Paul Quinn became the latest young gun to blossom with Motherwell as he scored his first goal for the club to floor Kilmarnock at Fir Park.
Paul Quinn (centre) scored his first senior goal
The 18-year-old central defender struck after 15 minutes, heading home from seven yards after being picked out at the back post by Derek Adams.
Kilmarnock had dominated up until that point, but Motherwell took charge thereafter in a disappointing game.
The visitors pressed after the break but failed to create clear-cut chances.
Injured defender Gary Bollan had swapped places with fit-again Steven Hammell in the Motherwell starting line-up, while Scott McDonald was given his first start at the expense of Phil O'Donnell in midfield.
Kris Boyd started up front for Kilmarnock at the expense of Rhian Dodds.
Killie started the stronger and, when Gary Locke flighted a cross into the box, Gary McSwegan tried to connect with the header only for the danger to be cleared following a frantic goalmouth scramble.
Eric Skora's corner was met by Stephen Murray, but the midfielder hooked the shot just over the crossbar.
But it was the home side who took the lead after 15 minutes.
Derek Adams did well to pick out Quinn at the back post to nod past goalkeeper Francois Dubourdeau from just outside the six-yard box.
Motherwell took control and Dubourdeau did well to hold a shot from Keith Lasley.
Gordon Greer is tackled by Motherwell's David Clarkson
Boyd went to ground following a challenge from Stephen Craigan and the young Killie striker claimed a penalty just after the break.
Martin Hardie played the set-piece short to Boyd, but the opportunity was wasted when he fired off Alex Burns and the danger was cleared.
Substitute Craig Dargo made an immediate impact when he was released by Hardie with only the goalkeeper to beat, but the assistant referee's flag was raised for offside before he could shoot.
Motherwell almost killed the game, when Hammell's free kick was cleared by McLaughlin but only to the feet of Adams, who shot powerfully just wide.
And Well managed to hold on for the win that sends them back into the top half of the table again.
Motherwell: Marshall, Quinn, Corrigan, Craigan, Hammell, Lasley, Adams, Dair, Scott McDonald, Burns, Clarkson. Subs: O'Donnell, Corr, Kevin McDonald, Kinniburgh, Wright.
Kilmarnock: Dubourdeau, Lilley, Greer, McLaughlin, Hay, Skora, Locke, Hardie, Murray, Boyd, McSwegan. Subs: Dindeleux, Fowler, Dargo, Nish, Meldrum.
Referee: D McDonald