Motherwell 3, Partick Thistle 0

Match Date: Saturday, February 28 2004
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 5,800
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Quinn, Corrigan, Craigan, Hammell, Lasley, Adams, Fagan (Kevin McDonald 74), Burns (Wright 90), Scott McDonald (Craig 66), Clarkson.
Subs not used: Corr, Kinniburgh.

Motherwell scorers: Hammell (11), Clarkson (52), Adams (80).

Booked: Adams.


Motherwell  3     Partick Thistle  0

MOTHERWELL MADE IT THREE WINS IN-A-WEEK With this comprehensive victory over previous bogey team Thistle. After a fairly even first half there was no doubt about the result after the interval as the Fir Parkers eased to victory.

A long kick from goal by Gordon Marshall had Milne struggling to clear under pressure from Scott McDonald within the first few seconds. However, Thistle broke upfield via Gibson who found Britton and his cross in was knocked down by Ross into the path of Rowson who shot past the far post. Poor defensive work by Rowson then gifted Motherwell a corner. Played short by Fagan to Hammel the defender sent an angled drive which Arthur held. Shortly afterwards Hammel and Clarkson were involved in a neat one-two and after a lay-off to Burns he in turn found McDonald whose shot was blocked by Arthur then eventually held. Milne then conceded another corner to Motherwell. Britton cleared to Adams but his volley went wide. The opener was delayed for just a minute though. Lasley superbly nutmegged Ross who pushed the Motherwell man illegally. From the free kick on the edge of the box Stevie Hammel sent an unstoppable curling shot way over Arthur and dipping under the bar. The visitors attempted to hit back with Grady finding Britton but he headed wide under good Corrigan pressure. Grady collapsed in a heap and had to be taken off injured to be replaced by Cadete. Upfield Scott McDonald almost took advantage of a loose ball to drive towards goal only to find Arthur on hand to save. A great long ball from Fagan saw McDonald get in behind the visiting defence but his cross was too deep. Cleared to Lasley he slipped the ball through to McDonald who was wrongly flagged offside. 

Adams was then adjudged to have fouled Mitchell though Quinn expertly cleared the free kick. It was then Adams turn to have a shot on goals but he saw his 18-yard strike blocked by Murray and cleared. Rowson picked up possession for the visitors and finding Britton, looking way offside, he slipped the ball to Gibson whose cross was way wide. A cross from Gibson then had Craigan with no option but to concede a corner as Cadete hovered. However, as the corner came in, and much to the amusement of the Fir Park support, Britton's attempt at an overhead kick was somewhat ineffective to say the least. Clarkson broke upfield and although Hammel was tackled by Gibson the ball broke to McDonald whose chip was just too near Arthur. A terrific piece of defending from Craigan then stopped Cadete going on to test Marshall shortly afterwards. Hammel was then adjudged to have fouled Gibson. The free kick saw an attempted clearance from Craigan strike Britton who quickly controlled the ball before driving it on the angle beyond the far post. The visitors were still trying to get on level terms. Cadete passed to Gibson though Craigan made the interception for a corner which Marshall took. Quickly sending McDonald away he almost found Burns though again Arthur was quick of his line. A ball from Gibson saw Corrigan and Cadete clash and although it looked like the latter had clearly fouled Corrigan play continued and Marshall was on hand to clear. Gibson then forced a corner though Burns hooked away. A second corner soon followed though this time Marshall gathered. Motherwell then almost doubled their advantage. McDonald and Clarkson combined to set up Lasley and his angled drive was only inches past the far upright. The Thistle response saw a shot from Rowson go well over. Britton was lucky not to see yellow for a body-check on Burns soon afterwards. Just before the break McDonald won a corner. Cleared to Quinn his drive was parried by Arthur and as McDonald looked set to pounce a late offside flag ended the move.

Half Time     Motherwell  1     Partick Thistle  0

In the first move after the break Marshall was quick off his line to deny Britton who rather unnecessarily flicked out a leg after the keeper had already caught the ball. Rowson was then late on Adams but there was only a free kick awarded. Near the home corner flag Burns and Rowson challenged for the ball. It broke for Burns but Referee Thomson decided a free kick to Partick for reasons known only to himself. Marshall punched out but Rowson returned the ball to Britton whose header was easily held. Motherwell all but sealed the game with a somewhat controversial goal a minute later. Adams chipped the ball through for McDonald. The flag stayed down, and spotting Clarkson inside his low cross was headed home for the second though there wasn't a great deal of complaint from the visitors. Corrigan conceded a corner as Thistle attempted to hit back. Britton saw his header deflected wide but was so incensed at a goal kick being awarded he was booked for dissent. David Clarkson then forced Madaschi into an error and played in McDonald but as Madaschi tried to clear the ball struck McDonald's arm and he was unluckily stopped by the Referee's whistle. A foul by Fagan on Britton gave Partick a free kick 35 yards out. Madaschi climbed all over Craigan but play continued until Milne ran the ball out. Craigan was then adjudged to have fouled Britton. Craigan himself knocked the free kick behind for a corner which again Milne weakly crossed behind. A long ball from Madaschi then found Britton whose angled drive was well turned over by Marshall. The visitors took the unfortunate Milne off to replace him with English. Once the corner came in Marshall took it easily. A rather convincing fall by Cadete then ensured Derek Adams became Motherwell's first booking for three games. Britton was next to fall dramatically to the ground as Adams challenged though this time Referee Thomson was fooled only enough to award a free kick. 

Motherwell then made a change, McDonald having run his socks off to be replaced by Stevie Craig. Adams must have been wondering if he should make any more challenges as his next, quite clearly winning the ball from Britton, saw a free kick given to Partick. Ross crossed in, Craigan partially cleared, and Rowson sent a shot way over the bar. Motherwell then replaced Sean Fagan with Kevin McDonald. Teammate David Clarkson then went on a run which took him to the edge of the box but Murray was there to block his progress. Again the tireless Clarkson raced upfield and his cut back found Lasley but with Burns clear he chose to slip the ball to Clarkson who was flagged offside. Motherwell were threatening a third, and they got it with ten minutes left. Craig pounced on a loose Ross pass in midfield. Advancing he found Clarkson, and a first-time cross was expertly slotted home by Captain Adams. To compound the Partick misery a further visitor was booked, Gibson carded for flattening Adams. Former Celtic man Cadete then ran down the wing and his cross was missed by Britton. Ross returned the ball and Britton fired well over. Still Motherwell looked more likely with Clarkson finding Adams but his shot was blocked by Rowson. An English foul on Lasley gave Motherwell a free kick which Craig headed goalwards only to see Arthur save. Twice in a minute runs from Adams saw him cross just inches beyond the unmarked Clarkson. Just on time Burns left to be replaced by Kenny Wright.

Full time     Motherwell  3     Partick Thistle  0 

Match Report by Ricky Mullen