Motherwell continued their pre-season preparations with a 0-2 win over Livingston this evening.
The Steelmen went ahead shortly before half-time when Gaël Bigirimana slotted home from close range.
It stayed that way until the 86th minute when substitute Ryan Bowman rounded the goalkeeper and finished to confirm the win.
It was a cold, wet and damp Tony Macaroni Arena that greeted both teams. Sadly, there was little in the early exchanges to warm the 824 punters inside the ground, with both teams enjoying spells of possession, but nothing of note in the final third.
The first chance came on twelve minutes when Danny Mullen’s low shot was blocked by Charles Dunne at the expense of a corner.
Motherwell’s first real chance came five minutes later when a lovely little reverse ball from Craig Tanner played in Bigirimana whose square ball looked perfect for Alex Fisher, but the former Inverness man blazed over from eight yards.
‘Well continued to create and Fisher was the creator for Andy Rose shortly after, but the midfielder’s shot from distance took a slight deflection en route and bounced inches wide of target.
Matthew Knox had a free-kick sail high over the bar on 26 minutes before going within an inch of putting his side in front, when his looping shot from distance was brilliantly tipped over by Griffiths in the visitor’s goal.
That was to prove an important stop from the young stopper as with their next attack, the Steelmen took the lead. Burundi International Bigirimana broke up a Livi counter before playing a neat one-two with Tanner and slid the ball past Maley to put ‘Well a goal up at the break.
Stephen Robinson introduced the impressive Cédric Kipré at the interval, alongside Stevie Hammell and Richard Tait who replaced Charles Dunne, Bira Dembélé and goal scorer Bigiramana.
The Fir Parkers made a positive start to the second period and Rose had a shot wide before Chris Cadden looked set to score, but for a goal-saving challenge by Livi sub Rafa De Vita. Then, shortly after, Tanner had a low free-kick that was comfortably held by Maley.
As the hour mark approached, both teams started to change things with substitute every few minutes intrupting any real flow to the game.
One sub, Ross MacLean, almost grabbed a goal himself with a driving shot from distance, but Livi’s trialist keeper, introduced for Maley shortly before, held on well.
However, he was powerless to stop Ryan Bowman just four minutes later, when the big striker got on the end of a tantalising Hammell pass, rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home from an acute angle.
Bowman almost had a third in the dying seconds, when he got on the end of a Tuton cross, but his header was somehow bundled off the line. When it broke out to young sub Jack McMillan, he blazed over.
It was the last action of the game. The Steelmen will now travel south to Gateshead on Saturday for game three of four in the pre-season schedule.