Keith Lasley made his long awaited return with Saunders making way. His efforts were rewarded just before the break when he cancelled out Hearts’ opener just before the interval. Overall we can have no complaints. The opposition were on a roll and maybe our lack of match sharpness cost us.
All the action in the first half came at the end, although Elliott missed a golden chance after half an hour from close range then Blackman failed to get on the end of a Murphy cross come shot. Two minutes from the break Templeton produced an overhead strike that produced a fine stop from Randolph but the loose ball that followed was knocked by Reynolds and it trickled over the line.
It took only a minute for Motherwell to level the game. A peach of a through ball from Gow set the free running Lasley free and from inside the box the midfielder stroked the ball beyond Kello. It was the perfect reply and it gave the team hope for the second half.
Unfortunately our poor record in front of the $ky cameras did not improve. Elliott crashed an effort against the bar and nearly converted the follow-up header. We were struggling and it seemed likely that we would concede. The final goal of the game came on the hour following a clumsy tackle from Craigan on Templeton. Referee O’Reilly (who didn’t have his best game!) awarded the penalty. Kyle converted.
We fought to get back into the game a Murphy had a run at the defence followed by a shot that was well blocked by Zaliukas. Our troubles came to a head when Jennings was shown a straight red when he protested at the non-award of a penalty. He reached out and tapped the referee’s arm to gain his attention and paid a frightful price when he was shown a straight red card. Surely the club must appeal?
A shocking attendance of on 3,324 for game that pitted 3rd v 5th in the SPL shows that something has to be done to resurrect interest in the SPL. The fact the the game was plaed on a freeing midweek evening in from of TV cameras can hardly excuse that pathetic turnout.
We’re off to Pittodrie on Saturday – what better place is there to get back on the rails?