A youthful Motherwell reserve side lost out 4-1 at Dundee United in the Reserve League on Monday.
Maurice Ross’ side acquitted themselves well but the experience in the ranks of the hosts ultimately told.
A double for Cammy Smith, and further goals for Louis Appere and Darren Watson, were enough to overcome the visitors, who netted at 3-0 through Jamie Semple’s long-range effort.
Motherwell took time to get into the game and were punished with 22 minutes on the clock. A headed clearance by Sam Muir didn’t have much distance, and Smith did well to crash a volley home from 20 yards.
Hale and Manzinga both had chances soon after, before the hosts doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark..
With calls for offside from the ‘Well defence, Appere got in behind and netted, despite PJ Morrison getting something on it.
MacIver and Manzinga again had chances in the first period before with the latter also had a succession of efforts kept out early in the second 45.
The striker had the ball in the net during a long spell of Motherwell dominance, but his steered effort from Cornelius’ shot came with him in an offside position.
United would get another on the counter against the run of play in the 58th minute. Smith found room and although his initial shot was saved, he turned in the rebound past Morrison.
The Steelmen got the goal their play deserved with 25 minutes remaining. Semple found room from 25 yards and crashed a shot off the crossbar and over the line.
Sensing the chance to get a foothold back in the game, Well continued to push. But they were to be undone on the counter when the trialist defender hauled down Watson in the area.
The substitute forward picked himself up to fire home the penalty with 10 minutes left.
Motherwell: Morrison, Cornelius, Muir, Trialist, Brown, Semple (McGuigan), Kettings, Hale, MacIver, Starrs (McSwegan), Manzinga.
Subs not used: Connolly.