Motherwell's League Cup adventure ended at the first hurdle with a 2-1 loss to St Johnstone at Fir Park.
There was little between the teams for most of the match yet Motherwell found themselves ahead with half an hour remaining following a Tony Watt strike. Careless defending undid the good work and goals from Ali McCann and David Wotherspoon sent the Perth side into the next round.
There was not a sunny end to the game
The visitors probably had the better of the first half. They looked slightly more threatening in attack but Motherwell shaded the goal chances by two to one.
Declan Gallagher produced the first serious attempt when he rose to direct a powerful header just over the South Stand goal following Liam Polworth's corner kick. Tony Watt had the freedom of the box as he ran on to Devante Cole's pass just after the half hour. The striker then had to acknowledge his weak attempt that was directed with little pace at Zander Clark.
Aaron Chapman was called to action as the half ended. Ali McCann should have done better from his central position but the 'keeper sent the teams to the dressing rooms level as his trailing foot saved the day.
Sherwin Seedorf replaced Cole when the teams reappeared.
The deadlock was broken in the 61st minute. Polworth launched a forty yard free-kick to the angle of the box and found Lamie rising above the defence. His header found Watt in space and on this occasion there was no mistake and the ball nestled in the back of the net.
The lead was short lived. Careless defending offered Callum Hendry a chance to prod the ball beyond Chapman and the game looked destined for extra-time.
That prospect vanished in 77 minutes when Michael O'Halloran ran along the dead ball line. He drove the ball across the goal-line from the tightest of angles and Wotherspoon was credited with the touch that deflected the ball into the net.
Polworth and Lamie were hooked as Jordan White and Liam Grimshaw were thrown on but they were unable to turn the tide as St Johnstone, under control, killed the game.
Motherwell’s post-match analysis will make frustrating viewing.
Motherwell 1 St Johnstone 2
Team: Chapman, O'Donnell, Gallagher, Mugabi, Lamie (Grimshaw 77), O'Hara, Crawford, Polworth (White 77), Watt, Cole (Seedorf 45), Lang
Saturday 28 November 2020