Motherwell maintained their hopes of silverware this season with a Scottish Cup fifth-round win at Stranraer.
Having lost last week's League Cup semi-final, Well were keen to avoid another tournament exit and went ahead when Steve Jones scrambled home.
That goal came at the end of a first half in which Stranraer's Craig Malcolm twice came close to scoring.
Chris Humphrey crossed for John Sutton to fire Motherwell's clinching goal eight minutes from the end.
Motherwell failed to hit the heights of their recent displays against Rangers and Kilmarnock, but they lost both those encounters and manager Stuart McCall would have welcomed the scrappy win.
The victory came at a cost, though, with Keith Lasley and Steven Saunders both suffering injuries and Steve Jennings picking up a suspension.
McCall had recalled Tom Hateley and Sutton, while on-loan Blackburn defender Gavin Gunning was handed a first start in place of the injured Stevie Hammell.
David Mitchell comfortably held two Hateley free-kicks as Motherwell sought an early breakthrough and soon saved a Jones effort after good link-up play between the forward and partner Sutton.
Stranraer came into the game midway through the half and Steven Noble shot over from 20 yards after good skill, before Danny Mitchell blazed over after being afforded space on the edge of the box.
Gunning was booked for dissent, while his fellow defender, Shaun Hutchinson, was cautioned for a crunching challenge and Stranraer forced another chance that Craig Malcolm volleyed just wide.
Jamie Murphy came on in the 31st minute for Lasley, who failed to shake off an early rib knock, and immediately injected some much-needed ingenuity into Motherwell's play, setting up Saunders to shoot just over from long range.
Motherwell maintained the pressure, but Sutton and Murphy could not make the most of Hateley set-pieces and Chris Humphrey could not quite turn a Jones cross into a team-mate's path.
However, Jones stabbed the ball just over the line after Saunders' cross fell for him at the back post.
Stranraer right-back Grant Gallagher cleared and referee Charlie Richmond initially played on before assistant Tommy Johnston signalled for a goal.
The home side pushed forward at the start of the second half, but Stephen Craigan blocked well from Kevin Nicoll and Motherwell proceeded to keep their Third Division opponents at arm's length without looking entirely convincing.
Jones ended a series of impressive runs with poor finishes and Murphy had a half chance when he ran on to Saunders' clearance, but Mitchell blocked the striker's shot from a tight angle.
Jennings received a second booking of the competition for a mistimed tackle, which will see him suspended for the quarter-final.
Hateley came reasonably close with two free-kicks and his interception and through-ball set up Sutton, but the striker took too long to shoot.
Saunders pulled up injured before being replaced with Jonathan Page, who soon had a hand in Motherwell's second in the 83rd minute.
Page fed Humphrey, whose low cross was forced home at the near post by Sutton, and the striker and Gunning both missed late chances to give the scoreline a flattering sheen.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 5 February 2011
06 Agnew yellow card
08 Mitchell yellow card
10 Nicoll (McColm 73)
07 One (Angus Cochrane 85)
16 Angus Cochrane,
02 Saunders (Page 80)
19 Hutchinson yellow card
22 Gunning yellow card
08 Jennings yellow card
14 Lasley (Murphy 31)
11 Sutton (Casagolda 87)
Ref: RichmondAtt: 2,042
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
92:03 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
87:38 Jonathan Page gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Noble. Paul Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
86:59 Substitution Esteban Casagolda is brought on as a substitute for John Sutton.
86:19 Corner taken by Chris Humphrey.
86:04 A cross is delivered by Chris Humphrey, John Sutton takes a shot. Save by David Mitchell.
84:52 Substitution Angus Cochrane joins the action as a substitute, replacing Armand One.
83:09 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Scott Agnew, save made by Darren Randolph.
82:00 Assist on the goal came from Chris Humphrey.
82:00 GOAL - John Sutton:Stranraer 0 - 2 Motherwell A goal is scored by John Sutton from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stranraer 0-2 Motherwell.
80:48 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Humphrey by Anton Kurakins. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Tom
80:12 Craig Malcolm has an effort at goal from outside the area which misses left.
79:39 Stuart McColm produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
79:05 Substitution Jonathan Page replaces Steven Saunders.
77:59 Tom Hateley fouled by Daniel Mitchell, the ref awards a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Tom Hateley from the free
kick, comfortable save by David Mitchell.
77:59 Booking Daniel Mitchell is cautioned.
75:54 Steven Noble is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Darren Randolph.
73:51 Scott Agnew challenges Tom Hateley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Craigan.
73:51 Booking Scott Agnew receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
72:26 Substitution Stuart McColm comes on in place of Kevin Nicoll.
