Dundee Utd 0, Motherwell 1

Match Date: Saturday, December 4 2004
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 5,252.
Motherwell Team (4-3-3):

Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride, Leitch (Paul Quinn 45), Fitzpatrick, Clarkson (Wright 45), Foran (Fagan 88), Paterson.  
Subs Not Used: Corr, Burns, Kinniburgh, Keogh.

Motherwell scorer: Paterson (16).

Booked: Leitch, Partridge, Craigan.


Dundee United  0     Motherwell  1 

FORMER TANNADICE MAN JIM PATERSON, With a little help from home custodian Jarvie, returned to his old stomping ground to sink his former employers. It was a gritty performance from the Fir Parkers who have now won their last four SPL games in succession. 

Stevie Hammell played an early long ball in the direction of Foran and Clarkson but a vital interception from McCracken cleared. Duff then had to block Jim Paterson as he attempted to cross, and soon after Paterson was bundled over in the box by a rash Duff challenge though there was no penalty awarded. Stevie Hammell was left writhing in agony from a late Kerkar kick but the Tannadice man escaped a card. Corrigan was on hand to deny Grady as he tried to connect with McIntyre's cross, Fitzpatrick completing the clearance. An error from Brebner gave Paterson a chance to break and although the ball through to Clarkson appeared well timed the far side linesman thought otherwise. A superb long ball from Craigan found Foran though his cross was hooked away by Ritchie. The home side's first effort on goals saw Kerkar latching onto a Duff pass but Marshall was far from troubled with the weak shot. A nasty challenge by Ritchie should have carried a yellow when he took Paterson out of the play. Instead, a free kick was the only award which Hammell hit off the wall and away. Motherwell did take the lead a minute later, and the home keeper had best not tape this one.  Paterson fired in a shot from 25 yards and although Jarvie looked to have gathered, he allowed the ball to squirm from his grasp and watched as it trickled over the line.  

The home side attempted to hit back and Archibald fired well over from outside the box. Good work from Clarkson saw him go past Wilson and cross deep but Brebner cleared as Foran hovered around. Brilliant goalkeeping from Gordon Marshall denied Grady, the keeper racing from goal to clear the danger.  Motherwell broke with Clarkson wide but he failed to pick out Foran in space.  Paterson was then the subject of another late challenge, this time from Duff, but again cards were kept hidden by the Referee. Motherwell were well on top, and clever play from Hammell saw him nutmeg Kerkar. Foran was crowded out but the ball broke for McBride, making a welcome return, and he fired narrowly past.  Kerkar then went down dramatically to win a free kick and made an amazing recovery within seconds. Motherwell mopped it up and swept up field, Paterson crossing for Foran but the effort was held this time by Jarvie. Another Tannadice man somehow escaped a booking when Wilson took Clarkson out from the back.  

Kerkar picked up possession and found Robson but he drove wide. Despite clearly pushing Craigan, striker McIntyre was given a corner in favour of United a minute later. Leitch cleared, and the ball came to Clarkson. He broke forward and found Foran who smacked a fierce shot towards goal. Jarvie parried as far as Fitzpatrick but he shot over from 18 yards. Up field Kerkar won a corner off Hammell though Marshall held confidently. Motherwell still looked more likely and Clarkson came close when connecting with a Paterson pass. David Partridge then conceded a corner but a combination of Corrigan and Paterson soon cleared. The games' first booking came well after it should, and it went to Scott Leitch for his first miss-timed tackle of the game. Motherwell then suffered two massive blows just before the break. David Clarkson landed awkwardly after a cross had came in and had to be stretchered from the field, whilst almost immediately Scott Leitch had to be assisted from the field with a nasty dose of concussion from an earlier incident. Kenny Wright and Paul Quinn were the replacements during the subsequent five minutes injury time. 

Half time     Dundee United  0     Motherwell  1 

The home side made a change prior to resumption, Samuel on for Kerkar. United pushed up from the off, Marshall having to do well to clutch a McIntyre cross intended for Grady. There was a half-hearted home appeal for a penalty when McIntyre went down under minimal Craigan pressure. After Paterson had been fouled by Wilson, the free kick was lined up by Hammell. In it came but the whistle had already been blown, with Partridge booked for reasons known only to Referee McDonald. Indeed, he had now booked two Motherwell players whilst several home challenges had been deemed admissible. Paterson was then adjudged to have fouled Grady but Robson drove a curling shot wide of the target. A header from McIntyre then looked dangerous but Marshall held well. Referee McDonald then decided that a crude Archibald tackle on Foran was not worthy of a card. He did, however, think that a Stevie Craigan tackle, which saw Samuel perform another dramatic slump to the turf, was bookable and promptly carded the Motherwell defender. A minute later McIntyre, well offside, played on and shot wide when he knew fully the Referee had already stopped play. Once again, there was a distinct lack of yellow card on offer. Richie Foran saw a shot deflected for a corner after good build up involving Fitzpatrick and Paterson. United made a further change, Grady replaced by Scotland. Clever play between Foran and Fitzpatrick opened up the Tannadice defence though Archibald just managed to clear. Scotland burst up field and it took a good interception from Corrigan to clear.  

A fantastic ball from Quinn picked out Wright and he won a corner, though the header from Foran was held by Jarvie. Although Wilson partially cleared a Paterson ball Foran fed Corrigan and his 25 yard effort wasn't so far away.  Scotland then went on a run towards the Motherwell box and his shot was well held by the alert Marshall. Hesitancy in the home defence led to Wilson conceding a corner which Paterson headed over. A third change for United saw Dodds replace Duff. Motherwell had a claim for a penalty brushed aside when Archibald appeared to handle a header from Foran as he connected with a Fitzpatrick cross in. Robson then fell under very little McBride pressure though the free kick, taken by Wilson, saw Marshall smartly dive to smother despite a deflection. A minute later the home side came within inches of levelling. Dodds played Robson wide and his angled drive struck the far post before Hammell knocked it behind. Hammell then looked to have won from Robson but his dive convinced referee McDonald of a free kick. Robson recovered dramatically but struck the ball off Scotland and away.  

Very slack defending from Paul Quinn almost gifted an equaliser when his header back to Marshall was pounced upon by Dodds. However, Marshall was alert as ever and did superbly to gather at the feet of the home attacker. After conceding another corner to United, Motherwell burst up field where McBride won one for the visitors. This was cleared, but shortly afterwards Craigan's long ball had Wilson conceding another. From a quick second, Hammell found Paterson but he saw his header held. Richie Foran then made way for Sean Fagan, and Motherwell resumed the attacking. Paterson beat Jarvie to the ball but the lay off for Fitzpatrick saw a cross go beyond Wright. The incompetence of Referee McDonald was summed up when Craigan cleared as far as Samuel. He caught the ball, adamant that it was a free kick to United, but incredibly McDonald gave Motherwell a free kick without booking Samuel. A blatant dive from Robson, not the first, gained a free kick 25 yards out. Wilson saw the ball deflected to Samuel whose shot was held. In the last minute another "fall" by Robson was again met with a free kick, with clear dissent from Robson ignored by Referee McDonald. This was cleared, and Motherwell saw out the remaining time to record another vital win. 

Full Time     Dundee United  0     Motherwell  1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen