Motherwell 2, Dunfermline 2

Match Date: Tuesday, November 25 2003
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 4,220
 
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Team (4-4-2): Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, Lasley, Leitch (Dair 48), Adams, Pearson, Craig (Burns 59), Clarkson. 
Subs Not Used: Corr, Quinn, Fagan. 

Motherwell scorers: Pearson (68), Corrigan (90).

CRUCIAL POINTER FROM MARTYN

Motherwell  2     Dunfermline Athletic  2

A LAST-GASP EQUALISER FROM MARTYN CORRIGAN Gave Motherwell a richly deserved point at Fir Park. After pounding the visitors for the entire second half it looked like a lost cause until Kaiser Corrigan nodded home in the final minute of injury time.

Gordon Marshall was called into action early on when he had to tip over a Thomson free kick after Adams was adjudged to have fouled Brewster near the box. Then McDermott chipped forward looking for Crawford only to find Partridge alert, and he headed safely into the arms of his own keeper, Marshall. Motherwell had taken a bit of time to get fully into the game and their first move almost paid dividends. Adams found Clarkson and with the visiting keeper well out of goals the young striker tried an audacious effort from well wide and the ball went narrowly past the near post. Lasley then played Craig through and after shrugging off Wilson his shot deflected off Thomson and fell beyond Clarkson to be cleared. The Fir Parkers had fully waken and kept up the pressure. Pearson to Craig and his effort struck Nicholson before spinning behind for a corner. Tod conceded a second before Thomson headed clear just as Pearson looked set to pounce. Stillie then came to the visitors aid with a great save. After Darren Young had flattened Pearson 10 yards out from the corner flag Craigan met the free kick and headed for goal only to see Stillie tip over. Hammell had his effort then blocked allowing Dunfermline to break. Crawford crossed deep to wards Tod but there was Craigan to hook clear. Brewster then made the by-line and his cross in was met by Hammel at the expense of a corner. For Motherwell's early pressure they were made to pay from the corner. Nicholson crossed in and as the defence hesitated Thomson tried a shot. It was blocked and although Brewster then knocked it onto a post the ball eventually fell for Crawford who swept the ball home. Motherwell should have had an attempt at levelling right away when Craig was bowled over by Tod near the box but play was waved on. Keith Lasley picked up possession and playing Corrigan wide the cross was met by Pearson who saw his header knocked away by Wilson virtually on his own goal line. 

Tod again then fouled Craig and this time it was a free kick though Thomson cleared his lines. Motherwell were looking a little uneasy at the back and the visitors carved another opening when Darren Young made the touch line to find Crawford but his effort went over from 16 yards. Play swung upfield with Motherwell forcing another corner. Adams rose but was beaten to the header by the alert Wilson. Teammate Stillie then made another superb save to keep his side ahead. Adams fired in a 25-yard shot which the former Aberdonian keeper parried with Mason conceding a corner. That feel to Pearson but his shot struck Craigan and was cleared. The Fir Park fans were up in arms when Referee Freeland decided a slip by Darren Young as Clarkson broke away merited a foul for Dunfermline. The first booking of the match came for persistent fouling when Brewster was carded after backing into Craigan. Wilson and then Nicholson had to look alert to clear crosses from Hammel and Adams before Tod fouled Craig to give away the free kick. Derek Adams took it but sent the ball wide. An error from Scott Leitch then gave Nicholson a chance though he was unable to capitalise. However, slack defending a minute later saw the visitors take an unlikely two-goal advantage. Thomson sent a free kick towards Tod and his flick found Crawford. He struck the post but Brewster followed up to double the score. It was Brewster's last involvement as he left following an accidental clash with Craigan, replaced by Mehmet. 

Half Time     Motherwell  0     Dunfermline Athletic  2

Motherwell had to make an early change after Scott Leitch went down after a midfield challenge with what looked like a serious shoulder injury, his place taken by Jason Dair. Dunfermline attacked for what was to be a rare occasion in the second half, Wilson almost finding Crawford though Corrigan cleared the danger. Racing forward David Partridge then tried a shot from some 35 yards out and although it was over the bar it showed the renewed determination of the Motherwell side. Clarkson burst out of the midfield area but finding Pearson he was unable to take advantage. The young Clarkson again found Pearson well on side but the stand side linesman decided to wrongly raise the flag for what was never offside. After Derek Young had fouled Lasley thirty yards out Adams saw his free kick deflected behind for a corner by Mason. Cleared to Crawford he lost possession to Lasley but was rescued by Referee Freeland who awarded his side a free kick. Motherwell made a second change, bringing on Alex Burns for Stevie Craig. The visiting goalie then made a further terrific save when he denied Pearson, the ball spilling to Thomson who desperately hooked clear. Pearson again gathered the ball and his dipping effort went just past the far post. The Motherwell midfielder then turned supplier ending Adams wide. His cross was partially cleared by Wilson to Dair whose shot went past. 

Motherwell kept Dunfermline penned back with Corrigan supplying Pearson though he couldn't hit the target. After a rare breakaway from Tod was extinguished by Craigan Motherwell did haul themselves right back into the game. Pearson took advantage of a poor clearance to race towards the box before unleashing an unstoppable shot into Stillie's left-hand corner. The visitors were wavering and only desperate defending was keeping Motherwell out. Pearson and Clarkson played a one-two on the edge of the box with a last-ditch Wilson tackle to the rescue. Burns and Pearson then combined to set up Lasley and his 18-yard effort drifted only an inch or so past with Stillie beaten. In an effort to turn the tide Dunfermline took off Derek Young and brought on Dempsey, it didn't work. Great play from Dair saw him find Corrigan but the cross was nodded behind by Wilson. Craigan met the corner but could only head wide. Alex Burns then broke clear on the left and his hanging cross fell only just beyond Dair who surely would have hit the target. Burns then did well to find Adams and as he jostled with Darren Young he appeared to quite fairly win possession. However, Referee Freeland decided it was a Dunfermline free kick and enraged Hammel and Clarkson so much both were shown the yellow card. A further visiting change saw McDermott replaced by Casonte. Terrific goalkeeping from Marshall saw him send a pinpoint goal kick fully 70 yards right to the feet of Corrigan. Crossing for Clarkson it took a crucial interception from Thomson to stop a shot on target. Craigan kept the pressure up by finding Clarkson and the striker chipped the ball into the box only to see it strike the and of Wilson but there was no penalty. Taking matters into his own hands Stevie Craigan then strode forward from defence to fire in a piledriver from fully 30 yards out which only cleared the cross bar by an inch or so. Dunfermline's response was a turn and shot from Crawford which was well, well wide. It was all hands to the pumps for Dunfermline as Motherwell pressed continually for an equaliser which eventually came. Casonte fouled Pearson giving Motherwell a free kick 20 yards out. Adams first effort went wide though a re-take was ordered after encroachment by Mehmet who was booked. The second take was deflected behind for a corner which Wilson nodded onto his own crossbar and over. This time the corner was met by Martyn Corrigan who expertly nodded beyond Stillie and into the net to sent the Motherwell support wild. Full time came just 30 seconds or so later, and Motherwell got the point they so deserved.

Full Time     Motherwell  2     Dunfermline Athletic  2

Match Report by Ricky Mullen

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