Motherwell surrendered a one-goal lead as they lost 3-1 at Kilmarnock in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Curtis Main opened the scoring for a visiting side who flew out of the starting blocks. But the striker would then miss a penalty soon after that the Rugby Park side took advantage of, with Chris Burke, Greg Stewart and Eammon Brophy all netting afterwards.
Stephen Robinson made one change from the team who battled but lost out late in the cup to Hearts in midweek. Allan Campbell dropped to the bench, with Aaron Taylor-Sinclair coming into the side.
Kilmarnock were without the hero of their win last weekend over Celtic, with Stuart Findlay dropping out of the team altogether. Scott Boyd came in in his place.
Motherwell started the brighter of the two sides, launching ball after ball into wide areas to try and build attacks.
The first big chance of the game would fall to Grimshaw. A cross from the right found him in plenty space at the back post but the ball just wouldn’t sit right quickly enough, allowing the defender to get back across and stop him from getting a shot away.
‘Well would make no mistake with the next. A long ball forward was brilliantly met by the flick of Bowman 40 yards from goal. Anticipating his strike partner winning the ball, Main made an excellent run in between the centre backs to collect the through pass.
Bearing down on goal, it looked as though Boyd might just get there in the nick of time but the striker picked his moment perfectly, rifling the ball under the dive of MacDonald into the bottom left corner of the goal to open the scoring.
Motherwell continued their control on the game and, mounting attack after attack, they were awarded a penalty when Taylor-Sinclair was felled in the box as he found himself with space for the shot.
Main stepped up to try and get his second in quick succession, but his low penalty to the right was read perfectly by the goalkeeper, who dived low to collect.
Spurred on by MacDonald bailing them out, Killie came flying out of the traps and they came within a whisker of an equaliser with 25 minutes on the clock.
A corner from the right saw Broadfoot peel off to find himself with all the time in the world to aim his back post header back across goal, but the alert Tait rose bravely to head the ball off the line at the last possible second.
Both teams fought and scrapped in an end-to-end battle, carving out half chances until the hosts levelled things with five minutes to go ’til the break.
Gathering the ball on the left, Jones drove at Tait before cutting inside and firing low at goal. Carson did brilliantly to tip it away, but Burke read the rebound to steal in at the back post and knock home the equaliser.
That advantage would be doubled before the break. Stewart’s surging run against McHugh and Donnelly saw him twist and turn before finally settling on a shot from 25 yards which bounced beyond the dive of Carson.
Killie started the stronger after the interval and were awarded a penalty of their own 13 minutes into the half. Donnelly left out his leg as Brophy surged through, leaving Don Robertson with no choice but to point at the spot.
Brophy stepped up to extend the lead and he sent Carson the wrong way, slotting his penalty low to the left to make it 3-1.
Danny Johnson and David Turnbull almost immediately replaced Tait and Bigirimana, as the Steelmen went on the offensive to get back into the game.
Chances started to come. First Tom Aldred had a goalward header denied at close range from Turnbull’s corner, with the Killie defence alert to make the block.
Bowman would be next to test the resolve, with MacDonald reacting well to gather another header at close quarters.
A remarkable let-off for the visitors would follow. Stewart had time to get in behind down the right and drive inside. In the chaos that ensued, McHugh’s attempted clearance cannoned back off his own post and, as everyone threw themselves at it, the ball was thankfully cleared.
Donnelly would later be taken off for Conor Sammon as Motherwell went with four strikers on the pitch. But it would ultimately prove fruitless, save for two attempts from distance from Johnson which amounted to nothing.
Instead it was Kilmarnock who continued to look the more likely, with Carson being called upon late on to keep the score down.