IF ever the blind faith of the football fan was rewarded, it was at Fir Park yesterday. If you are Motherwell supporter, that is.

It is commendable that so many of those who would have witnessed the first meeting between these teams this season, a 1-1 draw back in October that was bordering on a crime against humanity, never mind football, turned up again to witness round two. If you hadn’t have known, you would have sworn it was two different teams you were watching.

From Motherwell’s perspective, this was a welcome development, as the new brand of football that manager Stephen Robinson is playing with his talented youngsters at the heart of it ripped the visiting defence apart in the first half to give them their fourth league win on the spin.

A double from the outstanding Jake Hastie either side of a Curtis Main goal had the Steelmen home and hosed midway through the first half.

For Livingston, the solid base that they built their early season form has now melted into a soft centre that Motherwell exposed far too easily to condemn them to their fifth loss on the bounce. And for all the perceptions that they have had a great season to date while Motherwell have toiled, this win moved the teams level on points in the Premiership standings.

“I’m happy with that but, in truth, I think we’ve played better this season and lost,” said Motherwell’s hard to please manager, Stephen Robinson. “Any game against Livingston is going to be a battle but we outfought them today.

“And, now we’ve brought in players with that bit more quality at the top end of the pitch, that made a difference. Gboly Ariyibi, Jake Hastie and Curtis Main were excellent.

“The young boys have no fear – they’re not frightened of anybody and they give us a real freshness. Jake is like a new signing for us and he will improve.”

It took just six minutes for Motherwell’s young guns to combine to open the scoring. Richard Tait was fouled wide on the left, allowing David Turnbull to put a peach of an inswinging free-kick onto the head of Hastie, who glanced beyond Liam Kelly and in.

It wasn’t long before it was two, and at last, Main ended a barren run of 11 games without a goal as he latched onto Allan Campbell’s through ball and dinked the ball over Kelly with all the confidence of a man who had been banging them in on a weekly basis.

Livi were almost handed a quick lifeline as Declan Gallagher fired a cross in that Tait could only deflect towards his own goal from close range, but Mark Gillespie showed good reflexes to avert the danger.

Remarkably though, Livingston were out of it moments later, as Motherwell bagged their third and Hastie his second with just 21 minutes on the clock.

The young winger latched onto the ball just inside the Livingston half, outmuscled two weak challenges before slotting home.

Gary Holt had seen enough and made a triple substitution at the break, with the Livingston manager admitting afterwards that he could have taken any one of his 11 off.

It made little difference to the game. Motherwell should have scored again as Hastie broke forward and played in Main. With Kelly out of his goal, the striker rolled the ball back for Campbell whose shot was headed off the line by Gallagher before Kelly somehow blocked Hastie’s follow up.

Livingston passed up one or two opportunities, and Scott Tiffoney did crack the post in the last minute, rather summing up the visitor’s day as the ball bounced to safety.

“We need to get back to the basics of what’s got us the success we’ve had rather than us all going out and thinking we can go and play football," said Livi boss Holt.

“You take it on the chin, it’s a man’s game and that’s what I’ve said to them - it’s a man’s game and it’s a harsh world that we are in."