Rangers 1, Motherwell 0

Match Date: Saturday, January 17 2004
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 48,925
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Quinn, Corrigan, Craigan, Hammell, Lasley, Adams, Leitch (Bollan 86), Dair, Clarkson, Burns (Scott McDonald 74).
Subs not used: Corr, O'Donnell, Kinniburgh

Booked: Hammell.


Rangers  1     Motherwell  0

A LATE, LATE EFFORT FROM Rangers condemned Motherwell to a twelfth successive defeat at Ibrox. With a no-score draw on the cards Arveladze popped up with just eight minutes remaining to steal the points for the home side.

Good pressing from Lasley and Clarkson had Vanoli and Moore under all sorts of pressure but the latter was just able to clear his lines. A slip from Quinn then allowed Lovenkrands to run into the box and his cut back fell just beyond Capucho with the return ball from Khizanishvili drifting behind. Motherwell were awarded a free kick 35 yards out when Adams was fouled by Malcolm but gave away possession giving Namouchi a chance, his shot was well parried by Marshall and hooked away. A one two involving Averladze and Capucho saw the Georgian fire well over on the angle soon after. A very close off side call by the linesman then had David Clarkson angry when he looked on chasing a Hammel through ball. Burns and Hammel then combined and weren't far off finding Lasley. As the home side broke Leitch looked to have won cleanly from Arteta but Referee Thomson decided otherwise. Motherwell cleared their lines and broke upfield with Leitch forcing a corner off Vanoli after clever Lasley play. Hammel swept in the corner and Craigan was angry he didn't do more with his header other than send it wide. The Fir Parkers came close shortly afterwards. After a foul by Lovenkrands on Lasley the ball was played forward by Hammel to Adams. He dinked a shot round his marker but also just inches beyond the far post. Averladze gathered possession and almost found Arteta in space, Craigan doing superbly well to stop the pass. A nasty Malcolm challenge on Clarkson should have seen the first yellow of the game; the Referee concluding a free kick was sufficient. 

Lovenkrands received the ball soon after and made progress into the box, his effort being hooked away on the six-yard line by the alert Corrigan. Spaniard Arteta then fell all too easily as he jinked past Quinn then met up with Craigan, the Motherwell centre-half sweeping the ball away. A body check by Khizanishvili, right under the nose of the Referee, somehow went unpunished a minute later with Clarkson taking time to recover. Capucho then played in Namouchi but Marshall was equal to the shot, making a competent stop. Referee Thomson then rather bizarrely booked Alex Burns for simply placing the ball at a free kick after Vanoli had tried to steal 20 yards, a word of warning surely would have been sufficient. Lovenkrands sent the ball in but Corrigan cracked it well away from danger. Martyn Corrigan showed his strikers how it was done by racing forward before firing in a shot which, although blocked by Moore, fell to Burns though he dragged his effort wide of the mark. Adams was then left writhing in agony following a rash Khizanishivili challenge but again play continued. Moore then had to look sharp to deny Clarkson at the expense of a corner though the take from Adams was cleared. A soft looking free kick ended the danger when Moore went down as Clarkson looked to be winning possession, though seconds later Moore clattered into the striker with play failing to stop. Keith Lasley regained possession and sent in a shot from 30 yards which went over. A long ball from Craigan then almost caught out the home defence, as Burns threatened Moore just found Klos who desperately blasted the ball away. From the throw Leitch appeared to win back possession with a well-timed tackle on Arteta but the dramatic tumble of the midfielder convinced the Referee to award a free kick. Fellow Ibrox man Moore then saw yellow when he took out Clarkson on the wing. Motherwell failed to take advantage and it was Vanoli who took a shot from outside the visitors box but sent it way wide of the post. Just before the break Dair conceded a corner which Moore could only head over the bar.

Half time     Rangers  0     Motherwell  0

The home side began on the offensive with Lovenkrands nipping by Quinn but also running the ball behind for a goal kick. Burns was alert to the kick from Marshall and he found Hammel, though Khizanishvili managed to nick the ball to Klos for clearance. His team mate Malcolm decided to try his luck from 25 yards though this went well over the cross-bar. Two decisions then angered the Motherwell players and fans alike. Firstly, Dair looked to have cleanly won the ball from Averladze but Referee Thomson declared it was a foul. Seconds later blatant dissent from the Georgian, right in front of the Referee, was completely ignored when a yellow surely should have been shown. Terrific goalkeeping from Gordon Marshall kept the scoreline blank when Arteta found Averladze and his effort brought out the best from the Motherwell keeper. Motherwell broke upfield with Clarkson winning a corner. Between Arteta and Capucho they were able to work the ball clear. Namouchi then conceded a corner to Dair and although cleared to Leitch his shot wasn't too far beyond the near post. Motherwell were beginning to worry the home defence and pushed up to gain another corner. Hammel gathered the partially cleared ball and his curling shot nipped past the far upright. Malcolm was very fortunate not to see successive yellows when he firstly was very late on Leitch then showed dissent by kicking the ball away downfield. A home change saw Arteta replaced by Nerlinger. Team-mate Lovenkrands then made his way into the box but Hammel did very well to clear. Khizanishvili was next to attack though his ball to Malcolm saw it's next resting place in Row Z of the stand behind the goals. Another change came when Malcolm bizarrely went off to cheers from the home and away support to be replaced by Mols. 

Keith Lasley required treatment after he was caught late by Capucho but recovered after the Physio's visit. A slack pass back from Khizanishvili was only just smashed away by Klos as Burns almost nicked in. Burns then went down with a knock but he also recovered. Fir Park defender Hammel made progress upfield and found Leitch but with a shot on the midfielder chose to pass to Clarkson and the chance was gone. Mols then won a corner off Corrigan but Leitch was on hand to clear. Nerlinger decided to try his luck but he shot well wide. Motherwell made a change with Burns making way for Scott McDonald. He was adjudged to have fouled Khizanivshvilli though it looked doubtful, though the free kick was played long and out of play by Namouchi. Another soft free kick went the way of the home side when Mols crashed to the ground when Craigan won the ball. The free kick this time found it's way into the box but Corrigan did well as Capucho hovered. Averladze then at last saw yellow when he showed yet more dissent, and whilst that should have been followed by a red had he been correctly booked in the first half, it was his first booking of the game. That counted dramatically a minute later. A loose ball in midfield by Leitch was seized upon by Capucho, and, exchanging passes with Averladze, played the ball out wide where Averladze managed to chip beyond Marshall for the only goal of the game. It was hard on the Fir Parkers, and they tried to hit back. McDonald was fouled by Moore and the quickly-taken effort from Hammel was caught by the alert Klos. Motherwell then took off Leitch and placed Gary Bollan on for his debut, whilst the home side took off Namouchi in place of Ross. Right on the whistle Motherwell won a corner off Moore, though Craigan could and perhaps should have done better than to head behind.

Full Time     Rangers  1     Motherwell  0

Match Report by Ricky Mullen