Motherwell 0, Hibernian 1

Match Date: Saturday, December 13 2003
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 4,500
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Dair, Corrigan, Craigan, Hammell, Lasley (Quinn), Adams, Leitch, Pearson, Burns, Clarkson.
Subs not used: McDonald, Ewings, Wright, Fitzpatrick. 

Booked: Leitch.


Motherwell  0     Hibernian  1

A GOAL IN THE LAST MINUTE GAVE Hibs an undeserved winner in a game which looked to be heading for a goalless draw. Both sides had their moments and neither would have complained at a point until the late drama.

An early run form Clarkson saw him break forward and he played in Adams, though an interception from Murdock denied the midfielder. Clarkson was a bit more direct shortly afterwards when he fired in a Lasley cross though Andersson held. The visitors first show had Brebner playing O'Connor towards goal only to see Dair cut the pass out. They themselves did get much closer a minute later when Thomson cut inside to drive a 25-yard shot narrowly past though Marshall looked to have covered. A controversial offside then pulled play back. A poor clearance from Andersson fell to Adams and he sent Clarkson clear and well on-side only for the linesman to flag. Whittaker was then guilty of fouling Hammel and from the free kick Adams dinked the ball in only for Murdock to hook away. The ball fell to Pearson whose angled drive went past the far post. Brebner gathered possession and he found Brown though fortunately there was Corrigan to clear at the expense of a corner. Hibs then got a free kick 30 yards out and came with in an inch of taking the lead. Thomson found Riordan and he knocked the ball off the upright before Corrigan cleared. A blatant dive from O'Connor inside the box as Dair challenged went unnoticed by Referee Thomson. Motherwell themselves came agonisingly close to taking the lead when Lasley ran onto Clarkson's pass and from 25 yards forced Andersson to tip the ball over the bar. Pearson was the subject of a foul by Riordan which Dair played to Pearson but he could only shoot wide from the edge of the box. A cynical tackle from Glass on Lasley had the Motherwell man writhing in agony but there was no card. Marshall then took a long kick almost finding Clarkson though it was Murdock who blocked the ball behind. Adams almost took full advantage of the wind by curling the corner just past. The visitors then forced successive corners of their own only for O'Connor to hit the ball past. Scott Leitch showed great invention to find Pearson but he was blocked out by Smith. From the corner again Adams curled in a superb effort which fell just the wrong side of the side netting. 

Gordon Marshall's next kick from goal was gathered by Pearson and skipping past Thomson knocked the ball towards goal where Murdock appeared to clear. From a goal kick by Andersson the ball was played through to O'Connor who, despite being well off, was allowed to continue though Marshall came to the rescue. Marshall was then rescued by Craigan after missing a cross from Riordan. Pearson cleared long to Adams who again was wrongly flagged offside. Hibs then won a free kick after Adams was adjudged to have tripped Riordan. It was cleared by Dair and lead to booking for Smith who brought down Pearson. An important interception from Craigan denied Whittaker the chance to find O'Connor though from the corner Marshall again missed the flight of the ball but it curled out. Scott Leitch made an attempt from 30 yards though it sailed well wide. Just before the break Motherwell gained a couple of free kicks near the box but neither came to anything threatening.

Half Time     Motherwell  0     Hibernian  0

Hibs came close within the first minute when O'Connor found Riordan but he could only scuff his shot wide when in a good position. Whittaker then forced a corner off Leitch which saw Murdock head towards O'Connor who headed wide. A slip from Glass then almost presented an opening for Clarkson but Whittaker rescued his team mate. Terrific build up from Motherwell saw Lasley chip Clarkson clear and although he was clearly played on by Murdock again the Linesman came to Hibs assistance. Superb goalkeeping from Andersson kept the scoreline blank when Hammel, connecting with Lasley's pass, sent in a superb shot which was tipped over. Adams curled the corner only just past the upright. Smith was then on hand to clear the danger as Burns almost found Adams with a clever ball. Hibs gained a corner when Doumbe knocked the ball off Pearson. Hibs defender Murdock found space but also the grass behind the post as he sent the ball wide. Important play from Craigan then saw him deny Riordan making the most of a through ball. A Hibs corner was then swung in and although Murdock fouled Marshall play was waved on though Corrigan hooked the ball away. Marshall picked himself up and made an important save when Whittaker ran onto a ball from Riordan. A further Hibs corner was cleared though the visitors retained possession and Riordan's shot was blocked by Dair. The thickness of the post, which had rescued Motherwell in the first half, came to Hibs rescue when Burns connected with a slipped ball from Clarkson. A free kick was then awarded when Dair fouled Doumbe. O'Connor met the ball but sent his shot wide of the post. A break from Thomson saw him race clear though a great save from Marshall and tidy up work from Hammel ended any danger. Doumbe, fouled a minute or so previously, then dramatically hit the turf as Leitch came in and was given a free kick. Motherwell had a valid claim for a penalty denied in their next attack. 

Dair won a corner off Glass and as it came in Corrigan saw his first effort blocked then the second blocked by the arm of Murdock. Despite being well positioned, neither the Referee nor his linesman agreed with the obvious penalty decision which should have came. What Referee Thomson did do, however, was book Leitch for complaining. Riordan then broke clear but a superb block from Lasley stopped him in his tracks. An elbow from Murdock had Clarkson in agony on the turf but once again the Linesman and Referee failed to spot the obvious. Glass then conceded a corner but Hibs cleared allowing Whittaker to race up field and shoot wide from 20 yards out. Brown then played Riordan into the box but Marshall did well to block with Hibs claiming penalty as the visitor fell over the challenge. Whittaker picked up possession but Marshall recovered well to block and again the Hibs man made a dramatic fall over the outstretched goalkeeper. The ball eventually found its way to O'Connor who fired wide though a corner was given. The visitors were pressing and Murdock headed over but was awarded a corner. Motherwell made a late change, Quinn replacing Lasley though the Motherwell support were not in agreement with Manager Butcher on this one. Doumbe was then penalised for a foul on Pearson which was deflected for a corner, Adams shooting wide. Marshall made superb save from O'Connor in the next Hibs advance, but from the corner they made no mistake. The ball broke through to Riordan who first-timed a low drive beyond Marshall to give the visitors the points.

Full Time     Motherwell  0     Hibernian  1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen