Livingston 1, Motherwell 1

Match Date: Saturday, March 12 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 4,609.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Corr, Quinn, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride, Corrigan, Firzpatrick, Paterson (Foran 45), Hamilton, McDonald (Clarkson 77).
Subs not used: Ewings, Higgins, Kinniburgh, Fagan, Wright.

Motherwell scorer: McDonald (19).

Booked: Foran, Hammell, Hamilton.


Livingston  1     Motherwell  1

WITH THEIR MINDS PERHAPS ON NEXT WEEK, Motherwell squandered chance after chance to see off their hosts and were hit with a late sucker-punch.  With the home keeper in fantastic form too, added to by a dismal Refereeing performance from Dougie McDonald, at the end of the day a point perhaps wasn’t such a bad day’s work after all. 

Within the first couple of minutes Motherwell could have taken the lead. McDonald played Paterson wide and as the ball was returned McDonald chipped over McKenzie but found Strong there to clear. Fitzpatrick crossed in again though this time Hamilton was adjudged to have fouled Rubio though it looked dubious. Craigan was left hobbling moments later when Horvath was very late in a tackle but Referee McDonald, who had a very poor match to say the least, thought otherwise. The first showing from the home side was a corner, which Quinn conceded under pressure, however, Hammel soon cleared the danger. Another late tackle, from Easton this time, left McBride in some distress, but he recovered to cross in towards Hamilton who headed wide. Bursting forward from midfield was Martyn Corrigan and he forced McKenzie into a fantastic parry from 25 yards out with McDonald unable to gather the rebound. O’Brien then took play forward for Livingston but his ball towards Horvath was hooked away by the alert Corrigan. Dair returned the all and although McBride knocked the ball behind the corner came to nothing. Corrigan had an eye for goal and again he forced McKenzie into a top notch save, running onto McDonald’s pass but seeing the home keeper hold the shot. Deputising for Gordon Marshall was Barry John Corr, and he had his first real test when Snodgrass cut inside Partridge to fire in an angled drive though Corr was able to gather at the second attempt. Only last-gasp defending stopped Motherwell taking the lead on the quarter-hour. A long ball from Hamel saw McDonald force a corner. Rising high to head towards goal was Partridge but he was denied when O’Brien made a desperate clearance on the line. However, the Fir Parkers were not to be denied and took the lead shortly afterwards. Paterson played a ball towards McDonald only to see Strong seemingly gather. However, the former Motherwell man made a complete mess of things allowing McDonald to gleefully accept the gift and ram the ball beyond McKenzie for the opener. A minute later McBride had a shot on the angle only to see McKenzie make another good stop. The response from Livingston was a free kick from McNamee which Strong headed on though Corrigan cleared. Looking way offside was Snodgrass but he was allowed to continue until good work from Corrigan stopped his progress. In the thick of the action was the man the fans call Kaiser, and Corrigan’s superb long pass gave McDonald time to shoot though again McKenzie was in top form to tip the ball round for a corner. Hamilton, looking to notch a goal against his former employers, saw his shot blocked by Strong. From a long through by Vincze the ball was nodded on moments later by Strong though it troubled no one. Seemingly reluctant to book home players, Referee McDonald allowed McNamee to escape after a clumsy tackle on McDonald. The Motherwell striker recovered to force a corner and again it was McKenzie to the rescue for Livingston holding a bullet header from Partridge. On the receiving end once more was McDonald, and this time Rubio appeared to kick the striker on the ground though not in the eyes of the Officials who decided a free kick was sufficient. Livingston won a corner next though Fitzpatrick was on hand to clear. Another Rubio hack conceded a free kick which McDonald pounced on only to see McKenzie hold the low shot. Near the break Hamilton attempted a 25-yard shot which went wide, before Paterson had his angled drive held and the home side went in just one goal behind.

Half Time     Livingston  0     Motherwell  1

Motherwell made a change at the interval, Richie Foran replacing Jim Paterson. The first real action of the half fell to the home side; Easton passing for Snodgrass whose effort was comfortably dealt with by Corr in goals. Snodgrass then conceded a free kick when he clumsily felled McBride 30 yards out. The ball broke for Corrigan and he was again denied by a terrific save from McKenzie who tipped the ball round the post for a corner. Rising high to meet the ball was Hamilton but there was McKenzie to gather. Foran hit the ground shortly afterwards following another McNamee foul, but the free kick was cleared by a hard-worked home defence. Former Motherwell defender Strong was only inches away from gifting another present to his former employers when he headed on a McBride cross forcing McKenzie into a fingertip save, the ball bouncing off the post and away to safety. From the corner McKenzie appeared to be fouled by his own defender, Rubio, but Referee McDonald decided a free kick to Livingston was in order. The home side made their first change, replacing Dair with McMenamin. Seconds later Snodgrass hit the side netting with a shot on the angle which deceived some home supporters into believing they had scored. Hammel was then the subject of a typically late Rubio effort but play was waved on. Once Foran had won a corner Referee McDonald decided a little word in the Livingston defender’s ear was somehow sufficient. Hamilton headed on to McDonald and his superb turn and shot was met by an equally brilliant piece of goal keeping as McKenzie conceded another corner. Motherwell continued to push with Fitzpatrick chipping over from outside the box. A foul by Strong on Hamilton saw Motherwell gain a free kick 30 yards out. Under little pressure McKenzie dropped but was given a free kick. On the hour Livingston should have been reduced to ten men when McDonald, clear on goal, was clearly hauled back by Rubio. It was denial of a clear goal-scoring opportunity, but incredibly the linesman and Referee waved play on. Foran and McNamee were then booked as they collided off the park chasing a ball, although McNamee was lucky not to see more than just yellow. McDonald then burst forward but his ball to Foran saw Easton hook clear. Once more McDonald was the subject of a late tackle, with Vincze the culprit, and whilst the free kick was being organised Livingston replaced Horvath with McPake. Good defending from Quinn then denied Snodgrass getting in a cross after he had gone wide. Motherwell passed up a great opportunity to finish the game soon afterwards. Hammel had made the by line, crossed in low, and after McKenzie had parried the ball McDonald appeared to block Foran’s way to goal and the sting of the shot was taken out as McKenzie gathered. It was McDonald’s last involvement in the game and he was understandably angry after leaving the field, having been replaced by Clarkson, given the lack of protection afforded by the weak officials. Snodgrass for Livingston tested Corr with a shot which he easily dealt with. A clear body-check by Stanic on McBride went unpunished, but a minute or so later the luck clearly swung the home side’s way. A free kick into the box saw Easton’s shot blocked, but as the ball spun to the right it fell for McMenamin. His shot seemed to be going wide it until took a massive deflection off Craigan and left Corr with no chance as it settled in the net. It was cruel on Motherwell who had dominated proceedings. Stevie Hammel was booked for a soft foul, and given what Livingston players had escaped any punishment for beforehand, very harsh indeed. After Dorado had replaced McNamee, another booking came for Motherwell when Jim Hamilton was booked for reasons known only to the Referee. With seconds left Corrigan had a header go wide, before a shot from Snodgrass also went wide.

Full Time     Livingston  1     Motherwell  1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen