VERDICT: Fairytale hat-trick ending for St Johnstone legend Steven MacLean

© SNSSteven MacLean celebrates his second of the afternoon.
Steven MacLean celebrates his second of the afternoon.

If Steven MacLean had written the final chapter of his St Johnstone career himself he couldn’t have come up with a better ending than this.

Captaining the side on his last appearance ahead of a summer move to Hearts, the 35-year-old scored a hat-trick before being substituted to a standing ovation from the travelling Saints fans.

It was both a reminder of what a class act he has been in his time at McDiarmid Park and what the Perth club will miss when he’s gone.

He opened the scoring just after the half-hour with a precise header from a Richard Foster cross and his second came five minutes before the break – a side-foot finish after excellent work by George Williams and Matty Willock.

In between, Steven Anderson had also got on the scoresheet to make it 3-0 at half-time.

On 56 minutes MacLean got his toe to re-direct a David Wotherspoon shot past Trevor Carson for Saints’ fourth.

Motherwell pulled a goal back on 78 minutes when Gael Bigirimana followed up a Ryan Bowman shot that came back off the woodwork but it was Saints who had the last word when substitute David McMillan scored his first Saints goal – a diving back-post header – to make it 5-1.