Last Gasp Winner Takes the Points

Last updated : 31 December 2005 By Firparkcorner

A sizable Motherwell support gathered in Livingston and yet again the shambling amateurism of our hosts shone through. Scores missed the kick off due to only one turnstile being open and the stewards had to give us an extra few blocks of seats. If this was a one off it would be excusable but it seems to be a regular occurrence.

However, onto the game. We made an excellent start and were soon creating chances. O’Donnell ran from deep but after a good one-two his shot was saved by McKenzie. The keeper denied us again when he did superbly well to tip over Foran’s header.

Smith to the rescue

As so often happens when you’re struggling you lose goals against the run of play. Livingston had managed to steady the ship somewhat and had forced Smith into an excellent save, touching Snodgrass’ lob onto the bar, when they then lost the opening goal. A corner was half cleared by the ‘Well defence but an astonishing back pass was picked up by Foran who ran half the pitch before slotting home.

Smith and Strong exchange greetings

We should have used this as a platform on which to build but instead we looked edgy on the ball and allowed Livingston back into the match. A cross was swung in from the right, Smith stayed when he might have tried to collect, and Pinxton headed home from close range. Half time arrived soon after but there was time enough for Paul Dalglish to spurn a sitter, Smith making the save.

The second half followed a predictable pattern of Motherwell attacking play. We varied our approach quite well with long and short balls although to be honest neither was particularly effective against a side determined to hold on for a point. Despite being the home team Livi made absolutely no attempt to win the game and their aimless clearances up the park served only as breaks between our attacks.

It looked as though we would be forced to settle for a point. McDonald’s neat turn and shot had been our only attempt on target but that was saved. Clarkson made a good run and saw his shot deflected wide then another deflection – this time from a smart quick free kick by Kerr – seemed to miss the post by millimetres.

Kevin McBride was to be the late hero despite having a poor game. He looked unfit and was as sharp as a blunt object for most of the game. Terry persevered with him while some fans called for his substitution but it turned out (again) that Gaffer knows best.

After our zillionth corner was cleared into the air, a great first touch brought Kevin inside his man and he sent the ball arcing past McKenzie and in at the far post. The ‘Well fans went wild and there was only time for one small scare in front of our own goal before time up.

The last two games were vital in the chase for a top six spot – we won both and we can now look forward to the Scottish Cup as a top half side. A pretty good way to begin the New Year!