Our unchanged eleven took the game to Celtic for much of the first half. They defended in numbers when needed and charged to Brown's goal when in possession. McGhee was true to his word and our attacking formation pressed forward at every opportunity.
Clarkson had been a real threat for the hour he was on the field and he was involved in most of our attacks. Sutton was unlucky to see Maloney clear his header from a Hammell corner in ten minutes. The players claimed that the ball had crossed the line but the officials were unmoved. Sutton followed that up with a fierce shot that Brown did well to hold.
Smith was relieved to see the base of the post come to his aid when Scott Brown beat him from long range. The keeper showed his worth with a couple of impressive one handed saves and it looked like we would reach the break level. Another one handed clearance from Smith fell to Hartley and from twenty five yards he fired low to the keeper's right. It looked as though Smith was unsighted by an attacker in an offside position but, again, the decision went with the home side.
Porter came close
We hardly deserved to be one behind and neither did we deserve to be reduced to ten men fifteen minutes into the second half. Clarkson and Caddis were tussling for the ball in front of the dugouts with our man in possession as he raced down the wing. Clarkson's outstretched hand came into contact with his opponents face and though Motherwell were awarded a foul, Clarkson was dismissed. Strachan said after the match that he felt it was unintentional.
Despite the setback we continued to push forward and at times risked all by playing only three at the back but the inevitable goal from McDonald sealed the game with twenty minutes left. He fired low from the edge of the box and the game was lost.
Clarkson will be missing from Wednesday's game against Rangers but if we are able to muster the same commitment as was shown at Parkhead then we have a chance.