The day started so brightly at Fir Park for the first game of the season against a Dundee side containing only three Scottish players. The sun shone, the Flag Day flags flew and the 'Well were odds on at the bookies to take all three points. Then the game started.
Without Goodman, Spencer,McCulloch and Adams the side had a strange look about it. We had Nicholas and Twaddle up front, a midfield of Brannan, Harvey, Townsley and Davis, and Corrigan, Kemble, Strong, McMillan and Goram at the back.
Dundee started well. Their front players looked the part while the 'Well struggled to get into the flow of the game. The sizeable away support started their celebrations in 8 minutes when a blocked ball was slammed into the net in front of the Cooper stand.
We then had our best period in the game. The half hour or so before half time saw us peppering their goal with shots and headers. In particular there was a header from Brannan which came off the post with Douglas beaten and McMillan had a rocket well saved by the big goalie. Twaddle fell in a challenge in front of the penalty area and was carried off after 15 minutes. Looks like he aggravated the broken wrist he suffered a couple of weeks ago.
Half time came and the home support began to have the feeling that this was not going to be our day. Despite good passing and several half chances we were still one down.
Five minutes into the second half their player manager was sent off - and quite right too. He had a scything tackle on Elliott and duly collected his second booking.
As ever, we failed to make any progress against the ten men. Our young strikers - Wood, Nicholas and Nicholas - never threatened and despite solid performances from Brannon and Harvey in the middle of the park we couldn't score. Inevitably the sucker punch arrived with about five minutes to go. It pains me too much to describe - a solo run, the defence turned inside out and the ball slipped past Goram. Oh Dear.
It will be with heavy heart that a couple of hundred diehard 'Well fans will journey to Parkhead next week - tickets are on sale at Fir Park throughout the week at the princely sum on £20 - yes TWENTY pounds - outrageous!
29 July 2000
Motherwell 0 Dundee 2