Theo Bair kept up his fine run of goalscoring form as he netted a deserved leveller for Motherwell in their 1-1 cinch Premiership draw with Kilmarnock.
The Canada international coolly knocked in his fifth goal in his last four league appearances to cancel out Lewis Mayo’s sensational volley.
The Steelmen had the bulk of the opportunities in the second half, though for the second week running they lacked a vital cutting-edge to take all three points.
In drawing their third successive Premiership encounter, Motherwell slipped to 10th in the table, while Killie remain fourth.
Much of the pre-match chat surrounded Kevin van Veen making his return to Fir Park in the blue and white of Kilmarnock.
The Dutchman, who netted 29 times last season for Well, began the game as a substitute.
Will Dennis returned between the sticks for Derek McInnes’ men, while Thomas Davies replaced the suspended Corrie Ndaba and Liam Polworth was preferred to Rory McKenzie.
Stuart Kettlewell named an unchanged side, although there were spots on the bench for new signings Adam Devine, Jili Buyabu and Jack Vale – while Dan Casey made the squad for the first time in almost two months.
David Watson had a close escape in the opening minutes when he headed Blair Spittal’s corner narrowly past his own post.
The visitors had made a sluggish start, but would burst into life as they broke the deadlock after 13 minutes in stunning fashion.
Danny Armstrong’s corner was eventually headed to the edge of the box where Mayo lashed a sublime volley low beyond Liam Kelly. The home players claimed a foul on Davor Zdravkovski in the lead-up but VAR disagreed.
Spittal had an effort gathered at the second time of asking and he then sliced over after meeting Bevis Mugabi’s knock-down as Motherwell sought a quick response.
The equaliser arrived seven minutes before the break – Spittal found Bair with an inch-perfect pass and the striker coolly converted.
Motherwell made the brighter start after half-time as Andy Halliday brought a good stop from Dennis.
Gent’s headed clearance from Matty Kennedy’s set-piece looped into the air and past the onrushing Kelly before bouncing inches over.
The game was swinging from end-to-end as Paton skewed wide for Well, then at the other end it took a vital intervention from Mugabi to turn behind Marley Watkins’ tantalising delivery.
Paton flashed a shot across the face of goal and Bair then glanced wide of the target as the home side continued to threaten.
There were appeals for a penalty when Spittal hit the deck under pressure from Stuart Findlay, though referee Don Robertson waved play on before booking both players for a tussle in the aftermath.
Van Veen was introduced for the final five minutes as Kilmarnock made a late triple switch, though they had their keeper to thank yet again when he turned Gent’s shot around the post.
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