Motherwell 2, Dundee Utd 0

Match Date: Saturday, March 5 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 5,110.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride (Foran 54), O'Donnell (Fitzpatrick 90), Leitch, Paterson, Hamilton, McDonald (Clarkson 80).
Subs not used: Corr, Quinn, Fagan, Kinniburgh.

Motherwell scorers: Partridge (4), McDonald (47).

Booked: None.


Motherwell  2     Dundee United  0

MOTHERWELL SECURED THE POINTS With a comfortable victory over the visitors from Tayside. The Fir Parkers were rarely troubled by a side which now sit equal bottom of the SPL, whilst Motherwell moved closer to securing a top-six place.

Coming back to haunt his former club was David Partridge. After Brebner had conceded a free kick with a deliberate handball, which failed to gain him a booking, McBride floated the ball in to the unchallenged Partridge and he left Bullock without a chance with a fine header to open the scoring. McDonald was then left in a heap after an Archibald challenge but this free kick was cleared. A loose ball from the visiting defence presented Hamilton with a chance but his shot from well outside the box fell just the wrong side of the bar. United then had to make a change when McCracken, challenging Hamilton, fell awkwardly and looked in considerable pain with what appeared to be a dislocated elbow. He was replaced by Kenneth. Martyn Corrigan was penalised for a foul on Crawford, and although Hamilton partially cleared, the ball came back in from Wilson. The ball fell to Scotland but Marshall superbly parried the shot, and although Grady headed towards goal Corrigan headed clear. McDonald did well to find Paterson wide though the return cross fell the wrong side of the unmarked striker. The visiting response was a Brebner cross which Robson headed towards goal but Marshall held firm. Fine play from Hammel and McDonald presented Paterson with an opening but his shot failed to trouble Bullock. Paterson was finding plenty of room out wide and he managed to find McDonald only for an unlucky break seeing the ball go behind. Paterson then forced a corner off Wilson but Bullock gathered. Kerr for the visitors moved upfield to fire in a shot which went well wide of the upright. Attempting to clear his lines was Duff but he only found O’Donnell, the midfielder seeing his lob go past the post. Still Motherwell looked likelier, Paterson passing wide to McDonald and the striker finding Bullock on hand to gather. Grady was very lucky not to receive a booking when his over-the-top challenge on O’Donnell left the Motherwell man in agony. Duff went down easily after a McBride challenge and from the free kick Corrigan conceded a corner. Craigan partially cleared and as Kenneth returned the ball Leitch completed the clearance to safety. The visitors had another opportunity when Paterson fouled Scotland. Wilson curled in the ball but Marshall saved well. A slack pass back from Wilson had Bullock under pressure and he just cleared as McDonald challenged. A quick pass to McDonald from Quinn forced Bullock into a good save at the expense of a corner. Swung in, the ball fell to Craigan but he failed to hit the target from 6 yards, the ball going out for a throw. United pushed forward and came close to levelling just before the break. Scotland and Grady combined to set up Crawford but he managed to slice a shot wide from 12 yards. Then, as a Motherwell move broke down, Grady sent a looping header off the junction of bar and post with Crawford unable to turn the rebound in.

Half Time     Motherwell  1     Dundee United  0

A half-time change saw the visitors replace Scotland with Samuel with Motherwell remaining unchanged. However, it was Motherwell who doubled their advantage just two minutes into the second half thanks to an incredible blunder from the United defence. Archibald, under no pressure whatsoever, somehow managed to slip allowing the ball to run free to McDonald and he bore down on Bullock before finishing with some style. Soon afterwards McBride sent Paterson towards the box and he was unlucky to see his effort go over the top with Bullock struggling. Paterson came even closer when McBride and Hamilton combined to set up the former Tannadice man. Bullock superbly saved his shot with the follow up from McDonald going wide. McBride then went down in some discomfort when he was caught very late by a bad Robson tackle. It gained the visitor a booking, but also saw McBride replaced by Richie Foran, the midfilder having to leave the field after sustaining two late tackles in as many minutes. Partridge headed goalwards but a superb save from Bullock denied him with Robson clearing as McDonald threatened. Good defending from Kenneth then denied McDonald an opportunity to race clear again after some fine play from Hamilton. A kick from goals by Bullock put his team under immediate pressure, the ball striking the Referee allowing Paterson to send in a dangerous cross which Duff was forced to knock behind. As the corner was cleared Kerr caught Hamilton but play continued for some time before the Referee eventually halted play to allow treatment for the Motherwell man. Cool play from Martyn Corrigan saw him nod into the arms of Marshall under pressure from Samuel. Having a good match was Jim Paterson, and fine play from him set up Foran though he was crowded out. The ball ran to O’Donnell and he was able to pick out McDonald whose header was held. Play swung upfield and the visitors passed up a glaring opportunity to pull a goal back. Crawford made the by line and his cut back found Robson in space. Just six yards from goal he screwed his shot wide of the target. A foul by Grady on Hammel gave Motherwell a free kick some 35 yards out. Bullock was able to gather only at the second attempt as he made a hash of an easy take. McDonald then set up Hammel but he couldn’t hit the target and sliced his shot wide. A further change for United saw Dodds come on to replace Grady. An attempted cleared from Samuel then fell to Hammel but Kenneth was on hand to block near the edge of the box. Motherwell then made a change when McDonald, having once again put in super shift, made way for David Clarkson. Dodds played Samuel wide and his cross sailed passed Robson and wide. Motherwell pushed upfield with Foran and Corrigan combining for Hamilton but his header was plucked away from Clarkson by Bullock. Referee Freeland then chose only to warn Crawford for verbals when the former Dunfermline man couldn’t keep his mouth shut. On the other hand, Dodds was booked when he decided to unnecessarily throw his opinion in too. Right on the final whistle Marc Fitzpatrick made an appearance in place of O’Donnell.

Full Time     Motherwell  2     Dundee United  0

Match Report by Ricky Mullen