Ten points from the last twelve send the 'Well up to ninth in the SPL (two points behind sixth) with three coming from today's game. The floodlights were on at three o'clock in Fir Park and the crowd were hoping that the performances of the previous three games would brighten up the gloom.
The report on the first half is easy. There was very little worth the mention. We lost the toss and attacked the Cooper Stand end. There followed half an hour of poor football from both teams. There was nothing in the way of goalmouth incidents and only an increasing series of niggly tackles and bookings to draw the attention of the crowd.
Things livened up after that when Jim Laughlan elbowed Lee McCulloch on the half way line. The ball was nowhere near the incident but referee Freeland spotted it and United (playing in their green away strip) were reduced to ten men.
Despite the advantage it looked as though the half would finish even. But in forty four minutes McMillan burst into the Arabs' box chasing a through ball. He fell after the lunging tackle from de Voss and the referee pointed to the spot. The big defender was not a happy man but I was no more than twenty yards from the tackle and it looked like a penalty to me!
Ged stepped up and swept the spot kick into the goalie's right again hitting the side net as the crowd cheered - the only highlight of the half.
But what a treat we were served at five minutes into the second half. A move which started in front of the dugout and involved half a dozen passes before Elliott was presented with the opportunity close in on goal from the left. Lee McCulloch and Derek Adams were both involved but the assist has to go to John Spencer whose sublime back heel fooled everyone in the ground, not just the United defence.
Five minutes later and Nevada got one back for the visitors. The defence was stretched in front of goal and Woods did well to stand up to a shot from close in but the bounce of the ball fell to the striker and he tapped in.
United to their credit stuck to their task and we were pushed back into defence for long spells. The quality of football didn't improve though and memorable moments were few. Stevie Woods had little to do though much of the play was in our half.
It looked like we had the third with less than ten minutes to go. Again a passing move sent Elliott through in a similar position from which he scored the first goal. He slipped the ball past the advancing keeper and it looked like a goal was certain. But a defender appeared from nowhere and cleared of the line.
We held on at the end but got the three points. As they say, it's a sign of a good team when they don't play well and still win.
Well done lads East End Park next week.
Team: Woods, Corrigan, Strong, Kemble, Hammell(58 Leitch), Brannan, McMillan, Adams(51 Townsley), Elliott, Spencer, McCulloch(s76 Goodman) Subs unused: Nicholas, Connolly
Motherwell 2 Dundee Utd 1
4 November 2000