Motherwell v Hibs 03.12.00
Motherwell 1, Hibernian 3
Match Date: Saturday, December 3 2000
Competition: Premier League
Woods, Corrigan, Kemble, Strong, Hammell (Elliott 45), Townsley, Brannan, Leitch, McMillan, Twaddle (Nicholas 73), McCulloch (Ramsay 90).
Subs not used: Connolly, Ouiefio
Motherwell scorer: Elliott (83).
DISMAL DISPLAY BY ‘WELL
Motherwell 1 Hibernian 3
A VERY POOR SHOW IN FRONT Of the Sky Cameras saw Motherwell lose rather easily to Hibs. Motherwell hardly got going allowing the visitors an all too comfortable win in front of the live audience.
The opening exchanges were rather different with Motherwell beginning the stronger. Scott Leitch dispossessed Jack to race upfield and upon receipt of a one-two with Twaddle shot for goals, Fenwick blocking on the edge of the box allowing time for a clearance. McCulloch then looked to break but he was upended by Laursen who escaped a booking. Seconds later McCulloch received another rash challenge, this time by O’Neil, and there was no escape for him as Referee Rowbotham flashed a yellow card. Corrigan gathered and headed for goals, unleashing a fierce 25-yarder which debutante Francks failed to hold at the first attempt, smothering eventually much to his own team’s relief. Jack then cleared poorly right to the feet of Townsley though the tall winger’s shot struck Sauzee and he completed the clearance. Hibs managed to get out of their own half of the field and came close. Sauzee’s long ball found Lovell and he smashed the ball into the side netting though Woods looked to have covered. Martyn Corrigan slipped the ball inside for Brannan in Motherwell’s next foray forward only for the Captain to drive well wide of the mark. Laursen then became the second Hibs player booked for a body-check on Corrigan near the halfway line. A minute later Brannan joined him in the book for a late tackle on Latapy who typically made the most of the challenge. From the free-kick Sauzee picked out Laursen and his cross was met by Lovell who directed a free header wide. The ball then ran loose on the edge of the box with Jack first to pounce driving well wide. Woods kicked downfield and as Sauzee and McCulloch challenged the Frenchman appeared to aim a kick at McCulloch which Referee Rowbotham failed to spot. A mistake by Leitch then conceded a corner to Hibs but this lead to a Motherwell attack when Twaddle raced down the left, Smith blocking the run. Strong rose to head towards goal but Francks saved the effort. Zitelli evaded his marker to slip the ball into Sauzee’s path though Woods was able to get down and smother. Hibs were beginning the become the more dominant side and attacked again. Jack crossed to Laursen but his shot was way over. A long free-kick by Kemble was met by McCulloch but his header was not powerful enough to beat Francks. Hibs broke with Strong forced to knock the ball behind. Motherwell managed to clear their lines and force a corner themselves but this also came to nothing. The Fir Parkers were up in arms when Rowbotham awarded a free kick after a rash Smith tackle. Playing the advantage rule would have allowed Corrigan to run clear but Rowbotham pulled play back to give the free kick, Brannan curling wide of the post. O’Neil then almost broke through on Woods with Strong having to make the important interception to stop his progress. Despite Hibs being on top in terms of possession it was still a surprise when they went ahead with 38 minutes gone. McMillan should have easily dealt with the ball forward but he dithered allowing Zitelli to nip in and knock the ball past Woods. It was a bad goal to lose and it almost became two soon after. Corrigan conceded a corner which, when the ball fell to Jack, he hooked narrowly past the post. Fenwick then had a shot which went well over just before the interval.
Half-Time Motherwell 0 Hibs 1
Stuart Elliot replaced Stevie Hammel right at the start of the second half but he hardly had time to settle in before Motherwell were two behind. Kemble allowed Paatelainen to gather inside the Motherwell box and the Finn forced a corner. When swung in the ball was headed on but as Brannan poked clear the ball struck Townsley and looped into the net. McCulloch had a chance to pull one back soon after but his drive went way over. Another slip by Kemble saw Zitelli race into the box and, slipping wide for Latapy, his shot was well blocked by Woods with the ball eventually running for a corner. Woods did well to punch over for another corner despite the attentions of Paatelainen. Motherwell managed to break upfield with a good one-two between Elliot and McMillan being broken up by Sauzee. The interception looked to have been somewhat illegal but play was waved on. However, the game was all but finished shortly after when Hibs went further ahead. Looking suspiciously offside Zitelli sped into the box though there was no arguing with his finish as he spectacularly drove beyond Woods from a tight angle. Leitch as late with a tackle on Lovell and although it was a free-kick Leitch was booked for squaring up with Lovell, the Hibs man somehow escaping punishment for his part in proceedings. Zitelli was booked for an inexplicable handball as the ball sailed over his head and out of play. Motherwell forced two successive corners though both were dealt with by the Hibs defence. A mistake by Sauzee gave Twaddle an opportunity but his drive from the angle was smothered by Franks who got down well. Franks however kicked out poorly giving Twaddle the chance to feed Townsley out wide. He drove low across for Elliott but Smith managed to nip in to clear. Brannan returned for Elliott and although Smith appeared to foul the winger a corner was given. Hibs attacked with Lovell finding Jack who drove wide. Both teams then made changes, Laursen, Zitelli and Paatelainen making way for Murray, Lehmann and McManus respectively, with Motherwell taking off Twaddle in place of Stevie Nicholas. A foul by Jack on Leitch gave Motherwell a free kick some 30 yards out which Elliot met though Franks saved the header. Corrigan was then adjudged to have fouled Latapy tough Sauzee curled his effort wide of the post. Another foul by Jack, this time on Elliott, somehow failed to be punished with Jack surely guilty of persistent fouling. With seven minutes left Motherwell grabbed a consolation goal. Stuart Elliott ran along the box before driving beyond Francks to give the scoreline a slightly more respectable look about it. Soon after Sauzee was booked for a high challenge on Elliott at the edge of the box. Motherwell were given the free kick but it was rather wasted by Brannan and cleared by the visiting defence. The biggest cheer of the night was reserved for Referee Rowbotham who fell over much to the delight of both sets of supporters. Latapy wasted a good opportunity for his team when he drove well over the bar on the 18-yard line before Motherwell replaced the limping McCulloch with Nicholas. A Sauzee mistake gave Motherwell a corner though Strong should have done better than to meekly head wide. With time running out Elliott beat Franks to a cross ball but his brave header drifted wide and with it any hope of a Motherwell comeback.
Full-time Motherwell 1 Hibernian 3
Match Report by Ricky Mullen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Check out the Hibs view of the match from www.fatsandbald.co.uk