Three second half goals gave Motherwell a comfortable win in Stranraer to claim second place in the Betfred group and likely progression in the competition. Cadden, Johnson and McDonald found the net in a game that rarely hit the heights.
It was a strangely muted affair despite the potential prize that awaited the winners. Thre were more than a few comments comparing the game to a pre-season friendly.
Ainsworth got the nod ahead of Thomas but otherwise we fielded the same eleven as faced East Stirlingshire in midweek. Stranraer kicked off and more than held their own in the opening 45 minutes.
One shot on target from Ainsworth and a couple of ineffective corners were all we could muster. A fine chance fell to Ainsworth in 21 minutes when McDonald charged down an attempted clearance from the flamboyant Belford but his weak attempt had no hope of reaching the unguarded goal.
McDonald forced the 'keeper to produce a fine one handed stop when he shot from a wide angle after gathering Ainsworth's chip. And the winger kept Belford busy when he cut in from the right to get a shot on target. Cadden's determination earned him a glimpse of goal just before the break but he was of target.
However, five minutes after half-time Cadden was on target and his low drive from wide on the left of the box could not be stopped by the 'keeper. The ball cannoned into the net in front of the Motherwell fans on the grassy bank behind the goal.
Chalmers replaced Ainsworth on the hour and the home side brought on Nade and Kemp. A couple of half chances fell to McDonald but Nade's appearance caused a few nervous moments at the other end.
Cadden continued to impress, his runs from midfield and his persistence in tackling set up a fair proportion of our attacks. He set up our second goal when the Stranraer defence gave him room set up Johnson with a simple finish. A third goal followed when Johnson provided McDonald with a close range header.
Stranraer 0 Motherwell 3
Team: Samson, Tait, Hammell, Heneghan, McManus, Ainsworth (Chalmers 59), Johnson, Cadden (Maclean 86), Lasley, Clay McDonald (Mackin 88)