell and St Johnstone join champions Celtic, Aberdeen and Inverness on three points after the opening round of fixtures.