The victory, just the Steelmen’s second in 10 league matches, moves them ahead of Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton and increases the gap between themselves and the sorry Buddies.
The Paisley side’s sixth successive defeat was sealed by goals either side of half-time from Well duo David Turnbull and Chris Cadden, in a result that intensifies the pressure on new manager Oran Kearney who is still yet to win a game.
The Steelmen were the more hungry team throughout the match and deservedly led on the half-hour mark when Turnbull seized the initiative and thumped in from distance for his first ever senior goal.
Saints keeper Craig Samson was probably as shocked as the rest of the stadium when the teenager let fly, as he allowed the wicked strike to squirm under his hands and fly into the net.
The goal acted as a catalyst for Stephen Robinson’s side and they should have doubled their tally minutes later when frontman Curtis Main was presented with a golden opportunity after good work down the right from Cadden.
The winger drove to the byline and delivered a delicious cross but the forward, who has only netted once in the league this season, headed straight down Samson’s throat when aiming to either side would have resulted in a goal.
Main did atone for that missed opportunity in the early stages of the second half when he supplied the ammo for the impressive Cadden to curl an unstoppable left-footed effort into the corner of the net.
Ryan Edwards was then booked for an obvious attempt to con the referee Kevin Clancy after darting between two Well defenders and throwing himself to the floor.
The Buddies did finally show some fight 15 minutes from time but it was excessive as midfielder Ryan Flynn chopped down Richard Tait in an ugly-looking challenge that had the Motherwell players and management team incensed.