Motherwell Under 20s maintained their excellent run of form to beat Kilmarnock 0-4 at Rugby Park this evening.
Goals from Nathan Thomas, Dylan Mackin and a Dom Thomas brace gave Jonatan Johansson’s side all three points from the Ayrshire clash.
The win means the young Steelmen haven’t lost a game since mid December as they aim to finish the 2014/15 campaign on a high.
‘Well made two changes to the side that drew with Rangers last midweek. Jack McMillan and Stuart Carswell dropped out; replaced by January signings Anthony Straker and Nathan Thomas.
But it was another Thomas, Dominic, who got the Steelmen off to the best possible start. The young forward capitalised on a loose pass from the hosts, allowing him to hare in on goal. With Devlin MacKay rushing off his line, Thomas picked his spot, slotting into the corner for 0-1, with just three minutes on the clock.
The Fir Parkers’ explosive start continued and Bob McHugh, Nathan Thomas and Steven Higgins all passed up chances to extend the lead further, but none could capitalise.
However, such was ‘Well’s dominance of the opening stages, a second goal seemed inevitable and it eventually came after 28 minutes.
Straker’s quick-thinking throw got Dom Thomas in deep in Killie territory. He wriggled away from a challenge before squaring it for the supporting McHugh. The striker’s attempted shot somehow squirmed back out to Nathan Thomas who fired home from close range.
Both Thomas’ were creating all sorts of problems and Nathan came close to adding his second of the night, hitting the accelerator to ghost past two despairing defenders, only for his stinging drive to be palmed around by MacKay.
The home side did finish the half slightly stronger though and after Greg Kiltie tested Max Currie for the first time in the game was a long-range shot, Lee Miller passed up a great chance to reduce the arrears.
The former Dundee Utd, Hearts and Aberdeen striker found himself in space inside the area and with just the keeper to beat, he struck his low shot off the base of the post before Straker eventually cleared.
It looked like a pivotal miss and it proved to be. It wasn’t the last action of the half though; Nathan Thomas created another chance for himself in the last second, nut-megging his marker before curling a lovely shot that deflected just over.
For all ‘Well were superb in the first-half, thoroughly meriting their 0-2 advantage, they were sloppy at the start of the second, allowing Killie to dominate possession.
However, for all the ball they had, the hosts never really created too much in the way of clear-cut chances.
Lee Miller fired a close-range free-kick over the bar, Euan Smith ballooned a shot high over from a similar distance and Dylan Pooler trundled a low effort harmlessly wide of Currie’s right-hand post. That was it, really.
A goal for the home side might have changed things at that stage, but ‘Well all but killed the game with a decisive third, and it was a goal of some beauty.
Dom Thomas won the ball deep in his own half, before quickly setting ‘Well on the attack with a positive pass to Ross MacLean. He kept the move going, spraying it across the park to the right flank where Nathan Thomas was in space. The former Plymouth man picked out sub Dylan Mackin with a terrific ball, and after an excellent touch, he coolly prodded it past MacKay for 0-3. A clinical counter-attacking goal! Game over.
There was still enough time for ‘Well to add an exclamation point to the victory and the Thomas’ again combined. Nathan collecting deep, cutting across the park from right to left before picking out Dom in the box. He took one touch to move the ball away from his marker, before lashing it home past a helpless MacKay.
It was a ruthless, clinical and at times, extremely impressive victory for Johansson’s men who are full of energy, pace, endeavour and attacking intent. They face St Johnstone at home next week full of confidence, looking to work their way up the table.
Motherwell: Currie, Watt (McNulty – 76mins), Straker, Ferguson, Hall, Cadden, N.Thomas, Higgins (McCall – 76mins), McHugh (Mackin – 66mins), D.Thomas, MacLean
Subs Not Used: B. Long, McMillan, Anderson