Motherwell manager Graham Alexander hailed a near perfect day after sending 2,000 returning supporters home on a high following a ride on the Fir Park “rollercoaster”.
Well came from two down at half-time to beat Queen of the South 3-2 in the Premier Sports Cup as some of their fans returned to the stadium for the first time in 500 days.
Alexander said on a video on his club’s Twitter account: “It was great with the supporters being here. We took them through the Motherwell rollercoaster for their first game back.
“Coming out the tunnel, it seemed like there was 10,000 there with the noise. The goosebumps appeared right away as soon as we came out the tunnel because I stayed indoors right up to kick-off.
“We are delighted to send them home happy because it was a big day for us as a club.
“It’s almost the perfect day. Being a manager and an ex-defender I would rather not concede two goals but, apart from that, a brilliant day.”
It looked like being an anti-climactic return for the fans at half-time after Ruari Paton netted twice in the final five minutes of the first period.
The striker netted from close range before his deflected 20-yard strike beat Liam Kelly.
But Tony Watt gave the hosts a lifeline in the 49th minute when he forced the ball home from close range and Motherwell turned the game on its head inside three minutes.
Ricki Lamie headed home following a short corner in the 72nd minute before substitute Kaiyne Woolery netted the winner from 15 yards.
“The players deserved to win,” Alexander said. “I thought we were the dominant team in the first half apart from two lapses in concentration.
“Apart from that we just needed to up the tempo a little bit in our pressing and passing.
“The first half became a little bit too easy for us in possession, we got too relaxed and let our guard down defensively. That was a sharp lesson for us. But second half we made our dominance pay.”
The victory means Motherwell will win Group F on Wednesday if they beat Lanarkshire rivals Airdrie.