Motherwell cruised into the next round of the Europa League with a comfortable 3-0 win at Llanelli. We now face Flamurtari of Albania, with the away leg next week, and will probably have to lift our game further if we are to deal with them.
We made only one change to last week's team with Slane replacing Murphy and taking a place on the left wing.Motherwell threatened almost immediately when good work from O'Brien on the right produced a cross which Sutton headed just wide but the opening goal was only a matter of time.Hammell was left in space after a quick free kick and his cross found Sutton who made no mistake this time in nodding home via the far post.
We were well in control of possession but the hosts did have a couple of half chances.McGarry had headed over but we went into the lead on aggregate when another cross from the left, this time from Slane, found the head of Sutton and once more the Llanelli 'keeper was beaten by his finish.
McGarry could have made the game safe but was denied by a point blank save and then shanked off target from the edge of the box.However, we did show signs of weakness on occasion with Fraser twice getting lost in attempting to deal with set pieces.
After the break Llanelli enjoyed a good spell of pressure, aided by Fraser continuing to struggle with crosses.He did at least make a good save from Mumford's header while at the other end a great run from Slane helped set up McGarry who saw a firm shot at the bottom corner blocked.Mumford caused Fraser to flap again with another free kick but as the clock ticked on we began to kill the game.
The visitors were increasingly restricted to threatening from throw ins but given Legg's length and our incompetence with cross balls this was not all plain sailing. The game was made safe with 20 minutes remaining when a good run from O'Brien on the break produced a cross to the head of Murphy, a recent substitute, who headed home at the back post to seal the tie.
This was not a brilliant performance by any means but it was certainly competent enough.We have made history in becoming the first Scottish side to ever progress in European competition having lost the first leg at home but Jim Gannon will know a big improvement is needed before next week.And going into the SPL season with this squad is a thought which does not even bear contemplation...
Motherwell: Fraser, Saunders (Page 78), Craigan, Reynolds, Hammell, Forbes, Slane, Lasley, McGarry (Murphy 68), O'Brien, Sutton (Archdeacon 76). Subs Not Used: Kosiorowski, Fitzpatrick, Hutchinson, McHugh.