Motherwell Reserves put in a strong showing but their enthusiasm to complete a comeback victory saw them picked apart 6-2 by Rangers.
Jamie Semple and Shaun Bowers grabbed second half goals to claw back a two-goal deficit, before a succession of counter attacks saw them come undone.
Rangers fielded an experienced starting team, including Lee Wallace, Jordan Rossiter, Eros Grezda and on loan Roma forward Umar Sadiq.
It was the latter who had the opening chance of the game. Using his pace to work an opportunity, his shot from close range was well saved by Rohan Ferguson at his near post.
The goalkeeper was called into action again soon after, having to acrobatically turn away another effort from the Nigerian.
Motherwell had to be patient to create their own chances but very nearly opened the scoring on the half hour mark. James Scott used his strength to beat Rossiter to the ball wide in the box, but his shot from an angle flew past the far post.
The resistance would be broken soon after. With the visitors failing to clear their lines, Palmer was given room to fizz a low effort from 25 yards into the bottom left corner.
Struggling to get a foothold in the game, ‘Well went two behind. Attacking with pace and intensity, Grezda was the beneficiary as he was given the chance to slot home the second.
Rangers withdrew their four first team players at the interval, while the Steelmen brought on Jake Hastie for Yusuf Hussain.
Those changes allowed Motherwell to find some joy, getting on the ball and creating chances.
The first fell to Broque Watson 10 minutes in to the second period. Played in by a great cross-field ball from Adam Livingstone, he attempted to lob the goalkeeper from a tight angle, but the stopper just managed to get enough on it to keep it out.
Minutes later the deficit was halved. The lively Hastie drove out of midfield before playing a dinked ball into the path of the onrushing Semple.
Taking the ball on the bounce, he fired home a brilliant half volley from just inside the area past McAdams.
The game flowed from end to end. Atakayi had several chances well saved by Ferguson, while the visitors continued to be patient and press on the counter.
Their patience was to pay off. Winning the second ball off a corner, Craigan’s men patiently engineered the chance for Bowers to fire low past the goalkeeper from the edge of the box to equalise.
Fired up, Rangers took the chance to regain the lead soon after. Getting a second bite at a shot after an initial block, substitute Mebude rifled the ball home with 15 minutes left to play.
Pushing men forward, Motherwell would be punished again five minutes later. Bursting past the defenders and surging into the box on the right, Dallas had time to place his finish past Ferguson.
Worse would follow. Committing bodies forward, ‘Well were again caught short on the counter, with Atakayi setting up Mebude for the fifth.
Mebude would then grab his hat-trick late on, as failure to clear a poorly-hit corner allowed him to tap in at the back post.