Motherwell 1, Rangerss 1

Match Date: Sunday, October 19 2003
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 10,824.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, Lasley, Adams, Leitch, Pearson, Clarkson, Craig (Dair 79).
Subs Not Used: Corr, Quinn, Fagan, Wright.

Motherwell scorer: Pearson (25).

Yellow Cards: none.


Motherwell  1     Rangers  1

A SUPERB PERFORMANCE FROM THE YOUNGSTERS AT FIR PARK Had the "Superstars" of Ibrox all but begging for the final whistle. After a sluggish start Motherwell finished the stronger of the teams in an action-packed match.

The visitors pushed from the start with Arteta seeing his cross cleared by Hammel. A deliberate handball by Emerson was then ignored, as was a follow-up foul on Adams allowing Lovenkrands to fire in a shot which Marshall held at the second attempt. Motherwell hit back but a well-timed long ball from Hammel had Craig racing away until a dubious offside flag halted his progress. Lovenkrands then pushed towards the box onto a Ball pass though Hammel hooked the ball away. A dangerous cross from Averladze was then dealt with by clever Craigan play though Motherwell were finding it difficult to get out of their own half. Arteta did his reputation no favours when, after seeing a run into the box halted by a superb Craigan tackle, he chose to fall dramatically to ground inside the area with a goal-kick being given. Partridge took up possession and combining with Craigan they found Clarkson but he was given offside, with Ricksen rather unnecessarily reacting. Motherwell had a terrific chance to take the lead after being on the back foot for so long. Craig pounced upon a loose ball on the edge of the box and clear on Klos he chipped the ball wide of the far post. The Fir Parkers were made to pay for that miss when they fell behind shortly afterwards. Khizanishvili chipped the ball over the defence and with play continuing Averladze clipped the ball over the advancing Marshall for the opening goal. It prompted an immediate response from Motherwell, Lasley bursting forward but his ball fell just he wrong side of Craig. A shot from Khizanishvili then sailed way over the bar. Motherwell were coming more into it and Clarkson met a pass from Adams but drove wide. Ricksen should have seen yellow when he went in late on Clarkson after the youngster and Berg had clashed near the box. Referee McDonald chose merely to warn the players though quite what Clarkson had done was mystifying. Clarkson then made progress towards the box but saw his shot blocked and perhaps would have been better served passing to Craig. There was a shot for a penalty when Pearson saw his cross appear to strike the hand of Ricksen though it was ignored. Leitch then found Clarkson and as he and Moore both clashed the visiting defender got the benefit of the doubt. A Khizanishvili foul on Adams went without punishment and as the ball broke Corrigan slipped it past. However, shortly afterwards Motherwell did deservedly draw level. Lasley saw his cross come off Berg with Pearson the grateful recipient. He rounded Klos and with defenders back and at a very tight angle he drove into the roof of the net from six yards out. 

Arteta tried to regain the lead but his 20-yard effort was well held by Marshall despite a deflection. A last-ditch tackle from Moore then denied Clarkson as he looked to link up with Craig, Pearson seeing a follow-up blocked by Emerson for a corner. Craigan met it but his free header went just the wrong side of the post. Another rather dramatic fall from Arteta won his side a free kick and although it was a foul by Adams there was no need for the Arteta theatrics. Marshall easily held the effort though. Good play by Motherwell carved open a good chance when Corrigan and Lasley combined to find Craig but his effort was well blocked by Moore. Clarkson was then the subject of a late Khizanishvili tackle giving an opportunity 30 yards out though Adams curled past. Motherwell were causing all sorts of problems for the visitors and good play between Clarkson and Corrigan seemed to have sent Adams away until a late flag pulled play back. In defence, the Fir Parkers were solid, and this was no better displayed than when a poor Leitch clearance fell to Lovenkrands and although Marshall blocked that the ball fell to Mols. Partially blocked by Marshall there was Craigan near the line to hook the ball away. Khizanishvili then had a shot deflected behind for a corner which fell to the same player. Although he looked to have shot cleanly wide this time another corner was awarded which Lovenkrands headed onto the top of the net. Despite defending well the Fir Parkers showed a touch of slackness, which almost allowed the visitors to regain the lead. Arteta crossed in for Mols who headed freely over Marshall and the bar. Rangers then had a soft free kick awarded when Khizanishvili looked to have run into Leitch. Arteta took the effort forcing a superb save from Marshall with Hammel completing the clearance. From another free kick a minute later Adams blocked the effort from Khizanishvili. Play continued with Arteta once again diving as Corrigan challenged. Just before the break Pearson made a run to the edge of the box but was blocked out with Adams wide. 

