Yet again we squandered a lead late on in the game. One up with two minutes to go and we nearly lost it! The Pars will be the happier team tonight as we could have jumped them and reached the top six with the win.
Billy made two changes from the winning cup side on Saturday. Back came Stevie McMillan and John Spencer. Stevie Hammell and Don Goodman moved to the bench. Ben Kemble showed no sign of his rough treatment at Paisley and made the starting eleven. Michel Doesburg was the only Motherwell old boy to start for the Pars
The night was dry but very cold as 'Well attacked the Cooper Stand end. We started with five across the back - Ged Brannan once again in the centre.
We looked the better side and had two early chances. Spencer set up Lee McCulloch and the shot was stopped by Ruitenbeek though it almost dribbled over the line. Then Lee passed to Derek Adams who blasted over the top from ten yards.
The Pars then came into the game forcing The Goalie to push one past the post for a corner. And that was the story of the first half - apart from the penalty which was mysteriously given to Dunfermline in thirty minutes. Ben Kemble was involved with McGroarty just inside the box at the centre and referee Orr pointed to the spot. Only he knows why. Up came Cameron and he shot wide, very wide. There were no goals at the break and the question for BD to answer was whether he should switch to four at the back and put another man in midfield.
The answer was..no change. Within a minute of the restart Spencer had a good penalty claim turned down when he was brought down in the act of shooting. There then followed twenty minutes of poor football from both sides - poor control, poor passing and no goalmouth incidents.
But in sixty six minutes we started to take control. Spenny had a shot from twenty yards just touched over and from the corner Townsley had a goal bound header saved at the post.
Another corner and we got the goal. A Spencer header came back off the post and from two or three yards Lee McCulloch walked the ball into the net.
The game looked dead as the Pars, though they tried, failed to put us under pressure.
The clocked ticked on to eighty nine minutes and still Goram was not called into action. But they got a break going and put a cross into the six yard box from the right. A good header was parried by The Goalie on to the bar and it landed on the goal line for another bundled goal. We could have lost it ! They had a chance to kill it in ninety one minutes.
Billy Davies felt the lads 'gave everything' and was happy that the second half performance should have won the match. Nae luck Billy.
Corrigan Strong Brannan Kemble McMillan
Townsley Leitch Adams
McCulloch (S74 Twaddle ) Spencer (S74 Goodman )
Subs unused: Woods Lasley Hammell
Referee B Orr
Motherwell 1 Dunfermline 1
31 January 2001
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