Motherwell earned a vital three points with a deserved 2-0 Scottish Premiership success over Partick Thistle at Fir Park on Saturday.
The Steelmen started strongly and were gifted the opening goal on 12 minutes when Thistle keeper Thorsten Stuckmann lived up to his surname by failing to deal with Scott McDonald’s cross and colliding with a defender.
The prolific Louis Moult gleefully tapped the ball into an open goal for his sixth strike of the season.
And it could have been 2-0 just three minutes later when ‘Well right back Richard Tait headed just wide after a long ball into the box.
A Thistle attack then saw Ade Azeez’s pace trouble the Motherwell defence before Welsh’s shot was blocked by youngster David Ferguson, who along with Jack McMillan was drafted in as ’Well matched up to Thistle’s 3-5-2 formation.
Tait’s corner at the other end then preceded two powerful shots by Moult being blocked in quick succession.
The Steelmen continued to look the better side and Moult had another goal attempt thwarted before Craig Clay’s powerful follow-up effort struck Thistle defender Liam Lindsay.
Motherwell then had a strong penalty appeal rejected when McDonald’s fine run was stopped by Abdul Osman.
But the home team were celebrating just seconds later when McDonald brilliantly shot home first time after Moult’s pinpoint cross from the right.
The pair of ’Well strikers linked up superbly throughout the 90 minutes on a freezing afternoon at Fir Park and Thistle’s defenders all too often had no answer to them.
Lindsay sent a left footed scorcher wide early in the second half for the Maryhill men, before the move of the match involving Moult, Cadden and Tait saw the claret and amber outfit nearly go three up as Tait’s shot was deflected wide.
Partick’s Azeez missed two chances in quick succession - one with his head and the other a shot - on a frustrating day for the striker.
Thistle substitute Steven Lawless – a former Motherwell player – had a speculative effort saved by ’Well keeper Craig Samson.
But in truth this was as easy an afternoon as the Fir Park custodian has had all season and he will be delighted to keep a second league clean sheet of the campaign.
The win sees Motherwell jump four places from 10th to sixth in a ludicrously tight table, as they’re just three points off the bottom.