Clinical Motherwell came from behind to consign Kilmarnock to their third consecutive defeat.

The visitors made a promising start when Darren Barr's header deflected in off defender Stephen McManus.

But, three minutes later, Henri Anier levelled by firing through the legs of goalkeeper Craig Samson.

John Sutton pounced at the back post to fire Motherwell ahead before the break and they survived late pressure despite Simon Ramsden's 86th-minute red card.

It leaves Allan Johnston's side without a victory this season as Motherwell move into third place in the Scottish Premiership.

John Sutton celebrates his goal

Sutton put Motherwell ahead before half-time against Kilmarnock at Fir Park

Iain Vigurs had returned to the home midfield in place of Zaine Francis-Angol and should have put his side ahead when put clear on goal within 15 seconds.

However, the summer signing from Ross County poked his effort wide from 15 yards under pressure from the recovering rearguard.

Kilmarnock were back to more familiar lines after a much-changed line-up suffered a shock midweek League Cup defeat by Championship outfit Hamilton Academical.

Paul Heffernan, though, was absent from the squad after his Friday switch to Hibernian, Johnston explaining that the striker had not felt he could form a partnership with Kris Boyd.

Boyd, returning from suspension, had William Gross for company and the Frenchman was quickly involved, firing one shot wide and another that just eluded the Scottish Premier League's record scorer as it powered across the face of goal.

Barr, the summer arrival from Hearts, was to quickly become a hero at both ends of Fir Park as he first denied Anier with a superb last-ditch challenge in front of goal then himself opened the scoring.

Barry Nicholson sent a free-kick curling towards the Motherwell goal and, when it flicked off Barr's head, it took a deflection off defender McManus before nestling in the far corner of the net.

The lead only lasted three minutes, with a superbly disguised reverse pass from Keith Lasley releasing Anier behind the defence and the Estonian striker calmly slotted the equaliser.

Goal-provider Nicholson had the chance to become goalscorer after ghosting into space to pick up a fine James Fowler pass but powered his first-time shot straight at goalkeeper Lee Hollis from 15 yards.

Motherwell, though, just about edged the first half in terms of possession and Samson had to beat away drives from Vigurs and Sutton.

The home side moved in front when on-loan Celtic defender Jackson Irvine found fresh air as he attempted to clear Ramsden's cross across the face of goal and Sutton was on hand to score at the back post.

Sutton and Ramsden combined again immediately after the break and Samson produced a point-blank goal-line save to deny the striker heading his second goal.

The introduction of Friday signing from Dundee United Michael Gardyne enlivened the Kilmarnock front line and drives from Boyd twice fell just wide of the post.

Vigurs forced Samson to tip his long-range effort over the crossbar and Stuart McCall's side were provided with a nervous ending as Hollis had three goal-line saves as the ball bobbled about the Well penalty box after Ramsden picked up a second yellow card for a foul on substitute Rabiu Ibrahim.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (5)

Motherwell

  • 01 Hollis
  • 03 Hammell Booked
  • 04 Ramsden Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 05 Hutchinson
  • 06 McManus
  • 07 McFadden (Francis-Angol - 79' )
  • 11 Vigurs (Lawson - 89' )
  • 14 Lasley
  • 18 Carswell
  • 09 Sutton Booked
  • 24 Anier (Ainsworth - 78' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Nielsen
  • 15 Cummins
  • 17 Francis-Angol
  • 08 Lawson
  • 25 Ainsworth
  • 16 McHugh
  • 22 Moore

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 02 Tesselaar Booked
  • 05 Irvine
  • 06 Barr Booked
  • 16 Clohessy
  • 04 Fowler
  • 07 Nicholson
  • 20 Jacobs
  • 09 Boyd
  • 11 Gross (Ibrahim - 84' )
  • 18 McKenzie (Gardyne - 66' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Reguero
  • 26 O'Hara
  • 19 Ibrahim
  • 22 Stewart
  • 24 Fisher
  • 29 Pascali
  • 25 Gardyne
Ref: Charleston
Att: 4,353

Match Stats

Shots

12 11

On target

7 4

Corners

3 7

Fouls

13 11

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:11 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +1:55

Jeroen Tesselaar crosses the ball.

