Many Motherwell fans had turned up early to see the official unveiling of the fans’ memorial to Phil O’Donnell but even Phil would have struggled to master the gale force conditions. The corner flags were bent in different directions or most of the afternoon and the flight of the ball was unpredictable.
Jamie Murphy moved to the bench to allow the recall of Chris Humphrey and we attacked the South Stand end from kick off. Almost ten minutes had passed before there was any goalmouth action and it came following good control from Daley in the centre of the park. He set up Higdon about 20 yards out and the low effort forced a diving save from Pernis and resulted in a corner.
Randolph was called into action for a couple of routine saves but he had to be alert to get down to Day’s effort from around 14 yards as the first half drew to a close. There had been few passing moves on show and the ball spent a lot of time in the air as defences took the safe route and hoofed the ball long and high.
Motherwell made a determined attempt at the second period started and their pressure forced a few corners. Hammell delivered from the East Stand side and Hutchinson’s header was held by the United ‘keeper. His feet were well over the line but the officials were clear that the ball had not crossed despite the roar from the home support.
Hateley whipped in a couple of wind assisted efforts from the opposite corner but the Unuted defence stood firm. Daley gave us a thrill when he completed a fine run down the left wing and made progress along the dead ball line. He tried to pick out Higdon close in but Pernis reated well and snuffed out the chance.
United had their moments too, mostly from breakaways, but some firm defensive tackles kept them at bay. Hutchinson made one last gasp block late on to stop a shot on target but he was substituted shortly thereafter by Page. Earlier Humphrey made way for Murphy as McCall searched for the goal to break the deadlock but no significant chances followed.
Both teams will be content with a point and we now have a Friday night experiment against Hibs to anticipate next week.