Impressive Motherwell easily see off Partick Thistle 3-0 in Fir Park stroll in sun

Centre back Peter Hartley scored Motherwell's opener against Partick Thistle on Saturday
Centre back Peter Hartley scored Motherwell's opener against Partick Thistle on Saturday

A dominant Motherwell outfit comfortably saw off Partick Thistle 3-0 at Fir Park on Saturday to retain their top six berth in the Scottish Premiership.

The Steelmen looked the hungrier side from the off and their fine display added to the woes of the struggling Maryhill men, who remain second bottom in the table with just three points.

Motherwell's talisman Louis Moult had a second minute effort easily saved by Partick keeper Tomas Cerny, but the Steelmen did go ahead just three minutes later.

It started with Ryan Bowman winning a foul on the edge of the box after Cerny had rushed out and fouled him. Moult's right footed free-kick effort from 18 yards came back off the inside of the post but centre back Peter Hartley scored his second goal for Motherwell with a scuffed effort which only just crossed the Thistle line.

There was then an incredible escape for Thistle as both Moult and Chris Cadden had shots blocked on the the Steelmen dominated the early exchanges.

The Maryhill men hadn't been at the races in the opening stages but gradually started to gain a stranglehold without causing any problems to a Motherwell backline superbly marshalled by Hartley.

The only other notable action of the opening 45 saw a fine run by Craig Tanner - in for Gael Bigirimana - before his shot was blocked.

And it was Tanner who put the Steelmen 2-0 up after 56 minutes.

Richard Tait did superbly down the left before crossing for the little winger, whose low shot just beat Cerny who got a touch.

Motherwell's hunger to try and secure the three points was then illustrated as Bowman won a tackle on the edge of the Thistle box and the ball only just flew over the bar!

And this was evident again on 66 minutes when cult hero Cedric Kipre won the ball and bludgeoned his way through three Thistle players before passing to Moult, who nutmegged a defender before sending in a shot that was easily saved.

Cadden then set up young Allan Campbell - who produced another tigerish display in midfield - for a shot that was blocked.

But Motherwell did seal the three points on 82 minutes when Bowman shot into the roof of the net following a Frear corner, after the former Gateshead striker had inadvertently blocked an initial shot following brilliant skill by Hartley.

Motherwell: Carson, Tait, Hartley, Cadden, McHugh, Moult (Frear 77), Bowman, Dunne, Kipre, Campbell, Tanner (Rose 66).

Referee: Greg Aitken

Crowd: 4692