When the Motherwell team was announced it seemed like the names had been drawn from the hat. Familiar names were missing but McBride was handed his first start since September and Quinn saw a kick off on Boxing Day. With Vadocz having only his second SPL experience there was a strange look to the line up. To cap it all we turned out with the maroon away top complemented by white shorts and socks.
Corrigan and Reynolds were at centre back with Quinn and Murphy at full back. The unusual midfield combination of Paterson, McBride, Vaducz and McGarry supported the familiar pair of Clarkson and McDonald up front.
Murphy prepares to score!!
The first half passed with little incident but there were a couple of goals to stir the interest of the 5183 fans. United opened after half an hour courtesy of Dougie McDonald's blind eye to a foul on Smith. Corrigan got his head in the way of a goal-bound attempt by Daly and the ball looped to Smith's right hand post. It was a 'keeper's ball" but our man was nudged by Robb and the ball fell into the net. The crowd turned to the referee and to everyone's surprise the goal was given.
Their lead lasted for only eight minutes. Clarkson was felled at the edge of the box and Murphy fired a low shot to the corner to score his first for the club. It was no less than we deserved.
Corrigan had been in the wars and was replaced by Fitzpatrick a couple of minutes before the break. The formation changed yet again when
Our lack of height in defence was exposed early on when McCracken, Robson and then McCracken all had headed efforts which caused concern.
The referee's crazy cuts management of the game continued and with twenty minutes left it seemed that Motherwell had taken the lead. A long ball from
Ten minutes later and it was the referee and the other assistant who decided that Quinn and Hunt should be booked after a rammy following an unwarranted penalty claim by United. It was Quinn's second booking and he left the field. At this stage Connolly came on to stiffen the defence and Clarkson was substituted. The youngster cleared a fierce header off the line in added time.
The inconsistent and poor referring decisions at least gave the crowd some reason for the crowd to get excited, the football did not. MM will have a difficult team selection problem on Tuesday.