Marvellous Motherwell fight for a point at Parkhead

Last updated : 25 November 2023 By John Wilson

A tremendous defensive performance earned Motherwell a hard fought point at Parkhead when two late goals produced a 1-1 draw.

If there was ever any doubt about the Motherwell players’ commitment to the cause as they endured a long winless run, the fighting point earned at Celtic Park made it clear.  They fought for every ball and stuck to the manager’s formation to blunt the continual attacks conjured by the home team.  Liam Kelly produced three high class saves (one from the spot) and the ranks of claret and amber protection limited opportunities for the marauding forwards.


Stuart Kettlewell respected the likely threat from the league leaders by adding  Bevis Mugabi and Brodie Spencer to the opening eleven at the cost of Conor Wilkinson and Theo Bair.  Motherwell got the game underway and the pressure soon followed. 

Kelly produced the first notable stop after eight minutes with an outstretched arm to deflect a Matt O’Riley 12 yard strike. He had to be at his best midway through the half when a defending head glanced the ball goalward, another fine save kept his goal intact.

There were occasional upfield breaks and after half an hour a corner arrived. It was cleared downfield and Kelly fired it back to the Celtic area.  A Joe Hart misjudgement allowed Blair Spittal to embarrass the ‘keeper and the angle of the box and with the defence confused Stephen O’Donnell attempted a long lob that was cleared off the line. 

The second half saw the same relentless Celtic pressure bear down on Kelly’s goal but the well organised defence forced the predators for the most part outside the eighteen yard line.  The central defenders won most of the inbound crosses as the clocked moved on.

Mugabi was penalised and a penalty was awarded after 65 minutes.  Luis Palma hesitated in his run up but Kelly gave nothing away and made the save low to his right.  The few hundred ‘Well fans had something to cheer.

With five minutes of the ninety remaining Celtic were awarded a second penalty when VAR drew the referee’s attention to a shirt pull.  This time David Turnbull converted.  It was a hard blow for the away side as their courageous efforts seemed to have been too little to save the game. 

The manager threw on a couple of forwards and withing a minute a corner was won.  Spittal delivered and Jon Obika led the charge to get the vital touch.  The ball found the net and snatched a point. 

Then added minutes came and went to spark celebrations in the away enclave.  The players hugged and went to their support to join the party.  Singing continued as the home stands emptied.

The point may well be a turning point and the effort invested demonstrates that Motherwell may be on the way up.  Well done.

Celtic 1 Motherwell 1


Team: Kelly, Mugabi, Blaney, O’Donnell, Butcher (Wilkinson 88), Casey, Spencer, Spittal, Slattery (Bair 88), Paton, Biereth (Obika 77)

Saturday 25 November 2023

Motherwell Fixtures & Reports