A disappointing performance and result looks to have ended Rangers reign as Youth League champions. Only an unlikely sequence of results can see the Ibrox youngsters reatin their crown.
Motherwell almost took the lead in the 8th minute, when a right wing cross from Peter Innes bounced of the top of Vailulis's cross bar. Four mintues later, Gordon Dick switched play from the right over to Steven Forbes on the left, he cut inside past the full back and fired a shot into the side netting.
On 18 minutes only a great save from Arturs Vailculis prevented Robert McHugh giving Motherwell the lead when he dived to his right to touch the striker's shot past for a corner.
There was a long period of midfield play and a lack of goalmouth action until the 40th minute, when Ryan Martin found himself clear on the right. Vailculis advanced and forced him wide and his effort was way off target.
A minute later Motherwell took the lead from the penalty spot, Steven Lawless broke into the box and was fouled by Darren Cole for a clear penalty, Lawless then sent Vailculis the wrong way from the spot. Just before half time Steven Coutts had to look sharp to collect a Johnathan Page headed pass back at the feet of Archie Campbell.
Halt-Time:- Motherwell 1 Rangers 0
Motherwell almost added to their lead on 51 minutes, Innes and Lawless combined on the right and Lawless's cross was met on the volley by Paul Slane, but Vailculis managed to divert the ball past. Slane threatened again 6 minutes later, a run down the left took him past two Rangers players, but his shot was blocked by a third defender.
A minute later a good run from Greg Wylde fed substitute Isa Bagci, his shot as he cut in from the right brought out a fine diving save from Coutts. Almost immediately Coutts was to deny Bagci again, this time the striker collected a long ball from Tom Miller, cut inside and again Couts dived to parry his shot, with Kyle Hutton just unable to reach the rebound.
Motherwell went straight up the other end and made it 2-0. Paul Slane was fouled out on the left 10 yards from the byline. With the Rangers defence expecting a cross, Ryan Martin played the ball back to Jordan Halsman and the edge of the box andhis effort found the net via Vaiculis's right hand post.
Rangers now looked an beaten side and only a fantastic piece of defending by Danny Wilson prevented a third goal, blocking efforts from McHugh and the rebound from Lawless. Then with ten minutes remaining it was Gregg Wylde who prevented Jamie Pollock from getting his shot on goal.
Motherwell continued to have the upper hand and the last action of the game saw Johnathan Page win the ball on the halfway line, stride forward and his 25 yard effort hit the crossbar on the way over.
A disappointing day all round for Billy Kirkwood's side who will know look to restore confidence in the remaining league games and of course the upcoming cup final against Hibs.
Full-Time:- Motherwell 2 Rangers 0
Motherwell Team:- Steven Coutts; Steven Saunders, Shaun Hutchinson, Johnathan Page, Jordan Halsman; Ryan Martin, Peter Innes (Jamie Pollock 75mins), Patrick McPake, Paul Slane; Robert McHugh (Calum Hendrie 83mins), Steven Lawless.
Not Used :- David McAuliffe, Nicky Gallagher, Mark Smith, Seb Kosiorowski
Rangers Team:- Arturs Vailculis; Darren Cole (Scott Durie 72mins), Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde; Gordon Dick (Tom Miller 55mins), Kyle Hutton, Stephen Stirling, Steven Forbes (Isa Bagci 46mins); Archie Campbell, Kal Naismith.
Not Used:- Chris Scott, Max Wright, Dylan McGeough, Grant Adam