Motherwell lost 0-2 to an impressive Fulham side in their final preparation match prior to Thursday’s Euro tie against Stjarnan.
The Steelmen showed some good touches, had some positive periods in possession and carved out some half chances, but the opposition was worthy of their victory.
Cameron Burgess opened the scoring when he headed home Chris David’s corner in the first half before Kostas Stafylidis added a second after the break with a shot from distance.
All in all, it was a good workout for the Fir Parkers who now must up their game against the unbeaten Icelandic side in five days time.
Stuart McCall named a familiar looking side with summer recruit Dan Twardzik the only “newcomer” in Claret and Amber.
Felix Magath handed a debut to former Steelmen favourite Ross McCormack, who partnered young Moussa Dembélé in attack.
There was also an emotional homecoming for Shaun Hutchinson, the big Geordie having left for London just over a month ago after seven years at Fir Park.
It was the tourists who started the brighter and forced an early corner, but the Well rearguard held firm.
Indeed, it was the Claret and Amber men who created the first real opportunity of the half when Iain Vigurs’ effort at goal was flicked on by Bob McHugh, only to drop inches wide of the post.
Motherwell showed more attacking invention but it was the Whites who took the lead on the 20th minute. Chris David’s beautiful corner was perfect for Cameron Burgess who powered a header into the far corner.
The home side looked for an instant reply through McHugh but his shot stung the palms of Cottagers keeper Marcus Bettinelli.
Both sides continued to create in what was an entertaining first half. McCormack forced Twardzik into a good punch before David curled a free-kick just wide. Christensen was also unlucky to watch his 25-yard strike fly inches over the crossbar.
Down the other end, Sutton fired over after some positive play down the left flank.
Into the second half and after numerous half-time changes, Fulham doubled their lead. Kostas Stafylidis collected from distance and his fierce shot wasn’t properly dealt with by Twardzik, only for the wet ball squirm agonizingly over the line.
The game hit a bit of a lull with both sides ringing the changes.
Iain Vigurs brought things back to life on the 71st minute with a stinging low volley that forced the keeper into a good save following excellent build up on the left flank from Stevie Hammell, sub Dom Thomas and Keith Lasley.
As the game reached its conclusion, it was Fulham who finished the stronger. Twardzik made an excellent stop to deny McCormack with nine minutes left before again saving from both Bangna then Williams from close range.
Motherwell: Twardzik, Reid (Kerr – 72mins), Hammell, Carswell (Leitch – 76mins), Ramsden, McManus, Ainsworth (Francis-Angol – 46mins (Thomas – 55mins)), Sutton (Erwin – 76mins), Vigurs (Cadden – 76mins), Lasley, McHugh (Law – 46mins)