71:16 Foul by Kevin Nicoll on Jamie Murphy, free kick awarded. Tom Hateley produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
70:48 The referee blows for offside against Daniel Mitchell. Free kick taken by Stephen Craigan.
69:37 Armand One concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Craigan. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.
68:57 Steve Jones produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.
65:25 Steve Jones has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
64:32 The ball is swung over by Steve Jones, David Mitchell makes a save.
64:16 Armand One gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan. Steve Jennings takes the direct free kick.
Correction - 63:16 Corner from the right by-line taken by Tom Hateley, Shot by Chris Humphrey from deep inside the six-yard box clear the bar.
63:16 Outswinging corner taken by Tom Hateley.
61:45 Steve Jennings challenges Daniel Mitchell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Declan Gallacher takes the direct free kick.
61:45 Booking Steve Jennings is shown a yellow card.
60:27 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Mitchell by Steven Saunders. Steven Noble takes the direct free kick.
59:49 Steve Jones produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.
56:28 The offside flag is raised against John Sutton. David Mitchell takes the free kick.
55:21 Armand One produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.
54:23 Gavin Gunning delivers the ball, Shot from inside the area by Steven Saunders clears the bar.
53:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan by Armand One. Free kick taken by Stephen Craigan.
53:25 Chris Humphrey has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
52:41 Steve Jones produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
50:33 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Scott Agnew.
47:36 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Scott Agnew, Kevin Nicoll takes a shot. Paul Murphy gets a block in.
45:01 The second half begins.
45:00+4:13 The referee blows for half time.
45:00+3:34 The referee blows for offside against Jamie Murphy. Indirect free kick taken by David Mitchell.
Correction - 45:00+0:34 John Sutton provided the assist for the goal.
45:00+0:34 The assist for the goal came from John Sutton.
45:00+0:34 GOAL - Steve Jones:Stranraer 0 - 1 Motherwell Steve Jones finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Stranraer 0-1 Motherwell.
43:59 Foul by Daniel Mitchell on Tom Hateley, free kick awarded. Tom Hateley delivers the ball, Header from deep inside the area
by Jamie Murphy goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
41:52 Corner taken by Tom Hateley from the left by-line.
41:44 A cross is delivered by Steve Jones.
39:31 Unfair challenge on Paul Murphy by Steven Saunders results in a free kick. Declan Gallacher takes the free kick.
38:21 Tom Hateley takes the inswinging corner, save made by David Mitchell.
37:48 Corner from the right by-line taken by Tom Hateley, Declan Gallacher makes a clearance.
36:17 Steve Jones challenges Grant Gallagher unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Grant Gallagher.
34:16 Daniel Mitchell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steve Jennings. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.
33:48 Stephen Craigan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Armand One. Direct free kick taken by Scott Agnew.
33:14 Steven Saunders takes a shot.
31:13 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Steve Jennings from the right by-line to the near post, Stephen Craigan has a header
from close in and clears the crossbar.
30:12 Substitution Jamie Murphy joins the action as a substitute, replacing Keith Lasley.
28:23 Steven Noble is caught offside. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.
27:22 Paul Murphy fouled by Keith Lasley, the ref awards a free kick. Declan Gallacher takes the free kick.
26:48 Effort from deep inside the area by Craig Malcolm misses to the left of the goal.
Correction - 24:40 Shaun Hutchinson concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Mitchell. Free kick taken by Declan Gallacher.
24:40 Shaun Hutchinson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Daniel Mitchell. Declan Gallacher takes the direct free
24:40 Booking Shaun Hutchinson is shown a yellow card.
23:24 Booking Gavin Gunning is shown a yellow card for dissent.
22:00 Effort on goal by Daniel Mitchell from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
21:14 Shot by Daniel Mitchell from outside the box goes over the target.
20:34 Corner taken by Scott Agnew.
19:45 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Mitchell by Chris Humphrey. Paul Murphy takes the direct free kick.
18:06 Craig Malcolm concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Hutchinson. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.
Correction - 12:47 Grant Gallagher concedes a free kick for a foul on Keith Lasley. Tom Hateley crosses the ball in from the free kick, comfortable
save by David Mitchell.
12:47 Foul by Grant Gallagher on Keith Lasley, free kick awarded. Tom Hateley restarts play with the free kick.
10:29 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Hateley from the left by-line, save by David Mitchell.
9:42 Tom Hateley concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Noble. Declan Gallacher restarts play with the free kick.
7:42 Steve Jones takes a shot. Save made by David Mitchell.
6:09 Shot from just outside the area by Kevin Nicoll misses to the left of the target.
2:26 Keith Lasley fouled by Kevin Nicoll, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Tom Hateley.
0:00 The game gets underway.
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