Ash Taylor sealed Kilmarnock’s first win since their cinch Premiership return as the Ayrshire side turned round their meeting with Motherwell in the space of six minutes.
Kevin van Veen put the visitors ahead in the 14th minute with his well-taken fourth goal in five matches and Killie looked like they might pay the price for missing a series of chances.
Debutant Ben Chrisene hit the bar and strikers Kyle Lafferty and Oli Shaw squandered good opportunities before Danny Armstrong levelled from close range in the 71st minute.
Taylor then headed home his second goal of the campaign to secure a 2-1 victory.
The start was slightly delayed as stewards tried to deal with two flares that were thrown on the pitch from the Motherwell end but both teams came firing out the traps.
Van Veen had a shot saved at the second attempt by Sam Walker in the second minute after a brilliant take from Ricki Lamie’s diagonal ball, and Paul McGinn soon produced a last-ditch challenge at the other end.
The lively start continued. Dean Cornelius came close with a volley for Motherwell before Lafferty’s free-kick landed on the roof of the net.
The breakthrough came after a defence-splitting pass by Blair Spittal. Van Veen held off Lewis Mayo and flicked the ball past Walker and into the corner of the net.
Motherwell were playing some bright passing football but the hosts finished the half strongly. Lafferty twice shot over from good chances, the second time after on-loan Aston Villa left-back Chrisene hit the underside of the bar with McGinn caught playing for offside.
Shaw then had a volley diverted just wide as Motherwell defended desperately following a long throw and Chrisene shot over from another decent chance in stoppage-time.
Killie winger Armstrong came close with a shot on the turn just after the break and Shaw missed a great chance on the counter-attack when he could not keep his shot down.
Walker held shots from Callum Slattery, Dean Shields and substitute Joe Efford at the other end before Killie finally took one of their chances.
Stephen O’Donnell slipped as he chested down Fraser Murray’s cross into the six-yard box and Armstrong turned the ball through Liam Kelly’s legs from a tight angle.
Motherwell substitute Ross Tierney had a brilliant chance to restore his team’s lead three minutes later after Van Veen set him up with a wonderful piece of skill and a perfectly-timed pass. But Walker got down to push the Irishman’s side-footed effort past the post.
It was the hosts who went in front when Taylor sent a free header into the far corner following Armstrong’s deep free-kick.
Motherwell might have had a penalty or at least a free-kick when Alan Power upended Van Veen right on the edge of the box but referee Euan Anderson played on after initially putting his whistle towards his lips.
Killie could have had more with Murray twice coming close.