FORMER Celtic skipper Stephen McManus netted a brilliant header as he led Motherwell to a 3-1 triumph at Ibrox in the first leg of the Premiership Play-Off Final. This was sweet revenge for Motherwell who lost on their only other visit to Ibrox to play The Rangers back in 2012.
The Fir Park side eased to victory in front of a stunned fiver a head audience whose only crumb of comfort came near the end when Darren McGregor pulled one back with a header from a left-wing corner-kick. This was followed by another round of sectarian singing which was prominent in the early part of the first half until Motherwell silenced the bigots.
Motherwell raced into a two-goal interval advantage with Lee Erwin getting the opener with an angled drive that nicked off McGregor on its way past keeper Cammy Bell.
McManus added to his team’s delight and the opponents’ despair with a flashing header from a right-wing free-kick in the 40th minute. His unstoppable effort zipped low in at Bell’s right hand corner.
Ibrox was completely silenced again shortly after the interval when Lionel Ainsworth walloped another beyond the Ibrox last line after a swift counter-attack.
Well, with former Hoops favourites Scott McDonald and Stephen Pearson in the line-up, must now be favourites to retain their top-flight status with the second leg due at Fir Park on Sunday.
It looks as though ‘The Journey’ is going to take at least one year longer than originally anticipated for the new club from Govan who were formed in 2012 after the liquidation of their predecessor club.