Motherwell opened their Reserve League Cup Group A campaign with a convincing 4-1 win over Morton at Cappielow.
Goals from Yussuf Hussain, Ross MacIver and a Christian Ilic double ensured last year’s finalists got off to the perfect start.
Maurice Ross was able to call on the likes of Ilic and Craig Tanner for the cup tie, whist Livingstone, Barry Maguire, David Devine and Dean Cornelius also have top-team experience.
Motherwell made a positive start to the match with a low Ilic shot and a MacIver effort over the bar setting the early tone for the afternoon.
The hosts didn’t heed that warning though as the Steelmen got themselves ahead with their next attack.
An impressive passing combination allowed Tanner to collect deep in Morton territory. He turned well before whipping a ball across goal where Ilic was on hand to head home from close range.
The Steelmen had a golden opportunity to double their advantage ten minutes later, when Ilic was brought down inside the box for a penalty.
Cole Starrs stepped up, but his low effort was expertly turned away by Sam Ramsbottom in the home goal.
‘Well continued to dominate and the second was inevitable. It came via a set-piece just before the half hour mark, Tanner’s dipping corner was prodded home at the back post by Hussain.
Tanner was proving a threat from deep and he almost got his name amongst the scorers himself, his shot deflected on route after good hold up play by Starrs inside the area.
He was in the mix again shortly after, twisting and turning in the box only for his low shot to be turned away by Ramsbottom.
Just before the break, Ilic had a wonderful chance to make it three, when he found himself one-on-one with Ramsbottom. The Morton keeper did well to stand up and got a vital block before it was hooked clear.
The second half started much as the same the first ended, with the Fir Parkers on top. Tanner’s low pass had Starrs haring away from the last ‘Ton defender, but Ramsbottom was again equal to the low shot.
Incredibly, with their first real attack of the afternoon, Morton reduced the arrears by one. A long, hopeful punt over the top had Shaun Rodgers racing clear. He used the bounce of the ball to loop it smartly over Morrison and into the net.
Motherwell recovered from that bow and could and perhaps should’ve reestablished their two goal advantage, but Starrs could only turn a Tanner corner wide of target under no pressure.
Findlay Cook was introduced in place of Starrs for the last ten minutes and his first touch was to send a fizzing shot over the cross bar from the edge of the box.
‘Well wrapped up the game in the dying minutes when Ross MacIver got on the end of a Livingstone cross from the left to bundle home at the second attempt, before Ilic grabbed his second of the game, slamming home after Cornelius’ tempting ball from the left.
Motherwell: Morrison, Brown (McDonald), Livingstone, Hussain, Devine, Maguire, Cornelius, MacIver, Tanner, Ilic, Starrs (Cook)
Subs Not Used: Connolly, Muir, Kettings, Williamson