Motherwell go into 2014 sitting second in the Premiership after demolishing Partick Thistle at Firhill.

Steven Lawless shot the hosts ahead but Keith Lasley and Zaine Francis-Angol replied with neat finishes.

James McFadden added a cool lob before half-time to put the visitors in control of what had been a finely balanced high-tempo match.

And atrocious Thistle defending allowed Lionel Ainsworth and John Sutton to wrap up a comfortable victory.

The result nudges Motherwell's goal difference into positive figures and underlined the root of their success this term since they have won all 11 matches against teams in the bottom six of the league.

For Partick, the wait for a home success goes on and their run without a win stretches to eight games, with much of the damage self-inflicted after a promising start.

Such a one-sided score seemed unlikely as Thistle pinned the visitors back, with Kallum Higginbotham prominent on the left flank.

And the home side were rewarded when Stuart Bannigan, Kris Doolan and James Craigen combined to set up Lawless, who stroked a shot into the bottom corner of the net from 10 yards.

Lawless then hammered in a fierce shot that Dan Twardzik did well to push round his post, with Gabriel Piccolo heading narrowly wide from the resulting corner.

A set-piece presented McFadden with the chance to level but his stooping header from a corner was blocked by a grounded team-mate in a busy penalty box.

The Scotland international, recalled to the starting line-up, did play a major part in the equaliser as he jinked past a couple of opponents on the edge of the penalty area before slipping a pass to Lasley and the Steelmen's skipper tucked an angled strike past advancing keeper Scott Fox.

Twardzik made a good block at his near post as Higginbothan came haring in from the left and Motherwell immediately countered, with Iain Vigurs heading wide from a promising position.

Keith Lasley scores for Motherwell

Lasley's goal drew Motherwell level shortly after the hosts took an early lead

Playing wide left in a 3-4-3 formation Francis-Angol was menacing for the visitors and he got forward to great effect on 21 minutes, dashing into the penalty area to squeeze a low shot in at Fox's near post for his first Motherwell goal.

Doolan curled a long-range effort wide and Lawless was upended just inches from the penalty box as the hosts sought a response.

But it was the visitors who were to strike next as the home defence inexplicably stopped in their tracks and McFadden was able to profit from Piccolo's awkward fresh-air swipe to coolly lift the ball over Fox.

In the last action of a breathless first half Craigen got his head onto a Lawless cross only to nod over the top from eight yards.

After the interval, McFadden took aim with a clever, dipping strike on the angle that needed an excellent fingertip stop from Fox. Thistle substitute Ross Forbes then sent in a similar effort from further out, with Twardzik also saving well.

The home side were pushing men forward in determined fashion but they were again undone by a defensive lapse as Motherwell increased their lead on 57 minutes.

Lasley intercepted a stray pass from Aaron Taylor-Sinclair to drive forward and tee up Ainsworth, with the winger sliding in a composed finish.

McFadden headed against the crossbar but Motherwell did not have to wait long for goal number five.

There was yet more calamitous defending as Piccolo let a high ball bounce off him and into the path of Sutton and the substitute slammed in a sweet strike from 16 yards.

Doolan looked certain to grab a late consolation goal as he latched on to a poor pass-back from Simon Ramsden to poke the ball past Twardzik but the keeper did really well to get back to his feet and make a sliding tackle right in front of his empty net.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Partick Thistle

  • 01 Fox
  • 02 O'Donnell
  • 03 Taylor-Sinclair
  • 08 Bannigan Booked
  • 06 Balatoni
  • 13 Gabriel
  • 14 Elliott (Forbes - 27' )
  • 07 Craigen
  • 09 Doolan
  • 11 Lawless (Baird - 60' )
  • 23 Higginbotham Booked

Substitutes

  • 05 Muirhead
  • 10 Forbes
  • 12 Gallacher
  • 17 Baird
  • 20 Kerr
  • 29 Gallacher
  • 31 Wilson

Motherwell

  • 51 Twardzik
  • 03 Hammell
  • 17 Francis-Angol
  • 18 Carswell (Lawson - 75' )
  • 04 Ramsden
  • 06 McManus
  • 25 Ainsworth
  • 14 Lasley
  • 07 McFadden (McHugh - 79' )
  • 24 Anier (Sutton - 57' )
  • 11 Vigurs Booked

Substitutes

  • 08 Lawson
  • 09 Sutton
  • 12 Nielsen
  • 15 Cummins
  • 16 McHugh
  • 22 Moore
  • 23 Murray
Ref: Steven McLean
Att: 4,588

Match Stats

Shots

13 13

On target

7 9

Corners

15 7

Fouls

11 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 5.

