Motherwell 1, Celtic 1

Match Date: Wednesday, May 12 2004
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 7,749.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Corr, Quinn, Corrigan, Craigan, Hammell, Fagan (Fitzpatrick 69), Lasley, Burns, Dair, Scott McDonald (Wright 84), Clarkson (Kevin McDonald 86) .
Subs not used: Reid, Higgins.

Motherwell scorer: Clarkson (64).

Booked: none.


Motherwell  1     Celtic  1

FAR FROM A FAN'S FAVOURITE AT FIR PARK, John Rowbotham gave another awful performance to deny Motherwell a win over the visitors. Aided and abetted by his linesmen, some questionable decisions denied the Fir Parkers a victory they looked like taking.

Former Motherwell man Lambert slipped early to allow McDonald in. He fed Burns but there was Mjallby to clear. His teammate Pearson then slipped a ball through for Smith only to see Corr gather low. The surface was proving tricky and the normally reliable Craigan lost the ball to Pearson though the cross from McGeady was hooked away by Corrigan. Lambert sent Wallace wide soon after but his cross was well taken by Corr. For the first of many times during the match Lambert was very late with a challenge on Clarkson, and as if to set precedence Rowbotham completely ignored it. Pearson picked up possession and sent a long ball for Beattie who was beaten in the chance by Corr in goals. McDonald went down in agony after a Lambert scythe with a free kick the only award. Lasley chipped towards Clarkson but the ball ran through. Clarkson was then the subject of a nasty Smith challenge with play continuing as Rowbotham played advantage, though once lost he failed to even warn Smith. 

Motherwell won a corner when Dair saw his cross strike Smith, and as it came in Clarkson was adjudged to have fouled Smith though it looked tame. Lambert again had a go at Clarkson and once more the result was play on, Clarkson eventually getting to his feet. Jason Dair won another corner and although this came to nothing Motherwell thought they had taken the lead moments later. Dair played Craigan wide and his cross in was nodded on by Clarkson to McDonald who headed home. The offside flag went up but it was difficult to see why. Beattie enraged the home support when he clearly dived over the feet of Corr but received no booking. Great work from Clarkson then saw Lennon dispossessed and despite a neat lay off to Burns the shot was poor. A good turn from Burns found Dair soon after but the cross was cleared from Clarkson. The visitors replied with a run from Wallace finding Smith who headed well wide, though in the build up a late nick by Miller on Hammel went unnoticed. Paul Quinn was adjudged to have fouled Wallace 30 yards out and from the free kick Craigan attempted to clear. He was caught in possession by Miller but made a quite superb recovery to clear. Terrific play from Lasley earned Motherwell a corner which was quickly followed by another though Mjallby hooked the ball away. A rare Celtic corner came when Miller knocked the ball off Fagan though Corr held firm. Lasley's ball into the box then had Mjallby and his keeper Marshall in collision with McDonald close in attention. Marshall through the ball behind to receive treatment though once done Rowbotham curiously allowed the Keeper to play the ball from hand. Just before the break a brilliant tackle from Lasley denied the ball reaching Beattie from Millers' pass.

Half Time     Motherwell  0     Celtic  0 

The visitors began the second half on the attack. Pearson found Wallace who couldn't beat Quinn but won a corner. Partially cleared Pearson then headed towards goal but there was Corr to take. Motherwell quickly responded with a chance of their own. Fagan and Burns combined to set up Clarkson on the edge of the box but his shot was somewhat sclaffed wide by the young striker. Lambert had waited a while before his next late, late challenge but it duly arrived with Clarkson again the recipient, although there was the unusual outcome of a free kick in Motherwell's favour. That tackle was nothing compared to the ridiculous one Miller carried out on Corrigan moments later. It was sheer good fortune Corrigan managed to evade it otherwise serious injury would surely have occurred, with Corrigan reacting understandably angrily to the challenge. However, Rowbotham clearly bottled this one and only yellow carded the midfielder. Scott McDonald was causing all sorts of problems and he did well before seeing his shot cleared by Lennon. Picking up possession was Pearson who passed to McGeady though Corr held comfortably. A vital stop by Smith prevented Clarkson finding Burns at the expense of a corner though Marshall held this when it came in. Running from deep was Smith though he was stopped by Hammel with Craigan completing things. A good break forward from Dair carried him towards the box only for his cross for Clarkson to only find Mjallby. A minute later, however, Motherwell took the lead. 

With the visitors static Quinn played Burns wide. Crossing low there was Clarkson to expertly slot home to open the scoring. It was no more than Motherwell deserved, but it took a crucial stop from Hammel to cut out Miller's ball to Beattie soon after. Motherwell broke forward and although McDonald beat McManus to the ball Lennon rescued his team. Miller then fired in a shot from outside the box which took an awkward bounce up, Corr reacting well to direct it behind for a corner. Pearson got in a header which Corr punched wide. Injured a few minutes beforehand Sean Fagan had to be replaced by Marc Fitzpatrick. The Fir Parkers were still looking dangerous and a McDonald flick almost found Clarkson. Lasley's long ball then had Mjallby scrambling the ball away from the snapping Clarkson. Quinn then made headway into the box but Marshall just recovered. A minute later Quinn timed a long ball perfectly for Clarkson to go clear, though the East Stand Side Linesman decided otherwise. Celtic passed up an opportunity to level when Wallace crossed for Miller and setting up McGeady he drove wildly over. Motherwell should have wrapped the game up with thirteen minutes to go but passed up a great chance. Hammel raced into the box but Lennon conceded the corner. Swung in Dair found Craigan and his header was blazed over by Clarkson just six yards out. Motherwell were made to pay soon after. Fitzpatrick conceded a corner which Beattie nodded home somewhat unchallenged. However, Motherwell nearly regained the lead through an unlikely source. Quinn saw his cross curl off McManus and drift inches over the crossbar. Wallace then made space down the wing to cross where Corr held. Scott McDonald was subbed soon after in place of Kenny Wright, before Clarkson made way for Kevin McDonald. A third booking for the visitors came when McManus tripped Wright out wide. Cleared to Hammel his dinked cross was nodded goalwards by Burns though Marshall held. 

Full time     Motherwell  1     Celtic  1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen