Fletcher’s late show gives Motherwell win in Sligo

Wes Fletcher netted Motherwell's winner in Sligo
Wes Fletcher netted Motherwell's winner in Sligo

A last-gasp Wes Fletcher goal gave Motherwell a 2-1 win over Irish side Sligo Rovers in their penultimate pre-season friendly match on Tuesday night.

Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough was back on familiar ground as his he took his side to to face his old team whom he guided Sligo to their first Irish League title in 35 years in 2012.

And he received a warm welcome from his former side who made a special presentation to him on the pitch at half-time.

As for the match itself the ‘Well boss saw his current charges make a bright start and a first minute David Clarkson shot was saved by Sligo ‘keeper Richard Brush.

At the other end Ryan McManus headed over the bar from a Keith Ward corner.

However it was Motherwell who took the lead in the eighth minute when Clarkson combined with Louis Moult before setting up Dom Thomas to shoot home from 10 yards.

But within four minutes the home side were level as Ward curled home a fine free-kick from the edge of the box.

Brush did well to save at Clarkson’s feet and then had to deal with another effort from the striker as Motherwell sought to regain the lead.

Motherwell threatened again in 34 minutes when a counter attack ended with a fierce Marvin Johnson strike which Brush did well to keep out.

Just before half-time Sligo’s Sander Puri had an effort blocked by Louis Laing and a Ward chip was cleared but the sides went in at the break still level at 1-1.

The first chance of the second period fell to Thomas in the 51st minute but once again Brush was up to the task and denied the ‘Well youngster with a good save.

Three minutes later good work by Johnson set up an opening for Clarkson whose shot was wide of the target.

Thomas then forced another save from Brush after combining with Clarkson.

On the hour Motherwell made a host of changes with Luke Watt, Joe Chalmers, Stephen Pearson, Craig Moore, Lionel Ainsworth, and Fletcher replacing Josh Law, Johnson, Chris Cadden, Moult, Thomas and Stevie Hammell.

Fletcher almost made an instant impact with a shot on the turn which was safely held by Brush.

McManus then headed wide from an Ainsworth corner before Motherwell made another change as Scott McDonald came on for Clarkson.

Moore hit the bar with a long-range lob and when McDonald had a low shot saved it looked as if honours would end even.

But with virtually the last kick of the game Fletcher slotted home after Brush could only parry an Ainsworth shot.

Motherwell continued to push for a winner and Moore had one effort saved by Brush and put another over the top before a Watt drive was deflected just wide.

Motherwell: Trialist, Hammell, McManus, Laing, Law, Johnson, Leitch, Cadden, Thomas, Moult, Clarkson. Subs: Twardzik, Chalmers, Kennedy, Watt, Pearson, Lasley, Ainsworth, McDonald, Fletcher, Moore.