Motherwell under-20s suffered their first defeat in the Development League this season with a 4-2 defeat against Hearts.
Dylan King’s opener and a goal from George Newell couldn’t maintain the youngsters unbeaten start, as a rather disjointed performance at Ochilview Park led to the hosts claiming all three points.
Stephen Craigan named Elliott Frear, Deimantas Petravičius and Ross MacLean in his starting line up for the clash in Stenhousemuir, for the first competitive game in nearly two weeks for the youngsters.
And, in truth, it showed, with a couple of ‘Well errors leading to goals for the Edinburgh side.
However, despite the poor showing, things started positively after Dylan King sent Motherwell in front after just six minutes when he flicked in a terrific cross from MacLean.
It was so nearly two when Liam Brown’s powerful strike was palmed by Kelby Mason towards his own goal, but he recovered in time to stop the ball from crossing the line.
However, in the 15th minute, Hearts drew level when Euan Henderson rounded PJ Morrison, only to be denied by the hard-working, backtracking Kyle MacDonald, whose block fell kindly for the Jambo’s midfielder to slot home at the second attempt.
Five minutes later, the home side took the lead, thanks largely to a defensive error. A whipped ball in should have been dealt with, but King mishit his clearance and it fell kindly for Lewis Moore who lashed the ball past Morrison.
And after just 23 minutes of play, Craigan was forced to make an early change when Petravičius limped off to be replaced by James Scott.
Midfielder Davie Turnbull could, and probably should, have equalised when a terrific cross found the youngster in space, but he couldn’t turn it past the keeper from close range.
With ten minutes remaining in the first half, ‘Well drew level when Newell got on the end of Frear’s ball to finish beyond Mason.
Craigan made his second change of the evening at half time when he replaced King with the returning Barry Maguire, who made his first appearance of the season following an injury lay-off.
Just after the hour mark, ‘Well fell behind and it was again from another error.
Full-back Jamie Brandon sent a dipping effort on goal but Morrison couldn’t hold it and spilled the ball right in to the path of Henderson, who tapped his second of the night in to the empty net.
And with little over five minutes remaining in the match, the hosts doubled their advantage.
A swift counter attack down the left led to Moore sending a deflected effort past Morrison to secure the three points and inflict defeat on the Steelmen for the first time this season.