Saturday, February 14
A shocking defensive performance saw us go down 3-1 to Livingston at the City Stadium this afternoon. The game was over as a contest at half-time with the home side going in 3-0 up, and despite an improved showing in the second-half all we had to show for our efforts was a last minute consolation goal from Derek Adams.
Stevie Hammell was missing from the team this afternoon, presumably injured, and Gary Bollan came in as a straight replacement. Otherwise, Terry Butcher fielded the same team which beat Dundee in midweek.
We went a goal down after only two minutes, when the ‘Well defence stood off Fernandez and allowed him to set up McAllister who fired high into the net from 25 yards. The home side continued to have the better of the game, and doubled their lead on the half hour when Lilley was given acres of space to run in on goal and place the ball past Marshall. The ‘Well goalie produced a couple of decent saves to prevent Livvy from going even further ahead, but was beaten right on the stroke of half-time when Fernandez took the ball round him and passed into an empty net to make it 3-0 to the home side at the interval.
Things did improve a bit in the second half, but while we enjoyed a decent amount of possession we very rarely looked like scoring. Our best effort of the game came on the hour mark, when Keith Lasley blasted over the bar with the goal at his mercy. Then in the final minute, Rubio fouled Motherwell sub Kenny Wright in the box, and although Adams’ initial spot kick was saved by McKenzie, the ‘Well midfielder followed up to score from the rebound. Sadly, like most Motherwell fans, I missed the goal as I had long since left the stadium.
Our defensive frailties had been exposed in the recent games against QoS and Dundee, and the only difference today was that going forward we looked equally as inept. Paul Quinn had yet another nightmare, while Gary Bollan struggled badly and the sooner Stevie Hammell is fit again the better. Our midfield fared little better, with Dair and O’Donnell particularly anonymous (the latter was subbed at half time), and upfront the strikers created very little – not surprising perhaps when you consider the quality of service they received. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen us play Livvy and persist in thumping high balls up the pitch and expecting our attackers to win it. It’s now up to Terry Butcher and co to get the defence sorted out, which will hopefully be assisted by the imminent return from injury of David Partridge (something I never thought I’d hear myself saying!)
Team (4-4-2): Marshall, Quinn, Corrigan, Craigan, Bollan (Wright), Lasley, Adams, O’Donnell (Scott McDonald 45), Dair, Clarkson, Burns.
Subs not used: Corr, Kevin McDonald, Kinniburgh.
Booked: Craigan, Adams, Burns.