Motherwell v Hearts 23.11.99
Motherwell 2, Hearts 1
Match date : Tuesday, November 23 1999Competition : Premier LeagueAttendance : 7,850
Woods, Doesburg (Goodman), Kemble, Teale, McMillan, Twaddle (Nevin), Valakari, Brannan, Townsley, Spencer, McCulloch
Subs not used: Brown (gk), Nicholas, McGowan.
Motherwell scorers: McCulloch (24), Nevin (90).
PREDATOR PAT POUNCES TO DOWN JAMBOS
Motherwell 2 Hearts 1
SUPER SUB PAT NEVIN Swooped in the final minute of injury time to give Motherwell another three deserved points and put paid to Hearts blatant attempts to gain a point by time-wasting. In four minutes added on for numerous visits by the Hearts Physio justice was done with Nevin’s last gasp winner.
Motherwell were almost presented with an early opportunity when Pressley sent a hefty pass-back to Roussett who was able only to divert the all for a throw. However, Hearts burst upfield with LeClerq, but Kemble saw the ball out of play. The visitors worked a good move in the third minute when McSwegan set up McKinnon and he fired over the top under pressure. Motherwell were finding it difficult to get any cohesion to their early play and it was Hearts again who went forward. McSwegan beat Teale to the ball and fired in a shot which was blocked and cleared by Teale who recovered well. As the ball broke down the wing LeClerq and Twaddle chased it to the bye-line with the latter seeing it out of play. The much sought-after McCulloch went close in the fifth minute for the home side. McMillan played a good ball down the wing for Spencer, and he hooked it into the box. McCulloch, despite the attentions of two Hearts defenders, got in a shot but saw it saved. Pressley and Fulton then had shots blocked and Teale had to nip in to clear for a throw as Hearts again pressed. The visitors were then awarded a free-kick when Valakari caught Fulton late, the latter carrying out revenge later in the match but escaping any punishment. Pressley was forced into conceding a free-kick some 8 yards from the bye-line by Spencer’s trickery, but Twaddle’s poor delivery let Hearts off the hook. Benito Kemble then was caught out by McSwegan who beat him to the ball and set up Flogel, but Woods was equal. Motherwell broke forward with Townsley, and he sent a long ball along the penalty box which fell inches behind Spencer who was clear. Again Twaddle’s delivery from the side was poor, though Valakari managed to loft the ball in for McMillan but his header fell behind. Locke should have been booked when he hauled back McCulloch out on the wing, and whilst he wasn’t last man McCulloch had a direct run on goals in prospect. From the free-kick Kemble’s header was headed away by LeClerq as it looped towards goal. Pressley then desperately cleared as McMillan looked set to latch onto Twaddle’s pass. Motherwell were beginning to take control and only a momentary delay by Lee McCulloch stopped what should have been the opening goal. Pressley failed to cut out Doesburg’s cross, but McCulloch, in space, delayed allowing Pressley to recover and block for a throw. Referee Rowbotham was showing some leniency, and he extended this by giving Ged Brannan a talking to when he was late on Jackson. Motherwell moved ahead on 24 minutes thanks to hesitancy in the away defence. Valakari hooked the ball upfield where McKinnon and Naismith looked set to deal with easily. However, they left it to each other allowing Derek Townsley to nip in. He headed forward and fired in a shot which Roussett failed to hold, and in ran Lee McCulloch to ram the ball into the net. Seconds later Gary Locke should really have seen yellow for a further late tackle, this time on Twaddle, but there was no card. Then Pressley left Valakari lying after a late lunge but play was waved on. McMillan crossed for Spencer but his header flew just over. A fine piece of skill by McSwegan then took him clear of Brannan on the wing, but his cross was poor and easily mopped up by Teale. Referee Rowbotham was clearly lacking in memory, as Jackson was allowed to escape a booking following a retaliatory late tackle on Brannan. The home fans had their hearts in their mouths just before the half-hour when Stevie Woods was hesitant going for a through ball, but he collected at the second attempt. A minute later Hearts worked a move down the right. McSwegan sent Jackson clear into the box but a brilliant interception by Doesburg stopped his progress with Woods completing the clearance. A studs-in challenge by Fulton on Spencer then went completely unnoticed by both the Referee and the East Stand-side linesman who must have seen it. Their temporary blindness continued when Flogel handled in the box, play being waved on, with McKinnon working space to fire just wide. Hearts new-boy LeClerq then received a yellow card for a blatant dive near the touchline. Two fellow team-mates of LeClerq should have followed him into the book when firstly Locke then McKinnon with late challenges on McCulloch and Kemble respectively went without a second glance from Rowbotham. Twaddle in the end was forced to knock the ball out of play so that McCulloch could receive treatment. The Motherwell striker recovered and dis-possessed Pressley before squaring for Townsely. With Brannan and Spencer up in support Townsely chose instead to shoot and the effort was saved, though he would have been better served slipping the ball through for his team-mates. Four minutes from the break Hearts were reduced to ten men for the second match in-a-row. Teale’s lob forward towards Spencer bounced up forcing Rousett to partially head clear. McCulloch, up in support, mis-hit a shot towards goal. Rousett made an instinctive stop, and as he was well outside his box Referee Rowbotham had no hesitation, or option, but to order the Goalkeeper from the field of play. Hearts took off the ineffective Jackson for Goalkeeping sub McKenzie, and he was immediately in action saving McMillan’s effort from the free-kick. Just before the break Locke once again escaped any punishment for a late challenge on Townsley, and shortly afterwards the half-time whistle went.
