Motherwell 1, Hearts 1

Match Date: Wednesday, April 7 2004
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 5,500
 
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Quinn, Craigan, Corrigan, Hammell, Dair, Adams, O'Donnell, Craig, Burns, Clarkson (Wright 87).
Subs not used: Corr, K McDonald, Fagan, Fitzpatrick.

Motherwell scorer: Clarkson (61).

Booked: None.

POINT TO PROVE

Motherwell  1     Hearts  1

MOTHERWELL KEPT IN THE HUNT For a top six place with a hard-earned point at home against Hearts. After a forgettable first-half for the Fir Parkers they vastly improved after the interval and in the end perhaps deserved a share of the spoils.

A long ball from Quinn had Gordon racing from his goals early on to deny Burns. Opposite number Marshall then had to block twice in quick succession as the visitors tried to break through. Firstly, Hartley ran onto a long ball and found Marshall there to deny him and as the ball broke Weir also had his effort palmed away. The visitors were making the play with MacFarlane finding De Vries who headed wide. Neilson then went down as Craig challenged out on the left. From the free kick Wyness cut in to shoot low though again Marshall held the effort. High feet by Kisnorbo on Adams was ignored, instead Referee Richmond decided Adams had instead fouled the Australian. The ball was played to De Vries though again he found Marshall ready to save. Another contentious free kick went in favour of the visitors when De Vries, backing into Craigan, had the Referee deciding in his favour. Berra rose to meet the ball though so did Marshall. Motherwell at last began to come out of defence with a header from Craig troubling the visiting defence, Gordon managing to beat Clarkson to the ball. Following a Hartley foul on Adams a quick free kick almost caught out Hearts though again Gordon managed to deny Clarkson. After De Vries had won a corner terrific defending from O'Donnell saw the danger quickly subside. An error from Maybury then handed a chance to Clarkson but he was forced wide and the low cross plucked to safety by Gordon. A wicked bounce saw a powerful shot from Corrigan go so wide it ended up a throw in after Stevie Craig had set him up. A pull on the jersey of Craigan by Weir went unnoticed by Referee Richmond who allowed the Hearts forward to progress. He fired in a shot from 20 yards though it went over. Attempting to clear his lines, Corrigan could only find Neilson though the shot was charged away by Craigan. He in turn found Craig but the ball for Burns was knocked out for a throw. 

There was an early change though not for either side, instead much to the amusement of both sets of fans Referee Richmond went off injured. He was replaced by fourth official Gilmour. Having seemed to have ridden the early storm Motherwell went behind to a very soft goal. A cross from the right bounced between Corrigan and Hammell and with Marshall unable to gather it was left to Wyness to knock the ball in under no pressure. A minute later Adams was adjudged to have fouled Weir. The free kick was met by Berra who forced Marshall to tip the ball over the bar. Swung in De Vries glanced a header well wide. The Motherwell defence was somewhat slack at this point with Hartley missing a chance some 12 yards out following a Wyness cross, Corrigan completing the clearance. De Vries, not for the first time, fouled Hammell though there was no free kick. Hammell then appeared to win the ball from Weir though the whistle went immediately. In came the ball with De Vries again backing in though this time he was warned for persistent fouling. Derek Adams then forced a corner though handball was given against O'Donnell. A shot from Wyness sailed over before the visitors had to make a change, Berra replaced by Severin. Teammate Maybury fired over on the angle after a foul by De Vries on Hammell was ignored. Just before the break Quinn won a corner off De Vries though Pressley hooked clear.

Half Time     Motherwell  0     Hearts  1

First action of the second half had the Motherwell fans up in anger. A late Pressley challenge had Clarkson down injured but play was waved on and it took a vital Quinn block to stop De Vries progress. Clarkson was then the subject of another nasty tackle, this time from Maybury, though incredibly Referee Gilmour decided Clarkson was somehow at fault and warned the young striker. O'Donnell challenged De Vries who collapsed in a heap with the Referee giving the free kick to the visitors. Up stepped Hartley who knocked the ball well over the bar. There was a handball waved away when O'Donnell knocked a shot off the hand of Maybury inside the box. Kisnorbo then pounced on a loose ball outside the Motherwell box bringing out a good block from Marshall. Again the keeper was on hand to deny Weir with the follow-up at the expense of a corner kick to the visitors. Severin then brought down Adams giving Motherwell a free kick some 40 yards out just inside the Hearts half of the park. Adams floated the ball in but it was too close to Gordon. Motherwell were given a free kick out on the left when Hartley brought down O'Donnell. Cleared for a throw, Hammell found Craig and his turn and hooked cross found Clarkson in splendid isolation inside the box. He accurately nodded home unchallenged to drag Motherwell level. Maybury looked to have fouled O'Donnell in midfield once play had resumed though again Referee Gilmour thought otherwise. Craigan cleared the free kick for a corner which Marshall claimed. 

Clever play involving Burns and Hammell tore the visiting defence apart but fortunately for Hearts keeper Gordon was on hand to pounce on the ball. Another change for the men from the East saw Weir replaced by Kirk. Craig and Dair then played a neat one-two with the former unable to keep his shot down. Conceding a corner, Quinn then did well to clear under firm De Vries pressure. As the ball came back in Dair was terrific in his denial of MacFarlane. Motherwell raced away but despite having advantage play was brought back after a Pressley foul on Burns. Motherwell had to defend a minute later as DeVries ran towards the box with Quinn doing superbly well to block his path. The ball ran to Maybury who drove a shot high and wide. It was the visitors turn to defend with Dair seeing his cross knocked away from Clarkson by Pressley with Gordon doing the mopping up. Hearts made a third change, Hartley replaced by Jancyzk. Although Hearts then won a corner solid defending from O'Donnell and Dair ensured the danger was averted. Marshall then did well to pluck a dangerous cross from Maybury away from the head of Kirk. A rather late off-side flag then denied Craig who looked to be well on side from Clarkson's through ball. It was Clarkson's last involvement as he made way for Kenny Wright. A late free kick went Hearts way as a hand ball against Kisnorbo was ignored in favour of an Adams challenge on the same player. However, a foul by Pressley on Craigan ended the move and soon after the match was over.

Full Time     Motherwell  1     Hearts  1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen

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