Motherwell 3 - 0 Livingston: Three first half goals keep Well run going

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson described Jake Hastie as a “breath of fresh air” after the 19-year-old scored twice in a 3-0 victory over Livingston.

Motherwell's Jake Hastie celebrates. Pic: SNS/Sammy Turner

The winger took his tally to three goals in four matches since returning from a loan spell with Alloa.

“Jake has brought a breath of fresh air to the side,” Robinson said. “He’s confident and not frightened to try things and even get a bit of stick.”

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Hastie struck either side of a Curtis Main goal as Motherwell wrapped up their fourth consecutive Ladbrokes Premiership win inside 21 minutes but Robinson refused to get carried away with their form.

After watching his side draw level in the table with the West Lothian club, Robinson said: “I’m happy with the result but in truth we have played better earlier in the season and lost.

“We outplayed and outfought them and that was pleasing. We now have quality at the top end of the pitch and that’s made a difference.”

Robinson also had some praise for his defenders on the back of a third consecutive clean sheet.

“I thought our two centre-halves were excellent,” he said. “Livingston are a difficult team to defend against with set-pieces and long throw-ins but I thought Tom Aldred and Charles Dunne coped with everything they threw at them.”

After the midweek attention focused on 19-year-old David Turnbull extending his contract it was another Fir Park teenager, Hastie, who grabbed the limelight.

Motherwell opened the scoring when Turnbull curled in a free-kick towards goal and the in-rushing Hastie nodded it past Liam Kelly for a dream start.

There was an immediate chance for the visitors to level but when Ryan Hardie, 12 yards from goal, tried to play in Scott Tiffoney, Charles Dunne stepped between the pair to boot the ball clear.

That proved costly when Motherwell doubled their lead five minutes later. Turnbull was again at the heart of the move, releasing Alan Campbell who in turn fed the ball into the path of Main who dinked it past the advancing goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

Livingston came close to reducing the lead minutes later when Tiffoney’s cross for Hardie came off Richard Tait but Mark Gillespie reacted superbly to turn the ball over the bar. The Motherwell stopper then denied Scott Pittman, throwing himself across the turf to palm away the midfielder’s low drive.

That prevented a potential turning point as the Premiership newcomers were immediately punished when the home side made it 3-0.

Nothing looked on when Hastie collected the ball on the halfway line but the teenager decided to head for the visitor’s goal, leaving two defenders in his wake before thumping the ball off Kelly and into the net for his second of the afternoon.

Livingston started the second with three changes but it was still the Fir Park side who looked more likely to extend their advantage.

Visiting manager Gary Holt felt his side had played a major part in their own downfall as they fell to a fifth consecutive defeat.

“If you give a team a start like we did and don’t do the basics right then you face an uphill battle,” he said.