Dundee 0, Motherwell 1

Match Date: Saturday, November 8 2003
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 6,374
 
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, Lasley (Wright 89), Adams, Leitch, Pearson, Craig, Clarkson (Burns 71).
Subs not used: Corr, Quinn, McDonald.

Motherwell scorer: Craig (10).

Yellow Card: Lasley.

CRAIG'S CRACKER KEEPS WELL IN HUNT

Dundee  0     Motherwell  1

A SUPERB GOAL FROM STEVIE CRAIG Took Motherwell up to fourth in the SPL after a tough battle at a windswept Dens Park. It was Motherwell's third successive away win, the first time the club had achieved it in the league for 14 years.

An early Lasley pass almost set Craig away after it deflected off Mair though Wilkie cleared. Dundee broke forward though Marshall was on hand to deny Novo a chance. Scott Leitch was then adjudged to have fouled Ravanelli giving a free kick some 35 yards out. However, a header from Wilkie was well past the post. Referee Brines then incredibly decided that a rash Wilkie challenge on Clarkson was a throw in to the home side when a free kick was in order. Ravanelli then carried the ball forward to supply Brady. He in turn passed for Linn but when in good position carried the ball out. A minute later MacKay then fired in a shot from 25 yards which angled narrowly past the far post though Marshall looked to have it covered. Keith Lasley then was left writhing in agony when he was caught late by Ravanelli but Referee Brines decided there was nothing in the challenge. Stephen Craigan then had to look sharp when he twice denied crosses into the box from Linn and then Brady. An unfortunate slip from Scott Leitch then allowed Linn to race forward but his pass to Novo had the striker caught offside. Leitch then intercepted the ball in midfield and, after beating Mair, was unlucky to see MacKay make an important challenge to stop Clarkson making it count. Clarkson, however, won possession back and although MacKay appeared to foul the Motherwell target man there was no penalty. The Fir Parkers were awarded a free kick when Brady brought Pearson down some 30 yards out. Adams fired it in and with Speroni unable to hold he had to rely on Mair to concede a corner. It was cleared as far as Lasley and the angled drive again had Speroni in trouble, having to clutch the ball at the second attempt just before Clarkson got a touch. Motherwell then forced successive corners, Craig winning off MacKay before heading again off the same player for a quick second. Craigan then saw his header strike Wilkie before being cleared. Pearson made a run down the wing and he was not only fouled by MacKay, the Dundee defender appeared to raise an arm though Referee Brines failed to spot. Dundee survived and after Linn made ground out wide he found Brady whose dangerous cross was partially cleared by Craigan. The ball fell to MacKay who drove wildly over the bar. They went much closer two minutes later when, after a soft free kick given after Partridge had challenged Novo, Ravanelli was left unmarked but headed over. There was a shout for a penalty at the other end when Mair clearly fouled Craig inside the box and being last man could and perhaps should have seen red. However, Referee Brines decided the offence not only took place outside the box but didn't as much as warrant a yellow card. With the wall not anywhere near 10 yards away Adams was ordered to take the free kick which unsurprisingly struck the wall and was cleared. 

A burst from Stevie Craig then took him up to the box but he was crowded out by the combined efforts of Mair and Wilkie. Motherwell were looking far more dangerous and again forced a corner. Sara knocked it behind and when swung in Adams found Craigan. His effort looked set to test Speroni before Mair flung himself in the road. The ball broke to Clarkson but he scuffed his effort wide of the post. The Fir Parkers were playing some really good football and after Leitch had found Lasley it took a vital Mair interception to deny Clarkson. Parson regained possession but was unable to get a cross in after a terrific run. After Corrigan had then conceded a corner to Linn the ball came out to Hammel who appeared to be brought down by Brady. The linesman, well positioned, decided it was another corner which Adams cleared allowing a break. Clarkson raced away to the opposition box but was unable to cut the ball back for the despairing Craig. Dundee responded with Mair crossing for Ravanelli though his header was well held by Marshall. Play swung upfield with Pearson making the by line and his cross for Lasley saw the Motherwell man clash with Mair. Although being fouled by the Dens defender a corner was given. Cameron then brought down Clarkson but again play continued.

