SPL v Motherwell
DUNFERMLINE 1 MOTHERWELL 1 Date: 11/09/04
Fixture: BOS SPL Premier League
Attendance: 4388 Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Craig Mackay, Weather: Windy 17C
Spurned chances and increased second half pressure from the visitors once again saw the Pars walk off with a point where three were there for the taking.
Although Motherwell quickly gave the Pars a scare when Richie Foran rattled the ball across goal and off the base of the right post after just three minutes it was the home team who took an early lead. A superb pass from Gary Dempsey put Darren Young through on a run into the box on the left resulting in a shot that was well saved by Marshall.
However, with the ball falling to the feet of Craig BREWSTER just yards in front of an empty net there was no doubt that the experienced striker was going to find the target in the ninth minute of play.
Motherwell`s immediate response came from Aussie Scott McDonald but his shot sailed well wide of the mark. The Pars in contrast began to look more like themselves with some good attacking play. Barry Nicholson, returning from injury, made a well timed run that was picked out by a quickly taken Brewster throw but his ball across goal was to no avail. With Marshall having been lobbed a goal seemed imminent at the back post until Mehmet and Dempsey collided, ensuring that neither man was able to get the killer touch required.
Mehmet impressed in the sixteenth minute when some neat dribbling created an opening at the edge of the box from which his fiercely hit shot found the target only to be punched over the bar by Marshall.
Unlucky with his previous effort, Mehmet should have done better when the chance fell his way again minutes later. A clever pass from Brewster set up the youngster for what should have been the second of the day for the Pars but his lob past Marshall dropped just on the wrong side of the crossbar.
After a brief sign of trouble at the other end, which saw Thomson charging down a well struck effort from McBride, Mehmet again got involved, laying the ball into the path of Nicholson. His volley was a committed effort but failed to trouble the keeper.
Having dominated most of the first half, the Pars had to weather some pressure in the dying stages. Foran came close with a header from a Clarkson cross and Wilson had to redeem himself with a brave block from O`Donnell after carelessly conceding a corner kick.
Gary Dempsey could have extended the lead just before the break when he collected a Brewster pass but fired his shot straight at the goalkeeper. The home support were a little more forgiving when the midfielder turned up at the other end on the stroke of half time to clear the ball off the line at a Motherwell corner.
Some more delightful play by the Pars almost saw them opening the second half in the same manner as the first. Thomson and Brewster combined before the latter sent a perfectly weighted ball onto the head of Mason. His header was straight into the path of Mehmet who controlled with a deft touch before unleashing a powerful shot that swerved quickly in the air but Marshall pulled off an exceptional stop.
It took quarter of an hour for Motherwell to come close to troubling the Pars and that was only with a poor corner kick. The visitors came a lot closer shortly afterwards however with a Foran shot taking a wicked deflection off Mason and looping wide of the post.
The Pars briefly came back into the game and Nicholson headed Dempsey`s cross back to the edge of the box for Brewster to have a go. Brewster`s control was immaculate but his volley sailed inches over the bar.
The Pars were beginning to get trapped in their own half and after more corners had been defended through a combination of skill and luck both teams attempted to change the game with substitutions. Having had one of his better games for the Pars the removal of Mehmet was not a popular choice with the home support but had his replacement Hunt not seen his first shot saved by Marshall the incident may have been forgotten about. The young Irishman came close again with quarter of an hour to go when he rose well to get a header in, having already won the ball for Dempsey to swing the cross in. Sadly the ball was to bounce just past Marshall`s right hand post, a sight the home fans were to become agonisingly familiar with.
Greg Shields made a bursting run forward to collect another clever pass from Brewster and with what seemed like the whole Motherwell defence trying to wrestle it from his possession he managed to squeeze a shot in, only for the ball to once more find the wrong side of the post.
Darren Young was next to suffer the same fate when his powerful drive sailed past and the Pars were let off when McDonald ran past numerous players and into space only to replicate Young`s finish.
Motherwell were by now increasingly threatening and although Corrigan`s shot in the fortieth minute was well wide of the target they were able to get a deserved equaliser just two minutes from time. A Motherwell throw in a seemingly harmless position was picked up by McDONALD who let fly with a superbly executed lob that dropped over Stillie and in at the far post. The 650 Motherwell fans behind the goal erupted in delight but it spelled another disastrous end to a game for the Pars who still sit bottom and are awaiting the elusive first win.
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Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm