Motherwell’s first action of the new 2015/16 campaign came in the shape of a very useful 1-1 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Under 23s.
After a goalless first half, summer signing Wes Fletcher opened the scoring for Ian Baraclough’s side just four minutes into the second forty-five.
It stayed that way until he 70th minute, when Giuseppe Pisano leveled after an impressive solo run.
Both teams had chances to win it, but it ended all squad in Rheden.
It was the Germans who made the stronger start to the game, with Twardzik twice having to look smart to deny Kevin Holzweiler. The first from a free kick, the second from point blank range, albeit the assistant had his flag up for the latter.
However, the Czech stopper was helpless moments later though as Borussia came within an inch of taking the lead. Gino van den Berg unleashed a stinging, dipping effort that crashed off the bar before ‘Well hooked clear.
After their early struggles, the Steelmen settled into the match. Summer recruit from Wrexham Louis Moult was almost presented with a gift from keeper Martin Kompalla, but the stopper was up quickly to mop up his spill from Dom Thomas’ cross.
Most of the play was now heading towards the German goal and Thomas went close direct from a corner, his near post cross hitting Nils Rütten, deflecting off the woodwork before being hooked away to safety.
Lasley for ‘Well and Holzweiler for Borussia both watched efforts fly over before the Germans again went close seconds before the break, but thankfully flashed a shot wide of target after patient build-up on the edge of the box.
There was seven changes to the start of the second half, with Josh Law, Louis Laing, Lionel Ainsworth, Jack Leitch, Stephen Pearson, Craig Moore and Wes Fletcher all lining up for kick-off.
And it was two of those, Moore and Fletcher, who combined to get the Steelmen in front.
Moore was the provider, his low shot from the edge of the box forced keeper Kompalla to again spill, and former York man Fletcher was on to it like a flash, tucking home from close range.
Motherwell’s tails were up and they enjoyed their best spell of the match. Indeed, only a fine Kompalla save denied Thomas from adding a second after the winger had let fly from 20 yards out.
Baraclough’s men continued to pile on the pressure, again looking dangerous breaking at pace on the counter and on more than one occasion, almost found themselves in via Ainsworth on the flank.
Then, out of virtually nothing, Borussia drew level. Sub Giuseppe Pisano collected the ball from deep and after skipping past several challenges, coolly slotted a low shot past young keeper Brett Long to equalize.
Although the Fir Parkers had a half chance to level almost immediately through Ainsworth, it was the Germans who looked the most likely. Indeed, it took an excellent acrobatic save from Long to deny Rütten making it 2-1.
However, with eight minutes left, ‘Well should have been back ahead.
Again it was another decisive counter, Law and Ainsworth combining across the pitch, before young Ross MacLean found himself in acres of space in the box. With the goal at his mercy, he curled his right-footed shot inches wide of the far post.
Borussia had one or two little sniffs in and around the Motherwell goal, but it ended all squad with boss Baraclough no doubt pleased with the workout.
Motherwell First Half: Twardzik, Watt, Chalmers, Trialist Def, McManus, Lasley, Trialist Mid, MacLean, Thomas, Clarkson, Moult
Motherwell Second Half: Twardzik (B.Long), Law, Chalmers (Watt), Trialist Def (Trialist Mid), Laing, Pearson, Leitch, Ainsworth, Thomas (MacLean), Moore, Fletcher.