Scottish League Cup: St Mirren held by Spartans, Motherwell hit five

Scott Maxwell (left) celebrates making it 2-0 to Spartans in Paisley
Scott Maxwell (left) celebrates making it 2-0 to Spartans in Paisley

Spartans held St Mirren to a 2-2 draw before the Premiership hosts saved some face with a second successive Scottish League Cup shootout success.

The Lowland League side led 2-0 thanks to Jason Stevens and Scott Maxwell but the Buddies hit back through Stephen McGinn and a Danny Mullen penalty.

Blair Atkinson was the only player to miss in the penalty showdown, giving the hosts a bonus point.

In the other Group H match, Dumbarton beat Queen's Park 1-0.

Calum Gallagher scored the only goal from close range.

Spartans also took a point from the Sons in a goalless draw at the weekend and came close to a major upset in Paisley despite the absence of manager Dougie Samuel, who is recovering from a heart attack.

"We defended with our lives and hopefully the gaffer is smiling back in the house," Spartans coach Derek Riddel told BBC Scotland.

"Certainly our blood pressure was high in the dugout but I am delighted for the players and the manager."

There was some controversy about the sixth-minute opener from Stevens since referee Alan Newlands overruled an offside flag.

But there was nothing contentious about the visitors' second as Maxwell clipped the ball into an unguarded net to send the 71 visiting fans in a crowd of 1,430 wild.

St Mirren captain McGinn reduced the deficit with a fierce shot, while Mullen converted a penalty after a foul on Ryan Flynn as Alan Stubbs' team piled on the pressure.

Last season's Championship winners, who won this competition in 2013, held their nerve from the spot, as they did against Kilmarnock last week, with Atkinson blazing his effort over the top.

Motherwell enjoyed a comfortable victory at home to Edinburgh City
Motherwell enjoyed a comfortable victory at home to Edinburgh City

But manager Stubbs took precious little comfort from the outcome.

"You have to be fair to players and give them opportunities, but it is up to them to take those opportunities," he told BBC Scotland. "When they look at tonight, there are a number of players who haven't taken their opportunity.

"The only positive I could take is we have managed to come through on penalties again and still have a chance to qualify."

Elliott Frear scored a first-half hat-trick as Motherwell enjoyed a 5-0 victory over Edinburgh City in their opening Group G match at Fir Park.

And there was a treble for veteran striker Stephen Dobbie as he scored all of Queen of the South's goals against Clyde.

Dobbie, who managed two goals at weekend in a 5-3 win over Stranraer, headed in his first from a Michael Doyle delivery early in the second half.

The 35-year-old shot home a second soon after and completed the scoring with a break from the halfway line.

All of Motherwell's goals came before half-time, with Frear tapping in from a fizzing Chris Cadden cross before Richard Tait fired in a low shot.

Frear curled in a delightful second on 25 minutes and added another soon after after a neat exchange with the impressive Cadden.

Curtis Main got in on the act with a well-struck drive from outside the area before the match fizzled out in the second half.

Results

Group G

Motherwell 5-0 Edinburgh City

Queen of the South 3-0 Clyde

Group H

Dumbarton 1-0 Queen's Park

St Mirren 2-2 Spartans

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