Kilmarnock U20s performed the ultimate smash and grab against a nine-man Motherwell outfit in an action-packed Scottish FA Youth Cup quarter-final at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.
The home side came from behind twice but it wasn’t enough as the Ayrshire men progressed to the semi-finals of the competition in a tie that was unfortunately shrewd in controversy as the Steelmen went down to nine men in dramatic circumstances.
The game could’ve been over in the first ten minutes had the Fir Parkers taken their chances earlier on in the game. A ball to the back post had Jasko Keranovic in the Killie goal beat but Jordan Armstrong and James Scott of Motherwell were unable to turn the ball in with Scott smashing a header off the crossbar, a let off for the visitors.
Motherwell had the opportunity to get on the scoresheet again when youngster Jake Hastie played an inviting ball across the box to Shea Gordon, but he was unable to get a touch to turn it goal bound.
Despite the Motherwell’s early chances it was Kilmarnock who would go ahead, Alexander Samizadeh, who caused the Motherwell defence all sorts of problems throughout the game, broke free from Dylan King before managing to smash his shot in off the post just after fifteen minutes which was followed up by an impressive acrobatic celebration.
The game seemed to have calmed down after the Killie goal as both teams looked to create chances but it would be the same scoreline as the teams went into the changing rooms for halftime.