Last-gasp Harry Paton strike sees Motherwell snatch win over Kilmarnock

The Steelmen bounced back from a goal down to take three points.

Last-gasp Harry Paton strike sees Motherwell snatch win over Kilmarnock SNS Group

Injury-ravaged Motherwell showed their battling qualities as they recovered from a goal down to claim a 2-1 victory against Kilmarnock in the cinch Premiership at Fir Park.

Harry Paton slammed home in the seventh minute of stoppage time to complete a superb comeback for the hosts.

Marley Watkins headed past Liam Kelly to give Killie the lead after 12 minutes, but the visitors passed up a number of chances to extend their advantage in the first half.

Motherwell were much improved after the restart and deservedly got back on terms when Dan Casey fired home after 59 minutes.

With 15 minutes remaining, the Steelmen were handed the perfect opportunity to clinch all three points after Casey was fouled inside the box by Daniel Armstrong, but Callum Slattery saw his spot-kick saved.

There was still time for more drama, however, and Paton was the hero for the home side when he calmly converted in the dying seconds.

A calf injury sustained by Conor Wilkinson left Stuart Kettlewell with just two recognised strikers, and the Motherwell boss was forced to hand Joe Efford his first start since October of last year to try and bolster his attack.

Kilmarnock began the encounter the much brighter of the two sides and enjoyed the bulk of the possession in the opening 10 minutes.

Motherwell survived a scare when Slattery’s clearing header drifted just past the post, but the hosts found themselves a goal down from the resulting corner.

Matt Kennedy’s corner was initially cleared, but the same player then delivered an excellent cross for Watkins to turn home at the back-post and give Killie the lead after 12 minutes.

Kyle Vassell passed up a good opportunity to double the advantage when he glanced a header wide of the target after rising unmarked to meet David Watson’s cross.

It took a good stop from William Dennis to deny Blair Spittal, as Motherwell registered their first meaningful attempt on goal.

New signing Brodie Spencer should have levelled matters on the stroke of half-time after he connected with Stephen O’Donnell’s deep cross, but he fired well wide of the target.

Theo Bair then somehow failed to find the net when he connected with Paton’s cut-back as the home side put pressure on the Killie goal early in the second half.

However, Motherwell equalised after 59 minutes when a superb counter attack ended with Spencer laying the ball to Casey, who rifled low into the net.

The momentum had suddenly shifted the way of the home team and it took a smart stop by Dennis to keep out Lennon Miller’s effort from just outside the box.

Spencer headed into the arms of the Kilmarnock keeper as Kettlewell’s team looked to complete the turnaround, and just a minute later referee Chris Graham pointed to the spot after Armstrong brought down Casey inside the box.

Slattery stepped up to take the resulting kick but he was denied by an excellent stop from Dennis.

Vassell blazed well over the top in the final minute and in time added on, Spittal sent a free-kick just wide with the game seemingly heading for a stalemate.

That was until Spittal did well to pick out Paton, who coolly weaved past two Kilmarnock defenders before drilling the ball low beyond Dennis.

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