Motherwell 2, Hibernian 2
|Match Date: Saturday, May 7 2005|
|Competition: Scottish Premier League|
|Motherwell Team (4-4-2):|
Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge (Kinniburgh 45), Quinn, Fagan, Kerr, Fitzpatrick, Foran
(Paterson 82), McDonald (Clarkson 86), Hamilton.
Subs not used: Corr, Higgins, Keogh.
Motherwell scorer: Craigan (16, 49).
LATE DESPAIR FOR ‘WELL
Motherwell 2 Hibernian 2
A GOAL ON THE BRINK OF INJURY TIME Denied Motherwell all three points in an encounter they perhaps deserved to have taken more from. Ignoring a blatant handball, Referee MacKay waved play on and the visitors swept up the park to draw level.
It was the Fir Parkers to show first, and Corrigan was unlucky to find Brown on hand to deny his low shot, the corner being hooked away. Quinn then played Hamilton forward and his knockdown for Fagan saw Murray intercept. The visitors put together their first attack and it took a vital Craigan intervention to stop O’Connor connecting with a Shiels pass. Foran went down under a late Glass challenge though the free kick was cleared. After Kerr had been adjudged to foul Whittaker the free kick from Murray was headed well wide by O’Connor. A combination of Foran and Hamilton sent a ball in and the header off Caldwell fell to Fitzpatrick but his first-time volley flew over. A mistake by Brown in the visiting midfield allowed Foran to break and find Fitzpatrick whose cross was knocked behind. Murray was unable to clear and there was Craigan to ram the ball high into the net and put Motherwell ahead. Some fine skill from Corrigan saw him completely wrong foot Brown but the low cross was cleared. Fitzpatrick and Foran worked the ball to Kerr soon after but he drove wide. Almost completely out of the blue, Hibs almost levelled. Whittaker pounced on a loose ball outside the box and his 25-yard shot looked to be sneaking into the top corner before Marshall palmed it onto the bar. The ball bounced into play but it was swept behind at the expense of a corner. That in turn fell to Riordan who shot into the side netting. Motherwell broke quickly, McDonald carrying the ball up field only to be felled by a cynical Murray challenge. The free kick feel to Hamilton but he and Foran went for the ball and the header was wide. Riordan then burst forward with Craigan conceding a corner. Marshall palmed the Riordan effort away. As the ball returned Riordan again tried his luck but shot past. Hamilton’s knock down then presented a change for McDonald but his shot on the turn went over the bar. McDonald turned provider for Hamilton soon after but the shot was deflected tamely to Brown. A slip from Fitzpatrick gave the ball to Murray but as he bore into the box Quinn mopped things up. Fagan, Kerr and Hamilton then played a part in opening up the visiting defence but the final ball to McDonald was just too strong. Riordan replied but sent his shot over the top from 20 yards out. O’Connor set up Glass next but Partridge hooked clear. Having a fair claim to having been fouled was McDonald, sent sprawling by Caldwell. The Referee ignored that but not a challenge by Hamilton on Caldwell which was less of an offence. As the break beckoned McDonald did well to turn the clutches of Smith only to see the Referee give the Hibs man a free kick.
Half Time Motherwell 1 Hibernian 0
Both sides made an immediate change, Partridge replaced by Kinniburgh whilst the visitors had Beuzelin on for Smith. Hibs pushed forward and had a couple of attacks which came to nothing, but as they looked to level it was Motherwell who doubled their advantage. McDonald gathered a superb Fagan ball, the visitors claiming handball, but play continued and it was Murray who conceded a corner. Swung in, Craigan rose unchallenged to bullet home Motherwell’s and his own second of the match. Motherwell had their tails up, and Kerr was not far away at all with a superb rasper from fully 30 yards out. Fagan forced another corner, and Brown only just palmed the ball away from the waiting Craigan, poised for his hat trick. The ball found it’s way to Fagan and his terrific angled drive again was only inches past with Brown well beaten. The response from the visitors was an O’Connor shot which failed to trouble Marshall in goals. Craigan then appeared to connect with the ball before Riordan but the Referee decided on a free kick whilst warning the Motherwell man. The free kick came to nothing; Corrigan broke up field and won a corner. As the teams took position Konte replaced Riordan. The visitors were awarded a penalty and once again it was the antics of O’Connor which gained his side the spot-kick. Craigan challenged the forward inside the box and the Hibs man went down like a sack of spuds. However, Marshal did superbly to block the take from O’Connor and the ball went over the bar. O’Connor then set up Konte but his effort was well held by Marshall. Motherwell were still dangerous, and soon after Hamilton had gone agonisingly close with a shot towards the far post McDonald then had a header held by Brown. The visitors made another change, Sproule replacing Murray. Another close shave kept the visitors clinging to the game, McDonald doing brilliantly to turn on the edge of the box and he frustratingly saw his shot sneak past. Konte should have seen yellow for a late effort on Kinniburgh but play continued. A short Kinniburgh pass back was cleared in the nick of time by Marshall as O’Connor hovered; the attacker then seeing his shot go well over soon afterwards. McDonald then did well to avoid desperate lunges from Caldwell and Murray, but as Fagan gathered he was crowded out. Sproule and Quinn tussled near the Motherwell corner flag and the visitor was perhaps lucky to stay on the park having appeared to swing a kick at Quinn. Both were booked, with Quinn perhaps aggrieved to see a card. The ball was cleared and McDonald, turning Caldwell and going clear, couldn’t believe the sound of the Referee’s whistle giving the visitors a rather soft free kick. Caldwell took it and managed to curl beyond Marshall to pull his side back into things. Motherwell replaced Foran with Paterson seconds later. Marshall did well to hold a curling Shiels effort before Murray upended McDonald. From the free kick Fitzpatrick sent the ball wide. High feet by Konte on Kinniburgh went unnoticed though a rash Murray challenge on McDonald brought a free kick. McDonald hobbled off to be replaced by Clarkson. Motherwell almost put the game beyond the visitors when Hamilton sent a superb shot racing across the goal but the wrong side of the post with Brown nowhere near. On the edge of injury time, a crucial error by the Officials were to see Motherwell denied a penalty and events lead to an equaliser for Hibs. Paterson saw his shot clearly strike the outstretched arm of Murray with the only outcome surely a penalty. Not so, Hibs broke up field with Sproule making the by line. His cross was Konte and although the initial effort was blocked his follow up found its way in. A foul by Beuzelin on Paterson gave Motherwell an immediate chance to regain the lead, but Quinn had his header held. Konte won a late corner though Caldwell headed wide. And as time ran out, Quinn had the chance to cross towards an isolated Clarkson at the far post but was too deep with the cross.
Full time Motherwell 2 Hibernian 2
Match Report by Ricky Mullen