Motherwell broke Highland League Formartine United down to seal a comfortable 5-0 win in the Scottish Cup third round.
Chris Long got things underway in the first half before Hearts loanee Jordan Roberts’ double, Devante Cole and Allan Campbell sealed Motherwell’s fourth round place, Formartine United’s season now over after the Highland League was finished recently.
Brora Rangers from the fifth tier of Scottish football had stunned Championship winners in waiting Hearts in the second round, proving fairytales can happen. Motherwell had to be on their guard and they showed professionalism to get this done.
There was an early scare for Motherwell despite their early possession, Garry Woods’ header well-saved by Liam Kelly. It could have been a turning point as the game was cagey for 33 minutes, but the floodgates soon opened.
It was an unfortunate one for the home side, goalkeeper Kevin Main misjudging a ball into box. Long showed the difference in class, composing himself before firing into an empty net. Roberts made it job done five minutes before the break, sliding in his second goal since arriving from Hearts after Nathan McGinley’s cross.
That goal was the catalyst for total Motherwell control in the second half. Roberts’ second came seven minutes after the restart while Cole was on hand to bury Stephen O’Donnell’s ball into the box on the hour-mark.
The pick of the bunch was an academy link-up, some great interchanging passes between Campbell and Jake Hastie allowing the winger to set his up his midfield partner for the final goal via a backheel. Here are three things we learned from a convincing day for the Steelmen.
Formartine give it a go
The first 30 minutes of this were certainly uncomfortable for Motherwell, Paul Lawson’s side going close on a couple of occasions. But once Motherwell got in front, there was only going to be one winner.
Perhaps more disappointingly for them is that their season is over, but Formartine United did what they could in this, having only played a handful of matches since March 2020.
‘Well boss Graham Alexander will be pleased with the professionalism his side displayed in this encounter. They overcame a sturdy opening before going on to add five goals, keeping a clean sheet too.
His forwards scored and assisted while the likes of Declan Gallagher, Steven Lawless and Sam Foley stepped up their returns to full fitness. A good day’s work and progression to the Scottish Cup fourth round too for the travelling party.
With two Scotland internationals in their starting XI, Gallagher and Stephen O’Donnell went from World Cup competition to a Highland League test in the space of 72 hours. They could stick around at Motherwell for longer too.
While Gallagher’s contract talks won’t occur until the end of the season, O’Donnell is closing to securing an extended stay in North Lanarkshire beyond this season in a big boost for Alexander.
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