Motherwell 1, Livingston 1

Match Date: Saturday, November 22 2003
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 6,374
 
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Corrigan, Partridge, Craigan, Hammell, Lasley, Adams, Leitch, Pearson, Craig, Clarkson (Burns 70). 
Subs not used: Dair, Corr, Quinn, Fagan. 

Motherwell scorer: Clarkson (28).

Yellow Card: Clarkson.

UNBEATEN RUN CONTINUES

Motherwell  1     Livingston  1

ALTHOUGH PEGGED BACK, MOTHERWELL Kept their impressive unbeaten run up and maintained their fourth spot in the league. Despite taking the lead via a superb David Clarkson effort a late first-half leveler ensured the points were shared.

Keith Lasley had the final say in the games' first real action, firing a 25-yard shot past the post after running onto a flick from Captain Scott Leitch. Teammate David Clarkson then went on a run and sidestepping Rubio hit a shot over though Craig was clear at the back post. Livingston then forced a corner when O'Brien smacked the ball off Corrigan. A combination of Hammel and Craigan then cleared the danger with Clarkson almost making it onto a poor Kerr pass. Following an Adams challenge on Fernandez the visitors won a free kick 30 yards out. The ball was met by Hammel who picked out Craig with a superb pass. Craig carried the ball to halfway into the opposition half before being unceremoniously upended by Kerr. The free kick was cleared though as Lasley and Kerr clashed the latter came off worse in the accidental collision. Kerr, a self-confessed Motherwell fan, appeared to suffer a serious injury and was stretchered from the field with Quino replacing him. Forceful play by Pearson saw Dorado concede a throw near the corner flag. Craig burst into the box and his chip struck the arm of Lovell but there was no penalty. A lob from Fernandez then almost found Lilley though Marshall was sharp off his line. A neat one-two involving Craig and Clarkson produced an opening before Rubio brought Craig down though somehow Referee Underhill declared no foul. Fernandez went down very easily under a challenge from Adams and this time Underhill blew for a foul. Lilley took the effort and sent it well over the bar. 

What looked much more like a foul on David Clarkson by Rubio went unnoticed much to the anger of the Motherwell support soon after. Clarkson had the last laugh, however, when he produced one of the goals of the season just a minute later. Taking an Adams flick, he side-stepped two challenges before curling a superb shot from outside the box into the top right hand corner of the net. Livingston had a chance to hit back when Lasley was deemed to have fouled Fernandez. Hammel partially cleared and although Quino whipped the ball back in Lasley ensured Marshall gathered. There was a contentious moment when Clarkson went down under a Rubio challenge. Referee Underhill decided that the yellow card should go to Clarkson for an alleged dive despite Rubio's consistent fouling of the young striker. A run from Makel took him well up the park though his shot was high and wide. Motherwell swung play upfield with Craig crossing dangerously though McKenzie saved. There was a clash involving Rubio and Clarkson though again Referee Underhill allowed Rubio off. There was a booking for Lovell when he caught Craig late. Motherwell forced a corner when Corrigan made the by line. Pearson headed for goals though McKenzie held the effort. Motherwell were pegged back with seven minutes of the half remaining. Livingston forced the ball down the right and from the cross Fernandez poked the ball in the direction of Lilley who scored from 18 yards. Fernandez then almost found Lilley but Motherwell cleared. Just before the break the Fir Parkers had a corner when Rubio blocked Hammel's cross, though McKenzie did well to hold.

Half Time     Motherwell  1     Livingston  1

Motherwell were positive from the start of the second half and went desperately close to regaining the lead. Rubio conceded an early corner and although Rubio himself cleared Lasley slipped the ball through to Craig who was only an inch from connecting. A slip from David Partridge then almost let Fernandez in but Hammel did very well to cover. Terrific play from Pearson saw him find Lasley who in turn sent Corrigan wide. His cross was blocked by O'Brien and although Lasley swept in a deeper ball McKenzie was on hand to collect. Rubio went again without a card when he clattered into Adams. The free kick struck Craigan but bounced clear before anyone could pounce. Another free kick, this time against O'Brien, gave Hammel a chance to test McKenzie but he drove the ball wide of the goal. Great play from David Clarkson almost created an opening and although Rubio intercepted Craig forced him into conceding a corner. A drive from Corrigan was blocked and hooked away. Rubio surely couldn't escape a booking for much longer and just before the hour he eventually saw yellow for a late foul on Hammel. Not content with that, though, Rubio was lucky to stay on for sending Pearson flying. What looked like a good challenge soon after from Corrigan on Quino became a free kick in a dangerous position. Makel himself strode up to take the kick but sent it inches past with Marshall covering his post. Clarkson then looked to bear down on goals until he was upended by Lilley. Adams sent in the free kick but the ball drifted beyond Craig. Silky play from Lasley then saw him create space but the ball was only just beyond Craig. Motherwell then made a change, the tiring Clarkson replaced by Alex Burns, continuing his return to fitness. The ball ran loose in midfield and Makel attempted a chip from some 35 yards out and although it fell just over Marshall looked to have it covered. 

Successive fouls from Quino on Adams and the Pearson by Makel went without further punishment other than free kicks which were defended by Livingston.  Although they weren't creating much Livingston had a chance to take the lead with 16 minutes left. Makel found Lilley inside the box though under severe pressure from Craigan he knocked it wide of the post. Motherwell went agonisingly close to regaining the lead when Pearson was fouled by Andrews near the box. Hammel took the free kick though McKenzie produced an amazing save onto the post and the ball went clear. Lilley was then booked for a nick on the ankle of Craigan. The Fir Parkers did have the ball in the net with just five minutes left though Referee Underhill mystifyingly chopped the goal off. Craig held off the challenge of Rubio who was guilty of shirt pulling. Picking out Burns the striker slotted the ball home though, with the linesman flagging, Underhill disallowed the goal and incredibly awarded a free kick to Livingston. A further Livingston booking saw Quino carded for a challenge on Adams. Motherwell forced a corner and Andrews headed clear. Livingston themselves then gained a corner which Dorado fired wide. With two minutes left Stevie Hammel hit a terrific shot from 30 yards which McKenzie did superbly well to hold. Right in the last minute Stevie Craig scored but once again the linesman decided it was off side though it looked close.

Full time     Motherwell  1     Livingston 1 

Match Report by Ricky Mullen

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