Motherwell held on to win against Edinburgh City with two late goals as the Steelmen were tested by the League Two side in the Betfred Cup clash at Ainslie Park.
Ashley Grimes’ second-half strike looked to have City on their way to a stunning result, but a Chris Cadden equaliser soon after and Elliot Frear’s late winner rescued the game for Motherwell.
The Steelmen should have opened the scoring on ten minutes when Frear went down the left and stood the ball up for Alex Fisher, but the big striker planted his header straight in to the arms of Calum Antell.
Frear was having plenty joy down the left, and his next cross found Andrew Rose, but he sclaffed his first-time shot, allowing Antell to gather. Yet again, Frear worked himself some space on the left before delivering for Fisher, and again the striker connected but couldn’t get his glancing header on target.
City’s first direct shot on goal came via captain Josh Walker, who found the ball back at his feet after his initial free-kick was cleared. A clever turn inside two defenders created the space, but his right-foot drive was always rising and didn’t trouble Trevor Carson. Frear then threatened himself after going past Jordan Caddow, but his initial effort was blocked by Antell before the keeper stood up and caught the winger’s attempted follow-up lob. Recent Hearts target Cadden was introduced for Motherwell at half-time, and he almost brought about an opener immediately, ghosting between two men and firing across goal, although none of his teammates were able to convert. Grimes hadn’t had much of a sight of goal, and got too much on his attempted lob when Craig Thomson found him with a long diagonal.
Fisher finally managed to get a header on target, this time after a delivery from the right. The majority inside Ainslie Park were preparing to celebrate before Antell produced a fine stop to keep the looping header out. The visitors appeared to be running out of ideas, and City took advantage with just under 20 minutes to go. Walker sent a defence-splitting ball through for Grimes and the striker raced clear of the chasing defenders and slotted past Carson. The lead didn’t last long however, as a Fisher flick-on found Cadden in space at the back post, and he placed a shot across Antell into the corner.
The hosts were denied a point, and a chance for a bonus point, when, with stoppage time looming, Frear trapped in at the back post after Cadden’s low ball had evaded Antell.