Motherwell outclassed at Parkhead

Last updated : 05 October 2013 By Firparkcorner

Motherwell kicked off with a one-up formation.  Sutton’s partner Anier was on the bench and McFadden was in the stand as a spectator.  Ainsworth was in the starting eleven for the first time in the Premiership and with Francis-Angol on the opposite wing we fielded five in the middle with Vigurs, Lasley and Carswell hoping to exert some control of the game.


We survived a nervous first twenty minutes without loss but were forced back time and time again.  Hollis didn’t have the best of starts and an early flap without contact was a warning of what was to come.   The opening goal will make uncomfortable viewing for our ‘keeper.  He came for a high bouncing ball and managed only a weak punch that fell to Stokes.  The striker was presented with an open goal and from a narrow angle he made no mistake.  The spinning bounce may have deceived Hollis but the goal gave our hosts the lead and set them on the way to the win.

Our best chance in the first half came just before the interval.  The ball fell nicely for Ainsworth outside the box but his wild effort flew high and wide.  The confident passing game that had delivered the six game unbeaten run was nowhere to be seen.  Passes went astray and we were caught in possession too often.  Whether the players were beaten by the occasion or by a collective off-day hardly mattered, it was clear that we were second best.

A second Celtic goal followed three minutes after the break.  Vigurs lost the ball in the middle of the park and before we could recover Commons had eluded McManus and was in the box with time to deliver a chip over Hollis.  The game was over as a contest with forty minutes still to play.

Anier, on the bench because he was not fully fit, came on with more than half an hour remaining and Kerr followed shortly thereafter.  Vigurs and the injured Ainsworth made way.  To the players' credit we did push forward and a few corners and a the odd half chance were created but it was too late to made any difference.

Sutton had the 'Well fans on their feet five minutes before the end when he powered a header low to Forster's left.  It seemed that the ball was goal bound but the 'keeper managed to get a strong hand in the way and the ball ran free.  The defence failed to clear and Sutton produced a fine shot from twenty yards that whistled by the post.

The international break will offer a chance to re-group and let some niggling injuries heal.  Our league position did not suffer as a result of the loss but we'll have to improve when Hearts come to Fir Park in a fortnight.