'Well Rack Up Another Three Points

Last updated : 26 December 2006 By Firparkcorner

We had one enforced change due to Paterson's sending off at Kilmarnock. Paul Quinn provided the direct replacement and Meldrum, presumably recovered from the ‘flu, was on the bench with Smith retaining his place in goal.

The back four with Quinn at left

The Pars kicked off and attacked the empty east stand. The Motherwell fans were housed in the old covered terracing and many were kept waiting at the few open turnstyles, some until fifteen minutes into the half. They missed some desperate ‘Well defending as the home side peppered our goal. Their best early chances fell to Burchill with a twenty yard rocket which crashed off the bar, to McGuire with a header which Corrigan cleared from the line and than a Muirhead shot which forced a save from Smith.

We held on though and started to make occasional forays into enemy territory. Elliot came close with a long range effort before Fitzpatrick broke the deadlock when he reacted quickly to the right back's hesitation and ran in to flick the ball over De Vries.

Our lead, against the run of play, should have been doubled within a couple of minutes when Darren Smith was presented with a free run in of the keeper. He should have done better but De Vries made a good stop.

retained the balance of possession and Burchill came close with another effort which landed on the top of the net. It looked like he had scored two minutes into the second half when it seemed that his attempt was going to find the inside of Smith's right hand post. The home crowd were cheering it in but there was relief from the away fans as the ball ran out for a goal kick.

Our goalmouth seemed to have a charmed life for much of the second period. Several Dunfermline attacks seemed certain to succeed as our defence was put under severe pressure. On the hour McGarry was sent on for Smith but the pattern remained unchanged. McDonald provided the safe haven time and time again as he held the ball up to relieve pressure.

Fitzpatrick had a fierce, low drive deflected wide but the Pars' attack kept failing to finish us off. McDonald's persistence paid off with ten minutes left. He had looked threatening and had a few half chances shortly before his goal. He cut in from the left wing and made his way along the eighteen yard line and then sent a beauty curling into the postage stamp corner.

Hamilton vented his frustration on Craigan just after Skippy's goal, the referee issued a straight red.

The holiday results to date mean that we can face the Old Firm duo next weekend with confidence. Happy New Year.