Motherwell Under 20s crashed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of an impressive Dundee Utd at Tannadice this evening.
United charged into a 2-0 lead in the opening stages, Thomson and Gauld putting Stevie Campbell’s men on the way to victory.
Right back Gilmour added a third from the penalty spot just after the hour mark, as United deservedly collected all three points.
Johansson made two changes from the side that edged out Hamilton last Wednesday. Steven Saunders returned in place of Adam Cummins whilst Adam Asghar got the nod ahead of Jack Leitch in the middle of the park.
The game exploded to life after just eight minutes when the home side took the lead.
Ross Stewart blocked Scott Fraser’s low shot from the edge of the area; the home side reacted quickest and Gauld got on the loose ball, squared it for the unmarked Thomson who had the simplest of tasks, slotting it home from close range.
Motherwell could have drawn level eight minutes later. Humphrey’s buccaneering run down the right left three in his wake. His pull back towards the ‘D’ was excellent but instead of hitting it first time, Carswell was forced into taking a touch and the chance was gone.
United’s response to that chance was instant and only a fantastic one-handed save prevented Thomson grabbing his, and United’s, second. The big striker managed to work space after Saunders had slipped but his fearsome strike was expertly blocked.
However, United wouldn’t be denied a second goal some three minutes later when they doubled their advantage from the penalty spot. After breaking up an attack, the home side quickly broke through Ryan Ferguson. He eventually slid in Gauld who was brought down by the Saunders as he was lining up a shot.
The striker dusted himself down and blasted it past Stewart who went the wrong way.
The home side cranked it up a gear and should have extended their lead further. Gauld again teed up Thomson but he blasted over, Fraser had a curling effort well saved, Ryan Dow fired wide before sending a stinging free-kick straight at Stewart.
Motherwell only really got going in the closing stages of the first forty-five. Bob McHugh posted the first chance on target with a low free kick comfortably saved by Phil Anderson.
Minutes later, the goalkeeper had a much more difficult save to make when he turned round a Francis-Angol shot from the edge, after the Antiguan had gone on a marauding run.
McHugh had the Steelmen on the front foot at the start of the second half and posted intentions early on with a spinning half volley that flew over the bar.
It was but a fleeting moment of pressure as United got themselves back on top. Ferguson fired over before bringing out a good save from Stewart, cutting in from the flank and firing one at the young ‘Well stopper.
Chris Humphrey, Motherwell’s best player on the night, tried to haul his side back into things with another rampaging run and shot that was well held by Anderson.
However, the Jamaican would concede a penalty shortly after that effectively ended the match as a contest.
The visitors surrendered possession cheaply, with the former Shrewsbury man caught the wrong side of right-back Ross Gilmour who was bursting into the area.
In an attempt to stop his run, Humphrey bundled the youngster to the ground and the referee pointed to the spot for the second time. Gilmour took it himself and although Stewart went the right way, there was enough power to beat the goalkeeper.
The rest of the match was fairly uneventful. Motherwell tried to get themselves back into things, but with little success. McHugh and substitutes Leitch and Thomas all had half chances, but never really made Anderson work.
It was another poor night for Johansson’s men who are back in action again this Thursday when St Mirren visit Fir Park.
Motherwell: Stewart, Neill, Francis-Angol, Saunders, Asghar (Leitch – 63mins), Carswell (Thomas – 80mins), Humphrey, Erwin (Shirkie – 73mins), McHugh, McCafferty, Murray
Subs Not Used: Higgins
Booked: Saunders, Humphrey, Francis-Angol, Neill