Half-Time Motherwell 1 Hearts 0
Motherwell took the field a full three minutes before Hearts appeared, and were caught cold within the first sixty seconds of action. Brannan was dis-possessed on the edge of the box by Flogel who crossed for McSwegan, and having stolen a yard on Kemble he had the easiest of tasks to head home. The visitors were clearly given a boost by the goal and seconds later Flogel had a shot well saved by Woods. The Steelmen were stung into action, and it took a good block by Locke to deny McCulloch a shot at goals. From the corner Spencer saw his crisp 20-yard effort held. From the kick-out Pressley clambered all over McCulloch to head forward where Twaddle collected. However, he dallied on the ball allowing Flogel to win a corner. Teale conceded a second corner from which Fulton had a shot blocked by Brannan for a throw. Eight minutes in Doesburg played a long cross to the back post where McCulloch, under severe pressure from Pressley, headed wide. Motherwell then took off Twaddle for Pat Nevin. A clever move by the home side almost saw them regain the lead shortly afterwards. Townsley picked out Spencer. He repaid the compliment though McKenzie was able to hold Townsley’s shot at the second attempt. The vision of Nevin sent McMillan racing down the wing but Pressley got across to knock the ball behind. After a slow start to the half it was Motherwell who were back on top. Another great move saw Nevin again pick out McMillan with a terrific pass. Slotting for Spencer, he laid the ball off for Townsley who was desperately unlucky to see his curling shot hit the cross-bar. The pressure was kept up when Naysmith handled the ball 25-yards out on the right. Townsley and Spencer combined to give Brannan a chance but his pass-cum-shot was caught by McKenzie. Naysmith was still complaining about the handling incident and received a yellow card for his troubles. Almost on the hour mark Naysmith made way for Makel for the visitors. That made little difference to the flow of play, and a great ball from Teale almost gave McCulloch a run on goals, Locke forced into booting the ball out of play. Sean Teale was having a typically flawless display, and after breaking up a rare Hearts foray he picked out Doesburg who in turn slotted through for the running McCulloch. He had beaten the off-side trap but not according to the East Stand Side linesman who called this one wrongly off. Townsley then saw a shot blocked, and Doesburg sent the ball across to Spencer but his shot was blocked by a despairing lunge from Richie. In a by-now rare attack Makel shot well over from 20 yards out after a softish free-kick given against McMillan. Motherwell were well on top but the final ball was poor at times, and as if to underline this McMillan made great ground to the bye-line but his cross was too low and cleared by McSwegan. Hearts broke upfield but it was Doesburg with a well-timed interception which denied Flogel the chance to test Woods. Benito Kemble then sent a terrific pass to Spencer on the right. He picked out Townsley and his header across looked destined for McCulloch until Locke nipped in to head behind. Brannan’s header from the corner was headed off the line by Locke and scrambled behind for a second, fruitless corner. With 17 minutes to go Motherwell had a claim for a penalty denied when Pressley brought down McCulloch. The ball broke to Brannan but his uncertainty allowed Locke and Richie to crowd him out, with the ball breaking again to Motherwell though this time Valakari’s shot rose over. A minute later Motherwell took of Doesburg and replaced him with Goodman, a statement of intent from Billy Davies that he wanted the points. Nevin almost got Goodman involved right away but his long cross fell only just beyond the isolated striker. LeClerq of Hearts had a rare shot wide from inside the box in a break from the normal flow of play, but soon after it was normal service as Goodman won a corner for Motherwell. The ball fell to Goodman in front of goal but he delayed at the crucial moment and saw his eventual shot blocked to Brannan whose shot went over. Three minutes from the end of regulation time Goodman saw a header from Brannan’s cross well held by McKenzie. Motherwell were determined to regain the three points and it was Brannan whose header wasn’t far away seconds later. On the 90 McMillan set Brannan up for a shot which whistled inches past. Two minutes into time added on for the numerous visits by the Hearts physio to attend mysterious injuries to his players Pressley’s tug on McMillan in the box was ignored by Rowbotham. However, in the last minute of the time added on justice was most definetly done. Kemble’s cross was cleared as far as Valakari who gave Kemble another opportunity to cross. This time Richie headed as far as Nevin whose cross was again met by Richie. He attempted to head clear, but the ball was re-directed by Townsley into the path of Nevin some 8 yards out on the angle inside the box. With a finish reminiscent of the late, great Davie Cooper, Nevin cooly curled a brilliant finish beyond McKenzie and sent the home support wild with delight. Play had hardly re-started when Referee Rowbotham brought proceedings to a halt.
Full-Time MOTHERWELL 2 HEARTS 1