Motherwell 0, Gothenburg 0
Match Date: Tuesday, March 21 2000
Woods, McGowan, Innocentin, Strong, Hammell, Davies, Brannan (McDonald), Harvey (Wood), Curcic (Ramsay 45), Twaddle, Goodman (Nicholas 45).
FIR PARK FRIENDLY ENDS IN STALEMATE
MOTHERWELL AND IFK GOTHENBURG Served up a no-scoring draw in this mid-week friendly at Fir Park. With both sides trying fringe players it was never going to be a classic, though there was some entertainment during the 90 minutes.
First to show were the visitors, Nicklasson swerving in a dangerous cross which Woods held well. A Paul Harvey run was denied by Svensson who blocked the pass for Twaddle. From the throw Nilson had to be sharp to break up a clever move involving Brannan and Harvey. Motherwell were then awarded a free-kick after a deliberate body-check by Nicklasson on Harvey on the left. However, a poor take by Brannan ended the move. IFK broke forward and Lunden did well to beat Hammel to a loose ball though good recovery work by Hammel meant only a corner was the end result, which was cleared. More good defending by Hammel, this time in conjunction with Woods, denied Lunden as he threatened. Motherwell burst forward through Harvey though Last was quick out of his goal to clear. Twaddle chipped the ball back in and after a hand-ball against Heed was waved away Last gathered. Sandklef for the visitors then made the bye-line and his low cross was well taken by the alert Woods. Twaddle then did likewise for Motherwell though it was Svensson of IFK who knocked out for a throw to Motherwell. Good play involving Goodman allowed Curcic to progress towards the box and some sublime skill by the midfielder carried him to the 18 yard line where his shot was well tipped over by Last. Soon after Curic again showed some great skill to make the bye-line and the cross low was headed behind by Nicklasson ahead of Goodman. Twaddle curled the ball in and although Brannan connected well Last was able to hold. A poor throw out by Woods almost left Hammel exposed, the young full-back tackling well to win the ball though a corner was conceded. Woods, however, took the corner well. Motherwell threatened again and Twaddle’s cross was expertly tipped away by Last who made the ball just ahead of Don Goodman. Stevie Woods had his first shot to deal with when a loose ball in the area gave Anderson a chance though the weak shot didn’t trouble. Twaddle and Curcic then combined to give Goodman a chance and from 25 yards his shot was charged down by Andersson and cleared downfield. A desperate last-gasp interception by F Karlsson was just enough to prevent Goodman racing clear onto Curcic’s pass. Trialist Nicola Innocention made good ground to stop Nicklasson after he had made ground with a mazy run through the middle. Nicklasson was troubling the Motherwell defence and another run ended with a cross for Andersson which was headed past. Greg Strong was looking impressive for Motherwell at the back and he cut out a dangerous cross by Sandklef after Andersson had made ground. The corner was well taken by Woods. Karlsson was then unable to prevent the ball rolling out for a corner after a short pass back by Lundsrtom. Twaddle’s ball was knocked on by Goodman though Last held the ball. A long ball by John Davies found Twaddle though his cross found Goodman surrounded by Defenders and he was crowded out. Andersson then went close for IFK after the visitors had a spell of possession, the ball running loose into the box for the striker to shoot. A long kick-out by Woods looked to have sent Twaddle on but a poor shot on the drop troubled no-one. Good vision by Harvey sent Twaddle out wide but he was forced further wide by Antonsson. IFK broke upfield though Innocentin cleared well. A deep cross by Curcic was almost met by Goodman, the IFK Keeper doing well to knock the ball away under pressure. It was an open match, and next Nicklasson shot over on the angle from Brannan’s half-clearance. Motherwell burst upfield though Twaddle’s cross was taken by Last. IFK won a free-kick some 25 yards out and Antonsson saw his shot charged down by Strong for a throw. Strong then had to look alert to stop[ Andersson going clear on the edge of the box with a great tackle, this after Lunden hand intercepted a poor Hammel ball. Lunden of IFK then came very close to opening the scoring when he burst into the box and fired towards the far post, the ball striking the outside and bouncing to safety. IFK were upping the pace and shortly afterwards Woods saved Lunden’s shot. Hammel then made a great clearance from Nicklasson as he threatened.
Half-Time Motherwell 0 IFK Gothenburg 0
Motherwell brought on Dougie Ramsay and Stevie Nicholas at the expense of Sasa Curcic and Don Goodman to begin the second half. The visiting keeper was first called into action when Twaddle made the bye-line to whip in a low cross, Last gathering well. Gothenburg broke upfield and Woods had to be sharp to hold a header from the troublesome Andersson. Ged Brannan, Captain for the night, then lost possession to Andersson and he blasted in a shot but it was wild and wide. Motherwell attacked though Brannan’s short pass to Twaddle was intercepted by Andersson. Slipping the ball back, Last then launched the ball upfield where Lunden had a chance but he shot wide from 25 yards out. IFK were then awarded a free-kick near the Motherwell box but they lost possession allowing Motherwell to break. McGowan cleared to Nicholas and he combined with Harvey to set Twaddle down the wing. Slipping through to Harvey the midfielder cracked in a low cross but it was cleared by Karlsson. Harvey then had another opportunity seconds later but it was a great block by Svensson which denied him and the ball was whipped away. Loose play by Motherwell allowed Sandklef the chance to cross but his hurried effort was met by McGowan who sent it away. A terrific long ball by Greg Strong almost caught out the IFK defence with Lundstrom only just able to beat Twaddle at the expense of a corner. Brannan met it on the drop but the ball deflected off Antonsson for a second, fruitless corner. IFK then changed Lundstrom for Seb Johansson. A chip into the box by John Davies for Jamie McGowan nearly brought an opening but the defender mis-kicked and connected instead with Svensson, Referee Fleming giving a free-kick to the visitors. As the ball came out Paul Harvey met it and made a powerful run into the box but as he made his way he lost control and the chance was gone. Soon after Harvey, who was having a busy match, played a good one-two with Twaddle but was denied by Antonsson who gave the corner away. Strong met it but headed inches over. Gothenburg Keeper Last was then called into action to beat Stevie Nicholas to Harvey’s flick into the area. With 20 minutes to go Motherwell took off Ged Brannan and Paul Harvey, replacing them with McDonald and Martin Woods. It took a good save from Stevie Woods to deny Nicklasson after he had made space inside the box. From Woods’ kick-out Ramsay made a good run but his pass to Nicholas was deflected for a corner. The ball fell to Innocentin on the edge of the area but his shot went over. The dangerous Nicklasson then had a shot go past from 25 yards as IFK burst upfield. Nicklasson was at it again shortly afterwards, though this time he turned provider giving Johansson the chance to head goal-wards and, as it turned out, wide. It was Nicklasson’s last contribution as shortly afterwards he was replaced by Hoiland. Greg Strong was unlucky to be penalised for what looked like a perfectly good challenge on Lunden out on the left, though the free-kick came to nothing. Good vision by Davies gave Twaddle the chance to cross with three in the middle but the winger’s ball was woeful and wide. There was a shout for a penalty near the end when Martin Woods sent Nicholas into the box and he appeared to be barged off the ball by Nilsson, the Referee waving play on. However, time ran out on both sides and the match ended goal-less.
Full time Motherwell 0 IFK Gothenburg 0
Match Report by Ricky Mullen (email@example.com)