Hopes of a Hampden Visit Dashed

Last updated : 31 October 2007 By Firparkcorner

It was a game of contrasting halves and the whole game was littered with some bizarre refereeing decisions. We played well in the first period and the passing game was on show. Despite the absence of Hughes and Porter we played some nice football and Fizpatrick and O'Donnell contributed to the play.

Smith up for the corner!

Smith was tested in the first few minutes with a nineteen yard free kick from Ferguson and his outstretched hand got enough of a touch to see the ball go safe off the post. McCormack, who had a good game, came close with an unmarked header which has McGregor beaten but the attempt was narrowly off target.

Rangers took the lead when Novo scored from eight yards after a scramble. There had been a clear push following a corner and the ball was not fully cleared. It returned in eventually landed at the striker's feet. It was the first of several unfathomable calls from Mr Brines.

Tempers were raised following the setback and we looked in danger of losing the plot. The referee managed to book three of our players before the first half hour had passed and the tackles were starting to fly.

Motherwell regained some composure and started to rebuild, playing some nice stuff but without having any real threat.

Well, it was Halloween

We lost the second early in the second half to a breakaway goal. Clarkson had two attempts to find a claret and amber jersey from an acute angled position on the right of the box. The second only needed a chip to Fitzpatrick who was available at the far post but the punt was long. They charged upfield and Boyd finished off the game with a strike inside the area.

Motherwell swapped Lasley for porter and played a long ball game but to no effect. There was no lack of effort and the guys are to be commended for their commitment but the two centre backs mopped up attack after attack.  To add to our woes we seemed unable to send a cross or free kick or corner over the head of the first defender.

Referee Brines' final feat of the evening was to book Clarkson for barging into the keeper - how he failed to see that it was an accidental collision between one of the Rangers' defenders and McGregor only he'll know.

We had a few thrills and at times the ball bobbled about in their box. With a bit of luck it might have fallen for us but it was not to be. In the dying minutes McGregor dropped a simple catch on to the goal line and Quinn got the touch which gave a last glimmer of hope.

Back to league business on Saturday.