Motherwell won a game! Livingston were crushed 3-1 as the Mighty ‘Well ended the long winless run.
In truth this was not a showcase of silky football but that matters little to the claret and amber faithful as they looked forward to Hogmanay boosted by a first win since early September. Theo Bair earned the man of the match award for his brace as Blair Spittal joined him on the scoresheet.
There were three changes from the eleven that started against Rangers on Christmas Eve. Paul McGinn made a welcome return and there were places for Oli Shaw and Theo Bair.
Almost all the action took place in front of the empty South Stand as Motherwell dominated the first half and Livingston fought to recover after the break.
The ‘Well were two up inside the opening twenty minutes. Mika Biereth nicked the ball from a hesitant Nouble thirty yards from goal. The ball ended at Spittal’s feet via Bair and his shot sneaked under George to open the account. Five minutes later and the lead was doubled. Spittal pushed the ball over the defence and Bair collected on the way into the box. What followed was a prod under the ‘keeper and Motherwell had a rare two goal lead.
The visitors got one back with their first threat on Liam Kelly’s goal. It followed another lax defensive passage of play by the ‘Well defence and it ended with a lob over the back line to present Scott Pittman with the chance. He took his goal well.
Bair’s second sealed the game and was the best of the match. He chased the ball into the box and ended it with a fine lob over the ‘keeper.
Livingston put plenty of effort into the second half but their lack of quality was clear for all to see.
There was a touching minute as the stadium clock reach 10. The crowd rose to deliver a minute’s applause to mark the anniversary of Phil O’Donnell’s death.
Spirits will be high as the team bus sets off for Easter Road on Tuesday.
Motherwell 3 Livingston 1
Attendance 4,076 (216)
Team: Kelly, Spencer, O’Donnell, McGinn, Blaney (Mugabi 45), Gent, Spittal, Zdravkovski, Shaw (Slattery 57), Bair, Biereth (Paton 90+3)
Saturday 30 December 2023