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Page last updated at 20:34 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 21:34 UK

Motherwell 8-1 Flamurtari (8-2)

Jamie Murphy celebrates his opening goal
Murphy opened the scoring for Motherwell against the Albanians

Jamie Murphy grabbed a hat-trick as Motherwell hammered Albanian side Flamurtari Vlore to ease into the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

Murphy fired home after 13 minutes and Paul Slane set him up for the second before firing in the third himself.

Ross Forbes scored a penalty, Murphy fired in the fifth and Shaun Hutchinson headed in, all before the break, before Forbes fired his second from distance.

Odise Roshi drove home for Flamurtari before Robert McHugh restored the gap.

It ensured that Motherwell will face Steaua Bucharest in the next round in a week's time after the Romanians beat Hungarians Ujpest after two 2-1 wins.

New signings Steve Jennings and Chris Humphrey had been handed their Well debuts in midfield at Excelsior Stadium.

But manager Jim Gannon sprung a surprise by dropping both full-backs, Stephen Saunders and Stevie Hammell.

Jim O'Brien was on the right, with Mark Reynolds moving across to the left, with Hutchinson coming into central defence.

O'Brien, normally a winger, was under pressure early on and Marius Ngjele fired wide, while Fraser did well to block Devis Mema's shot.

However, any nerves Motherwell might have been feeling were settled with the opening goal after 13 minutes.

Paul Slane makes an acrobatic celebration
Slane scored Motherwell's second goal and set up the third

Murphy and Jennings were both denied in a frantic goalmouth scramble after Shpetim Mocka fumbled Forbes' free-kick and the goalkeeper parried John Sutton's header from a Slane corner and Murphy forced home.

Well took the lead in the tie three minutes later when Forbes sent Slane clear from inside his own half and Murphy tucked home the rebound after the winger's shot hit the post.

Slane had just six minutes to wait for his goal when he cut inside and fired just inside the post from 25 yards.

Bledion Guga clumsily pushed Sutton inside the box and the striker, who had missed from the spot in Vlore, handed the ball to Forbes, who sent Mocka the wrong way after 28 minutes.

Murphy completed his treble in the 34th minute with a low drive from 20 yards that slid through Mocka's legs.

Hutchinson diverted a Forbes free-kick just inside the post in the 38th minute and Forbes rattled home his second from 20 yards following Sutton's lay-off in the 50th minute.

Flamurtari substitute Elham Galica should given some comfort to the 50 away fans following a mistake by Craigan, but he slipped the ball wide from 12 yards.

And, although Motherwell missed a series of half chances, it was the visitors who grabbed a 64th-minute consolation when Roshi ran on to a simple through ball and slotted past Michael Fraser.

McHugh continued the goal spree in the 72nd minute when he rolled the ball into an empty net after Mocka had dropped a high ball.

Motherwell had been forced to use Airdrie's ground because of summer work required on Fir Park.

They had lost their opening game of the season there, the first leg of their Europa League opener against Llanelli, but left their neighbour's ground this time on a high.


Motherwell: Fraser, Hutchinson, Craigan, Reynolds, O'Brien, Humphrey, Forbes, Jennings, Slane, Sutton, Murphy.
Subs: Kosiorowski, Hammell, Lasley, McGarry, Page, McHugh, Saunders.

Flamurtari: Mocka, Strati, Guga, Begaj, Beqiri, Sakaj, Alviz, Zeqiri, Veliu, Mema, Ngjele.
Subs: Xhelilaj, Myrtaj, Galica, Kuqi, Merxha, Roshi, Shehaj.

Referee: Michael Lerjeus (Skovde)



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see also
Gannon hails his young Euro stars
23 Jul 09 |  Motherwell
Scots learn Euro League opponents
17 Jul 09 |  Europe
Flamurtari 1-0 Motherwell
16 Jul 09 |  Europe


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