Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, Motherwell 2.
Zak Jules nodded in the winner as Motherwell came from behind to beat Kilmarnock and move out of the relegation play-off spot.
Kris Boyd gave the home side the lead with a cool first-half finish, his 200th top-flight goal.
Well squared it after the break through Carl McHugh, who finished expertly following Elliott Frear's corner.
Jules made it 2-1 but then gave away a late penalty, only for Boyd to smash the spot-kick off the post.
The win lifts Well to 10th place in the Premiership table, three points above Hamilton and five clear of bottom club Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Robinson makes his case
Motherwell's contribution to the opening period was minimal, other than a cute Scott McDonald flick goalwards just before the break.
But the second half was a different story after Steve Robinson and his interim management team made a couple of personnel changes and addressed the side's first-half failings.
A more spirited performance brought an immediate reward as McHugh stabbed the ball into the net after the home defence failed to clear a corner.
And though Kilmarnock hit the bar through a Gary Dicker thunderbolt and Well keeper Craig Samson tipped away a Scott Boyd header, Motherwell remained much more competitive and ended their run of four successive defeats.
Jules - who scored an own goal in last week's heavy defeat by Dundee - got on the end of a free-kick to head past Freddie Woodman from inside the six-yard box.
Heroes and villains
Jules almost cost his side all three points in injury time when he was adjudged to have clipped Callum Roberts inside the penalty area.
But Boyd passed up the opportunity to earn his side a point as he blasted the spot-kick against the post.
Earlier he had notched a landmark goal to seemingly underline the control Kilmarnock had over the game.
After striking the bar with a fierce shot from a cleverly worked corner and heading narrowly wide from another, he tucked the ball past Samson from Dicker's through-ball.
Stirring second half
The turnaround in this match emphasises the unpredictability of the bottom six of the Scottish Premiership.
Having gone ahead, Kilmarnock were heavy favourites to heap further misery on Motherwell.
But the visitors ended their miserable run of four successive defeats with a second-half showing of grit, determination and tenacity.
It takes them to within a point of their opponents and ensures the relegation battle remains a tough one to call.
Kilmarnock caretaker manager Lee McCulloch: "After the first 15 minutes we dominated and got a good goal. Second half, same again, first 10 minutes we didn't start well then for the rest of the game we dominated in my opinion.
"Two set plays that are absolutely criminal and we have the chance to get a point at the end, so I think Motherwell have had that little bit of luck today.
"Boydy was brilliant today, causing their centre-halves an enormous amount of problems. Two hundred Scottish league goals is an unbelievable achievement - he's a fantastic finisher, a leader on and off the pitch and a joy to work with."
Motherwell caretaker manager Steve Robinson: "I don't need to say choice words to the lads because they're a good group of boys trying to do the right thing. Obviously there was a little lack of belief because they've been on a bad run but you could see the momentum growing as the game went on.
"I'm not sure the penalty was a penalty - I've seen it back and it looks like Zak Jules gets the ball but they have a difficult job and we got away with that and probably so did the referee.
"I just wanted solely to concentrate on today. It's been a tough week but the boys responded and I'll sit and have a think about things and speak to the board and see where we go with it, but let's just enjoy the moment."
- 18S LongstaffSubstituted forRobertsat 79'minutes
- 2TaitSubstituted forFergusonat 76'minutes
- 4HeneghanBooked at 69mins
- 3HammellSubstituted forFrearat 45'minutes
- 12CaddenBooked at 90mins
- 14LasleyBooked at 22minsSubstituted forBowmanat 45'minutes
- 8McHughBooked at 90mins
- Bobby Madden
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Motherwell 2.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Carl McHugh.
Penalty missed! Still Kilmarnock 1, Motherwell 2. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) hits the right post with a right footed shot.
Penalty Kilmarnock. Callum Roberts draws a foul in the penalty area.
Chris Cadden (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.
Carl McHugh (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.
Penalty conceded by Zak Jules (Motherwell) after a foul in the penalty area.
Attempt missed. Callum Roberts (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.
Callum Roberts (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).
Attempt saved. Callum Roberts (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Elliott Frear.
Foul by Luke Hendrie (Kilmarnock).
Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Luke Hendrie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).
Substitution, Kilmarnock. Callum Roberts replaces Sean Longstaff.
Goal! Kilmarnock 1, Motherwell 2. Zak Jules (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Motherwell. David Ferguson replaces Richard Tait.