Motherwell 1, Hearts 1

Match Date: Saturday, September 27 2003
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 5,888.
 
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, Adams, Leitch (Fagan 83), Lasley, Pearson, Clarkson, Craig.
Subs Not Used: Dair, Corr, Quinn, Wright.

Yellow Cards: Clarkson, Leitch.

CHEAP DISPLAY BY RICH REFEREE

Motherwell  1     Heart of Midlothian  1

CHARLIE RICHMOND ONCE AGAIN Endeared himself to the Motherwell faithful with another pathetic display of inconsistent whistling at Fir Park. His bungling gave the visitors an equaliser when they least deserved it though home keeper Gordon Marshall will also want to forget that one.

The early attacking play came from Hearts. Stamp found De Vries who was denied by the alert Craigan. The Tynecastle men then got a free kick when Stamp slipped but Referee Richmond decided to stop play. Stamp himself took the effort but sent it well wide. Martyn Corrigan then looked to have dispossessed Hartley fairly but not in the eyes of the Referee who awarded another free kick. The ball came in and despite De Vries fouling Hammel play continued and the ball was cleared. De Vries then played the ball in to Kisnorbo who looked to test Marshall until Craigan intercepted. Craigan played a superb long all for Craig to run on to until a very, very late flag stopped him. There was a nervous moment in the home defence when a mis-hit back pass from Craigan saw Marshall just clear in time. Motherwell gained a free kick when Pressley pushed Craig over though from 30 yards out it was a poor take. A minute later Webster sent Craig crashing to the ground and despite a clear show of dissent Webster remained cardless. It took a superb piece of goalkeeping from Moilanen to deny Hammel whose free kick looked to be racing in. Motherwell were screaming for a penalty after De Vries bundled Craig over but the Linesman rescued Hearts with an off side decision. Pearson was next to be fouled but there was again no stoppage in play, indeed, Referee Richmond decided Hearts should get a throw. A clear handball by Wyness right in front of Richmond was ignored and the striker went on to see Marshall hold his shot. Derek Adams then required treatment after being caught by Hartley's elbow in midfield. Hearts incredibly got the free kick, however, which Severin smacked of the wall and to safety. Gordon Marshall had to race from his line soon after as Wyness looked to connect with De Vries.  

The first booking of the match came rather unfortunately for David Clarkson. His challenge on Kisnorbo was hardly worthy of a stern warning but despite the Australian's persistent fouling he looked up to see Clarkson receiving a yellow. There then followed fouls by Kisnorbo on Clarkson and De Vries on Adams but this time the cards stayed in the pocket of the Referee. Following a further Kisnorbo foul on Clarkson, for which there was still no card, Motherwell took the lead. Adams stepped up to drive a low shot through a ruck of players and beyond Moilanen into the net near the half hour. What looked like a bit of a dive won Hearts a free kick when Kisnorbo went dramatically down under Hammel's challenge. Corrigan cleared the free kick before Stamp saw his effort whacked away by Partridge. From their next attack Hearts won another free kick when Severin went down. Hartley drove off the wall and Leitch cleared. Motherwell broke up field and Clarkson looked to have been brought down by Maybury though this, Referee Richmond decided, was not a free kick. Clarkson did test Moilanen from an Adams pass soon after though it was a good save. Still to see yellow was Kisnorbo and his latest challenge saw Pearson fouled. Motherwell should have doubled their advantage when Craig pounced on a loose ball but with options either side he drove wide. And moments later an even better chance went a-begging. MacFarlane conceded a free kick which, was eventually returned by Lasley. As the ball came whizzing across Pearson struck out a leg but could only divert the ball wide with the goal gaping. Again it was Kisnorbo to escape a booking when he caught Craig. The ball broke with Stamp and Leitch going for it. The Motherwell man won the ball cleanly but the Referee enraged the players and fans alike by awarding a dangerous free kick as well as booking Leitch. It was a shocking decision, made all the worse when Hartley drove his shot in to see Marshall fumble it into the net to send the sides in level just seconds later.  

Half-time     Motherwell  1     Heart of Midlothian   1

Motherwell had an early opportunity when Clarkson dispossessed Pressley but unfortunately for the Fir Parkers he collided with Craig allowing the ball to be hooked away. De Vries then forced a corner buy Craigan was on hand to clear this. Marshall then looked to make up for his earlier slip by tipping a Wyness shot on to the post a moment or two later and he was on hand again to take a dangerous cross from Severin. Motherwell should have been awarded a free kick right in front of goals when Clarkson was used by Pressley as a climbing frame but as play continued Leitch saw his snap shot held by Moilanen. Hearts then made a change, Hammil for Hartley. Visiting teammate De Vries then received a talking to when it really should have been a yellow card for yet another foul on Craigan. Fellow Fir Parker Clarkson then made ground to supply Corrigan and his shot was desperately blocked by Maybury before being cleared. Kisnorbo's luck ran out when he was at last booked for tugging away at Pearson's shirt. Pressley cleared as far as Lasley and although he saw his shot blocked Craig was denied by Moilanen. A deliberate case of handball gave Motherwell a free kick though De Vries once again got away without a booking. Leitch fired the ball across the box but with only a touch needed there were no takers. As with Kisnorbo, it was out of luck time for De Vries when he at last saw yellow for persistent fouling. Pearson got on the end of the free kick but headed wide of the target. In the next Motherwell attack Clarkson cleanly struck the ball off Pressley for a corner but the Linesman somehow failed to spot. Hearts did get a corner which De Vries, despite fouling Craigan, was allowed to fire just over. Stamp of Hearts was next in the book for a foul on Hammel. Play did continue for a period until Motherwell had won a corner and then Referee Richmond, in a rare moment, pulled play back to book Stamp. Webster cleared as far as Craigan whose header went wide. Some clever play from Keith Lasley saw him gain ground but his cross was too deep and the chance gone. 

Martyn Corrigan was then adjudged to have fouled Hammil. Severin took the free kick and drove it well wide. Stamp was then lucky not to be sent off when, after fouling Pearson and conceding the free kick, he decided to react further though the Referee decided not to act. Hammel made the by line but saw his cross punched away by Moilanen. Hearts reaction was a shot from Severin then a De Vries header that troubled only the ball boys. Severin and Leitch then clashed in midfield with the Hearts man guilty of some quite shocking dissent, constantly ranting and raving towards Leitch with Referee Richmond deciding to ignore. Play continued with Stamp firing a ball across the box and out of play. Hearts then made a double change, Wyness and De Vries replaced by McKenna and Weir respectively. Hearts then won a corner when Craigan had to knock the ball behind under severe pressure. Webster headed this well over. Derek Adams then played the ball off Severin and despite being well on side to collect Clarkson was wrongly flagged off. Webster then sent Clarkson crashing to the ground but was on hand to head the free kick to safety. Motherwell made a change soon after, Leitch replaced by Sean Fagan. As play continued Kisnorbo was again late on Pearson but this was ignored. Severin then fouled Clarkson who received the free kick but saw Webster tackle to concede a corner which Kisnorbo cleared. In the last minute a superb save from Gordon Marshall kept a point at Fir Park. Stamp took possession in midfield and fired in a 25-yard effort which was brilliantly turned over.

Full Time     Motherwell  1     Heart of Midlothian   1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen

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