Half Time     Dundee  0     Motherwell  0

The home side made a change at half time, Linn replaced by Caballero. Dundee began the second half determined to make an impression. Novo crossed for Sara but a terrific Lasley tackle stopped him in his tracks and the ball was cleared. Caballero then found Ravanelli wide but again a superb tackle, this time from Hammel, denied the home side and again the ball was hooked away. Dundee kept up the pressure with Caballero's cross nodded goalwards by Ravanelli though he was guilty of fouling Hammel and a free kick was given. Ravanelli then went down rather easily under a Hammel challenge though the free kick came to nothing. And, despite all the home pressure, it was Motherwell who belatedly made their first half play count. Motherwell worked the ball up the right and although Mackay intercepted the ball his header fell to Adams. He passed wide to Clarkson and, sending in a low cross, Craig nicked in ahead of Wilkie to give Speroni no chance at his car post. Just a minute later Clarkson broke upfield his pass to Craig met with a late flag from the linesman, though a pass wide to the clear Adams might well have produced better results. Dundee responded with a Caballero/Ravanelli combination which was only broken up by a well-timed Hammel tackle. Then Ravanelli supplied Cameron whose 18-yard shot sailed over the bar. Clarkson was buzzing about at the other end and he almost capitalised on a Mair error who recovered in the nick of time. Keith Lasley then came close when he connected with a Craig cross but could only volley over. There was a nasty moment when Hammel was injured in a collision with Caballero who appeared to go in a little high. Play continued for some time despite Hammel's obvious distress and Dundee almost scored from it. Novo went wide onto Caballero's pass and was forced to go round Marshall. Despite stumbling Novo recovered but his shot was shepherded behind by Craigan. Wilkie then clearly showed his studs in a high challenge on Lasley but again Referee Brines chose to continue play. Great work involving Pearson and Clarkson then set up an opportunity for Leitch but his cross was too deep for Craig. However, Motherwell kept up the pressure and Adams found Lasley whose effort from 25 yards had Speroni struggling but it went by the far post. 

Marshall was called into action shortly afterwards when Caballero set up Ravanelli but the Motherwell keeper got down to hold. After Adams had been fouled by Ravanelli Motherwell changed Clarkson for Burns. Adams took the free kick but the header from Partridge was grasped by Speroni. There was a booking for Keith Lasley who was unlucky to see yellow for an innocuous challenge on Cameron. The free kick came in and Wilkie headed past. A run by Caballero then took him to the edge of the box but he shot well past. Referee Brines then failed to spot a kick by Novo who lashed out at Lasley. Somehow Brines still kept his cards in his pocket, more remarkable when Wilkie sent Adams crashing to the ground. The ball broke to Burns but his 25 yard shot was charged down and booted away. A very-well timed tackle from Stevie Hammel then denied Caballero on the edge of the box. More terrific running from Pearson took him into the box but the cross was then just too deep for Burns to latch onto. Soon afterwards Pearson found Craig whose chip drifted narrowly over with Burns shouting for the ball in space near the penalty spot. There was still no card for Wilkie who flattened Burns 30 yards out. Motherwell passed up a great chance to finish the game when Pearson found Burns inside the box but his angled drive crept past the far post. Keith Lasley then had to go off injured when he was caught by a bad Cameron challenge who escaped a yellow card for reasons known only to Referee Brines. Lasley was replaced by Kenny Wright. There were an incredible 4 minutes of injury time during which Dundee had a Ravanelli free kick deflected past for a corner which Wilkie headed wide for the last action of the match.

Full Time     Dundee  0     Motherwell  1 

Match Report by Ricky Mullen

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