’Well’s progress in Europe on ice

Josh Law opens the scoring
Josh Law opens the scoring

Motherwell’s hopes of progressing in the Europa League were dealt a blow after letting a two goal lead slip at home to Stjarnan.

The Icelandic side looked dead and buried inside 20 minutes as Josh Law grabbed a brace on his debut.

However, Olafur Karl Finsen scored two penalties to drag his side back into the tie.

Stjarnan might have taken the lead as Veigar Pall Gunnarsson’s unmarked diving header went wide.

’Well went ahead on nine minutes as Ingvar Jonsson could only parry John Sutton’s header into the path of LAW who couldn’t miss.

On 18 minutes the home side doubled their advantage as Iain Vigurs slipped in LAW who calmly clipped the ball over Jonsson.

Law then turned provider as he found Stuart Carswell lurking near the penalty spot, but the midfielder’s slash at the ball took it well over.

On 35 minutes Stjarnan pulled themselves back into the game as Danish referee Michael Johansen penalised Keith Lasley for handling Gunnarsson’s shot.

Finsen stepped up and calming rolled the ball into Dan Twardzik’s bottom left corner, sending the ’keeper the wrong way in the process.

’Well tried to hit back immediately as Lasley got to the byeline and found Sutton at the edge of the area, but his shot went just the wrong side of the post.

Just before half-time Stjarnan had a great chance to equalise as Atli Johansson played in Arnar Mar Bjorgvinsson, but Twardzik saved with his legs.

They’d an even better chance in the second half, but Bjorvinsson’s cross was volleyed wide from six yards by Finsen.

Vigurs bustled into the box, only to have the ball whipped off his toes by Lasley, but Jonsson saved.

’Well were denied a penalty in injury time as Simon Ramsden appeared impeded by various Stjarnan players as he tried to turn in Stephen McManus’s knock down.

The away side broke and after Bjorgvinsson’s cross caused chaos a combination of Lasley and Craig Reid fouled Rolf Toft for a second penalty.

Finsen stepped up and in a carbon copy of his first spot kick levelled the tie.

Motherwell: Twardzik, Reid, Hammell, Carswell, Ramsden, McManus, Ainsworth (Erwin 70), Sutton, Vigurs, Lasley, Law (Kerr 70). Subs not used: Nielsen, McHugh, Leitch, Thomas, Cadden.

Stjarnan: Jonsson, Vemmelund, Praest, Johansson, Punyed, Laxdal, Gunnarsson (Toft 88), Bjorgvinsson, Arnason, Finsen, Rauschenberg. Subs not used: Johannesson, Aegisson, H Runarsson, P Runarsson, Ottesen, Blondal.

Referee: Michael Johanssen.

Attendance: 4,877.