Men against boys. We got a lesson in the art of finishing from a Dundee side which would have had a boost when they discovered that half our first team were missing. Billy Davies was forced to bring on the youngsters to make up the numbers and we paid dearly for it.
Two below zero and freezing fog rolling in to Fir Park ensured that there was a good show of new 'Well hats and scarves (as delivered by Santa) for this chilly midwinter encounter.
There were four changes from the team which cuffed St Johnstone on Saturday. Kemble, as expected, came back to the defence and allowed McMillan to move up to midfield to replace the suspended Adams. But the surprise was that McCulloch, Townsley and Twaddle were also missing presumed injured. This allowed Billy to bring on the youngsters. Elliott, Nicholas and McLen were given a start. It seems that McCulloch injured an ankle in the warm up and that Leitch had to pull on a jersey at very short notice - the initial team sheet had not included him.
The covers were removed from the ground late and the crowd held outside the ground until just before two thirty.
The undistinguished first half had two goal chances, both to the visitors and they were happy to take the gifts.
The first, after four minutes, came when a simple ball through the middle found Sara clear in on The Goalie and he scored by passing the ball into the right hand corner.
We then had most of the play in the gathering gloom but to little effect. The game was scrappy and punctuated by stoppages. Not a lot of football.
Their second came in thirty five minutes when Milne, in what looked like an offside position gathered the ball on the Dundee left wing. He ran on until level with the box and sent over a good cross to Rae who glanced a header past Goram. Two down - would the fog get bad enough to persuade the ref to abandon the game?
An orange ball appeared after the break in an attempt to improve visibility. Little else changed though. We continued to press but never looked like scoring.
Both teams were reduced to ten men before the hour with Nicholas leaving after an incident spotted by the East Stand assistant.
In sixty minutes he fog dispersed and with it any chance of us getting anything from the game. In seventy Rae picked up on the halfway line and sauntered past three or four 'Well players then squared to Sara who scored. It was beginning to get embarrassing. Every time they went up the park they scored.
On came Lasley and the young striker McFadden to replace Strong (who seemed to be injured) and Leitch (who seemed to be called up at the last minute for McCulloch).
We huffed and puffed up front for the rest of the game and had a few half chances. A day best to forget. Our next game at Fir Park is not till the end of January. It must be an improvement - surely!
Corrigan Strong(S71McFadden) Kemble Hammell
Nicholas McLen McMillan Leitch(S50Lasley)
Subs unused: Woods Ouiefio Ramsey
Referee D McDonald
Motherwell 0 Dundee 3
26 December 2000
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