89:10

Corner from the left by-line taken by Barry Nicholson.

89:00

Rabiu Ibrahim produces a cross.

88:40

Corner from the right by-line taken by Barry Nicholson.

88:16 Substitution

Substitution Paul Lawson replaces Iain Vigurs.

87:13

Barry Nicholson restarts play with the free kick.

86:37 Dismissal

Dismissal

86:37

Simon Ramsden receives a red card for second bookable offence.

86:31

Simon Ramsden challenges Rabiu Ibrahim unfairly and gives away a free kick.

85:21

Craig Samson restarts play with the free kick.

85:01 Booking

Booking

85:01

John Sutton goes into the referee's book.

84:59

The referee blows for offside against John Sutton.

84:45

Iain Vigurs crosses the ball in from the free kick.

84:18

Foul by Darren Barr on John Sutton, free kick awarded.

83:27

Corner taken by Iain Vigurs.

83:13

Iain Vigurs takes a shot. Fine finger tip save by Craig Samson.

81:48 Substitution

Substitution Rabiu Ibrahim joins the action as a substitute, replacing William Gros.

81:08

Kris Boyd takes a brilliant shot and went wide right of the target.

80:40

Free kick taken by Barry Nicholson.

79:55

Unfair challenge on William Gros by Simon Ramsden results in a free kick.

79:19

Free kick taken by Craig Samson.

79:13

Darren Barr fouled by Lionel Ainsworth, the ref awards a free kick.

78:01 Substitution

Substitution Zaine Francis-Angol on for James McFadden.

77:34 Substitution

Substitution Lionel Ainsworth comes on in place of Henri Anier.

77:07

Kris Boyd has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the goal.

73:35

Iain Vigurs restarts play with the free kick.

73:10 Booking

Booking

73:10

Darren Barr shown a yellow card.

73:01

Darren Barr challenges Henri Anier unfairly and gives away a free kick.

70:41

Shot by Stuart Carswell missed to the left of goal.

69:24

Shot by Iain Vigurs went harmlessly over the bar.

68:55

Shot by William Gros. Lee Hollis catches the ball.

68:40

Free kick taken by Craig Samson.

68:27

Unfair challenge on Sean Clohessy by Henri Anier results in a free kick.

67:57

Corner taken by Barry Nicholson.

66:25

Free kick taken by Craig Samson.

66:09

James McFadden is ruled offside.

65:50 Substitution

Substitution Michael Gardyne replaces Rory McKenzie.

65:27 Booking

Booking

65:27

The referee books Simon Ramsden for dissent.

65:13

Shot by Kris Boyd missed to the right of the target.

60:54

Keith Lasley takes the free kick.

60:32 Booking

Booking

60:32

Jeroen Tesselaar goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.

60:28

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar on James McFadden, free kick awarded.

59:00

Barry Nicholson restarts play with the free kick.

58:31

Steven Hammell receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

58:31 Booking

Booking

58:27

Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Hammell on James Fowler.

57:04

Clearance by Shaun Hutchinson.

57:01

Corner taken by Barry Nicholson.

56:41

Kris Boyd takes a shot. Shaun Hutchinson gets a block in.

56:29

Sean Clohessy delivers the ball.

52:53

Free kick taken by Craig Samson.

52:45

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sean Clohessy by Henri Anier.

51:34

Lee Hollis restarts play with the free kick.

51:14

Darren Barr challenges Stuart Carswell unfairly and gives away a free kick.

51:09

Stuart Carswell manages to make a clearance.

50:59

Free kick crossed by Barry Nicholson.

50:32

Simon Ramsden concedes a free kick for a foul on William Gros.

49:53

Craig Samson takes the free kick.

49:25

Corner taken by Iain Vigurs.

49:04

Keith Lasley restarts play with the free kick.

48:25

John Sutton fouled by Darren Barr, the ref awards a free kick.

