Mika Biereth netted an injury-time equaliser as Motherwell claimed a share of the spoils in a 1-1 cinch Premiership draw against St Johnstone at Fir Park.
Biereth powered home a header in the final seconds to level proceedings, though Well boss Stuart Kettlewell remained under pressure, having seen his side extend their winless run to 13 matches.
A goalkeeping error from Liam Kelly led to Bevis Mugabi turning Graham Carey’s free-kick into his own net early in the second half and it looked like the hosts were heading for another dismal afternoon until they came up with a late response.
Saints have slipped into the relegation play-off position, trailing Motherwell on goal difference having played one game fewer.
Kettlewell made three changes in an effort to end his side’s search for a first victory since September. Georgie Gent made his first start for the club while Davor Zdravkovski and Jon Obika were both handed starting roles.
Craig Levein was without Max Kucheriavyi – who sustained a concussion during Saints’ 1-0 victory over St Mirren in midweek – and he was replaced by Chris Kane.
There was little to excite supporters of either side during an error-strewn opening 20 minutes.
The hosts looked to have a case for a foul when Brodie Spencer hit the deck following a challenge just inside his own penalty area, but when the referee waved play on, Kelly parried Anthony Gallacher’s shot before grasping an effort from Carey.
Gent forced a good stop from Dimitar Mitov after 27 minutes with a low drive that took a deflection off Matt Smith – the first time the St Johnstone goalkeeper had been called into action.
Having almost broken the deadlock, Motherwell were clearly lifted and began to pose much more of an attacking threat.
Obika had a weak shot gathered comfortably then a neat passing move concluded with Blair Spittal firing a powerful effort at Mitov that the Bulgarian turned away.
Callum Slattery saw his long-range drive saved shortly after half-time, though the home side would find themselves behind after 53 minutes.
It was a disaster for Kelly who got nowhere near to collecting Smith’s curling free-kick and Mugabi could only divert the ball into his own goal.
The mood had noticeably shifted inside Fir Park and the Steelmen almost found themselves two down when Diallang Jaiyesimi released Kane, who blasted against the legs of Kelly with the goal at his mercy.
Kettlewell introduced Oli Shaw in place of Obika with 20 minutes left on the clock, however, it was the visitors who continued to look the more likely.
After Zdravkovski had hacked down Carey, the Saints man dusted himself off to bend the resulting free-kick beyond the helpless Well goalkeeper but against the crossbar.
Spencer blazed an effort high and wide as Motherwell desperately searched for a way back into an encounter that was slipping away from them at pace.
In bringing on Theo Bair and Conor Wilkinson for Spencer and Zdravkovski they would have four strikers on the field for the final 10 minutes.
The changes almost paid off instantly as Bair got in behind the Saints defence before heading into the arms of Mitov, while Beireth then looped a header that crept wide of the target with the aid of a deflection.
It appeared that it was almost time up for Kettlewell, but his side would strike deep into added time as Beireth bulleted the ball high into the net after connecting with Bair’s pin-point cross.