Motherwell Pay the Price for a Poor Performance

Last updated : 18 December 2004 By Firparkcorner

An unchanged team faced up to ICT and we attacked the South Stand end in the first half. There was little action early on though Hart served a warning in ten minutes when his shot narrowly missed.

It was clear that the Mighty ‘Well were not at their best. There was no spark in the play. Possibly the ICT five man defence provided a challenge which we were unable to master. We fell behind in fifteen minutes when a loose header from Fitzpatrick gave Hart his second chance from around fifteen yards. He finished well and Marshall was well beaten.

The expected fightback failed to materialise. Foran had a header off target and it looked like we needed a half time pep talk to sort out the tactics. But three minutes before the break another piece of poor defending was to cost us the match.

A routine ball was prodded along the six yard line. Marshall and Craigan then proceeded to demonstrate a complete lack of communication and the ball was placed on a plate for Bayne to tap in. It was a terrible goal to concede.

There were no changes at the start of the second half and we set about recovering the match. Despite an increase in tempo no progress was made. On the hour Quinn replaced O’Donnell and things took a turn for the better. Foran’s excellent turn created space and he fired on target. Brown spilled the shot and Clarkson was on hand to score.

The home crowd came to life and there was some hope that we could level the game but it all went belly up with ten minutes still on the clock.

Clarkson and Brown chased the ball at the dead ball line. Our man got there first and got a touch. Brown was diving at his feet and his outstretched hand made contact with Clarkson’s ankle. Clarkson was looking for the penalty and down he went. The referee took the view that he dived and the yellow card was shown. No doubt there will be an analysis on TV and the slow motion evidence will reveal the truth of the incident but Clarkson’s continued protests earned him a second yellow an off he went.

The ten men were unable to turn the game and it was inevitable that the officials missed a handball incident as we bombarded the Caley box.

All good things have to come to an end sooner or later. It was a pity that our poor first half surrendered the game.