Motherwell showed fighting spirit to hold off a late Aberdeen comeback to secure a closely-fought victory at Alliance Park on Sunday.
Carla Boyce fired the hosts in front early on, before Chelsie Watson doubled Motherwell’s advantage in quick succession.
Boyce then prodded home the third to give Motherwell a comfortable three goal advantage after 10 minutes.
Bayley Hutchinson pulled one back for the visitors midway through the first half, but Boyce responded to net her hat-trick and Motherwell’s fourth in the second half.
Francesca Ogilvie netted a late second for the visitors, before Johan Fraser added a third to give Motherwell a nerve-racking final 10 minutes.
However, Paul Brownlie’s side stood resolute to record their third league win this season.
Motherwell would break the deadlock after five minutes. Katie Rice’s powerful strike from the edge of the box ricocheted off the crossbar, and Boyce calmly followed up to earn her first goal in claret and amber.
The hosts then doubled their advantage minutes later. Rice’s perfectly weighted free kick was misjudged by the goalkeeper, and Watson stepped up to place her strike high into the net past Gail Gilmour from a few yards out.
The women of steel continued to look threatening in the early stages and would add a third on the 10-minute-mark. Gill Inglis’ curling effort was parried away by the keeper, but only as far as Boyce, who headed home her second of the game.
The visitors pulled one back midway through the first half. Hutchinson latched onto Nadia Sopel’s long ball, and the forward skilfully chipped Khym Ramsay from distance with an exquisite strike to give the Dons a lifeline.
With the hosts continuing to dominate possession, Motherwell restored their three-goal advantage on the hour mark.
Amy Anderson’s floated free kick deflected off the underside of the crossbar and fell kindly to Boyce who rifled her effort low past Gilmour to secure a hat-trick on her first home game of the season.
With the visitors chasing the game in the second half, Aberdeen netted a quickfire double against the run of play. A quick counter attack left Ogilvie through on goal, and the midfielder coolly slotted her strike past Ramsay.
Then, less than a minute later, Hutchinson’s low-driven cross was steered past Ramsay by Fraser to give the women of steel a tough final few minutes. However, the Motherwell defence held firm to secure their third league win of the season.
Motherwell’s valiant display will be a real confidence boost for Paul Brownlie’s side, before they host Glasgow City later this month.