Hibernian 1, Motherwell 0

Match Date: Saturday, November 6 2004
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 10,022.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Quinn, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, Foran, Corrigan, O'Donnell, Paterson (Fitzpatrick 57), Burns (Fagan 79), Clarkson.   
Subs Not Used: Corr, Cowan, Wright, Kinniburgh, Higgins.

Booked: Foran, Craigan, Corrigan, Quinn.


Hibernian  1     Motherwell  0 

MOTHERWELL'S UNBEATEN RUN SEEMS Somewhat distant now as they slumped to a fifth successive defeat at Easter Road. Despite having several clear-cut chances they failed to hit the target and are now in danger of being overtaken at the foot of the table.  

Motherwell could have taken the lead inside the first minute, great play involving Hammell and O'Donnell had the Fir Park fullback with a chance but his angled effort was well tipped over by Brown. The home keeper missed his punch at the corner but was able to see Shiels clear on his behalf. A high tackle by Beuzelin on Paterson should have earned at least a warning but Referee Thomson decided a free kick was sufficient. The home side were awarded a corner somewhat controversially when Marshall looked to have hooked a deflected shot from inside the line; however, the keeper confidently took the corner when it came in. Marshall was called upon again soon after when a fierce shot from Fletcher was plucked from the air. More Hibs build-up created an opening a minute later. Fletcher played Glass wide and his cross was headed wide by Riordan from 6 yards out. Stevie Craigan took play forward and found Craigan 18 yards out but his shot, on the turn, was deflected into the arms of the waiting Brown. Clever play from Foran took him away from his marker but as he set up Clarkson a rather late offside flag halted the play. Vital defending by Partridge then denied an opening for Beuzelin as he looked to get on to a flick from Shiels. The first booking came when Richie Foran was harshly carded after a foul on Shiels, being his first mis-timed challenge it was a poor call by fussy Thomson. A long ball from Craigan then had the home defence in a panic, Brown racing from goal to just deny Burns.  

An attempted back header from Quinn then fell beyond Marshall to give a corner to Hibs though a clumsy foul by Murdock on Craigan ended the danger. Craigan was heavily involved again soon after when he had to clear under pressure from Riordan. Paterson went down under a hefty Murdock challenge, for which the yellow card would have been justified, and from the free kick Paterson saw his net-bound effort desperately blocked near the line by Murray, who cleared.  Murray was then dispossessed by Foran who sent a cross in which Murdock just cleared as Clarkson looked to connect. The ball came back in but O'Donnell was high with his shot. Wide on the left, Paterson went down again under a late tackle from Whittaker but again play continued. Controversy reigned moments later when, on the main stand touchline, Riordan had clearly taken the ball out of play. For reasons known only to the linesman, he failed to flag, and Hibs were able to put a cross in to the box though a foul on Marshall ended the play.  Shiels, who had committed the foul, then took a clear dive near the box but Referee Thomson decided it was a free kick, this second after another dramatic fall by Shiels again. Motherwell cleared, Burns breaking and finding Clarkson.  Playing in Quinn, he in turn found O'Donnell whose fierce drive was destined for the net until Murray again intervened. From the corner O'Donnell headed over.  As the break approached Marshall had to be at his best to hold a swerving 25-yard shot from Glass. A foul on Paterson gave Motherwell the last attack of the half, Quinn firing narrowly over from the partial clearance. 

Half Time     Hibernian  0     Motherwell  0 

The Fir Parkers continued on the attack at the start of the second half. Good play involving Foran and Clarkson sent Paterson away. He passed for Hammell and the dangerous cross was just cleared by Murdock with Burns waiting. Paterson then broke clear but a slight delay in choosing an option left him with none as he was crowded out. Motherwell were looking likelier, and Burns did well to escape the clutches of Murdock but failed to hit the target as his shot drifted wide on the angle. Beuzelin should have been booked when he was very late with a tackle on Paterson. The Motherwell man had to leave the field and despite returning looked less than mobile. Hibs made a change, Fletcher off in place of Morrow. Paul Quinn forced a corner which, when delivered, fell to Paterson and he was very unfortunate to see the ball strike Clarkson when it looked to be heading for the net. A run from Morrow took him away down the left but he was well wayward with his cross. Paterson couldn't continue and he hobbled off to be replaced by Fitzpatrick. The home keeper Brown almost gifted Motherwell a goal when, controlling a ball forward, he took a heavy touch and almost allowed Clarkson in. Craigan up field then had to look alert as he cleared with Morrow in close attendance. An angled drive from Morrow's teammate Whittaker went wide. Sub Fitzpatrick should have put Motherwell ahead with 18 minutes of the half gone. Foran played Corrigan through and his ball along the six-yard box found Fitzpatrick with an open goal. Unfortunately the young midfielder scuffed his shot although it looked to be bouncing towards the goal until Caldwell amazingly hooked it over the bar from on the goal line.  

Stevie Craigan became the next Motherwell man booked, again harshly for a foul on Riordan who again made the most of the challenge. Craigan then did well to block Riordan inside the box as he made room for a shot. Seconds later Martyn Corrigan was booked by card-happy Thomson who appeared at this stage only to card the visitors. This was quickly followed by a yellow fro Paul Quinn, again for a challenge which barely merited a free kick in the first place. Phil O'Donnell put the ball behind for a corner which Whittaker headed wide of the mark. At long last a Hibs player was booked and it was Whittaker who saw yellow for a bad tackle on Clarkson as he broke through the middle. Despite the free kick being in a good position, Burns' effort was well over. Riordan then broke forward but sent a shot well over. Marc Fitzpatrick gathered out wide and found Foran but his driven shot was cleared as far as Fitzpatrick. This time, however, the cross was poor. Hibs took the lead somewhat undeservedly with 12 minutes to go. Glass sent in a cross which Murray, completely unmarked, headed past Marshall despite the keeper's best efforts. Motherwell immediately made a change, Burns replaced by Fagan. A second Hibs booking saw Murray carded for a hefty challenge on Quinn. Fagan broke upfield and set up Fitzpatrick but his drive went wide. Murray was then lucky not to see a second yellow when he sent Hammell crashing to the ground. As Motherwell tried to level Riordan was carded for a senseless kick of the ball as Motherwell lined up a free kick. However, time ran out and Hibs took the points. 

Full Time     Hibernian  1     Motherwell  0 

Match Report by Ricky Mullen