Motherwell U20s put in an outstanding performance as they put nine goals past Aberdeen away from home this afternoon.
Goals from all over the park put the Dons to the sword at Links Park, Montrose, where the young Steelmen were virtually unplayable and ran out 1-9 winners.
The youngsters got off to a strong start in the opening 20 minutes, and could have had three or four.
Dylan Falconer had the ball in the net after 15 minutes but the linesman’s flag cut celebrations short as the youngster was adjudged to have strayed too deep when Dylan Mackin’s low cross allowed him to tap home.
Three minutes later, some outstanding play by Tom Fry on the edge of the box nearly produced a wonder goal. The midfielder received the ball from Jake Hastie before playing a neat one-two with Falconer in and around a number of Aberdeen defenders, which created enough space for him to strike a vicious effort on goal, but Aberdeen stopper David Craddock produced a brilliant save to palm it wide.
Less than a minute later, Craigan’s side should have doubled their lead when Hastie pinched the ball off Craig Storie, allowing the youngster a one-on-one opportunity, but he hit it too straight and Craddock stood up when called upon to pull his side out of danger by spreading himself to block.
It was all Motherwell at Links Park, with Craigan’s youngsters looking hungry for victory, and two minutes later it was so nearly 0-2. Mackin rose superbly to head at goal from a corner, but his effort was cleared agonisingly off the line.
However, a minute later it was 0-2.
Falconer was involved again as he nipped in to intercept Joe MacPherson’s stray pass, and he selflessly squared for the unmarked Mackin to take a touch and pass it neatly beyond Craddock.
The game settled a little after the second goal as the Steelmen looked comfortable on the ball and also in defence, limiting Aberdeen to virtually no shots on target.
But when Hastie picked the ball up out on the left, his trickery and pace was too much for Omoluken who could only hack the midfielder to stop him racing into the box. From the resulting free kick, Fry’s delivery was tapped beyond Craddock to give the Steelmen a resounding three goal lead with five minutes of the first half still to play.
But they weren’t finished there, and neither was right back Watt, who headed beyond Craddock for a brace and Motherwell’s fourth on the stroke of half time.
It seemed like Aberdeen were in dire need of a break but even at the start of the second half the Steelmen didn’t let up.
An outrageous ball from Mackin carved Aberdeen apart and Hastie, on the same page as the forward, latched on to the pass, took a touch and passed it beyond Craddock from a tight angle.
Two minutes later and it was six for the visiting Fir Parkers.
Hastie had two in two minutes after a free kick fired in to the box was touched down by Mackin and Hastie rifled it high into the far top corner.
Jordan Armstrong, who had been solid at the back all afternoon, got involved at the other end of the park when he struck low past Craddock to make it seven for the visitors.
Down the other end though, the young defender conceded a penalty for a soft bit of contact in the box and Scott Wright stepped up to bag a consolation goal for the hosts and snatch Morrison’s clean sheet away from him.
However, Craigan’s side responded immediately as Allan Campbell prodded beyond Craddock following a ball in to the box. Aberdeen had struggled to deal with them all afternoon.
With two minutes remaining, substitute James Scott was picked out by a stunning pass from Barry Maguire over the top. The young forward beat his man and fired brilliantly in to the top corner.
It was the final bit of action from an action packed afternoon where Craigan’s youngsters were unstoppable.
The scale of the achievement is summed up by the fact that the average age of the starting eleven was just 17 years of age.
Motherwell: Morrison, Watt, Livingstone, Maguire, Armstrong, Campbell, Fry, Turnbull, Hastie (Agyeman, ’75), Falconer (Scott, ’68), Mackin (K. McDonald, ’85)
Unused subs: Pettigrew