MOTHERWELL midfielder Josh Law is confident they can secure the victory they need in Iceland next week after feeling the benefit of their first competitive game of the season, despite being pegged back for a 2-2 draw by Stjarnan.
The hosts went into their Europa League opener on the back of one friendly against Fulham and several training-ground matches but they came flying out the blocks when Law notched two goals in the first 19 minutes of his debut.
However, Stuart Carswell missed a great chance for a third and Stjarnan were handed an unexpected lifeline in the 35th minute when Keith Lasley handled to allow Olafur Karl Finsen to level from the spot.
The game swung from end to end before it moved into the visitors’ favour in injury-time - Simon Ramsden had a strong penalty claim rejected before Lasley gave away another spot-kick following a quick counter-attack with Finsen finishing again.
Law said: “I was delighted to get my first couple of goals for the club but it really counts for nothing as the game’s been drawn. There’s no reason why we can’t go over there and win. We just need to tighten up a little, have a look at the DVD, and go again next week.
“They are tough opponents, they break really well. We knew that before. So to get the two-goal start was perfect for them to come on to us and us to counter, but as it’s happened it has gone the other way and we left quite big holes.
“But we are confident going into next week. They are 12, 13 games into their season and this is our first competitive game. A lot of us hadn’t had 90 minutes, so that will do us good to go over there and build on it.”
Manager Stuart McCall felt their lack of competition action had told against a side who are unbeaten in the Icelandic league with 11 games gone.
But he too is confident that his team can get the result they need next week to set up a tie with either Estonian outfit JK Nomme Kalju or Poles Lech Poznan in the third qualifying round.
McCall said: “I think we were rusty in certain parts in the first half. Once we were 2-0 up we got a little bit sloppy. We gave them the incentive when we passed inside and gave the ball away. And I think later on there were three or four that were toiling.
“But we’ll be better next week for that competitive game. We’re disappointed with the result and the way it came about but there were a lot of positives out there. We played some good stuff, got in some good areas, and scored two really good goals.
“At least this time, for the first time since I’ve been here, we are going still in the tie. The last three (European) games we have beaten 2-0 at home every game. We are well in the tie and we are more than capable of going away and winning the game.”