Livingston 2, Motherwell 3
|Match Date: Saturday, September 25 2004|
|Competition: Scottish Premier League|
|Motherwell Team (4-4-2):|
Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Hammell, McBride, Leitch,
O'Donnell (Fagan 32 (Fitzpatrick 77)), Foran, Clarkson (Paterson 78), McDonald.
Subs Not Used: Corr, Burns, Partridge, Quinn..
Motherwell scorers: McBride (11), McDonald (50), Foran (71).
WELL CLIMB TO SECOND SPOT
Livingston 2 Motherwell 3
ANOTHER FINE SECOND HALF PERFORMANCE Saw Motherwell claim their first-ever points at the City/Courier/Almondvale Stadium and take second spot in the SPL for the first time in 10 years. Despite taking an early year, some calamitous defending allowed the home side an interval lead before Terry Butcher turned things around.
Within the first few seconds Motherwell had forced a corner. Craigan sent a long ball down the wing for McDonald to chase and his persistence made Stanic concede. McDonald himself rose to connect with the cross but headed wide. As play resumed Easton caught McBride late but this was ignored. Rubio then had to clear under pressure as McBride hovered. It was Easton again late with a challenge on McDonald and this time it was a free kick. Craigan found Foran though Rubio hooked away as far as Leitch. Returned, McBride fired the ball in but this time it was McKenzie to gather. The home side were awarded a free kick when Easton convincingly went down as Kinniburgh challenged some 25 yards out, though the effort from O'Brien was well wide. Motherwell almost made their early pressure count when superb work from McDonald found Clarkson. His terrific turn on the edge of the box brought out a superb save from McKenzie at the expense of a corner. That came to nothing, however, but Motherwell's next effort on target was to bear dividends. Foran beat Dair by the flag and his cross was knocked on by Clarkson to McBride. The first-time volley gave McKenzie no chance as the ball raced into the net. It was almost a quick second. A bad Dorado tackle on Clarkson saw the defender booked and a free kick given to Motherwell. Hammell found Craigan and his header drifted narrowly past. The Fir Parkers came even closer shortly afterwards to a second.
From another free kick from McBride the ball was flicked by McDonald into the path of Foran and his shot cracked the cross bar and went over to safety. A loose ball some 25 yards out was blasted over by Leitch as Motherwell continued to press. The pressure was relieved somewhat when Foran was adjudged to foul Dair 30 yards out though Marshall easily took the resultant Dair effort. A great long pass from Hammell fond Clarkson in space but the striker delayed slightly allowing cover to appear, though he did win a corner. Livingston broke upfield but Corrigan was on hand to find Marshall ahead of McMenamin. Slack defending from the home side then saw Rubio concede an unnecessary corner though McKenzie gathered. The home side's first shot on target came from Dair with Marshall comfortably dealing. McMenamin then went down very easily as he was challenged by Kinniburgh near the centre of goals almost on the 18-yard line. O'Brien strode up but his goal-bound effort was well parried over by the alert Marshall. Livingston forced successive corner but they came to nothing. A run from Corrigan then set up McDonald but his shot was held by McKenzie. Motherwell were forced into a change when O'Donnell, suffering from a hamstring problem, was replaced by Fagan. Teammate Willie Kinniburgh then became Motherwell's second player booked in the league this season when he was carded for his first miss-timed challenge in the match, a very harsh decision from Referee Thomson. To compound this, Easton was very late on Hammell which the Referee chose to turn a blind eye to moments later. Motherwell's early good work was undone within a minute. Dair's hopeful punt saw O'Brien nip past Kinniburgh and Craigan, who slipped as he attempted to make a challenge, to nick the ball past Marshall for an equaliser. Moments later Marshall had to race from his goals to stop a ball reaching O'Brien. Motherwell were unsettled and conceded a free kick when Dair was tackled by Foran., though the take from O'Brien troubled no one. Leitch and Easton then clashed with the outcome a home free kick, Craigan clearing. A quite disgraceful lunge by Rubio had Foran in agony but astonishingly Referee Thomson ignored. Foran recovered to set up Clarkson but a poor touch allowed Dair to clear. The ball came again to Foran but he shot over. Just as the Referee was about to blow for the interval Motherwell shot themselves in the foot. A short pass back from Craigan caught Marshall out and as he delayed McMenamin force the ball out to Lovell. With Marshall off his line the ball was crossed to Hamilton head into the empty net and give Livingston an undeserved lead at the break.
Half Time Livingston 2 Motherwell 1
Motherwell are becoming renowned for their second half performances, and this was no exception. Within seconds of the restart Hammell had broke forward to fire in a 25-yard shot which was blocked and cleared. A superb piece of play from McDonald the forced a corner which, although cleared to Fagan, saw his lob find Clarkson with a turn and shot held by McKenzie. The leveller wasn't long away, however. Clarkson beat Dorado superbly and, after finding McBride, the pass on saw McDonald produce a terrific turn to shoot past McKenzie from the edge of the box. Soon after the restart Clarkson, on the angle, forced McKenzie into a good save. McDonald was then fouled rather crudely by Dorado but as play continued Leitch sent a shot high over the bar. Brilliant play from McDonald won another corner kick though it was too near the keeper. Pressure continued and Fagan found Craigan but his shot was desperately blocked by the outstretched Rubio. Goalscorer McDonald then crumpled in agony after a Rubio hack though the only outcome was a free kick to Motherwell. Dair managed to hook it away as Leitch looked set to pounce. A long free kick from Craigan found McBride but he was intercepted by Rubio for ac corner. Craigan himself met this but his header deflected off Kernaghan to McKenzie. From the next corner in the next minute McBride met a Hammell pass but drove over the bar.
Another superb long pass, this time from Leitch, was gathered by the busy McDonald whose shot had McKenzie scrambling to cover. The home fans and players were enraged a minute later when a cross appeared to be handled behind by Kinniburgh. So angered was Hamilton he was lucky to stay on the park and received a yellow card for his protests. The decision was a corner kick which Fagan cleared. An amazing passage of play saw Motherwell pummel the Livingston defence without making a breakthrough. After good Clarkson work Leitch had his shot blocked by Kernaghan. Motherwell then replaced Clarkson with Paterson before the home side also made a change, Easton for McLaughlin. Seconds afterwards Motherwell did regain the lead. Leitch was unlucky to see his drive blocked by the despairing Kernaghan again but this time the ball broke kindly to Foran and he wasted no time in despatching the ball over McKenzie into the net. Livingston won a corner right from kick off though Paterson cleared. A further home change had Lovell replaced by Lilley. Motherwell were forced into a reshuffle when Sub Fagan went off injured to be replaced by Fitzpatrick. It was still the Fir Parkers who looked likeliest. Paterson found Foran and his low shot had McKenzie in trouble, gathering at the second attempt. A late nick by Hamilton had Fitzpatrick grounded but somehow Referee Thomson failed to spot despite being well positioned. Kernaghan had to do well to deny Paterson as he raced onto a ball from Foran. Livingston then brought on Libbra for Kernaghan, a fourth forward. His first involvement was an attempted over-head kick which Marshall gathered. Hamilton then tired a header which Marshall held, and the final action saw a shot from McLaughlin go well past as Motherwell took the points.
Full time Livingston 2 Motherwell 3
Match Report by Ricky Mullen