Livingston 1, Motherwell 0

Match Date: Saturday, August 16 2003
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 5,316
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, Lasley, Burns, Leitch, Pearson, Wright Craig 88), Clarkson.  
Subs not used: Corr, Quinn, McDonald, Kinniburgh.

Yellow Card: Hammell


Livingston  1     Motherwell  0

MOTHERWELL SUFFERED A SECOND SUCCESSIVE DEFEAT To remain pointless near the foot of the Premier League. Although the performance was a distinct improvement on the previous week there was little cheer up front for the travelling support. 

The Fir Parkers were first to show and a Hammel long ball was only just ahead of Clarkson after Wright had similarly been just inches behind a Leitch pass. The home response saw Pasquinelli force his way into the box but high feet on Craigan stopped his progress. Livingston then got a free kick when Wilson went down after a Partridge challenge; the ball finding it's way to O'Brien whose woeful effort was wide. O'Brien and McGovern then combined to force a corner off Partridge which was cleared. Motherwell broke forward with Pearson and finding Wright the cross was plucked from just on the line by Main. The travelling fans were outraged when Partridge looked to have found Clarkson clear but a very late off side flag was raised. Wilson then combined with O'Brien for Livingston but Lasley was on hand to halt the danger. Motherwell won a free kick 30 yards out when McNamee was guilty of climbing all over Pearson. The ball was swung in by Leitch but Rubio hooked it away. A loose ball in midfield was then pounced upon by Wright and feeding Leitch the shot sailed well over.  Motherwell had a strong claim for a penalty denied when, after Pearson had knocked the ball off McNamee for a corner, Craigan looked to have been fouled by Pasquinelli but play was waved on. The Fir Parkers kept up the pressure and after a free kick for a foul on Wright a corner sent near post by Lasley was desperately booted away by Rubio. The home fans howled for a free kick when Burns caught Wilson late but the Referee decided to warn the former Livingston man.  

Some tight defending almost let in Clarkson who was an inch away from intercepting passes between Main and Andrews. Some very clever play from Corrigan saw him slip past O'Brien to set up Clarkson but the header drifted past the far post. O'Brien recovered to slip a pass in for Pasquinelli but Craigan was on hand to concede a corner which Marshall confidently took. Soon after McGovern fired in a 25-yard shot which sailed past. Livingston came closer when McGovern crossed low to Wilson whose shot was cleared by Craigan on the six-yard line. Motherwell replied with Wright, who was having an impressive debut, turning inside McNamee and although Rubio cleared McNamee had to knock the ball behind. As the corner came in Craigan flicked the ball on but Main denied Clarkson, with Livingston response seeing Pasquinelli supplying Makel whose shot hit the side netting with Marshall covering. Marshall's' opposite number Main was then rescued by Referee Thomson who decided what looked like a fair challenge from Clarkson was a foul. . The home fans were celebrating what they thought was a goal when, after a soft free kick as Pasquinelli made the most of Craigans' challenge, Wilson drove into the side net. Motherwell were then caught out when O'Brien took advantage of slack defending to fire in an angled drive which Marshall did well to hold. A very late Rubio challenge on Clarkson should have seen yellow but a free kick was all Referee Thomson decided to award. Burns fired in a low shot but Main was equal to the effort. The Fir Parkers then came very close when, after a free kick award for another foul on Clarkson, Hammel's shot struck the cross bar and although Main appeared to touch the ball on it's way over there was no corner. Just before the break a long clearance from Main found McGovern whose shot was well blocked by Marshall with Craigan completing the clearance.  

Half Time     Livingston  0     Motherwell  0 

The home side started the second half the more positive with Pasquinelli breaking into the box. His low shot rebounded from Marshall and Wilson was unable to take advantage as he ran the ball out of play. McGovern the found Pasquinelli on the edge of the box and his turn and shot resulted in the ball sailing over the stand. Motherwell were struggling to break out of their own half with any menace and a run from McNamee caused concern until Hammel shepherded the ball out. A second penalty claim for Motherwell was then denied and this looked even more likely than the first. A high ball into the box saw Wright clearly fouled by McNamee but again Referee Thomson failed to spot despite being well positioned. There was a flashpoint when Pasquinelli looked to have pushed Scott Leitch in the face and although Referee Thomson spoke to the Livingston striker he kept his cards firmly in his top pocket. Good passing play from Motherwell had Livingston stretched but again a very late offside flag denied Clarkson who looked to have sprung the trap perfectly. Livingston made the games' first change when Whitmore was replaced by self-confessed Motherwell fan Kerr, on loan from Newcastle.  

Motherwell pushed forward and Andrews just managed to cut out Burns on a mazy run. The ball was cleared to Pearson and he fed Lasley but the goal-bound shot was well cut out by Andrews. The first yellow card of the game came for perhaps the weakest foul awarded mid-way through the second half. Hammel and McGovern clashed out on the flank and although it perhaps was a soft foul at best the decision to book the Motherwell man was mystifying. Hammel partially cleared the ball and as it was returned Wilson saw his header held by Marshall.  Motherwell then forced successive corners but they came to nothing. The Fir Parkers then had Livingston stretched when a terrific long ball from Partridge found Wright but the cross was headed over the bar as Pearson stole in. Another change from Livingston had McGovern replaced by Lilley. Wright then again caused problems as he surged forward and although McNamee blocked the cross there was no corner given. There was a lucky escape for Kerr when Referee Thomson decided his tug on Leitch did not merit a card. A moment of humour came when a wag in the crowd announced an over-cooked Toastie pass had given Wright no chance. However, there were few smiles from the Motherwell fans a minute or two later. After Wilson had seen his shot held by Marshall the home side made no mistake with their next attack. Pasquinelli evaded the Motherwell defence wide on the left and hiss cross was headed beyond Marshall by the unmarked Lilley. Referee Thomson then looked to have made up his mind not to book any home player when Andrews looked well guilty of a bookable foul on Pearson but wasn't booked. Motherwell tried to fight back but the home defence held firm, no more so than when Wright and Pearson exchanged a clever one-two only for Rubio to read the move and clear the danger. Motherwell made a late change when Wright was replaced by Craig but it was too little, too late and the home side held on. 

Full Time     Livingston  1     Motherwell  0

Match Report by Ricky Mullen