Motherwell 0 Rangers 2
|Match Date: Sunday, 17th October,, 2004|
|Competition: Scottish Premier League|
|Motherwell Team (4-4-2):|
Motherwell: Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride, Leitch, O'Donnell (Paterson 90), Foran, Clarkson, Scott McDonald. Subs Not Used: Burns, Paul Quinn, Fagan, Kinniburgh, Fitzpatrick, Corr.
Motherwell scorers: None
WELL RUN COMES TO AN END
THE LONG UNBEATEN RUN WHICH Motherwell had protected since August came to an end against a physical visiting presence at Fir Park. However, the Fir parkers could count themselves unfortunate not to take anything from a game they contributed to hugely.
David Partridge made an early run, pouncing on a Thompson slip, and he raced up towards the box before firing towards goal only for his shot to be held. The response was a combination from Novo and Ricksen with the resultant Thompson header well held by Marshall. Novo then caught Clarkson very late and from the free kick McDonald turned Boumsong before shooting though Klos dived to hold. After coming close to opening the scoring, McDonald was unfortunate to lend a hand in the move which led to the visitors taking the lead. He was dispossessed in midfield and as Rangers broke Pros got free before chipping over Marshall as he raced from goal. Motherwell tried to respond and Clarkson though he had gone clear after robbing Andrews though the defender was rescued by a curious Rowbotham decision. Malcolm then escaped a booking when he scythed down Leitch. The visitors broke with Burke latching onto a Vignal ball but after making the by line his cross was weak. Another strange Rowbotham decision saw Partridge punished for quite fairly winning the ball fro Prso, the Croatian’s fall enough to convince the Referee of a free-kick. Ricksen took but Marshall held. A minute later, despite being whistled back, Novo played on when well offside and received neither a caution nor a warning. Burke burst free and it took a superb Partridge challenge to deny him on the edge of the box. A slip from Andrews then presented McDonald with a chance and his goal-bound shot was brilliantly saved by Klos. Andrews then climbed all over McDonald giving Motherwell a free kick. Leitch found Foran and his header fell agonisingly beyond McDonald. Some of the visitors were taking turns in hitting the turf all too easily, this time Thompson crashed to the ground under minimal Craigan pressure. Malcolm took the free kick and found only the wall.
Referee Rowbotham enraged the Well support and players by then giving a free kick when offside had already been flagged, Leitch catching Novo late after the ball. Novo went off as if seriously injured but recovered incredibly quickly to take the field shortly afterwards. David Clarkson passed up a great opportunity when he raced clear of the defence but rushed his shot giving Klos a chance to save. Clarkson again had an opportunity when a long free kick fell to him in the box but again he rushed things and fired over from 16 yards. Motherwell had the upper hand and gained a corner when Andrews clumsily knocked behind under pressure from Clarkson. The first booking took 40 minutes to arrive, Thompson seeing yellow for a late, late nick at McBride. A vital clearance from Malcolm stopped an equaliser when he hooked a Foran low cross away from the waiting Clarkson. A quick second booking for the visitors saw Burke carded for a deliberate handball near the corner flag. Foran met the header and it looped towards goal only for Khizanishvili to hook off the line. Andrews should by now also have seen yellow but there was not even as much as a warning for another clatter into McDonald. McBride fired in only for Klos to hold the effort. Just before the break a Rangers foray forward saw Thompson play in Novo though Marshall did well to block.
Half Time Motherwell 0 Rangers 1
There was still no sign of a card for Malcolm after his latest scythe, and almost immediately afterwards Novo did likewise without punishment. An unfortunate error by Hammel allowed Novo to break and he supplied Pros though the shot was wide. Seconds later Partridge slipped to present the ball for Thompson but his shot was blocked for a corner. Boumsong headed well wide from the flag kick. The visitors were screaming for a penalty when Prso dived in the box, a yellow card for play-acting would have been more appropriate. Motherwell at last got to grips with the restart and went close when McDonald crossed towards O’Donnell who was beaten by a crucial Andrews interception. The visitors made a change with Thompson replaced by Averladze. Motherwell had a strong penalty claim denied when, and not for the first time, Andrews, despite his huge advantage in height, used McDonald as a climbing frame to clear inside the box. Rangers responded with a Malcolm shot which endangered the seagulls on top of the South Stand. Burke then made a run from midfield with Corrigan’s pressure important in seeing the end result being a shot over. Corrigan himself then broke forward to find O’Donnell and the cross along the six-yard area only needed a single touch as it zipped along and out wide. Moments later Klos came to his teams’ rescue again when he got down low to tip a low Leitch rasper around the post. A tug on the jersey of Hammel by Prso was ignored by Rowbotham soon after, instead the Referee deciding a corner kick to the visitors was the order of the day. It was cleared to Khisanishvilli though this cross Marshall punched way. However, the ball fell for Averladze though again Marshall did well to block. Prso was at it again as Craigan challenged, unsurprisingly a free kick was awarded though Andrews headed harmlessly wide. Prso then pounced on a Partridge error but Marshall was there to hold the shot.
Motherwell continued to seek the equaliser, Andrews’ partial clearance falling for Leitch but he could only curl the ball over the bar. Clarkson was left in agony after a clumsy Boumsong clatter and with no card Motherwell had to be content with a free kick. A third booking eventually came, Malcolm the recipient for a very late hack at Leitch. Stevie Hammel curled in a good effort though Klos was equal. The East Stand Side linesman then enraged those in claret and amber when he wrongly flagged Scott McDonald offside. At worst on-line with Boumsong he raced clear onto a Clarkson flick only to be hauled back. From the free kick Riksen found Pros who forced a corner. Boumsong knocked behind but another corner came though this was cleared. Next to be booked was Novo, carded after leaving Hammel in severe pain. Vignal should have joined him moments later after doing likewise to McBride but he escaped. McDonald and Andrews then clashed with the Motherwell man winning possession though Boumsong rescued his team again. That was crucial, as the visitors doubled their lead. Novo was allowed to run from inside his own half unhindered before slipping the ball wide to Pros who scored his second. Motherwell had the perfect chance to pull a goal back when Boumsong deliberately passed back to Klos inside the box under McDonald pressure. Hammel chipped over the wall, clearly not 10 yards away, but Ricksen popped up on the line to clear. Clarkson then found himself with options but chose to cross to no one with McDonald wide. Changes saw Burke replaced by Namouchi with Motherwell taking off O’Donnell in place of Paterson. Just before time up Malcolm should have been sent off for a cynical foul on McBride though again bungling Rowbotham failed to act.
Full time Motherwell 0 Rangers 2
Match Report by Ricky Mullen