In the end it was a comfortable win for Motherwell as a 3-1 win over Alloa delivered progress to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.
Motherwell did not capitalise on the perfect start that saw Blair Spittal scoring after a minute as the visitors stuck to their guns to draw level thanks to Conor Sammon before the break. A few second half substitutions and the tiring legs of the opposition combined to produce goals from Georgie Gent and a second from Spittal to end the contest.
One up after a minute
Among the encouraging signs for Motherwell were the pairing of new signing Adam Montgomery together with Georgie Gent on the left flank. It was a fine pass from Gent that released Montgomery on a run in front of the ‘Well Bois that set up the early opener. The cross found Spittal and the shot off the bar crossed the line.
Other hopeful signs came with the welcome return of Lennon Miller from the bench early in the second half as well as a fifteen minute debut for Andy Halliday. As a bonus Dylan Wells (one of seven academy graduates on the bench) made a late appearance.
The opener should have inspired the home side to seek a second but they were unable to puncture the packed visiting defence and Alloa began to hold possession and move forward. Before the half-hour 37 year old Conor Sammon outwitted 32 year old Calum Butcher before curling a well placed shot to Liam Kelly’s far post.
It took only ten minutes into the second period for Stuart Kettlewell to make a significant change. Off went Bevis Mugabi and Miller came on to a rousing cheer. The uplift soon produced a fine goal. Gent broached the penalty area and found room to shoot after evading a couple of defenders. P J Morrison had no chance of a save.
Within minutes Gent was bundled off the ball by Scott Taggart and a penalty was awarded. Morrison produced a fine save to deny Spittal from the spot.
Motherwell created several opportunities. Harry Paton, Miller and Montgomery all came close but the third goal had to wait for a 25 yard free kick. Spittal fired the dead ball into the postage stamp corner to round off an excellent afternoon’s work.
Another home draw in Sunday’s fifth round draw will do nicely.
Motherwell 3 Alloa 1
Attendance 4,119 (185)
Team: Kelly, Montgomery (Wells 88), O’Donnell, McGinn, Mugabi (Miller 55), Gent, Spittal, Zdravkovski, Butcher, Paton (Halliday 77), Bair
Saturday 20 January 2024