Playing their first match since the sacking of manager Mark McGhee, Motherwell earned a crucial 2-1 win at Kilmarnock in a dramatic Scottish Premiership clash.
The Steelmen, under interim gaffer Stephen Robinson, started well on Saturday as they looked to make amends for the disastrous 5-1 home defeat by Dundee.
Recalled skipper Keith Lasley shot over within the first minute after Stevie Hammell’s free-kick from the right.
But Killie gradually gained a stranglehold and enjoyed a period of pressure before going close on 24 minutes when Kris Boyd shot against the underside of the bar after a corner from the left.
Play raged to the other end where Chris Cadden volleyed a good scoring chance over the bar after Richard Tait’s fine delivery from the right.
Boyd had two headers well off target in quick succession, but he did find the net after 31 minutes when he controlled a long ball and muscled in before planting a shot into the bottom right corner.
The visitors hit back and almost levelled when Hammell’s cross from the right was flicked towards goal by McDonald but Killie keeper Freddie Woodman made the save.
’Well gaffer Robinson made a bold double substitution at half-time when he replaced stalwarts Lasley and Hammell with Elliott Frear and Ryan Bowman.
And the move soon paid off when Frear’s corner was met by a powerful Moult header which was blocked before Carl McHugh blasted the ball high into the net for the equaliser.
The away team had a narrow escape on 71 minutes when Gary Dicker’s volley from distance rattled their crossbar.
From the resultant corner, Kristoffer Ayer’s looping header was saved by Samson.
The lively second half continued as Moult dummied a Cadden cross but McDonald’s grounder was saved.
Jordan Jones shot wide for Killie before Tait left the park to be replaced by David Ferguson.
The Steelmen went 2-1 up in thrilling fashion when Zak Jules headed in after a long Frear free-kick into the box.
The hosts had a penalty shout for Ferguson’s challenge on Longstaff, and Killie continued to press hard for an equaliser.
This late pressure culminated in a penalty for a foul by Elliott Frear on Callum Roberts.
Boyd stepped up to take it but sent his shot against the right post to lead to wild celebrations in the away end.