’Well crash out of league cup

Out the cup...skipper Keith Lasley, pictured here playing against Hamilton on Saturday, was an unused substitute at Morton (Pic by Alan Watson)
Out the cup...skipper Keith Lasley, pictured here playing against Hamilton on Saturday, was an unused substitute at Morton (Pic by Alan Watson)

In a game marred by crowd trouble, Motherwell crashed to a sickening 3-2 defeat after extra time in Tuesday night’s Scottish League Cup third round clash at Morton.

The Championship side bossed the first half and took the lead after just 10 minutes when Alex Samuel pounced on a mistake by ’Well centre half Stephen McManus before shooting past keeper Connor Ripley. The Cappielow team continued to look the more likely side against a Motherwell side playing an unfamiliar 4-5-1 formation and with captain Keith Lasley, top scorer Louis Moult and attacking stars Lionel Ainsworth and Scott McDonald sitting on the bench. Thomas O’Ware and Peter MacDonald came close to extending Morton’s lead with Motherwell offering little threat at the other end. Moult and McDonald were brought on for the ineffective Theo Robinson and Dom Thomas on 56 minutes, but Morton nearly added their second when MacDonald’s shot from distance after a short Ross Forbes free-kick was well saved by Ripley. Ainsworth replaced the disappointing Jake Taylor before ’Well keeper Ripley had to be at his best to save a Michael Tidser effort going into the top right corner. ’Well rescued a draw with only 20 second of injury time remaining when McDonald shot home after Ainsworth’s run and cross on the right. Extra time began with Forbes’ long effort being brilliantly saved by Ripley, before Moult shot wide with a gilt edged chance at the other end. Morton broke up the park to go 2-1 up when Samuel swivelled and shot home his second after set up play by Denny Johnstone.

The game was then delayed for five minutes after a crowd disturbance in the away end. Motherwell fans were seen surging towards the pitch and scuffling with security guards. Referee Greg Aitken gathered the players in the centre circle during the delay. Tidser put Morton 3-1 up by netting a left footed shot with eight minutes of extra time remaining after being set up by Bobby Barr. Leitch then had a shot saved at the other end before Moult bundled home the rebound. But ’Well couldn’t equalise and exited the cup.

Morton: Gaston, Kilday, O’Ware, Miller (Lamie 86), Forbes, MacDonald (Johnstone 76), Tidser, Pepper, Samuel, Gasparotto, Sabajo (Barr 99).

Motherwell: Ripley, Grimshaw, McManus, Johnson, Chalmers, Kennedy, Robinson (Moult 56), Law, Leitch, Thomas (McDonald 56), Taylor (Ainsworth 80).

Crowd: 2539

Referee: Greg Aitken