Motherwell were knocked out of the League Cup by Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton Accies after Simon Ramsden’s penalty shoot-out miss.
Crowd trouble at New Douglas Park as ’Well fans once again set off flares and rival supporters pelted each other with missiles brought unwelcome attention on the clubs.
Both are now likely to face some sort of sanction from the SFPL, Accies for inadequate stewarding and ’Well for the behaviour of their fans at a ground where last season they also set off flares and ripped out seats.
On the pitch there was a game to play and Accies showed early on why they have started the season so well.
Mark O’Brien made a timely block as Ali Crawford’s first-time effort looked net-bound and then Louis Longridge had two efforts within a minute, one wide and one which forced Dan Twardzik to dive to his top left to save.
’Well had to wait 34 minutes for their first attack but Jack Leitch’s 25-yard effort drifted wide and then Sutton headed over from a Keith Lasley corner.
Right on half-time O’Brien launched a reckless challenge on Eamonn Brophy and ran straight down the tunnel, but was shown a yellow during the break by referee Craig Charleston.
Accies continued to look the more threatening in the second half, but were dealt a blow in 66 minutes when Stephen Hendrie was shown a second yellow for barging Ainsworth.
’Well tried to use the extra man to go in front and only a brilliant save from Michael McGovern denied Sutton’s 12-yard volley.
Ainsworth blew a great change to win it in extra-time as he hit the post with an open goal at his mercy after Josh Law hit the underside of the bar.
Both sides were reduced to 10 men on 102 minutes when O’Brien was shown a second yellow after blocking Crawford.
With the tie still all square after extra-time the game moved to penalties.
Sutton, Stephen McManus, Henrik Ojamaa, Leitch and Law were all successful for ’Well, matched by Grant Gillespie, Crawford, Michael Devlin, Longridge and Dougie Imrie .
However, after McGovern pulled off a great save to deny Ramsden, teenager Craig Watson stepped up to send his side into the next round.
Hamilton Accies: McGovern, Hendrie, Gillespie, Gordon, Devlin, Neil (Lyon 79), Andreu (Watson 70), Longridge, Redmond (Imrie 84), Crawford, Brophy. Subs not used: McGrath, Scotland, Docherty, Hill.
Motherwell: Twardzik, Reid, McManus, O’Brien, Kerr, Vigurs (Ojamaa 80), Lasley, Ainsworth (Ramsden 105), Leitch, Sutton, Law. Subs not used: Nielsen, Lawson, McHugh, Francis-Angol, Erwin.
Referee: Craig Charleston.