Motherwell 2, Rangers 3

Match Date: Sunday, April 3 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 10,210.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Quinn, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride, Corrigan, Leitch, Paterson (Foran 59), Clarkson (Britton 81), McDonald.
Subs not used: Corr, Kerr, Wright, Kinniburgh, Fitzpatrick.

Motherwell scorers: McBride (71 pen), Corrigan (84).

Booked: McDonald, Clarkson, Foran, Craigan.


Motherwell  2     Rangers  3

A BRAVE FIGHTBACK FROM MOTHERWELL, Three goals down with almost 70 minutes gone, almost saw an unlikely point remain at Fir Park. It had been a lacklustre performance up to that point, and had their been a stronger Referee on show, the result could well have been different.

An early free kick for the visitors arrived when Prso went down under minimal Leitch pressure. From the free kick Ricksen fired in a shot but Marshall held easily. However, as with previous meetings, Motherwell succumbed to an early goal. After Craigan had headed out a cross the ball fell to Vignal and his shot from 25 yards gave Marshall no chance. A long ball from Ricksen then attempted to pick out Novo but his high feet on Craigan led to a free kick for the Fir Parkers. Motherwell were unable to clear their lines, and Partridge had to be sharp to deny Prso at the expense of a corner. A handball against Ferguson, right in front of Referee McDonald, went unpunished but the whistler was sharp to book McDonald moments later for a mis-timed tackle on Ricksen, the Dutchman making an amazing recovery. Prso headed on the free kick though Leitch hooked the ball away. A tackle from Malcolm, similar in lateness to McDonalds and committed on the Aussie striker, failed to bring a yellow card though Motherwell did gain a free kick. Played in by Hammell, the ball was knocked behind by Kyrgiakos. The Greek nodded out as far as Leitch who was then crowded out. McDonald clipped the ball back in but it was clutched by Waterreus. Good play from McDonald saw him escape several lunges but the shot was gathered by the visiting keeper. Kyrgiakos then went down very easily when he lost possession to Corrigan and was convincing enough for Referee McDonald. Minutes later it was the turn of Novo to collapse when Paterson challenged and again there was a free kick. It took a superb stop from Partridge to deny Novo after Craigan had slipped on the turf, and shortly afterwards a shot from Novo was deflected behind by Craigan for a corner. Vignal swung the ball in but it was a poor effort which struck the outside of the post with Marshall covering. Namouchi was next to try and con the Referee but this time, much to the amazement of the supporters, play was waved on and unsurprisingly the visiting player made a quick recovery after Leitchís challenge. Fouled a minute later was McDonald, with Kyrgiakos the offender, but not so according to the Referee. Motherwell regained possession and Quinn played a terrific ball to find Clarkson. However, despite a poor cross the striker won a corner. Corrigan saw his shot charged away by Namouchi, and the visitors cleared their lines. Slack defending then allowed Rangers to go further ahead. Namouchi was allowed space outside the box to pick out Vignal and his header beat the onrushing Marshall. Motherwell attempted to hit back, and after a foul by Kyrgiakos on McBride, there should have been another in a dangerous position when McDonald was taken out by Ricksen. A fantastic save from Waterreus then kept Rangers two ahead when he denied a fierce 20-yard drive from Leitch, though the resultant corner was cleared. Just before the break Kyrgiakos was booked when he flattened Corrigan. Played to Craigan, he was unable to beat Waterreus with the header.

Half Time    Motherwell  0     Rangers  2

The visitors attacked early on, Vignal crossed deep towards Novo but a good interception from Corrigan found Marshall. Play swung upfield and Corrigan ensured a corner was attained when he pressured Vignal into conceding. Clever play from McBride saw him skip a couple of desperate challenges before Rae cleared near the box. McBride swung the ball back in but this time Waterreus gathered. A soft free kick for the visitors led to a third. McBride and Prso appeared to collide but Referee McDonald decided otherwise. The free kick came in and Prso was unchallenged to head in. Ball was then punished for a handball with a free kick some 25 yards out, but Hammellís effort was cleared. Again Ball fouled, this time on McBride, but as the ball broke Corrigan drove over the cross bar. The visitors had a chance from a set play some 30 yards out but Ricksen couldnít get the ball over the wall who charged it clear. In the Referees book soon afterwards was Ferguson who went right through McBride near the halfway line. Making an important challenge was Quinn whose well-timed tackle stopped Pros latching onto a ball from Ricksen. Motherwell made a change when Paterson made way for Richie Foran. There was a nasty moment when Ferguson unnecessarily hammered the ball into the Motherwell support to concede a throw. The visitors then made a change taking off Vignal in place of Lovenkrands. A forward ball from Leitch then found McDonald and his superb turn took him away from Ball but he couldnít beat Waterreus. Motherwell were beginning to come into things, and Ricksen was forced to concede a corner as Corrigan crossed low. Waterreus somehow managed to partially clear before he received help from Kyrgiakos. A further visiting change had Namouchi replaced by Averladze. Motherwell attacked again though Leitch failed to keep a pass from Corrigan on target. A dangerous cross from McBride then found Clarkson clear just 12 yards out but a poor first touch allowed the defence to clear. However, just a minute later Motherwell hauled themselves back into the game. After Rae had conceded a free kick, Malcolm handled the through ball in the box and Motherwell were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Kevin McBride and he gave Waterreus no chance. The visitors made a third change before kick-off, Kyrgiakos replaced by Khizanishvili. The visitors passed up a chance to regain their three-goal advantage when Novo sent a lob over the bar after Prso had played him through. Referee McDonald came to the rescue of Malcolm when, caught in possession by Clarkson, a free kick was somehow awarded for what was never a free kick. Good defending from Partridge then stopped a Ricksen ball finding Novo, before the defence held firm again following a corner. McDonald then did well to break towards the box but he was beaten to the ball by Malcolm. Rangers were reduced to ten men when Ferguson was sent off shortly afterwards. After being fouled by Foran, who was booked, Ferguson then swung an arm at Clarkson and was rightly yellow-carded for the second time. Motherwell should have had a second penalty when Quinn was clearly manhandled to the ground by a desperate Malcolm well inside the box. Play continued though during the next stoppage Gerry Britton made his debut in place of Clarkson. A ball from Prso found Lovenkrands moments later but his drive was well wide. Corrigan was then fouled by Ricksen, and the Motherwell man recovered to send a 25-yard shot towards goal. Taking a deflection the ball spun over Waterreus and into the net to set up a grandstand finish. The visiting fans thought they had sealed the match when Averladze netted but there had been a clear foul on Hammell. Seeing yellow was Ricksen for a bad foul on Foran, though the free kick failed to produce a goal. Craigan also was booked when Prso clearly dived over the defenderís challenge near the touchline. Prso made another famed recovery to set up Lovenkrands who somehow sent the ball over from six yards out. A third penalty claim was also ignored when Malcolm again handled. With time running out Motherwell passed up a great opportunity to level. McDonald turned ball and, with Britton clear 12 yards out, chose to attempt a shot from virtually on the by line and the chance was gone. 

Full time     Motherwell  2     Rangers  3

Match Report by Ricky Mullen