Two second half goals helped ‘Well to a comfortable 0-2 win over Livingston at the Energy Assets Arena today.
After a goalless first forty-five, Lionel Ainsworth opened the scoring before setting up Luke Watt who doubled the advantage shortly after.
It was Motherwell’s first win of pre-season after draws with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Heerenveen and a defeat to Bradford.
Both teams made a positive, attacking start with Scott Pittman firing over for the hosts and Wes Fletcher having a close-range effort deflected wide for a corner.
Shortly after, Jordan White had a snap shot from the edge drop just wide of target before Lionel Ainsworth had an effort of his own sail a yard or so wide of target with Darren Jamieson at full stretch.
Motherwell began to gain the upperhand and a nice one-two between Lasley and Ainsworth almost brought about the first goal but Fletcher was beaten to the ball as the hosts conceded a corner.
‘Well threatened again on the half hour when Pearson and Johnson combined down the left but the former’s fizzed ball across the six-yard box had no takers.
As the interval approached, Livi had a couple of half chances when Myles Hippolyte fired a free-kick way wide of target and Ben Gordon got on the end of a corner but could only flight a header at Twardzik who comfortably plucked it out the air.
The Steelmen, again in all black, made a positive start to the second half and Craig Moore fizzed a twenty-yard shot just wide after his initial free-kick had came back off the way.
Livi’s only real chance of the second half fell to Hippolyte twelve minutes in but his close-range shot was superbly deflected over by the sliding Louis Laing, who had made up four or five yards to make the block.
It was an important touch from the former Forest man as ‘Well countered the resulting corner to open the scoring. Twardzik started the attack, rolling it quickly to sub David Clarkson. He turned past Scott Pittman before releasing Ainsworth with a terrific ball over the top. The winger took two touches before lashing a low shot Jamieson off his left-foot.
That goal gave the hosts confidence and they came close to doubling the advantage five minutes later. A stunning Stevie Hammell cross-field pass played Ainsworth in on the right flank. His low, tantalising cross was begging to be finished but it squirmed away from Clarkson and the chance was gone.
However, it wasn’t long before ‘Well made it two and it was a nice little finish from youngster Luke Watt. The 18-year old combined with Ainsworth on the right flank before cutting inside his marker and firing low across Jamieson.
It was almost three when substitute Louis Moult got on the end of a teasing Ainsworth cross but his looping header came back off the bar before being cleared.
Just before the full-time whistle, another sub Chris Cadden almost got his name on the scoresheet but Jamieson saved his low, bouncing shot in what was the last action of the ninety.
Motherwell: Twardzik (B.Long – 80mins), Hammell (Thomas – 75mins), Laing, Ainsworth, Pearson (J.Leitch – 55mins), Fletcher (Moult – 68mins), Johnson (Chalmers – 55mins), Lasley (Cadden – 75mins), Kennedy (McManus – 68mins), Moore (Clarkson – 55mins), Watt (Ferguson – 85mins)