Bolton Wanderers ace Wellington Silva was the star turn as the English side beat Motherwell 2-1 at Fir Park in Saturday’s testimonial for ’Well skipper Keith Lasley.
The Brazilian winger’s great run down the right wing on 50 minutes – one of several bits of sublime skill – laid the ball on a plate for Wanderers striker Emile Heskey to tap the ball home from close range.
And Bolton went 2-0 up one minute from the end when ’Well sub Stephen Craigan’s poor defensive header was collective by Bolton striker Stephen Dobbie who gleefully shot past sub goalkeeper PJ Morrison from 20 yards.
But the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for the 90th minute goal by Keith Lasley’s three-year-old son Alfie – a last gasp substitute – who shot home from close range after being carried during a marauding run by his dad into the penalty area!
A total of 2353 fans – including 205 Bolton supporters – turned out for a match which was blessed with fittingly sunny conditions for a contest honouring a man who has made over 400 appearances for ’Well over two spells spanning 15 years.
Lasley – a qualified electrician – was initially signed for Motherwell way back in 2000 by then manager Billy Davies. And it’s been an amazing journey for the 35-year-old veteran since, with three ‘Best of the Rest’ finishes in the Scottish top division, a Scottish Cup final appearance and leading ’Well out in a Champions League qualifier being just some of the many highlights.
Earlier this summer, Lasley shone as ’Well preserved their Scottish Premiership status by thrashing Rangers 6-1 in a two-legged play-off final.
And he looked the part early on against Bolton as ’Well started well with Theo Robinson heading Marvin John’s third minute cross from the left over the bar.
Bolton hit back, with Silva forcing ’Well keeper Dan Twardzik into a smart 14th minute save after a mistake by returning ’Well right back Craig Reid.
In a second half littered with substitutions, special cheers were reserved for ’Well legends James McFadden, Craigan and Stevie Kirk as they entered the field.
Upon the sight of 52-year-old Kirk, the good natured Bolton fans chants of “Sign him up” summed up the fun atmosphere on a fitting day of celebration.
Motherwell: Twardzik, Reid, Grimshaw, Laing, McManus, Johnson, Lasley, Chalmers, Robinson, Clarkson, Taylor.
Bolton: Campbell, Vela, Spearing, Dobbie, Osede, Heskey, Casado, Silva, Pisano, Finney, Walker.
Referee: John McKendrick