Rangers 4, Motherwell 1

Match Date: Saturday, May 14 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 49,495.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):
Marshall, Quinn (Keogh 63), Corrigan, Kinniburgh, Fitzpatrick, Paterson, Fagan, Kerr, Foran (Hamilton 79), McDonald, Clarkson.
Subs Not Used: Corr, Britton, Higgins

Motherwell scorer: Andrews (89 og).

Booked: Fagan, Foran, Quinn.


Rangers 4, Motherwell 1

FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON, Motherwell lost by four goals to one at Ibrox and again the opening goal was controversial to say the least. It was a patched-up team, missing no fewer than SEVEN first-team regulars, but their battling failed to produce a result.

An early slip by Marc Fitzpatrick, playing in an unfamiliar defensive role, almost allowed in Prso but Kinniburgh was swift to cover. Fitzpatrick was alert to the danger of Novo and stopped his progress with a superb challenge. McDonald broke forward to give the Fir Parkers their first attack but Kyrgiakos crudely brought him down though there was only a free kick awarded. The first real chance fell to the home side, Novo made the by line and found Prso though his weak effort gave Marshall no trouble. Richie Foran put in a good cross for McDonald and he was illegally taken out by a Kyrgiakos push though play continued. Playing a superb pass was Fagan and he was unlucky not to find Clarkson. Prso then passed wide to Novo and his cross was met by Averladze who headed over. The first booking of the game should have arrived six minutes previously for Kyrgiakos’ challenge on McDonald; it however came when Fagan was unfairly carded for a foul on Buffel. The opening goal was controversial to say the least. Ricksen found Buffel who was fouled by Kinniburgh. Referee Murray clearly blew for a foul; Buffel played on and scored, with the Referee incredibly allowing the goal to stand. More inconsistent Refereeing then saw Ricksen escape a booking after scything down Fagan. Brilliant defending from Corrigan then denied Novo connecting with a Prso pass on the edge of the box. However, it was two to the home side a minute later. Marshall superbly parried an Averladze shot but the ball broke for Prso who found squared again for Averladze who slotted away. Marshall was in action again to gather a Novo shot at the second attempt. Frustratingly, Rae was not booked when he clattered into McDonald. Foran met the free kick but Waterreus held the effort. Card happy Murray, at least towards Motherwell he certainly was, showed yellow to Foran for an innocuous challenge on Ricksen. Foran got back to deny Prso as he waltzed into the box soon after. Scott McDonald burst into the opposing box but he appeared to be body checked by Kyrgiakos though not according to the Referee. Paterson then pounced on a poor Waterreus clearance to find McDonald. However, the ball to Clarkson fell just beyond the striker and the chance was gone. Making the by line was Novo though he was stopped in his tracks by solid Corrigan defending. The attack continued, and despite looking well off side Averladze won a corner off Kinniburgh which Buffel headed wide. Novo got to the by line again though Kerr cleared the cross. Only a terrific last-ditch tackle by Quinn denied Novo getting to a Prso pass a minute later. Motherwell were struggling somewhat, and a goal line clearance from Quinn denied Buffel a goal though there was more than a hint of a foul on Marshall in the build-up. Again looking well offside was Averladze, but with the linesman unable to keep up with play, he continued. Winning a corner, this was punched clear by Marshall. Next Motherwell player to be booked was Paul Quinn, again for another soft free kick, though Kyrgiakos’ reaction saw him lucky to just receive yellow. This should have been followed up with a red when he went right through McDonald to concede a free kick, and an elbow for good measure, which Referee Murray missed. Averladze played in Prso in the home side’s next attack but he lobbed over. A short pass back by Kyrgiakos almost had Waterreus in trouble though he cleared from McDonald. Prso burst into the Motherwell box but he was eventually crowded out, and a fantastic Quinn tackle then stopped him in his tracks. Just before the break Rae somehow managed to escape a booking for a terrible tackle on Clarkson.

Half Time: Rangers 2, Motherwell 0

Motherwell began the second half the brighter, and the almost pulled a goal back within a minute or so of the restart. Foran and Clarkson combined to find Kerr whose shot from 25 yards out almost sneaked in with Waterreus beaten. The home response was a Buffel ball for Prso who failed to connect. Superbly finding McDonald was Fagan but the resultant ball was too deep Kerr. The ball broke again to McDonald but the home keeper beat Paterson to it. Motherwell continued to press and Quinn found Foran whose header crashed against the cross bar, however, a quite ridiculous decision by Referee Murray saw a foul given in favour of Ricksen who’d been fairly beaten to the ball. The Fir Parkers really should have pulled a goal back when McDonald brilliantly played Clarkson clear on Waterreus. However, a poor first touch by the striker allowed the keeper to block the effort. Despite being on top at this time, Motherwell fell further behind shortly afterwards. Novo beat Fitzpatrick in the chase and found Averladze who scored beyond Marshall. It got worse almost immediately afterwards. A Corrigan slip gave Pros time to find Buffel who made no mistake. Novo then made the by line before Quinn conceded a former, though this was ballooned well wide by Ferguson. The Ibrox Chairman would surely have been less than impressed his anti-bigotry message clearly falls on deaf ears as many a distasteful chant rang loud around the stadium. The action continued as Pros sent a shot well wide. He then won a corner off Fitzpatrick, which Quinn hooked well to safety. Motherwell made a change, Quinn replaced by Keogh. A deliberate handball usually carries a yellow card, though with Referee Murray making up the rules as he was going along Rae wasn’t booked. He then hacked away at Fagan to concede another free kick shortly afterwards. From a corner given after Corrigan had blocked Buffel, Pros found the midfielder who drove wide. Clarkson was giving the home defence no rest and he did well to find McDonald with a pass through the middle of the defence. McDonald raced onto the ball and just as it looked to be going it slipped past the far post with Waterreus a mere spectator. Willie Kinniburgh was adjudged to have fouled Prso on the edge of the box though it was clear no invitation was needed to go down. Ricksen could only find the wall and a corner, which Kyrgiakos sent behind. A second change by Motherwell had Hamilton replacing Foran, the Irishman receiving plenty of abuse from the apparently non-sectarian home support, at least that’s what their Chairman would have people believe. A shot from Prso then sailed well past, and Motherwell went close when Keogh found McDonald but again the shot went the wrong side of the upright. Kinniburgh did well to stop the progress of Prso on the edge of the box, before McDonald was likewise denied by a rare legal tackle from Kyrgiakos. A home change had Novo replaced by Burke. After Marshall had held a low Burke shot, Motherwell did indeed gain a consolation. Positive Fagan play had Clarkson in space out on the right and Andrews sent his cross into his own net. Just before time up Kyrgiakos again was lucky not to see a second yellow for a rash challenge on Hamilton.

Full Time: Rangers 4, Motherwell 1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen