Motherwell U21s ended their Challenge Cup run following a 2-1 loss Ross County. The young team gave a very creditable showing and can be proud of their effort.
Stephen Craigan will be more than satisfied with the display his charges put on for the 1,200 fans who turned out for this IRN-BRU quarter final. The game was settled in an action packed opening ten minutes of the second half that produced all three goals and the crucial mysterious dismissal of Mlumbu after our equaliser. The handicap surely ended our chance of an upset.
There was an early scare when a low cross almost allowed Dingwall a chance inside the six yard box but Gorrin saved our blushes with a fine tackle. The next threat on Morrison’s goal came from a Lindsay free kick but the wall stood its ground and averted the danger.
Watson produced a couple of speedy runs on the left wing and delivered tempting deliveries in front of the 123 visitors in the Cooper stand. Scott and Hastie chased everything and kept the experienced defence busy.
There was a bit of a contrast between the faster youngsters and the more physical County side but both sides tried to avoid the hopeful long game that has been a regular spectacle at Fir Park in recent months.
The deadlock was almost broken on the stroke of half-time. Maguire rose to meet a corner and his header looped over all before rebounding off the post.
We conceded six minutes into the second period when Draper’s header allowed Stewart to finish. The reply was immediate. Hastie was fouled and were had a free kick 24 yards out. Livingstone equalised with a shot that clipped the underside of the bar.
As the celebration in County half dispersed Cowie was on the deck and Mlumbu was ordered from the field. Few inside the ground knew the cause.
Maguire dropped back to fill the gap but we lost the game in the 56th minute when Stewart headed a corner beyond Morrison.
With the advantage of the extra man the visitors saw out the game. Craigan’s team kept their heads up and had a few half chances but in the end lost out.
Robinson and Lasley watched the game and must feel that they saw a few future first team players on show.
Team: Morrison, MacDonald, Livingston, Maguire (c), Krones, Mbulu, Watson, Brown, Scott, Hastie (Agyeman 80), Gorin
Motherwell U21 1Ross County 2
Attendance 1,209 (123)
Saturday 17 November 2018