Motherwell 2, Dunfermline 1

Match Date: Saturday, November 27 2004
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 5,084.
Motherwell Team (4-3-3):

Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, Fitzpatrick, Leitch, O'Donnell, Paterson, Clarkson (Quinn 75), Foran. Subs Not Used: Burns, Cowan, Wright, Fagan, Kinniburgh, Ewings.

Motherwell scorers: Tod (26 og), Foran (63).

Booked: Fitzpatrick, Craigan.


Motherwell  2     Dunfermline Athletic  1 

DESPITE PLAYING WELL BELOW FORM, Motherwell were still effective enough to take all three points against the visitors at a chilly Fir Park. Reduced to 10 for a large part of the game, Dunfermline still carried a threat but could not get the better of the Steelmen. 

It was Dunfermline who showed firstly, Donnelly pouncing on a Craigan partial clearance to fire well over from 25 yards out. Motherwell had failed to come out of the blocks and again it was the visitors who attacked. Only a superbly timed Partridge challenge denied Donnelly and although the ball was returned a foul by Young on Partridge halted play. The Fir parkers first foray forward won them a corner, Wilson forced to knock a Paterson ball behind. Foran met the corner but his header was blocked by Thomson at the expense of another flag kick. This time O'Donnell returned a clearance but this was hooked unceremoniously downfield. A loose backpass from Labonte almost had Stillie in trouble, the visiting keeper only just able to clear as Clarkson bore down on him. The linesman on the East Stand side had the crowd there angry when he failed to flag the clearly offside Mahomet. He got a cross in but Corrigan did well to clear from Young. Still the visitors carried the danger to Motherwell and from Shields cross Mehmet was blocked out. Donnelly was also crowded out but a loose ball was delivered goalwards by Mehmet with Marshall able to gather.  A foul by Wilson on Clarkson gave the Fir Parkers a free kick some 30 yards out though the effort from Richie Foran is perhaps one he'll want to quickly forget.  Motherwell forced successive corners, and also the opening goal. O'Donnell and Hammel combined with the former winning a corner off the leg of Shields.  Thomson quickly conceded a second, and as this came in the ball came back out to Hammel. He returned it low with Wilson's attempted clearance merely sending the ball goalwards.  

Tod attempted to hook it away and only succeeded in sclaffing it into his own net. Not at all happy was Mehmet and he appeared to receive a yellow card for his troubles. Dunfermline attempted a quick reply and from a free kick after a foul by Partridge on Mehmet, Partridge's header back to Marshall had the keeper in a little trouble though he gathered at the second attempt. A minute later the visitors went down to ten men. Clarkson and Labonte clashed out on the wing with the visiting defender clearly kicking out at the Motherwell man. Referee McCurry was in no doubts about the offence and produced a straight red card.  With the visitors all over the place Motherwell almost made a second. Paterson to Corrigan out wide and his inviting low cross fell just inches from the outstretched foot of Richie Foran. The Irishman then gained a corner which fell to Hammel and his 25 yarder took a clear deflection but there was no second corner kick. Despite being a man down Dunfermline came close to levelling.  Thomson won a corner and as this came in Mehmet saw his shot blocked near the line by Leitch for another corner. This time Donnelly's shot was superbly parried by Marshall who gathered at the second attempt, though the follow up from Donnelly was unnecessary. Unfortunately the kick from Marshall went virtually straight to Donnelly though he more than made up for that with a good take from the 25-yard shot. Marc Fitzpatrick saw yellow for his first mis-timed challenge of the match, taking Thomson down out wide. Motherwell should have made it two when Clarkson failed to keep down a cross from Corrigan, sending a header over the top. Good build-up from Motherwell took them well upfield and created an opening for Hammel, the resultant 25 yard shot zipping past the far post. It was all Motherwell now, and O'Donnell knew he should have scored when heading a Corrigan cross wide when in good space. Clarkson was then adjudged to foul Shields inside the Motherwell half though the take from Nicholson was cleared by Hammel. Richie Foran then went on a break upfield and just as he was about to shoot he was hacked down form the back by Tod, though incredibly Referee McCurry decides no foul was committed. Just before the break another fine Corrigan delivery was headed over by Fitzpatrick. 

Half Time     Motherwell  1     Dunfermline Athletic  0 

Motherwell were on the offensive right from the start. Fitzpatrick found O'Donnell and his ball for Clarkson was crucially cleared by Wilson. A run from Fitzpatrick had him on the edge of the box and although he was crowded out the ball broke for Hammel, the shot screaming wide of Stillie's goal. The visitors were given a free kick 30 yards from goal when Fitzpatrick was adjudged to have fouled Nicholson. Thomson took the kick but sent it well over the bar. Mason then found Shields and his angled drive was well held by the alert Marshall.  Motherwell replied, Corrigan seeing his cross for Foran nipped away by Shields.  Captain Leitch got in on the act a moment or two later, sending a half volley in only to see Stillie save. Richie Foran supplied Paterson next but a crucial half-second hesitation allowed the defence to recover and concede a corner. A blatant hand ball against Wilson went unpunished and as the ball returned Stillie parried the corner in the direction of Craigan and his net-bound effort struck the unfortunate Fitzpatrick and was cleared. However, the second goal was merely delayed. Superb play from Marc Fitzpatrick saw him make space and deliver in a telling cross. Although Clarkson had his header parried by Stillie, Richie Foran was on hand to nod home and celebrate. However, Motherwell didn't get long to hold the two-goal advantage. From a free kick Partridge conceded a corner. Whipped in by Nicholson, Tod rose highest to glance a header into the net and pull Dunfermline back into the game. Young saw his late tackle on Corrigan penalised though Foran's header from the free kick was cleared. Minutes later Wilson was booked for a nasty tackle on Foran, and should have been sent off just three minutes afterwards. Clarkson was the recipient of a cynical tackle but amazingly Referee McCurry waved play on.  

Motherwell then replaced the hobbling Clarkson with Paul Quinn. Another rash and most definitely bookable challenge by Tod on Paterson went again without punishment. However, McCurry decided that Donnelly's jump over a Craigan challenge was a bookable offence. Donnelly hurt himself on landing, and whilst it was a free kick it was hardly a yellow card offence. Donnelly couldn't continue and was replaced by Butler. The free kick came in from Nicholson but Marshall got down to hold. Sub Butler then made the by line but his cut back was hooked away. Fitzpatrick was almost more successful with a similar run upfield, his cross desperately knocked behind by Young. Up rose Craigan whose header drifted narrowly wide. Paterson took play towards the away box and finding Quinn a dangerous cross was well cleared by Wilson. What looked like a bit of a dive gained Butler a free kick 25 yards out. Nicholson took the free kick though his effort was a couple of yards high with Marshall covering. Just before the end of the match Fitzpatrick send Paterson wide. He outran Thomson but sliced an angled drive inches past the far post. 

Full time     Motherwell  2     Dunfermline Athletic  1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen