Motherwell got off to the perfect start in the Betfred Cup group stage, with a 3-0 win at Queen of the South.
Liam Donnelly, Sherwin Seedorf and Jermaine Hylton all netted to ensure all three points returned back up the M74.
But with just 18 seconds gone, it was back to the drawing board as Christopher Long took a severe blow to the face, forcing the change with James Scott.
The youngster had Motherwell’s best chance of the first half, being sprung in behind the Queen’s defence. But goalkeeper McCrorie was alert and quick to get out and block the shot at source.
The hosts also carved out chances. A goalbound strike from Murray was blocked at close quarters by Liam Donnelly. Shouts went up for handball, but referee Don Robertson was unmoved.
Stephen Dobbie also saw a shot from close range as the half wore on, finding Mark Gillespie alert to save.
It took 10 minutes in the second half for Motherwell’s best chance to that point. Semple’s corner from the left was flat and guided, and met by Charles Dunne.
His header crashed off the crossbar and, with it still shaking, Donnelly’s headed rebound was nodded off the line.
Jermaine Hylton and Sherwin Seedorf were introduced early and the former had a big penalty shout with 22 minutes remaining. The referee ruled he had been hacked down outside the box, however, and the subsequent free kick went to waste.
The deadlock was then broken. Hylton was felled in the box, and Liam Donnelly stepped up to fire home the first goal of the season.
The dam then burst, with the new boys at the heart of it with five minutes to go.
Seedorf burst in from the left, before smashing the ball into the net for his first professional goal.
Then, in stoppage time, Hylton made room and fired an unstoppable effort into the top corner from 25 yards.
Motherwell: Gillespie, Tait, Gallagher, Dunne, Carroll, Donnelly, Campbell, Semple, Cole (Seedorf), Ilic (Hylton), Long (Scott).