MOTHERWELL’S rampaging run to the Betfred Cup final last season commenced with a five-goal showing at Hampden during a trouncing of Queen’s Park. A year on, the Fir Park side replicated their scoring feat with a maiden 5-0 win over hapless Edinburgh City.

The shining beacons of two finals for the Fir Park club illuminated a campaign last time out which has continued to usher in a bright new dawn at the Lanarkshire club. Not only have a new generation witnessed their side make it to Hampden, but season ticket sales continue to swell. Oh aye, and they bought a new fancy scoreboard, too.

Around 2700 Motherwell supporters were here to witness Stephen Robinson’s side romp to victory in their Group G opener, courtesy of five first-half goals including an Elliott Frear hat-trick. The half-time margin should have been much bigger if truth be told, but Robinson was understandably in a forgiving mood as he settled in post-match.

“In the first half we were dominant and it could have been more. We were very professional but there is more to come,” said Robinson.

“I had strong words with Elliott at the end of last season about what I expect from him. He has come back with the bit between his teeth and if I get that from him every week it will be hard to take him out the team.

“I have high expectations from him but I think there is more to come.”

It took just eight minutes for Motherwell to break the deadlock. Scotland internationalist Chris Cadden found space down the right as he drove to the line. A fizzed ball across the box caught City half asleep with Frear thundering in at the back post to thump the ball into the net.

Ten minutes later it was two. This time the ball broke to Richard Tait 20 yards out and, with space to pick his spot, the stand-in captain rifled a low left-foot shot in at the near post beyond the diving grasp of Calum Antell.

There was no let up for Edinburgh City as Motherwell smelled blood. The third wasn’t far away as a Curtis Main free-kick on 24 minutes was blocked by the Edinburgh wall. However, the ball fell for Frear on the edge of the D and the left winger picked his spot high in the top-left corner to put the result beyond any doubt.

The Fir Park crowd had not witnessed a hat-trick from a man in claret and amber since Louis Moult fired four past Hamilton Accies in September 2016. That drought was ended just shy of the half-hour mark. The goal was unlocked by a neat reverse pass from Cadden to Frear on the right side of the box, and the former Forest Green man curled the ball across Antell and into the far corner.

There was still time for one more before the break, and it came with seconds to spare as Main rifled a shot straight at Antell from 30 yards. The Edinburgh keeper had a howler and the ball flew from his grasp and into the net.