Inverness CT 1, Motherwell 0

Match Date: Tuesday, April 12 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 3,746.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Quinn, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride (Kerr 36), Leitch, Fagan (Corr 24), Paterson, Scott McDonald (Clarkson 16), Hamilton.
Subs not used: Britton, Foran, Kinniburgh, Fitzpatrick.

Booked: Partridge, Hamilton, Craigan.

Sent off: Marshall (23).


Inverness CT  1     Motherwell  0

MOTHERWELL’S HOPES OF MAKING THE TOP SIX Took a blow at a wet Caley Stadium. Losing an early goal, the sending off of Gordon Marshall and also the departures of Scott McDonald and Kevin McBride to first-half injuries made it an uphill struggle, though the performance of Referee Cassidy left a lot to be desired.

The Fir Parkers showed attacking promise early with Paterson sending a log cross to McDonald. His lay-off was, however, nicked away from Hamilton by Munro. The first opportunity for the home side followed when Wilson made his way unchallenged to the edge of the box before firing over the crossbar. The Referee ignored a foul on McDonald by Munro and as the ball ran on to Leitch he saw his effort charged down by Dods and hooked clear. Again Munro was guilty of a foul on McDonald just a minute later and there was a similar outcome with Referee Cassidy deciding not to halt play. Stevie Hammell then won a corner but this was cleared, though soon afterwards a foul by Black, with McDonald again offended against, gave the Fir Parkers a chance of an effort on goal. Hammell picked out Partridge but with the only Brown to beat the Welsh International could only head at the Keeper who gathered at the second attempt. As play swung upfield Craigan was taken off the ball by Bayne. No stop in play again, instead the ball ran on for Wilson whose curling shot was superbly turned round the far post by Marshall. The resultant header from Tokely was weak and cleared away. Black then appeared to knock the ball behind the Motherwell goal but a corner was given. Marshall came to punch partially clear and as Dods met the ball the Fir Park custodian held firmly. 

Good work from McBride and McDonald then opened up a chance for Paterson but he was crowded out near the box. Marshall then had to look sharp to clear for a corner as the ball slipped from his grasp following a cross into the box. Shortly afterwards Motherwell had their first bad news of the night when Scott McDonald limped off to be replaced by David Clarkson. Covering at the back superbly was Craigan as he shepherded a through ball to Marshall with Bayne hovering. However, the home side took the lead in what appeared to be questionable circumstances. Prunty looked offside as he received a pass from Golabek and as the ball was clipped between Marshall and Craigan the unmarked Bayne scored. It got from bad to worse for Motherwell just a couple of minutes later. Prunty raced onto a ball near the edge of the box and as Marshall came out the pair collided. With Craigan racing back to cover, it looked a dubious last-man offence, however, Referee Cassidy decided it was time to make a name for himself and ordered Marshall off. Shaun Fagan also left to be replaced by replacement keeper Barry John Corr. From the free kick Wilson failed to trouble Corr. Seconds later despite looking somewhat fatally injured, Prunty re-appeared looking fully fit. The Fir Parkers tried to hit back, and a Hammell cross was nodded by Hamilton in the direction of McBride but he shot over. Pushing throughout the game was Bayne, and one such nudge on Craigan went unpunished despite the Referee’s apparent good position, and as play continued Quinn was forced to concede a corner. Motherwell broke upfield, though Clarkson perhaps could have taken the ball nearer the goal than to opt for a tame 25-yard shot. The home response was a cross from Hart, which Craigan did well to clear ahead of Bayne. 

A further blow hit the Motherwell team when Kevin McBride was caught very late by a bad Golabek tackle. McBride was stretchered off, and to add insult to the injury, there was neither a free kick nor at least a caution, with Brian Kerr his replacement. Shortly after that Clarkson went down in a heap after he was taken out by Munro. Incredibly play was waved on, and despite taking time to get to his feet Clarkson was fortunately able to continue. There was a free kick when Golabek fouled Paterson, but the Motherwell man’s header was held by Brown. As if to even things up, Referee Cassidy awarded a free kick to Inverness when Bayne went down with no one near him 20 yards out. Black strode up but shot wide. He was again involved a minute later, heading wide a cross from Hart. 

Half Time     Inverness CT  1     Motherwell  0

It took a crucial clearance from Dods to deny Paterson an early chance just into the Second Half. Not helping their own cause was some loose defending by Motherwell and this allowed Black a chance though he shot wide of the far post. A break from Brian Kerr took play upfield and as he released Clarkson again an early shot was held by Brown when he could have taken it further. Clarkson was then clearly pulled back by Dods as he tried to reach a Leitch ball, but play once more continued unhindered by the Referee’s whistle. He was quick, though, to call a halt to play when Bayne went down rather easily when Craigan challenged moments later. Wilson took the effort but hit the wall. As Hammell and Golabek challenged the ball broke wide but the Referee had already blew for another free kick. Wilson again took the shot though Corr held the ball as it raced towards him. McBain was guilty of a foul on Hammell shortly afterwards, but the header from Craigan was hooked away to safety. Inverness won a corner, though Corr did well under pressure to hold. 

Paterson then lost possession in midfield allowing Black to bear down on Corr but again the Motherwell keeper did well to hold. The Motherwell midfielder was subject of a foul from Black a minute later causing Leitch and the Inverness man to square up, the Referee deciding not to book either player. For the umpteenth time in the match Munro was nowhere near winning the ball as he clattered into a Motherwell man, Clarkson again the recipient of his late challenge, and once more the Referee ignored the foul. Inverness made a change soon after, McBain replaced by Duncan. His teammate Black got the benefit of a decision from Referee Cassidy as Craigan looked to have won the ball, but the shot from the free kick was wide. Despite being a man short Motherwell were making a game of it, and they came close when Hamilton saw his header from a Hammell cross held. Two superb tackles from Paul Quinn denied firstly Hart and then Byrne as they threatened to break through. Hart then laid a ball off for Black who shot wildly over. David Partridge was booked when he advised the Linesman of his obvious error in awarding a throw in the wrong way. Combining for the home side were Bayne and Black, but the final ball saw Hart drive over, whilst the same home player was similarly wide with his next effort. 

Hammell broke upfield to relieve the situation for Motherwell though Dods beat Hamilton to the ball. From the corner Golabek hooked away. A clever piece of skill from Paterson took him away from Tokely though the foot of Dods cleared the cross. Inverness attacked, with Black going close following a run and shot from 25 yards. Clarkson and Dods then chased a through ball and although it looked like the home defender was doing the fouling he got the decision. A second home change had Bayne replaced by Fetai. Motherwell conceded successive corners, with Tokely heading wide at the second. Leitch’s forward ball found Paterson soon after, but he was denied by an important Dods interception. Pushing Hamilton was Munro, yet the Motherwell man was the one to see yellow. Munro, for virtually the entire match, had been guilty of foul after foul so this came as no surprise to anyone. Motherwell passed up an excellent late opportunity when Clarkson, picked out by a fantastic ball from Kerr, could only send the ball over the bar from 6 yards with only Brown to beat. Moments after Craigan had been booked for a foul on Wilson, with Referee Cassidy indicating it was for persistence, Black also saw yellow when he was very late on Clarkson. The Motherwell striker recovered to make the by line but his cross was cut out and cleared. Just after Proctor had replaced Wilson, Motherwell had another chance. Hamilton had been felled by a hefty Dods challenge, there was unsurprisingly no card issued, and from the free kick Hammell curled superbly only for Brown to make a fantastic save tipping the ball over. This was cleared, and the last chance gone. 

Full Time     Inverness CT  1     Motherwell  0

Match Report by Ricky Mullen