There was just the one change in the Motherwell team from the first leg a week ago. Saunders replaced Humphrey as Craig Brown sent out an eleven suited to defending the one goal advantage.
The leaders of the Icelandic league kicked off and it was immediately evident that Murphy had a lonely game ahead. Sutton lingered behind him but the emphasis was on getting men behind the ball.
We created the first attacking move of the game when Forbes got behind the defence to square the ball across goal but there was no one available to finish. Within minutes we had a lucky escape. From a free kick thirty yards out, Breidalbik moved to ball wide and a good cross was delivered deep. It was headed across the face of our goal eluding all. It seemed that a tap in at the far post was inevitable but we escaped.
Forbes dragged a free kick wide and Murphy beat the offside trap but the ‘keeper foiled the attack. The home support maintained an impressive level of chanting as their team pressed for an opening. It almost arrived after half an hour but Petursson shot wide. They had the upper hand at this stage and we rode our luck again within a couple of minutes. A stramash developed around our six yard box and the defence was unable to clear. There were a couple of attempts on goal and Saunders reacted well to clear off the line.
The game turned three minutes before half time. Hateley released Murphy and the number nine had time to collect his thoughts before side footing into the far corner from twelve yards. Celebrations took place in front of the delighted away fans, around two hundred in number.
Breidablik, inevitably, pushed forward after the break but there was no chance of them scoring the three goals needed to prevent our Europa League campaign moving on to Norway next week. The pace of the game dropped and we shut up shop. They threw on all three substitutes but to no avail. Humphrey replaced Forbes for the last fifteen minutes and Jamie Pollock and McHugh relieved Sutton and Murphy as the game petered out.
We gathered three silly bookings that we might regret in time. Lasley, Craigan and Hammell all saw the Portuguese referee’s yellow card.
Thursday 22 July 2010
Breidablik 0Motherwell 1 (Agg 0-2)
Referee: Carlos Xistra (Portugal)
Team: Randolph, Saunders, Hammell, Reynolds, Craigan, Hateley, Jennings, Murphy, Sutton, Lasley, Forbes
Subs: Hollis, Humphrey, McHugh, Hutchinson, Page, Pollock, Smith