Motherwell exited the Scottish Women’s Cup on penalties after Partick Thistle twice came from behind to take the tie the distance.
Carla Boyce netted her third Motherwell goal with a well-placed header before Freya MacDonald fired the Jags level early into the second half.
With both sides battling for the winner late on, Leanne Crichton scored a spectacular free kick to restore Motherwell’s advantage with 12 minutes remaining. However, Cheryl McCulloch’s late header forced the game into extra time.
Motherwell started the game brightly and came close to breaking the deadlock after only six minutes.
Lori Gardner’s incisive through ball picked out Boyce on the left. The forward skilfully worked her way past several lacklustre challenges before firing towards goal, but her effort failed to trouble the keeper from distance.
The women of steel continued to dominate the early stages and deservedly took the lead after 12 minutes.
Exceptional link-up play between Gill Inglis and Gardner allowed Inglis to find space on the left, and the Motherwell captain accurately picked out Boyce in the box, who calmly placed her headed effort past Lauren McGregor to give her side the early advantage.
Looking for a response, the hosts came close to the equaliser on the half-hour mark. Clare Docherty was left through on goal after latching onto Amy Bulloch’s well-timed through ball, but debutant goalkeeper Ciara Duff reacted quickly to produce a smart stop.
With the half-time whistle looming, Motherwell came close to doubling their advantage. An excellent interchange of play between Inglis and Crichton left the midfielder in acres of space at the edge of the box, but her powerful effort sailed agonisingly wide of the target.
However, the hosts pulled themselves level early into the second half. Cheryl McCulloch’s low driven cross was brilliantly parried away by Duff, but MacDonald was on hand to coolly slot her strike into the bottom left corner.
With both sides battling for the winner in the dying stages of the game, Motherwell looked to have secured victory as Crichton stepped up and curled a spectacular free kick into the top right corner.
Katie Rice saw a second yellow card and was given her marching orders with only minutes to go.
Cara McBrearty’s subsequent looping free kick was easily prodded home by McCulloch deep into injury time, forcing the contest into extra time.
With neither side able to break the deadlock in the extra 30 minutes, the closely-fought encounter would be settled from the penalty spot.
Despite accurate spot kicks from Boyce and Chelsie Watson, Amy Anderson missed the target whilst Crichton saw her spot kick saved by McGregor, sending Thistle into the fourth round.
Despite exiting the cup prematurely, Motherwell will be encouraged with their display after controlling large periods of the game. Paul Brownlie will look to rectify this result when the pair meet at Alliance Park in the SWPL1 later this month.