Motherwell 1 Partick Thistle 1
Report of match 10th August 2002
This game was expected to be a relegation crunch between two teams competing to avoid the drop. The experts are often wrongly critical of Motherwell but they got it spot on this time – if these two teams finish anywhere other than eleventh and twelfth, it will be a major surprise.
For whatever reason, we never settled today and only managed sporadic bursts up the park. Stephen Pearson looked dangerous on the left but despite getting to the goal line on a couple of occasions, he couldn’t produce a quality cross.
The only shot on target in the first half came from Jamie McFadden’s free kick. The Thistle goalie covered his line well and dived to turn the ball wide for a corner.
The ‘Well players were probably lambasted by Butcher and started the second half in dominate fashion. We almost took the lead when a header deflected off Derek Whyte was only stopped by a brilliant diving save.
At this point Butcher made a tactical change to press home our advantage and the jury is still considering whether he got it right. Kinniburgh replaced McDonald and we switched to a 3-5-2. From this moment, Thistle began to control the midfield and their buzzing strikers were beginning to see enough of the ball to cause us problems.
However, while we needed to scramble the ball away a couple of times, Woods was only forced into action once, making a routine catch from a soft shot. This changed when Thistle took the lead – the ball bobbled around the box for a long time before Alex Burns headed home with no one near him.
Thistle should have wrapped up the points but a shot was flicked wide when Woods should have been called into action.
As often happens, Thistle were made to pay for their generosity in front of our goal when the Golden Child delivered. Faddy was poor by his standards all day but when he was allowed to collect the ball in space, he raced into the box and crossed for Pearson to head home at the back post.
That was it goal-wise and both teams would probably be happy with the draw. Our lack of discipline could have cost us dear again though, with three more players booked and Lehmann lucky to stay on the pitch for arguing with the referee. The referee hit new lows of incompetence, being even worse than Rowbotham last week, but that is no excuse.
It was a valuable point to put on the board and it keeps us off the bottom of the league. How long will that last for if we continue lethargic performances like today remains to be seen.
|Competition: Bank of Scotland Scottish Premier Date: Saturday, 10th August 2002 Kick off: 15:00 Venue: Fir Park|
|1 - 1||Partick Th.
|Kevin McDonald (Kinniburgh 57)||5|
|6||William Kinniburgh (McDonald 57)||5|
|Scott McLean (Britton 29)||6|
|Jamie Mitchell (Gibson 89)||5|
|Gerry Britton (McLean 29)||5|
|14||Andy Gibson (Mitchell 89)|
|Motherwell cards shown|
|24 mins||Stevie Hammell||Professional foul|
|32 mins||Keith Lasley||Professional foul|
|67 mins||Dirk Lehmann||Dissent|
|Partick Th. cards shown|
|59 mins||Alex Burns||Professional foul|