Motherwell 3, Hearts 2 (AET)

Match Date: Tuesday, February 1 2005
Competition: CIS Insurance League Cup Semi-Final
Attendance: 14,069.
 
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, Paterson (Fitzpatrick 75), O'Donnell, Leitch, McBride (Clarkson 75), Foran (Quinn 113), McDonald, Foran.
Subs not used: Fagan, Corr.

Motherwell scorers: Craigan (20), Foran (78 pen), Fitzpartick (120).

Booked: Hammell, McBride, O'Donnell, Craigan, Foran.

CIS Cup Semi-Final

MAGIC MOTHERWELL DO IT THE HARD WAY

Motherwell  3     Hearts  2  (AET)

IT WAS A NIGHT OF EMOTION, A CONTRAST OF UPS AND DOWNS, BUT MOTHERWELL Won this League Cup Semi Final with the last kick of the ball to secure a Final berth on 20th March at Hampden. After taking a two-goal lead, Motherwell were pegged back in the last five minutes of normal time, only for young Marc Fitzpatrick to ram home the winner with seconds of extra time left.

A long ball from Stevie Craigan almost gave Motherwell an immediate opening, McDonald beaten to the ball by the arms of Gordon. The Australian striker was given a free kick after Pressley then clambered all over him though this was cleared. A fall by Wyness was enough to convince Referee McDonald to give a free kick as Craigan challenged some 35 yards out, and after Marshall had gathered there was an unnecessary follow-through from Webster who was warned. Stevie Hammell then robbed Mikoliunas and clipped a ball forward for McDonald but Gordon beat him to it. A loose ball outside the Motherwell box was met by Wyness whose shot was deflected behind for a corner. Again, Marshall was commanding to gather. Referee McDonald began to show his inconsistency when he failed to stop play when Hartley took out Craigan but then blew for an apparent foul after O’Donnell had challenged Wyness. The free kick was struck into the wall by Hartley and behind with Marshall clearing. An early booking came for Stevie Hammell and whilst he was late on Mikoliunas, for his first miss-timed challenge it was harsh indeed. What didn’t’ help was the dramatics of the Lithuanian. After an amazing recovery, Mikoliunas found Wyness who headed over. McDonald and Foran combined out wide and as the ball came to Paterson he was clearly fouled by Neilson but play continued. Foran was then body-checked by Pressley who escaped a card. Foran himself headed the ball across for O’Donnell who returned the favour but saw Pressley rescue his side by clearly. 

However, a minute later Motherwell made their next chance count. Corrigan was brought down by Neilson and a free kick was awarded. Swung in, there was no denying Stevie Craigan who rammed home his first competitive goal for Motherwell with a bullet header. The Fir Parkers were given another free kick when Paterson was sent sprawling, again by Neilson, and again there was no card for what now was persistent fouling. This time, however, Webster hooked away. Referee McDonald enraged the Motherwell fans when he gave a free kick in favour of Pressley who went right through McDonald. More questionable Refereeing followed when Paterson looked to have taken the ball cleanly from Neilson but gave a free kick. The Fir Park defence dealt competently with the ball, and broke forward. Foran knocked on Corrigan’s cross and although the ball was cleared to Leitch his shot tested Gordon. Hearts defender Neilson sent O’Donnell crashing to the ground moments later and despite the persistence of his fouling he received a mere warning. McDonald made the by line but his whipped in cross was held. Despite being well offside Wyness was allowed to continue and his ball broke kindly to Hartley who blasted over the bar. Soon after Hartley came closer but Marshall made a terrific parry before Hammell hooked clear. Mikoliunas, and not for the first time, took a dive as Leitch challenged with the result being a corner-kick. Delivered deep, the ball bobbed about but Corrigan booted the ball to safety. As Hammell continued to take the ball up field he was crudely fouled by Mikoliunas who was given a yellow card for his efforts. Hammell then conceded a free kick when Neilson cut inside and although Miller met the ball he headed weakly over. An overdue second yellow card came for Hearts when Pressley was carded after flattening McDonald again. Stevie Hammell cleverly clipped it to the top corner but Gordon tipped the ball over the bar. Quinn quickly fed McBride and his angled effort flew inches past the far post. Just on half time some superb defending kept Motherwell ahead. A hopeful punt found Wyness out wide and he slipped the ball past Marshall. It might not have gone over the line by Hammell made sure by clearing the ball away.

