Sutton put on the spot as ’Well win

John Sutton strokes home the winner from the penalty spot.
John Sutton strokes home the winner from the penalty spot.

Motherwell made it two wins out of two under new manager Ian Baraclough with victory over Partick Thistle on Saturday.

There were two changes to the side who beat St Mirren the week before with Stevie Hammell returning to the line-up for the first time since October at the expense of youngster David Ferguson and Simon Ramsden replacing the ill Stuart Carswell in midfield.

Thistle had the first chance of the game as Stuart Bannigan swung a corner into the near post, Danny Seaborne met it with an unmarked diving header but couldn’t direct the ball on target.

’Well took the lead in 14 minutes as Bannigan tripped Lionel Ainsworth in the box and JOHN SUTTON stepped up to send Paul Gallacher the wrong way.

Sutton then robbed Seaborne at the edge of the box, but his shot was deflected just wide.

Normally a midfielder, Bannigan was deployed at left-back and was given a torrid time by Ainsworth.

The winger got in behind time and again down the right and in the best of these exchanges his low cross looked to be giving Sutton a tap in until Conrad Balatoni made a last gasp interception.

As the half wore on Thistle searched for an equaliser although James Craigen’s volley from 30 yards always looked a little too ambitious and Dan Twardzik got down to turn Stephen O’Donnell snap shot round the post.

In the second half ’Well showed little as an attacking threat as they seemed content to just keep Thistle out.

The visitors had little in the way to answer their hosts’ rearguard action with Gary Fraser shooting wide and Steven Lawless volleying over.

Substitute Lee Erwin should have made the game safe three minutes from time as a Kris Doolan shot was blocked by Stephen McManus and Henrik Ojamaa sent Erwin clear at the other end, but his put his shot wide.

Five minutes into injury time Ojamaa broke from his own half and had a go from distance, but his shot was pushed away by Gallacher.

However, one goal was enough and ’Well were able to celebrate back to back wins for the first time this season.

Motherwell: Twardzik, Reid, Hammell (Ferguson 87), Ramsden, McManus, Ainsworth, Sutton (Erwin 75), Lasley, O’Brien (Kerr 79), Law, Ojamaa. Subs not used: Nielsen, Thomas, Cadden, MacLean.

Partick Thistle: Gallacher, O’Donnell, Seaborne, Balatoni, Craigen (Lawless 53), Bannigan, Stevenson (Doolan 68), Elliot, Higginbotham, Osman, Fraser (Eccleston 82). Subs not used: Fox, Wilson, Lindsay, McDaid.

Referee: Brian Colvin.

Attendance: 5,236.