Ross Forbes continued his impressive Europa League goalscoring record to give Motherwell a deserved, but slender advantage against Breidablik last night.
Despite slow starts to both halves of the second qualifying round clash, Motherwell dominated against a side sitting top of the Icelandic league following 11 matches.
Forbes missed one of several decent first-half opportunities created by the hosts, who survived two scares in the opening moments of the second period.
But the midfielder, who netted three goals in six European games last season, found the net from 20 yards in the 62nd minute.
The visitors struggled at the back at times, although their young forward line showed enough glimpses of ingenuity to suggest they will pose a threat in Iceland next Thursday.
The breakthrough came after just past the hour when Stevie Hammell returned the ball to Forbes following the midfielder’s half-cleared, right-wing corner.
The 21-year-old immediately cut inside before his curling effort just evaded Smith, but nestled inside the far post.
l ROBERT Bayly came off the bench at Tallaght to score an injury-time equaliser against Israeli outfit Bnei Yehuda and keep Michael O’Neill’s Shamrock Rovers dreaming of a place in the next stage of the Europa League.
Bayly fired home in the 92nd minute for Rovers after his initial strike from former Linfield and Derry City man Thomas Stewart’s cross smashed off Billy Dennehy and came back to the substitute, who scored from the tightest of angles.
Substitute Omri Afek Haftke had opened the scoring for the visitors in the 26th minute.
It was a miserable night for Dundalk, however, as they went down 6-0 against Levski Sofia in Bulgaria.