Pearson recovered from injury to make the starting eleven and he was joined by two making their competitive debuts. Partridge took a central defensive role and McDonald filled the midfield hole caused by Adams suspension.
Earlier, Pearson had a shot over the bar and in twenty minutes Ramsay also had a blast from around twenty yards.
We had to wait for half an hour for our first attempt on target and it came from a McFadden shot. But two minutes later we were two down.
Zarate scored the first of his two goals and it came again from the right side of the box. Woods had no chance.
Terry Butcher would have been glad of the chance to settle the team at the break. A calm head was needed since tempers were beginning to show on the park. Niggles were commonplace and referee Rowbotham had earned boos from both sets of fans by booking five by the break – with more to come.
But we dug in. Leitch harried and chased and refused to accept defeat. We got one back quickly and it was fitting that the captain got his name on the scoresheet.
He crowd, which offered superb support throughout the game, rose for the goal and encouraged the team to move forward.
On the hour McFadden produced one of his trademark runs. He took charge of the ball on the right wing and moved up the line before cutting in-field, all the while controlling the ball with the outside of his left foot. He set up Lasley who had his powerful shot blocked.
We were on fire and Livi were on the back foot. Three first touch passes from the halfway line saw Faddy with the ball on the edge of the box. A neat chip found Lehmann at the far post and his downward header found the net.
The deficit was reduced to one goal and we began to think that a point could be within our grasp.
Pearson found the ball between his feet inside the box but he could only manage a pass back to the keeper.
With ten minutes to go Butcher switched to 4-3-3 when Clarke came on for McDonald but the clock was beginning to run down and the balance of the game started to return to Livi. They broke up the rhythm of the game with substitutions and the usual slow down in the pace of the play.
The final whistle came after five minutes of added time (though Butcher failed to see it since he had been dispatched to the dressing room) and Livi took all three points.
The spirit and fight shown by the team earned cheers from the travelling ‘Well fans and we look forward to more of the same at Fir Park next week when Thistle make their first visit to Motherwell for years.
Hammell Partridge Corrigan Ramsay
Pearson Leitch McDonald (S80 Clarke) Lasley
Referee J Rowbotham Attendance 7124
Livingston 3 Motherwell 2