Devante Cole and Motherwell send Kilmarnock into bottom two

A 2-0 defeat at Fir Park saw Tommy Wright's side slide to 11th.

Devante Cole and Motherwell send Kilmarnock into bottom two SNS Group

Devante Cole scored one and set up another as Kilmarnock dropped back into the Scottish Premiership bottom two with a 2-0 defeat at Motherwell.

Cole finished well early in the second half before his clever footwork paved the way for Stephen O’Donnell to wrap up Motherwell’s third consecutive league win with five minutes left at Fir Park.

Victories elsewhere for Ross County and Hamilton saw Killie slip to 11th, just two points above Accies, and allowed Motherwell to move up to seventh.

Kilmarnock manager Tommy Wright sprang a surprise by including Kyle Lafferty 24 hours after ruling him out with a foot injury. But the Northern Ireland international could not add to the 11 goals he netted in his previous six matches despite a series of second-half chances.

Colin Doyle paid the price for his Scottish Cup blunder against St Mirren as Danny Rogers took his place in the Killie goal.

Motherwell started with the attacking 4-2-1-3 formation that got them back into their Scottish Cup tie against Hibernian before losing on penalties. Sam Foley, Steven Lawless and Jake Hastie were given the chance to impress.

The hosts had the best chance of the first half after an excellent passing move involving most of the team including goalkeeper Liam Kelly. It finished with the unmarked Hastie heading over from six yards.

Motherwell looked lively for much of the opening 30 minutes but Kelly had to get down well to save from Alan Power and Greg Kiltie late in the half.

The visitors would have been aware that both relegation rivals were winning as they walked off with the half-time scores being relayed over the PA system.

And their day got worse inside two minutes of the restart when Cole kept running after playing the ball into Christopher Long and slotted home the loose ball.

Hastie soon shot wide after a slick break before Lafferty got several sights of goal after a quiet first half.

The former Rangers striker got the ball caught under his feet and chipped over after initially looking like he was clear, and soon saw a shot deflected just wide after being gifted possession.

Lafferty got a better chance midway through the half and did everything right as he lined up a left-footed volley 14 yards out following a headed clearance. But Kelly threw himself to his right to push the ball away.

Wright had made a triple switch on the hour mark, with Chris Burke, George Oakley and Aaron Tshibola introduced, and Killie kept pushing. Oakley headed off target and Lafferty was well wide with an overhead kick.

Motherwell boss Graham Alexander responded by bringing on centre-back Bevis Mugabi and defensive midfielder Barry Maguire and switching to a 3-5-2.

Killie came closer when Burke saw a curling effort bounce off the top of the bar but their chances were over when Cole poked the ball past Kirk Broadfoot and ran round the outside before cutting back for Scotland right-back O’Donnell to drive home

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