Motherwell threw away yet another two goal lead but secured their SPL future with a game in hand thanks to events in Inverness. At the end the manager got pelters from the crowd but he hit back expressing his disappointment at the fans.
Although some alterations to the starting line up were forced through suspension or injury there were an amazing seven changes to the first eleven.All seven who sat on the bench at Dunfermline last Monday were promoted.And for fifty-odd minutes it seemed like a winning strategy.
We lose the lead....
McCormack made the best of his opportunity and was, by far, the most impressive player on the park.Following half an hour of nervous football from both teams his header provided the opener.An Andy Millen aberration gifted us a penalty shortly after the break and Ross calmly converted from the spot.
With fifty minutes gone we were in the luxurious situation of having a two goal lead.Knowing that a point would be enough, regardless of the result in Inverness, there was reason for confidence in the home stands.
McCormack Scores the second
Gus McPherson threw on Sutton and Mehmet in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the game.Within a five minute spell both subs found the net.The first, and a candidate for the next football bloopers video, was a weak header from Sutton.The ball failed to bounce into Meldrum's arms and instead it trundled through the keeper's legs.Mehmet grabbed the second as we failed to deal with a throw in.
In an attempt to steady the sinking ship, McLean replaced McGarry but there was half an hour left.Plenty of time remained for the Buddies to score. There attacking formation held sway and for long spells we were unable to clear our lines.
Sutton scores the winner
McCormack continued to be our hope and inspiration.He executed a wonderful lob which forced Chris Smith to scramble back to his line and concede a corner with a maximum stretch tip over the bar.Then he produced a wonderful shuffle to fire across the face of goal with three defenders left in his wake.
Clarkson replaced the inept Keegan but there was no change to the pattern of the game.In eighty three minutes the ball was partially cleared from our area and landed at the feet of Sutton.He blasted it high into the net in from of the away fans and their fairy tale recovery was complete.
The fact that we were missing some key players cannot disguise the woeful collapse.
In the post match interview the manager expressed his disappointment at the behaviour of the crowd."The fans can boo all they like but they won't get rid of me this way. I'm utterly disappointed in them.They should be supporting the team.As long as I have the support of the players, that'll do me."
There may be trouble ahead.