Motherwell claimed another three points and jumped back to third in the league with a 2-1 home win over Kilmarnock.
Liam Donnelly and Devante Cole’s goals, sandwiched by a speculative Dominic Thomas effort, got the Steelmen back to winning ways.
In a return to the more familiar 4-5-1 shape, Jermaine Hylton joined the attack with defender Bevis Mugabi dropping out as the central defence went down from three to two.
Kilmarnock had pre-match doubts over defender Dario Del Fabro after sustaining a knock at the weekend, but the Italian was named in Angelo Alessio’s starting team. But, late on in the warmup, he was ruled out and Connor Johnson was called in from the bench.
Motherwell had impressed at Ibrox at the weekend before ultimately losing out, and the confidence from the showing against a bigger-budget side played through into the opening exchanges.
Positive attacking play at pace had the Fir Park crowd’s spirits raised and the breakthrough would come in slightly controversial circumstances after 15 minutes.
Christopher Long got the better of the defence as he burst through on goal, with Alex Bruce making a desperate last-ditch lunge to stop him going one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
The defender felt he got a touch on the ball as Long was scythed down, but referee Don Robertson was right on the spot to award a free kick and show the red card to the Kilmarnock man.
Motherwell would immediately profit. Donnelly, taking a brief break from the incredible scoring start to the season, rolled the free kick under the wall and into the net, despite goalkeeper Branescu’s best efforts to keep it out.
The hosts continued to press, harassing Killie as they tried to play out from the back and launching wave after wave of attack.
Then, with the clock just past the half hour mark, Kilmarnock would get an unexpected route back into the game.
Thomas cut in from the right and was still a long way from goal as he fizzed a ball in low across the face of goal. Hartley couldn’t get there and the ball sailed into the bottom left corner of the net.
The pace of Motherwell’s attacking play slowed slightly, even if the urgency didn’t as they continued to press to go in at the break ahead, but the visitors stood firm.
Stephen Robinson’s men set out with the same attacking intent in the second period and got the goal that would prove decisive with nine minutes of the half gone.
Jake Carroll got to the byline on the left and, with players queuing up, Cole rose highest to nod the ball into the ground and into the net.
Motherwell continued to retain the bulk of possession but Kilmarnock continued to threaten on the counter, putting the hearts of the mouths of home supporters on a number of occasions.
With the clock running down, Mark Gillespie had to keep out a goalbound effort from Eamonn Brophy, and James Scott saw a late counter attacking effort wasted.
The Steelmen though would hold out, jumping back to third in the league.