Half-time     Motherwell  1     Rangers   1

The visitors started the second half the way they had the first. Ricksen made progress down the wing finding Arteta. Although the Spaniard had his cross blocked by Corrigan then strike himself on the way past a corner was given which Partridge cleared. They came even closer shortly afterwards when the width of the bar kept the scoreline level. Arteta went clear out on the right and going past Marshall he clipped the ball towards goal only to see it strike the bar and rebound to safety. His team should have been reduced to ten men a minute or two later. Clarkson chased a ball into the box and as Klos came to collect Ricksen body-checked the striker with a high elbow. Referee McDonald chose to award Rangers a free kick some 30 yards from goal though quite why is a mystery. Mols was then very late indeed with a block on Craig though again there was the distinct lack of a card for the offence. A one-two involving Hammel and Craig saw the latter then fire past the near post. Pearson and Craig then found Adams but as he and Moore clashed the latter got the benefit of the doubt and won a free kick. Rangers broke upfield with Ricksen supplying Mols. Clear inside the box he took a touch and shot past Marshall only for more brilliant defensive work from Craigan saw the ball hooked away near the line. Terrific play from Motherwell had the Rangers defence in tatters shortly afterwards. Hammel and Craig combined brilliantly with Craig seeing his cross met by Lasley at the back post. Only Keith Lasley will know how he managed to knock the ball past the right-hand post with an open goal waiting on the ball. Emerson at the other end then drove narrowly past though Marshall looked to be covering as the ball zipped past. A burst from Stephen Pearson then took him right up to the edge of the box with two others in support but just as he was about to pull the trigger Moore came in and the unfortunate ricochet took the ball past. Two quick fouls by Khizanishvili failed to produce the expected yellow card from Referee McDonald. From the second free kick Craig found Lasley inside the box and this time the midfielder forced a brilliant save from Klos who turned the ball round the post. The corner fell to Adams but he drove over the bar. Rangers then made a substitution, Emerson being replaced by Vanoli. The first booking came, rather unexpectedly, for Ricksen though the fact it took well over an hour was surprising. Ricksen saw yellow for clattering into Pearson though the free kick was cleared. The visitors then had a free kick of their own 25 yards out when Adams was adjudged to have fouled Arteta. Taking the free kick himself it was sent well over the bar.  

Another visiting change had Lovenkrands replaced by Ostenstad. Again Khizanishvili committed a foul, this time on Pearson, but again there was no card. A Pearson cross then found Lasley but he drove over the bar. Luck ran out on Khizanishvili when he was at last booked for a foul on Pearson. Motherwell moved play to the right where Corrigan found Lasley and his cross was almost met by Craig under severe pressure from Berg. There was a nasty clash involving Ricksen and Pearson with the Rangers player somehow staying on the park after his reaction. A minute later Ricksen again was at it, late on Pearson, and his Manager hauled him off the park before he was sent off, replacing him with Capucho whilst Motherwell took Craig off to bring on Dair. The Fir Parkers had a free kick given when Ball brought Corrigan down 30 yards out. Clarkson rose above the defence but headed wide. Rangers took play back upfield with Ostenstad making the by line but Marshall equal to the dangerous cross. Dair and Clarkson then almost carved open the visiting defence with Khizanishvili only just finding Klos, and from the clearance Clarkson regained possession only for Moore to hack him down. That foul earned the Australian a yellow card. Motherwell almost got the win when Clarkson beat Moore but found Klos harder to get by when, despite a deflection, the German managed to somehow get down to deflect the ball past. Motherwell were looking likelier, and another desperate clearance from Ball denied Adams. A weak effort from Capucho failed to trouble Marshall and although Rangers forced a late, late corner, they had probably were relieved to leave the field with a point on the board.

Full Time     Motherwell  1     Rangers   1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen