THE Fir Park pitch is almost unrecognisable these days compared to times gone by. It has grass on it for a start. In fact, it has been one of the best pitches in Scotland for the last few years, and groundsman Paul Matthew is clearly keen on keeping it that way.

That’s why two-goal hero from Saturday, young winger Jake Hastie, was brought down to earth with a bump as he took the acclaim from the supporters after this comfortable win over Livingston.

"The groundsman told me off for knee-sliding,” said Hastie. "He warned me: "You do one more knee-slide and you'll see what happens'. He wasn't kidding, he seemed very serious!

"I was going to do it again after my second goal but I thought better of it.

“Will I do a knee-slide again if I score? Oh, 100 per cent, I am not ruling that out.”

That youthful impudence might not go down too well with the groundsman, but the Fir Park faithful are lapping up the injection of freshness that the likes of Hastie and his long-time friend David Turnbull are bringing to Stephen Robinson’s side of late.

It was all too much for Livingston, who found themselves three down here and out of the game within 21 minutes.

The opener just a few minutes in was crafted and executed by the two youngsters mentioned, as Turnbull swung a beauty of an in-swinging free-kick onto the head of Hastie, who glanced beyond visiting keeper Liam Kelly.

The second came soon after, and this time it was Allan Campbell – who it is easy to forget is only 20-years-old himself – who threaded the ball through for Curtis Main to clip high into the net. His reaction was less of a celebration and more an outpouring of relief, with the frontman finding the net for the first time in 11 games.

Livingston tried to respond and had a couple of chances themselves, but when Motherwell goalkeeper Mark Gillespie collected a cross and quickly released the jet-heeled Hastie, the outcome was as inevitable as the destination of the points.

The 19-year-old still had a lot to do, but the visiting defenders did their best to help him out. He jinked away from one challenge before negotiating another with far too much ease, then finished well under Kelly to wrap up the game.

That makes it four wins from four in the league for Motherwell either side of the winter break, propelling them out of the lower table limbo they had found themselves in to now having a squeak at a tilt for the top six.

Fans can get carried away with such thoughts, but there is no prospect of the youngsters who have inspired the turnaround in the Steelmen’s fortunes failing to keep their feet on the ground.

"The gaffer keeps telling us that we have not made it yet and we need to keep working hard and do what we are doing,” Hastie said.

"The gaffer told me at the start of the season I wasn't ready and he let me go out in loan to Alloa. That was massive and Jim Goodwin was absolutely brilliant with me and I feel that I progressed and matured a bit as a player.

"Now the gaffer has given me my chance and I just need to keep repaying that faith that he has shown in me.

"I'm absolutely buzzing with it as it is a dream come true. I have waited for this moment since I was a wee boy coming all the way up through the youth ranks.

"The goal against Ross County in the Scottish Cup defeat gave me the confidence and belief that I could do this. 'We are on a good run and we just want to keep it going.

"We are pushing for the top six now and we want to keep winning games.”