Motherwell successfully negotiated the third round of this season’s League Cup with a narrow win away to Livingston.
Goals from the recalled Bob McHugh and James McFadden were enough to give the Fir Park side a 2-1 victory at the Energy Assets Arena.
Up against the side currently sitting bottom of the Championship, ’Well boss Stuart McCall made several changes to the side who had drawn with Dundee United in the league.
McHugh and McFadden replaced John Sutton and Henri Anier up front, while Gunnar Nielsen made his second start in goal and Paul Lawson and Lionel Ainsworth came into the midfield as Lee Hollis, Keith Lasley and Iain Vigurs made way.
It took just 16 minutes for the visitors to take the lead as Ainsworth’s corner was helped on by Simon Ramsden and BOB McHUGH had the simple task of nodding in.
Ainsworth scored a long range screamer against United and almost grabbed another one as he let fly from 30-yards, but Livi ’keeper Darren Jamieson was his equal, brilliantly tipping the effort round the post.
Jamieson was called into action again to deny McFadden, while at the other end Nielsen’s hopes of getting his gloves dirty were dashed as Marc McNulty cut in from the left in a rare attack by the home side, but fired over.
McFadden had another chance just before half time after Coll Donaldson had slipped in the box, but Burton O’Brien was on hand to thwart ’Well’s talisman.
After the break it looked as if the hosts might get back into it with Andy Barrowman heading just wide, but on 64 minutes were reduced to ten men as Jason Talbot was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Stevie Hammell.
Six minutes later they then found themselves two down as Hammell found Ainsworth and his cross was met by McFadden at his most gallous beating Jamieson with a backheel for his first goal of the season.
In injury time Livi pulled one back as Danny Denholm scored from a Martin Scott corner, but it proved little more than consolation.
Livingston: Jamieson, Fordyce, Donaldson, Mensing, Talbot, Jacobs (MacDonald 68), O’Brien, Scougall (Denholm 75), McNulty, Scott, Barrowman (Burchill 82). Subs not used: Walker, Wilkie.
Motherwell: Nielsen, Ramsden, Hutchinson, McManus, Hammell (Moore 80), Lawson, Carswell, McFadden, McHugh (Sutton 69), Ainsworth, Francis-Angol. Subs not used: Hollis, Vigurs, Cummins.
Referee: Brian Colvin.