Motherwell 1, Hibernian 1

Match Date: Tuesday, February 15 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 7,453.
 
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Quinn, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride, O'Donnell (Fitzpatrick 45), Leitch, Paterson (Clarkson 88), Hamilton, McDonald (Foran 76).
Subs Not Used: Corr, Wright, Kinniburgh, Connolly.

Motherwell scorer: Craigan (26).

Booked: Hamilton, Craigan.

POINT-A-PIECE AT FIR PARK

Motherwell  1     Hibernian  1

FOR THE SECOND SUCCESSIVE GAME, Motherwell failed to take advantage of an interval lead, though on this occasion they were able to take something from the match. It did take, however, a controversial spot-kick mid-way through the second half to give the visitors a point to take home.

Right from the start, Motherwell appeared determined to make amends for the dropped points at Dens on Saturday. It took a crucial clearance from Murray to stop Hamilton going through onto a Paterson ball. Soon after Hamilton again was close to connecting with McDonald’s pass with Caldwell managing to nudge the ball to Brown who cleared. It was Hamilton who then turned provider when he combined with Paterson to cross in the direction of McDonald but he couldn’t keep the header down. McBride’s’ cross then struck Murphy for a corner though the header from Partridge was headed almost off the line by Murphy. This allowed Murray to break and although it looked as if he’d carried the ball across the touchline the Linesman somehow failed to agree. Setting up Riordan he shot well wide. Motherwell continued the pressure and a clever turn from Leitch gave him space to shoot but he found Brown in form. The visiting keeper was again in action to stop a McBride shot as it deflected into his path. Hibs had rarely been seen in attack though the forced a corner. After a clear handball against O’Connor had been ignored the ball fell to Morrow who saw a cross blocked behind. Played to Murray he sent a shot high and wide. Hamilton and Glass then clashed in midfield and as the Motherwell man appeared to win the ball fairly he looked set to break until Referee Clark blew for a non-existent foul. McBride then saw his shot deflected behind but again there was no corner. He did come closer a minute later when his effort from 25 yards went wide. The visitors had to rely on last-ditch defending again when the Fir Parkers almost took the lead. Following a foul by Murphy on Hamilton, Hammell’s ball was headed goal wards by Craigan only to see Murphy again head clear on the line, O’Donnell sending the follow-up over the bar. 

Motherwell were not to be denied, and after Smith had conceded a corner, Craigan this time sent a header beyond Brown and into the net for the opening goal. The response form the visitors was a Riordan header which Marshall held comfortably. Riordan then burst forward but his pass saw O’Connor run the ball out. Hibs were more into things not and an angled drive from Whittaker struck Morrow before sailing past. Goalscorer Craigan then did well to deny Murphy’s cross finding O’Connor. Motherwell defender Paul Quinn conceded a corner which, when whipped in, caught Marshall unawares and he could only parry the ball before Partridge cleared. Paterson was then adjudged to have fouled O’Connor and although O’Donnell partially cleared the ball fell to Riordan who blasted over. The Motherwell goal was the busier now, with Marshall doing well to hold a Whittaker effort from 25 yards. Having rode the pressure, Motherwell almost doubled their lead, and only a late, dubious offside flag denied them. Superb play from McBride saw him beat Murphy with ease but McDonald was adjudged offside upon receipt of the ball. McDonald then saw a curling effort narrowly miss the goal a minute later. Two rapid fouls on McBride saw the Motherwell man gingerly recover, with Referee Clark content to let both Riordan and Caldwell escape punishment. Jim Hamilton was then booked for a soft foul on Murphy, and given what had gone on before; he was unlucky to be the game’s first card. 

Half time     Motherwell  1     Hibernian  0

Motherwell made a change at the break, Phil O’Donnell replaced by Cup Hero Marc Fitzpatrick. No sooner had the half begun than the sides were equal in terms of bookings. McDonald was sent sprawling by a Caldwell lunge and he saw yellow for his rash challenge. Smith was lucky not to join him when similarly fouling Hamilton who, upon seeing McBride, was just too high with the forward ball. An attempted headed clearance from Craigan then fell into the path of Shiels who fired in a shot which Marshall brilliantly parried. The Referee ignored a swipe by Riordan at Quinn, this after McDonald and McBride attempted to combine on the edge of the box. McDonald did well soon after to win from Murray but the Referee awarded Hibs a free kick. Motherwell were pressing, and superb McDonald skill saw him whip in a cross which Murphy just managed to beat Paterson to. McBride recovered the ball and crossed for Hamilton but only a terrific Brown save for a corner matched his header. Paterson regained possession in midfield and his pass sent McDonald clear on the left. With Hamilton to his right in space, he chose instead to bear down on Brown allowing Smith to get back to block. Despite looking like they would never score, the visitors gleefully accepted a helping hand from Referee Clark mid-way through the second half. O’Connor burst into the box and looked to have nudged the ball on to far. However, as Marshall came out, the striker went down like a sack of potatoes and his convincing manner saw Clark point to the spot. If there was contact, it was minimal to say the least. Marshall was irate, clearly indicating O’Connor had dived and his protests after the game gained him a caution, but the penalty was given, and Riordan sent the keeper the wrong way. 

Motherwell attempted to regain the lead, and after Hamilton had been upended by Murray. Hammell curled in but Brown held the shot. A visiting change saw Morrow replaced by Brown. The Fir Parkers continued to push, and Quinn found McDonald on the edge of the box but unusual hesitancy saw him crowded out. Hamilton then did well to dispossess Murphy and a delicate chip from some 25 yards almost caught Brown out, the keeper just able to recover under the crossbar. Both sides then made a change, Hibs replacing Shiels for Fletcher with Motherwell taking off McDonald in place of Foran. Getting to the by line was Paterson, but his cross was disappointing. Up field, Murphy did likewise though his cross was superbly cleared by Craigan. The first real involvement of Richie Foran was being in receipt of a hefty Smith challenge, which earned the visitor a booking. A third change for the Easter Road men was O’Connor going off to a round of boos from the home support with Konte taking his place. Evening up the bookings was Referee Clark, though Stevie Craigan could have no complaints as he brought down Fletcher wide on the left. Another dubious offside decision stopped Motherwell soon after. Brilliant play from Foran saw hi cross for Hamilton and Brown somehow blocked the first-time shot though the flag was up. Riordan for the visitors then dragged a shot well wide from the edge of the box. Near the end Glass and Foran clashed near the Main Stand with Referee Clark content to warn both players. A late change for Motherwell had Clarkson on for Paterson. The last chance fell to the visitors, Murphy finding Riordan though Craigan did well to clear.

Full time     Motherwell  1     Hibernian  1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen

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