Motherwell under 20s returned to Development League action tonight with a 1-0 victory against Falkirk.
Despite being denied from the penalty spot early in the match, Jake Hastie’s 76th minute winner was enough to secure a return to winning ways for the Steelmen.
Manager Stephen Craigan fielded a side including senior players Russell Griffiths, Ellis Plummer, Liam Grimshaw and Ross MacLean at the Falkirk Stadium, whilst also recalling on-loan duo Jack McMillan and Jake Hastie to the starting line-up.
And the latter was presented with a golden opportunity to mark his return to the team with an early goal when a stone wall penalty was awarded by referee Lorraine Watson in the sixth minute.
A push on the goal line denied ‘Well a sure goal before Robbie Mutch denied Hastie from the spot – diving low to his left to palm away the winger’s effort.
Ten minutes later the youngster’s determination nearly robbed the Bairns stopper on the edge of his box, when Hastie closed down his attempted clearance, only to see the ball ricochet out of play at the expense of a throw-in.
Adam Livingstone’s terrific curling effort directly from a freekick was the closest the Steelman came to beating Mutch, with the stopper nowhere near the superb effort, which skimmed the post on it’s way out for a goal kick.
However, it wasn’t the best opportunity of the opening 45.
That fell for James Scott who was played over the top of the Bairns backline in the 32nd minute but couldn’t convert the chance and instead was denied one-on-one by Mutch.
The second half was equally uneventful, although it did include the breakthrough in an otherwise quiet game.
The home side went closest to breaking the deadlock after just a minute of play, with Luca Gasparotto heading goalward from a corner – but Griffiths saved with ease.
Fifteen minutes from time, Motherwell took the lead and, although it was deserved, it was extremely slack from the hosts.
A short ball from Mutch put Liam Henderson under pressure and the alert Hastie was on hand to rob the defender and roll the ball in to an empty net.
It means the Fir Park youngsters have won four out of their six league matches this term, having lost just one, and currently sit three points off Development League leaders Dundee.