47:49

Craig Samson takes the free kick.

47:30

The offside flag is raised against Henri Anier.

46:59

John Sutton has a headed effort at goal. Parried by Craig Samson back into danger.

45:32

Craig Samson takes the free kick.

45:25

Henri Anier is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +0:16 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

44:34

Assist on the goal came from Iain Vigurs.

44:34 Goal scored

Goal! - John Sutton - Motherwell 2 - 1 Kilmarnock John Sutton slots the ball left footed into the goal. Motherwell 2-1 Kilmarnock.

43:16

Clearance by Jackson Irvine.

43:14

Corner taken by Iain Vigurs.

42:58

John Sutton has an effort at goal. Craig Samson fumbles the ball.

41:35

Shot by Henri Anier. Craig Samson catches the ball.

40:50

Shot by Iain Vigurs.

39:08

Stephen McManus takes the free kick.

39:04

The referee blows for offside against Kris Boyd.

34:30

Barry Nicholson takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Lee Hollis safely holds on.

33:58

Shaun Hutchinson manages to make a clearance.

33:51

Corner taken by Barry Nicholson from the right by-line.

33:28

Free kick crossed by Barry Nicholson.

32:52

Unfair challenge on Jeroen Tesselaar by Shaun Hutchinson results in a free kick.

32:34

Barry Nicholson takes the free kick.

32:21

Free kick awarded for a foul by Iain Vigurs on Barry Nicholson.

30:18

Free kick taken by Keith Lasley.

30:09

Barry Nicholson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Keith Lasley.

29:11

Free kick taken by Craig Samson.

28:56

Jackson Irvine fouled by Henri Anier, the ref awards a free kick.

28:32

Shaun Hutchinson restarts play with the free kick.

28:19

Unfair challenge on Stuart Carswell by Kyle Jacobs results in a free kick.

27:42

Corner taken by Barry Nicholson from the left by-line.

26:49

Shot by Iain Vigurs. Blocked by Jackson Irvine.

24:19

James McFadden takes the free kick.

24:13

Jeroen Tesselaar challenges James McFadden unfairly and gives away a free kick.

23:29

Free kick taken by Lee Hollis.

23:03

The official flags Kris Boyd offside.

20:37

Jeroen Tesselaar takes the free kick.

20:30

Free kick awarded for a foul by James McFadden on Kyle Jacobs.

19:43

The assist for the goal came from Keith Lasley.

19:43 Goal scored

Goal! - Henri Anier - Motherwell 1 - 1 Kilmarnock Henri Anier slots the ball right footed into the goal. Motherwell 1-1 Kilmarnock.

18:12

Clearance made by Jackson Irvine.

18:09

Iain Vigurs takes the free kick.

17:41

Foul by Kyle Jacobs on James McFadden, free kick awarded.

16:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Stephen McManus - Motherwell 0 - 1 Kilmarnock Stephen McManus heads into their own net. Motherwell 0-1 Kilmarnock.

16:32

Assist on the goal came from Barry Nicholson.

16:32

Header at goal by Darren Barr misses to the right.

16:20

Barry Nicholson sends in a cross.

15:41

Shaun Hutchinson concedes a free kick for a foul on William Gros.

15:29

Kris Boyd has an effort at goal. Shaun Hutchinson gets a block in.

14:22

Shot by Henri Anier. Blocked by Darren Barr.

14:01

Shot by James Fowler. Lee Hollis catches the ball.

13:21

Shaun Hutchinson manages to make a clearance.

13:18

Corner taken by Barry Nicholson from the right by-line.

12:53

William Gros has an effort at goal. Stephen McManus gets a block in.

10:21

Free kick taken by James Fowler.

9:58

Stuart Carswell concedes a free kick for a foul on Kyle Jacobs.

7:52

Free kick taken by Stuart Carswell.

7:42

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Lasley by James Fowler.

2:08

Free kick taken by Stephen McManus.

1:56

Kris Boyd concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Hutchinson.

0:31

Shot by Iain Vigurs went wide right of the net.

0:00

The game begins.

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