90:00 +1:30 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 5.

90:00 +1:05

John Baird (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:05

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

90:00 +0:29

Attempt saved. Paul Lawson (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

88:52

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

88:30

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Simon Ramsden.

87:02 Booking

Booking Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

87:00

Paul Lawson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:58

Foul by Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle).

85:06

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

85:06

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

82:36

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Dan Twardzik.

82:16

Attempt saved. James Craigen (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

81:20

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Zaine Francis-Angol.

80:08

Ross Forbes (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.

80:04

Foul by Paul Lawson (Motherwell).

79:27

Attempt saved. John Sutton (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

78:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Robert McHugh replaces James McFadden.

78:33

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair.

77:06

Attempt missed. John Sutton (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

76:35

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

75:16

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Iain Vigurs.

74:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Paul Lawson replaces Stuart Carswell.

71:15

Attempt missed. James McFadden (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

70:19

Foul by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle).

70:19

Stuart Carswell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

69:56

James Craigen (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:54

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

67:11

Attempt saved. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

66:40

John Baird (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:40

Foul by Simon Ramsden (Motherwell).

64:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 5. John Sutton (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Iain Vigurs.

64:14

Attempt saved. John Baird (Partick Thistle) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

63:46

James McFadden (Motherwell) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box following a set piece situation.

63:10 Booking

Booking Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

63:04

Foul by Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle).

63:04

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:15

Gabriel Rojo de la Vega (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.

61:15

Foul by James McFadden (Motherwell).

60:29

John Baird (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:29

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

59:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Partick Thistle. John Baird replaces Steven Lawless.

59:21

Foul by James Craigen (Partick Thistle).

59:21

Stuart Carswell (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

57:25

Foul by Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle).

57:25

Stuart Carswell (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

56:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. John Sutton replaces Henri Anier because of an injury.

56:11 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 4. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Keith Lasley.

52:57

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Steven Hammell.

52:46

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Dan Twardzik.

52:31

Attempt saved. Ross Forbes (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

51:24

Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

51:24

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

49:37

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Zaine Francis-Angol.

48:24

Attempt saved. Conrad Balatoni (Partick Thistle) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

48:09

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Stuart Carswell.

47:00

Foul by James McFadden (Motherwell).

47:00

Conrad Balatoni (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

46:14

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Scott Fox.

45:57

Attempt saved. James McFadden (Motherwell) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner.

45:00

Second Half begins Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 3.

45:00 +1:02 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 3.

41:37

Foul by Ross Forbes (Partick Thistle).

41:37

James McFadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:51

Attempt missed. James Craigen (Partick Thistle) header from very close range is too high.

39:00

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

38:53

Foul by Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle).

38:06

Conrad Balatoni (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

38:06

Foul by James McFadden (Motherwell).

35:27 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 3. James McFadden (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Zaine Francis-Angol.

34:45

Attempt missed. Conrad Balatoni (Partick Thistle) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high following a corner.

34:17

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Keith Lasley.

33:08

Attempt blocked. Ross Forbes (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

32:25

Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

32:25

Foul by Simon Ramsden (Motherwell).

31:51

Attempt missed. Simon Ramsden (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

31:16

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Scott Fox.

30:33

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Simon Ramsden.

29:42

Attempt missed. Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

26:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Partick Thistle. Ross Forbes replaces Christie Elliott.

25:23

Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:23

Foul by Gabriel Rojo de la Vega (Partick Thistle).

22:46

Gabriel Rojo de la Vega (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

22:46

Foul by James McFadden (Motherwell).

22:09

Foul by Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle).

22:09

James McFadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:26 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 2. Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner.

18:40

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Conrad Balatoni.

18:21

Attempt saved. Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

17:41

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

17:41

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

14:54 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 1. Keith Lasley (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lionel Ainsworth.

13:28

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Stuart Bannigan.

11:23

Attempt missed. Conrad Balatoni (Partick Thistle) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

11:16

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Dan Twardzik.

11:01

Attempt saved. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

10:09

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

9:44

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Simon Ramsden.

7:27 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 0. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by James Craigen.

5:45

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair.

3:13

Attempt missed. Gabriel Rojo de la Vega (Partick Thistle) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

2:48 Booking

Booking Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

2:42

Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

2:42

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Motherwell).

0:56

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Zaine Francis-Angol.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers