Motherwell 0, Aberdeen 0

Match Date: Monday, January 3 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 7,948.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Corr, Corrigan, Hammell, Partridge (Kinniburgh 48), Craigan, Paterson (Fitzpatrick 21), McBride, Leitch, Foran, McDonald, Clarkson.  
Subs Not Used: Ewings, Burns, Quinn, Wright, Fagan.

Booked: Leitch.


Motherwell  0     Aberdeen  0 

AFTER A FAIRLY EVEN FIRST HALF, MOTHERWELL Failed to take advantage of an improved second half and the game ended goalless. Both team shad their chances, but in the end neither could find the final touch to take the game. 

It was the Fir Parkers who shone firstly, Paterson ran onto McBride's' pass to cross deep but Foran could only head over Leitch then looked to have won fairly from Diamond and sent Clarkson clear but Referee Brines somehow deemed the challenge unfair and awarded a free kick. Paterson then crossed for Foran to play in Clarkson but the far side linesman declared the ball out and Clarkson's shot was somewhat pointless. The Referee further enraged the home fans and players when he deemed a McDonald cross a goal kick despite the linesman flagging for a corner, as the ball struck Anderson on it's way past. Motherwell were on top, and Clarkson forced a corner which clever pressure. The ball fell to Paterson and his shot was also deflected behind. This time, however, Foran could only shoot over the bar. The Fir Parkers kept up the pressure, and Corrigan's forward ball found Clarkson. He looked to have won fairly from McGuire but again Referee Brines decided it was a visiting free kick near their own box. After Anderson had fouled Clarkson, Motherwell lost possession and the visitors broke forward. Mackie ran onto a pass from McNaughton and was foiled by a fine save from Corr. Moments later Corr again was on hand to deny Clarke as he attacked a through ball. It looked like Clarke had put the ball behind himself but a corner was given and this time Craigan booted the ball well out of danger. Motherwell were forced into an early change when Paterson was subbed with an injury to be replaced by Marc Fitzpatrick.  

The visitors again came close when Corr was on hand to deny Heikkinen who had met a cross from Hart. Aberdeen won a corner when Partridge was forced to concede, but the header from Diamond once a second had been given was over the top. Heikkinen brought Hammel down 28 yards out, and it was only by a matter of inches than McBride's effort crept past the post with Esson well beaten. A loose ball outside the Motherwell box presented Foster with a chance but his turn and shot troubled no one. Anderson's bad challenge on McDonald gave a free kick to Motherwell, but again the Fir Parkers lost possession and allowed the visitors to break. Foster broke and crossed to Mackie who could only head over with only Corr to beat. Scott Leitch pounced next on a loose ball in midfield and his chip fell just beyond McDonald who was clear on Esson. Lucky to escape a booking was Heikkinen who was late on Clarkson but as play c continued Mackie went down very easily as he was pressured by Leitch and this was declared a free kick. Richie Foran looked to have won a corner when his pressure had Diamond knocking the ball behind but again Referee Brines decided otherwise. After Hart had won a corner for Aberdeen, Motherwell won the ball back and broke with force. Leitch found McDonald but his chip couldn't beat Esson. Aberdeen then pressed and Corr again was on top, blocking from Foster close in after Clarke had set him up. Just before the break Corr did superbly well to block Foster at the expense of a corner. As this came in, Corr was fouled and that was the last play of the half. 

Half Time     Motherwell  0     Aberdeen  0 

Not long into the Second Half, Motherwell were forced into a further change when Partridge limped off with a groin injury to be replaced by Kinniburgh. McDonald and Clarkson then teamed-up to open up the visiting defence and it took a crucial block from Diamond to concede a corner. Cleared, the visitors then made a change once play had stopped, Foster replaced by Craig, much to the dislike of the home support. Indeed, the Motherwell fans continually booed Craig who had made some unnecessary comments pre-season when moving North. A brutal kick by Mackie on Craig brought the game's first booking, though the Aberdeen man could count himself lucky it was only yellow. A speculative shot from Morrison then went way wide. Clever work from Foran denied Morrison on the break at the expense of a corner-kick and although Heikkinen got in the header Corr parried well behind. From this corner, Corr did the needful and gathered. Motherwell were looking sharper, and as McDonald found Foran his neat shot found Esson in top form. Motherwell should have made the breakthrough when Foran and McDonald combined to set Fitzpatrick clear out wide but his shot on the angle was saved by Esson. Upfield Kinniburgh was adjudged to have fouled Mackie though from the free kick Anderson headed over the top of the bar. Aberdeen then made a change with Mackie replaced by the other former Fir Parker, Adams. He, too, was greeted with less than complimentary remarks by the home support. Although Diamond then conceded a corner under pressure from Clarkson the visiting defence cleared their lines. Another change from the visitors had McGuire replaced by Muirhead.  

For Motherwell, Fitzpatrick passed up another change when he chose to shoot rather than head a cross from Clarkson and sliced the ball wide. McBride then crashed to the ground under a crude McNaughton tackle which earned the Dons man a yellow card. Motherwell were creating the better openings, and form Leitch's long ball Foran found Clarkson but he mis-kicked and the chance went a-begging.  McGuire was lucky to escape a card when he was late on McBride, play was waved on until seconds later Hart sent Foran crashing to the ground but there was no card here either. From the free kick Diamond hooked away. Referee Brines enraged the home fans and players further when, after McBride looked set to break forward, he stopped play with McNaughton down with a leg knock. From the bounce-ball Adams forgot all suggestions of fair play and was very aggressive in the challenge. This had repercussions when, minutes later, a very bad challenge by Morrison on McBride saw a melee ensue. Morrison was very fortunate to stay on the park, receiving just a booking, whilst Referee Brines, who had lost the plot by this time, also booked Leitch for his part in trying to separate players. With a minute left on the clock, a long Craigan ball fell to the normally dependable McDonald but, lacking match practice, he wasn't his usual sharp self and could only scoop the ball into the arms of Esson. Aberdeen forced a couple of late corners and after Foran cleared, from a second, Corr did superbly well to block a low Clarke shot. As time began to seep away, Foran found McDonald but he instantly found himself surround and he was crowded out. 

Full Time     Motherwell  0     Aberdeen  0 

Match Report by Ricky Mullen