East Fife 1-3 Motherwell: Match Report

25 August 2015 09:31

Motherwell see off East Fife in extra time

Motherwell needed extra time but they avoided a League Cup shock against League Two hosts East Fife.

Nathan Austin put the part-timers in front on the hour mark but an equaliser from Louis Moult 10 minutes from the end of the regulation 90 minutes prolonged the tie.

And goals either side of the extra-time interval from Scott McDonald and Lionel Ainsworth earned the Premiership side a place in Thursday's draw.

Well manager Ian Baraclough had called for more mental toughness from his players coming into a tricky looking tie following a run of four consecutive defeats.

However, it was the League Two side who looked the stronger during an opening half that finished with the Premiership visitors being booed from the pitch by their own disgruntled supporters.

The Steelmen had come closest to taking the lead during that period, briefly lifting the tempo to cut open the part-timers' defence on the half-hour mark.

David Clarkson slipped an excellent pass into the inside-left channel to find Ainsworth in support. The winger's prodded shot found a way past East Fife keeper Ryan Goodfellow but defender Declan O'Kane got back to clear off the line.

At the other end, Gary Naysmith's hosts were well served by striker Austin and 10 minutes before the interval midfielder Ross Brown whistled a shot past.

Two minutes later, Well were relieved when Kyle Wylkie's drive was deflected wide of the target.

Motherwell opened the second half with more energy and almost scored within four minutes of the restart.

A curling corner from substitute Dominic Thomas was met by the head of Louis Laing but the defender could only glance his effort across goal and wide.

And on the hour mark it was the part-timers who earned themselves a shock breakthrough.

Wilkie engineered some space on the left and Austin calmly swept his pass beyond Connor Ripley from the edge of the area.

Austin then tapped in six minutes later after Kevin Smith's shot had been parried by Ripley but was denied a second by the linesman's flag.

And Motherwell roared their way back into the tie with an equaliser 10 minutes from time.

Thomas' trickery allowed him to arrow a ball into the penalty area and Moult was first to react to curl it beyond Goodfellow.

Substitute McDonald fired Motherwell into the lead just short of the interval in extra-time when he drove in from 14 yards and Ainsworth slipped a shot under Goodffellow four minutes later to ensure there would be no grandstand finish from the hosts.

Source: PA