The same starting eleven that performed do creditably against Celtic on Saturday took the field against the lesser known lights of Forfar.
We had the best possible start when Craig scored off the post in just three minutes. The tie should have been well and truly won after he opening quarter hour.
Motherwell showed the supposed gulf in class between the Premier and Second Divisions with a fast moving passing game that produced chances for Leitch, Clarkson, Pearson and Craig. Unfortunately these misses would come back to haunt us. Both Hammell and Pearson looked threatening every time they surged forward and Leitch seemed to run the game from the centre.
But in the sixteenth minute
Terry Butcher’s half-time team talk failed to inspire and it was Forfar that looked more likely to score as the second period got under way. They charged at our unsettled central defenders and took the lead in fifty two minutes. We almost found an immediate reply when a great run by Pearson eventually found Leitch but his shot struck the post.
But our defence crumbled again a minute later and we were 3-1 down. All the hope and promise of the early firt half domination was gone and both sets of supporters realised that a shock was on the cards.
Sleeves were rolled up as the ‘Well raised their game. A Lasley rocket and a fierce Pearson shot levelled the score at 3-3. And only an hour had passed.
For the remainder of the ninety minutes the play eddeb and flowed. Neither team could break the deadlock. Forfar matched us in every department. They appearance, late on, of Dair for Lasley and Wright for Craig, made little difference.
Extra time came and went without incident. Indeed, Motherwell seemed to be the more nervous.
We lost the tie in the penalty shoot out. When only Dair and Wright could find the net between Hammell (keeper saved) and Clarkson (hit left hand post) who failed to score.
The dejected team trooped off the park with heads down while Forfar celebrated their well deserved victory.
We had more than enough chances to kill off the match and we paid the price for lack of cutting edge.
The team will have their work cut out on Saturday against Hearts. Only a great performance will compensate the hundreds of fans who travelled north for this disappointing display against second division Loons.