Half Time     Motherwell  1     Hearts  0

As expected, Hearts came out more determined to begin the Second Half in an attacking mode. Mikoliunas fired in a shot after a run towards the box which deflected wide for a corner. Webster got in a header which was easily held by Marshall. A complete over-reaction from Mikoliunas saw McBride booked after a clash out wide. It may have been a foul, but the play-acting of the Lithuanian was completely unnecessary. Miller and Leitch then challenged in midfield and although it looked like a foul against the Motherwell man Hearts got the nod. Hartley clipped towards Miller and his tame header gave Marshall no trouble. Marshall then played the ball long and Pressley conceded a corner ahead of McDonald. There was then a booking for O’Donnell when it appeared that McDonald himself was the recipient of a bad Webster tackle. Good forward play from Paterson then took him to the by line and his cross was well plucked out of the air by Gordon. Hamill then combined with Neilson and passed across the box. Partridge was on hand to deny Wyness with a fine clearance. Stevie Craigan was the next Motherwell man booked, this one perhaps deserved as he caught Mikoliunas late. Hartley curled in low and Marshall did well to knock behind. The Hearts midfielder then crossed in for Wyness who headed well over. Hearts then made a double change, MacFarlane and Wyness replaced by Simmons and Burchill respectively. Burchill’s first involvement was an unsavoury one, leading with the elbow on Craigan he was lucky Referee McDonald nor the well-placed lineman failed to spot. He then ran onto a Mikoliunas ball to shoot form 20 yards though Marshall was equal. The other Hearts sub’s first part in the game was a late challenge on Hammell, which should’ve seen yellow. A superb move from Motherwell opened up the Hearts defence; Corrigan and O’Donnell playing a fine one-two but a very late offside flag denied the Fir Parkers. Simmons took a clear dive as he lost possession near the box. Referee McDonald chose to ignore, and Hamill gathered the loose ball to force Marshall into conceding a corner. Simmons headed towards goal but Marshall was on hand. A third Hearts change had Hamill off for Thorarinsson. 

Motherwell made a double change of their own, Clarkson replacing McBride and Paterson making way for Fitzpatrick. With thirteen minutes to go it looked like the game was all over bar the shouting. McDonald sprinted clear of the defence and was hauled down by the despairing McAllister. It was a clear penalty, and Richie Foran made no mistake putting the ball to the right and Motherwell two ahead. The response from hearts was a cross from Miller which Marshall held. McDonald was then the subject of another foul, this time from Simmons, and from the free kick McAllister had to knock behind. O’Donnell headed on though Miller hooked away. Craigan was then adjudged to have fouled Mikoliunas and a free kick was awarded. Webster rose to head over the bar. However, a minute later, Hearts did get a goal back. A very soft free kick was taken by Simmons and Burchill was first to it to knock behind Marshall. Motherwell tried to make the game safe, and after Clarkson had charged down a Gordon clearance, the ball going wide, Fitzpatrick raced to the edge of the box before being crowded out. It should have been over with three minutes left. McDonald did very well out wide and his cross ball was somehow sclaffed over the bar from 7 yards out by Clarkson when it seemed easier to score. Clarkson was then very unlucky when his curling effort went inches pas the far post. Motherwell were made to pay for this in the first minute of injury time. Burchill ran unchallenged into the box and his pass found Thorarinsson who levelled. Both teams had efforts in the remaining injury time; McDonald saw a 25-yarder held before a corner at the other end was cleared.

Full time     Motherwell  2     Hearts  2

Slack defending gave Simmons a chance but he curled his effort well wide. Clarkson and Foran combined to find McDonald a moment or two later but he was denied by Gordon. Foran was then the subject of a bad tackle from Webster but there was no booking. Mikoliunas should then have received his second yellow and subsequent red when he pushed O’Donnell. The Main stand side linesman then flagged for a throw to Motherwell as a long ball from Hartley curled out. However, Hearts took the throw without a word from the linesman. Neilson crossed in and won a corner, though Pressley’s header was cleared by Craigan. Referee McDonald then curiously gave Simmons a free kick in midfield after he had fell over with no one near him. Motherwell attacked with Corrigan playing a ball for Clarkson though Webster cut it out. Burchill broke away and played a one-two with Simmons. The pass caught Simmons offside and despite kicking the ball away he wasn’t booked. The last effort of the half was from Thorarinsson who was high and wide with his shot.

Half Time Extra Time     Motherwell  2     Hearts  2

Hearts gained a free kick when Thorarinsson went over after a Partridge challenge, the Welshman doing the needful in clearing the ball as it came in. Another soft free kick in Hearts favour arrived when this time Miller fell under minimal Partridge pressure. This time Burchill headed well over the bar. Richie Foran was booked when he brought down Mikoliunas, and again the man from Lithuania made an absolute meal of the challenge. David Partridge was solid to head away. Motherwell attacked through McDonald and as he won a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge with Webster to go clear Referee McDonald incredibly blew for a Hearts free kick. Foran then was subbed for Paul Quinn. The Hearts response was a soft Simons header which Marshall had no difficulty dealing with. David Clarkson dispossessed Webster to go clear but again Referee McDonald gave Hearts a questionable free kick. With four minutes to go Motherwell thought they had won it when Clarkson raced clear on the right and finding McDonald he slotted home, but an offside flag, a close call, cancelled the goal. However, Motherwell were not to be denied, and with the 119th minute having begun, they made sure of their place in the Final. Hartley and McAllister made a hash of things in midfield allowing McDonald to clip a ball forward to Fitzpatrick. He raced into the box and unleashed an unstoppable angled drive beyond Gordon and into the far corner of the net to send the Motherwell support wild with delight. Hearts had no sooner kicked off and the match was over, Motherwell were in the Final. The supporters and players celebrated after a quite pulsating 120 minutes. 

Full time Extra Time     Motherwell  3     Hearts  2

Match Report by Ricky Mullen

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