With only the one enforced change, Daley replaced Lasley, Motherwell started the game with their backs to a healthy travelling support. Higdon and Ojamaa led the line supported by Daley on the left and Murphy on the right wing.
Randolph clears his lines
The home team had the better of the opening exchanges firing in three long range shots and winning two corners inside the first ten minutes. Our sole reply was a blocked effort from Murphy followed by a high blast from Ojamaa. We started to put together some passes and came close after half an hour when a flowing move was started by Law bursting from defence. He found Hateley at halfway and the right back charged forward to the edge of the box. The ball found its way to Higdon ten yards out but his low shot on the turn was straight into the arms of Smith. He should have found the net.
Murphy and Daley switched wings for the last ten minutes of the first half but no joy resulted. Humphrey replaced Daley at half time and took up station on the right. The play swung from end to end but neither team had the upper hand. Hutchinson was rightly booked for hauling Buchanan to the floor and it was evident that some frustration was creeping into our play. The pitch didn’t help, it seemed hard but with sandy patches and at times the players couldn’t anticipate the height of the bounce.
Dunfermline’s weakness all season has been their tendency to concede needless goals and they did just that in 64 minutes. Humphrey fed Ojamaa in the right side of the box and the Estonian drove a low ball to the near post where Higdon flicked the ball from a few yards out. The keeper was perfectly placed and appeared to have the ball under control but it squirmed underneath him and we were one up.
The lead doubled in 72 minutes when Ojamaa produced a fine strike to blast high beyond Smith. Humphrey set it up with a fine jink to deliver the pass. The goal was a killer blow and gave us a comfortable cushion.
The news that Hearts had taken the lead at Ibrox prompted the Motherwell choir to even greater voice. Their performance throughout the match was superb. Craigan came on for Hutchinson for the last ten minutes and we saw the game out with no scares.