Motherwell dropped a point in Dumfries on Tuesday night but remain on course to top League Cup Group G after beating Queen of the South 5-4 on penalties following a 3-3 draw.
Manager Stuart Kettlewell made five changes to the side which beat Elgin 2-0 but will be alarmed at our efforts in either box. Bevis Mugabi and Rickie Lamie will not look back at the highlights with pride while Jon Obika had a hat-trick of missed chances.
The regulation win was thrown away by Lamie’s late foul conceding a penalty which was dispatched by Gavin Reilly. Lamie was booked for his lengthy protests and dismissed for a second yellow card in the closing stages for a petulant challenge, though the ball being out of play prevented the succession of a second spot-kick.
Blair Spittal’s second of the game moments earlier appeared to have settled matters in our favour. His cool finish from Paul McGinn’s cut back mirrored his first which had been supplied by Callum Slattery to equalise Kieren McKenchie’s opener.
Queens had broken the deadlock against the run of play when Mugabi played the ball straight to the lively home winger, who beat debutant goalkeeper Ashton Oxborough with a fine shot off the post.
Oxborough would gain revenge by saving from McKenchie in the shoot-out with Queens’ fifth kick, leaving Stephen O’Donnell to score the winner after Spittal, Connor Wilkinson, Slattery and McGinn did the business for us.
It came to that despite Motherwell carving out several clear cut chances. Obika hit the goalkeeper when it looked easier to score at 0-1 and hit both the post and bar in the second half.
The latter of them came seconds before Reilly levelled at 2-2 following more comic cut defending from the guests.
That cancelled Slattery’s fine drive in off the bar to make it 2-1, from Obika’s cute back heel, and was one of many incidents which left the away support with head in hands.
Pape Soare looked solid enough at left wing-back but other than the midfield – again marshalled superbly by Lennon Miller alongside Spittal and Slattery – we remain very much a work in progress going into Saturday’s visit by Queen’s Park.
Queen of the South 3 Motherwell 3
(Motherwell win a bonus point after a 5-4 shoutout)
Team: Oxoborough, O’Donnell, McGinn, Mugabi, Souare, Spittal, Slattery, Miller, Ferrie (Wilkinson 60), Obika (Paton 86)
Tuesday 18 July 2023