A new-found savvy streak is key to Motherwell’s Scottish Premiership resurgence, says manager Stephen Robinson, after they inflicted a third straight defeat on Livingston.
First-half goals from Callum Lang and Tony Watt secured a fourth win in five for Robinson’s men, who began the season with a six-game winless run.
Livingston failed to threaten until Scott Tiffoney wasted a late chance.
“It was a complete performance from us,” said Robinson.
“We managed the game really well and that’s what we are doing better than what we did in the early part of the season.”
Victory lifts Motherwell up a place to seventh, with Livingston dropping one to 10th.
With the conditions playing havoc, Robinson’s side kept the ball low to craft a terrific opener.
Devante Cole won possession and freed Lang down the left. A drop of the shoulder flummoxed Nicky Devlin and Lang rolled the ball through goalkeeper Max Stryjek’s legs at the near post.
Stryjek prevented further damage by tipping over a wind-assisted Nathan McGinley cross, while Cole curled wide from a decent position.
Livingston’s only response was speculative, as Jay Emmanuel-Thomas tried to catch out Aaron Chapman from 45 yards with an effort that drifted past the post.
Motherwell took a two-goal lead into the break as Mark O’Hara hammered in a free-kick that Stryjek could only parry, with Watt pouncing to convert from close range.
Even with the wind at their backs from then on, Livingston were abject in the final third and never looked capable of overturning the deficit.
Tiffoney could at least have given them a lifeline in the closing stages, only to glance his header off target after being picked out all alone by Steve Lawson’s cross.
Man of the match – Tony Watt
What did we learn?
Motherwell’s enforced break – they returned last weekend from a near four-week absence after having two games postponed – has not stalled their momentum.
It’s now successive wins for last season’s third-place side and they were ruthless at both ends of the pitch in a commanding performance.
Livingston, though, have gone completely off the boil as their run of five consecutive wins has been followed with a worrying sequence of defeats.
What did they say?
Livingston manager Gary Holt: “It was a dreadful game, never mind the conditions. We didn’t create enough and gave soft goals away.”
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: “Especially first half we got the ball down and played. We also did the other side of the game very well throughout.”
Livingston travel north to face Ross County in the Premiership on Friday (19:45 GMT) while Motherwell host Celtic the following Sunday (12:00).
Player of the match
Squad number3Player nameBrown
Squad number2Player nameDevlin
Squad number10Player nameSibbald
Squad number27Player nameGuthrie
Squad number6Player nameBartley
Squad number9Player nameEmmanuel-Thomas
Squad number18Player nameHolt
Squad number8Player namePittman
Squad number32Player nameStryjek
Squad number12Player nameSerrano
Squad number33Player nameLawson
Squad number14Player nameMullin
Squad number11Player nameForrest
Squad number22Player nameTiffoney
Squad number32Player nameWatt
Squad number6Player nameCampbell
Squad number7Player nameO’Hara
Squad number29Player nameLang
Squad number31Player nameGallagher
Squad number15Player nameMaguire
Squad number19Player namePolworth
Squad number33Player nameO’Donnell
Squad number44Player nameCole
Squad number5Player nameMcGinley
Squad number34Player nameChapman
Squad number9Player nameWhite
Squad number99Player nameLong
- 27GuthrieBooked at 45mins
- 6BartleyBooked at 66mins
- 18HoltSubstituted forTiffoneyat 73′minutes
- 14MullinSubstituted forForrestat 60′minutes
- 10SibbaldSubstituted forLawsonat 64′minutes
- 15MaguireBooked at 70mins
- 29LangSubstituted forLongat 82′minutes
- 32WattBooked at 73mins
- 44ColeSubstituted forWhiteat 45′minutes
Match ends, Livingston 0, Motherwell 2.
Second Half ends, Livingston 0, Motherwell 2.
Attempt missed. Scott Tiffoney (Livingston) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Steve Lawson with a headed pass.
Attempt missed. Alan Forrest (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Julien Serrano.
Attempt saved. Tony Watt (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nathan McGinley.
Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Declan Gallagher.
Foul by Steve Lawson (Livingston).
Tony Watt (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Marvin Bartley (Livingston).
Tony Watt (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Jon Guthrie (Livingston) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Mark O’Hara.
Attempt blocked. Ciaron Brown (Livingston) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alan Forrest with a cross.
Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Stephen O’Donnell.
Attempt blocked. Scott Tiffoney (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Scott Pittman (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jordan White (Motherwell).
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Stephen O’Donnell (Motherwell).
Substitution, Motherwell. Chris Long replaces Callum Lang.
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