Dundee 2, Motherwell 1

Match Date: Saturday, February 12 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 5,746.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Quinn, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride, O'Donnell, Leitch, Paterson (Foran 70), McDonald, Hamilton (Clarkson 87). 
Subs Not Used: Ewings, Wright, Fagan, Kinniburgh, Fitzpatrick.

Motherwell scorer: McDonald (40).

Booked: None.


Dundee  2     Motherwell  1

DESPITE HAVING THE BULK OF PLAY, And also the much larger slice of chances, poor finishing and a couple of errors at the back saw Motherwell drop further points at Dens Park. Indeed, the tally of shots on target, 14 to Motherwell and just 4 to Dundee, said it all.

The game had barely begun before Motherwell ripped open the home side and should’ve taken the lead inside 60 seconds. Soutar, who was to have an inspired game, blocked from McDonald close in and as the ball ran to McBride it was Smith who somehow denied McBride. Dundee broke away with McManus though the cross-failed to find any takers. Wilkie then cut out a clever ball from Leitch in the direction of the on-rushing O’Donnell. It was all Motherwell, and Soutar did well to hold a deflected McDonald effort. Hamilton would feel he could’ve done better when heading a Quinn cross wide on the angle. Hammell played the ball forward to Paterson and his cross was deflected behind for a corner. Cleared to Hammell he drove over the top. Still the Fir Parkers pressed, McDonald and McBride combining for Paterson but as he and Sancho collided the ball ran to Soutar with a free kick being given. Soutar again came to his team’s rescue when he denied McDonald before Barrett cleared. There was controversy when Wilkie appeared to pull back McDonald and as last-man he would have been sent off, but the Referee waved play on and McDonald eventually lost out. Leitch robbed Caballero in midfield and found Paterson but his shot again failed to beat Soutar. A slip by Hammell then gave McManus a rare chance but his shot on the angle was wide. Hammell then took play forward and McDonald’s lay off saw Hamilton drive over the bar. The home response was a shot from Lovell which went high and wide. Terrific play from Jim Hamilton found Paterson but he was blocked out for a corner. McDonald laid off to O’Donnell but he hit a shot over. 

Sancho for Dundee had a glimpse of goal but instead sent a 25-yard shot behind. A loose ball saw McBride pounce on it and playing a neat one-two with Hamilton was clear on Soutar but again a fine save saw the ball go for a corner. The home goal again escaped when McDonald found Hamilton but he couldn’t keep the shot on target. Again Soutar saved his side, firstly in a one-on-one with O’Donnell and as the ball broke Hamilton saw his effort similarly parried and eventually cleared. However, the pressure eventually told, and Motherwell did indeed take a fully, if delayed, deserved lead. Leitch played McDonald in with a fantastic ball and he gave Soutar no chance with a neat finish. A very late tackle by Smith on Paterson should have carried a yellow, but Referee MacKay decide a free kick was sufficient. McBride curled this one over the bar. Then a Hammell long ball saw Sancho bring McDonald down in another last-man situation, but again the Referee waved play on. Dundee broke but Craigan did well to deny Lovell. It was completely against the run of play, and a shock to all, when the home side managed to level near half time. Caballero played the ball forward for Lovell and as everyone hesitated the home striker kept going and beat Marshall from an angle. Motherwell still had a chance to go in ahead, Wilkie conceded a late corner but Paterson sent the ball over the top.

Half time     Dundee  1     Motherwell  1

The home side came out a transformed side after the break, and as Caballero got a break his angled 16-yard shot was blocked and hooked away. Caballero then found Lovell who headed over from a good position. Motherwell resumed on the attack, and Quinn forced a corner. Hamilton saw his header strike the bar and as it bounced down McDonald was deemed to have fouled as he gathered. McDonald then took on the role of provider as he fond Paterson and the cross in was met by Hamilton, but he should have done better than to head wide with the goal gaping. A long ball from Lovell saw McManus create trouble but good work from Quinn cleared. Just a minute later, however, Motherwell went behind. Caballero sent Lovell wide and as he cut inside Quinn the defender managed to block. However, the ball broke for Lovell not once but twice and he managed to score. Motherwell were stunned, and next Fotheringham shot from 25 yards though Marshall held firm. On the hour mark Motherwell had a firm penalty claim denied when Wilkie clearly flattened McDonald in the box. There was still only the one team who looked like winning, but they were still behind. Hamilton headed on to McDonald but Soutar held the effort. 

A cross form Paterson was then met superbly by Hamilton only to see Soutar somehow parry the 20-yard shot, with McDonald given off-side following-up. Paul Quinn played McDonald to the by line but his fierce low cross was well held. A clearance from Marshall then clearly struck Lovell on the arms but as the Referee waved play on the Dundee man lofted the ball over the bar. McDonald was sent flying again by Sancho but there was still the absence of a yellow card. Soon after, Jim Paterson made way for Richie Foran. He was immediately involved but Soutar was equal to the shot. Another corner arrived when Sancho cut out Quinn’s cross. Play swung upfield and Craigan conceded a corner though Hammell hooked it away. O’Donnell broke upfield with the ball before being hauled to the ground by Fotheringham, and again for reasons known only to the Referee he decided not to book. Hamilton was then taken late by Lovell but play continued. Racing from goal Marshall did well to deny McManus connecting with a Fotheringham ball. Motherwell made another change, Hamilton making way for David Clarkson. The Fir Parkers pressed, McDonald seeing a shot desperately blocked and cleared. A break by Lovell saw him curl the ball over from 25 yards out. Motherwell forced successive corners, but the home side held out to take three fortuitous points.

Full Time     Dundee  2     Motherwell  1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen