Motherwell under-20s’ dreams of winning the Scottish Youth Cup for a second straight year were extinguished on Monday night when they were defeated 1-0 by Celtic in a semi-final at Cappielow.
The ’Well youngsters – led by coach Stephen Craigan – produced a fine defence of the trophy they won for the first time last season by ending up just one hurdle short of another final appearance.
In wet conditions amid torrential rain, Motherwell went in at the break trailing after Aidan Nesbitt scored on the stroke of half-time.
The young Celt lashed the ball into the empty net after ’Well keeper Ollie Pain had blocked a low ball into the box by winger Michael Johnston.
Jack McMillan almost equalised for the Steelmen with a low shot which narrowly missed the far post.
Johnston had a late shot blocked by ’Well’s Barry Maguire.
Gaffer Craigan told the Motherwell FC website: “I’m immensely proud of the young players.
“We were low in numbers tonight so we brought along some of the under-17s players, almost to fill the bench, but also to give them the experience of what it’s like to potentially play under-20s football.”