Motherwell U20s cruised to a 4-0 victory over St Mirren in the Development League tonight.
And the youngsters matched the impeccable standard of the Fir Park turf they were playing on by scoring some exceptional goals in front of the onlooking crowd.
A Davie Turnbull brace and goal from Jake Hastie and Jack McMillan secured all three points as the youngsters bounced back in style from last week’s Youth Cup semi-final loss.
Manager Stephen Craigan called on senior defenders Joe Chalmers and David Ferguson as he named a young starting line up – including 16-year-old forward James Scott up front.
The youngsters dominated for much of the opening half hour and were unfortunate not to be ahead when some terrific footwork from Scott freed up space in the box. The forward looked up and unselfishly cut back for Davie Turnbull, but his effort from eight yards was terrifically shut down and blocked.
From the resulting corner the ball fell at the feet of Jake Hastie just two or three yards out. However, among a crowded box, the visitors did enough to scramble bodies in front of the ball and block a certain opener.
Less than a minute later though, Hastie made no mistake to finally put the Steelmen in front.
Scott, again involved, dribbled in to space before slotting the ball down the left for the run of Livingstone, who didn’t need to break stride and struck a first time effort on goal, forcing a good save from Christopher Henry. It only fell kindly for Hastie though, who tapped home from just two yards.
Turnbull’s first of the night was an impressive strike from 20 yards just minutes after Hastie’s opener, but the youngster would out do himself with an even better strike later in the game.
The Steelmen went in to the break with their two goal advantage in tact but the visitors nearly pulled one back early in the second half.
Defender Connor McBrearty struck an ambitious effort narrowly over the bar from 25 yards just minutes after a goalbound effort in to a vacant Motherwell goal was terrifically blocked by Chalmers.
However, the Saints momentum was dealt a significant blow when substitute Lewis McLear was shown a red card for descent just eleven minutes after coming on for ex-Well youngster Ryan Watters.
Matters got worse for the Paisley youngsters, when Jack McMillan scored a neat third.
Jordan Armstrong’s high cross-field ball was met by the inside of the full-back’s boot on the volley – leaving Henry with no chance as it flew past him in to the bottom far corner.
And with just minutes left on the clock, Turnbull got his secind and it was the best of the lot. A short free-kick was teed up for the youngster, who took a touch and struck an inch-perfect strike from 25-yards in off the underside of the crossbar.
It capped a terrific evening for the youngster and for the team as a whole as they moved to 51 points in the Development League.