Partick Thistle 1, Motherwell 0

Match Date: Sunday, December 7 2003
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 4,127
 
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Corrigan, Hammell, Partridge (Wright 78), Craigan, Pearson, Leitch (Dair 67), Adams, Lasley, Burns, Clarkson.
Subs Not Used: Ewings, McDonald, Fagan.

Booked: Lasley.

LACKLUSTRE 'WELL HAND THISTLE FIRST WIN

Partick Thistle  1     Motherwell  0

A SLACK, DISPIRITED EFFORT FROM A DISAPPOINTING MOTHERWELL Gave Partick their first win of the season, and saw Motherwell's recent fine run consigned to memory. 

Partick began on the offensive with Partridge having to do well to cut out a Mitchell pass to Grady. The home side came close when Milne's header fell invitingly for Grady but he completely fluffed his shot although the linesman's flag was up in any event. A run from Pearson saw Motherwell advance though Murray cut his progress short. Marshall then had to deal with a low shot from McBride which skidded along the turf. Grady was next to test the Motherwell defence, but he was expertly dealt with by a fine Lasley clearance. More fine defending from Corrigan then stopped Milne connecting with a Ross cross, but it was alarming the way Thistle were coming at Motherwell. The Fir Parkers won a free kick when Milne blatantly pushed Corrigan wide on the right. Adams whipped the ball in but it deflected off Whyte into the arms of Arthur. A very late tackle from Milne should have seen him carded but Referee Brown chose to merely warn the player. Motherwell were coming a bit more into things and Adams forced a corner as Murray had to knock behind. Clarkson gathered but was tackled allowing Partick to break. Grady raced to the edge of the box but fired wildly over the bar. Another late tackle, this time from Mitchell, had Hammel in agony but there was not even a stop in play this time. The Fir Parkers came close when Burns found Pearson and his cross was deflected narrowly over the bar by Whyte. The corner came in from Hammel but was held by Arthur. Grady was then extensively spoken to by Referee Brown after a rash challenge on Pearson and although Grady continued to mouth off at the official there was no yellow card. Grady continued to flout the law when he rather unnecessarily carried through on Gordon Marshall after the Goalkeeper had already taken the ball, Brown completely uninterested. 

Motherwell pushed upfield with Clarkson forcing a corner. Adams met this and it took a vital header away on the line from Whyte to keep the scoreline blank. Keith Lasley was then on hand defensively to deny Mitchell meeting Milne's cross. As the corner came in Mitchell took a bit of a dive to which Referee Brown merely smiled. The home side came very close when, from a corner, Madaschi had a free header but could only find the arms of Marshall. Not so safe where the hands of Arthur who took two attempts to gather a cross form Corrigan though there was no one on hand to take advantage. Grady then made the by line in attack and it was Craigan who nipped in ahead of McBride who looked set to strike. Motherwell were still giving alarming amounts of space to the Thistle players though the home side gained an unlikely corner when Grady's cross sliced off the bar and over, Referee Brown deciding to give a corner. Grady continued to complain but there was still no yellow card for his clear dissent. Near half time Pearson found Lasley and his cross was met by Clarkson who forced a great parry from Arthur. The corner came in but Referee decided that Arthur dropping the ball was the equivalent of a free kick. Just before the whistle a quite shocking high foot from Whyte on Lasley should have seen him walk but again slack Refereeing saw a yellow being produced.

Half Time     Partick Thistle  0     Motherwell  0

After the break Motherwell came out determined to take the game to their hosts. Great work from Pearson saw him dispossess Murray and find Clarkson though Murray recovered well to block. Pearson the found Lasley and although he appeared to cut the ball back from just inside the by-line the poorly positioned linesman guessed incorrectly it was out. Despite this Thistle came closest in the early exchanges of the half. Hammel had to concede a corner ahead of Grady which Murray, in space, could only head wide. A well timed chip from Lasley then looked to have sent Pearson away but again the linesman called it wrong. Hammel was then adjudged to have fouled Mitchell when it looked like a clean tackle some 25 yards out. Partridge headed behind and from the corner the home side took the lead. Leitch partially cleared but McBride, whose first effort fortunately broke back to him, made no mistake form 20yards with his second attempt. Motherwell tried to strike back, with a free kick given when McBride brought down Pearson. Whyte cleared to Lasley but he shot wide. 

The Fir Parkers then carved out a chance when Cragain's long ball found Hammel but the pass to Pearson ended with a shot which Arthur gathered. Scott Leitch became the first sub, replaced by Jason Dair. Lasley was fouled by Madaschi and then Whyte flattened Clarkson for what should have been his second yellow but neither were booked. With seventeen minutes left the Fir Parkers passed up a great chance. Corrigan leapt on a Madaschi slip but cutting the ball back Adams chose to take a touch and then swept the ball well over form 12 yards. Dair then cut in a great ball to the centre of the box but no one was on hand to challenge Whyte who just booted the ball out of play. Motherwell then took off Partridge to bring on the attacking Kenny Wright. Another foul by Whyte on Clarkson gave Motherwell a free kick but the Fir Parkers could not take advantage. Some of Thistle's time wasting bordered on the disgraceful, with Arthur in goals the biggest culprit taking almost a minute with each goal kick. Although Thistle did attack on occasion they seemed content to sit on their slender advantage. Lasley did well to make the by line and his cross was met buy Dair though the outstretched leg of Murray deflected wide, though Clarkson, who completely mis-kicked, should have buried the ball in the back of the net. Thistle broke up play with two pointless substitutions in the final couple of minutes, McBride replaced by Howie and Mitchell by Rowson. In the last minute Hammel was booked for a soft challenge on Milne which was quite ironic given Milne's previous hefty challenges. Thistle held on to give Motherwell another disappointing day.

Full Time     Partick Thistle  1     Motherwell  0 

Match Report by Ricky Mullen

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