A great performance from every player earned a thoroughly deserved three points to keep our hopes of a top six finish alive. Great performances by Goram, Spencer and McCulloch typified this battling win.
A snow shower greeted the teams as they ran out at 3pm on a freezing day at Fir Park. The floodlights were on and the crowd were in full winter mode. Tammies, scarves and probably several layers of thermal undies!
There were three changes from last week's escapade at Ibrox. Spencer, McMillan and Townsley made the start with Lasley moving to the bench. Andy Goram retained his place. We wore the new away strip (no doubt to help sales in the club shop).
We won the toss and kicked off attacking the Jambos support in the south stand. Despite having most of the play and by far the greater opportunities we failed to score. There were several half chances early on from both big wingers and Spencer. Corrigan popped up with a brave flying header.
After half an hour we had a great chance when General Spencer, who was buzzing, sent Twaddle clear on the left wing. He ran twenty yards into the box and hit a low shot which was parried by Niemi to McCulloch ten yards out. It looked easier to score but he hit the post!
The last ten minutes before the break saw us intensify the pressure of the Hearts goal. Crosses came in from both wings and it seemed that we must score - but we didn't.
Our defence was rarely troubled but when called upon they made the vital block and still found time to get up the park at every opportunity. 'More of the same in the second half', would be BD's message at the break.
And so it was. We continued to press more and get the reward in fifty seven minutes courtesy of the 'Two Big Wingers'. Twaddle sent a corner in from the left and his counterpart on the right, Townsley, headed home. If ever a team deserved the lead!
Hearts immediately picked up the pace and brought out a series of world class saves from The Goalie. The first was on the hour mark when he threw himself to the left to prevent the equalizer.
In sixty seven minutes Spencer was free on the half way line and ran to the edge of the box to pass to Twaddle on the left. The squared return found Corrigan, who had run the length of the park only to find Niemi with a wonderful save.
In eighty three minutes Elliott (who replaced Spencer) flashed across the box and fired a shot against the post.
Then the killer. In eighty eight minutes, the Hearts defence were clearing the ball. No danger, until Twaddle knocked the defender off the ball and claimed possession. With most of the players still moving up the park into the 'Well half Del slipped a pass though to the alert Adams who, one on one with the goalkeeper, curled it into the net. Game over.
A good win, next up is St Johnstone - they are three points ahead of us so another six pointer in prospect!
Corrigan, McMillan , Strong Hammell
Townsley Brannan Leitch
Twaddle (S73 Adams ) Spencer (S77 Elliott) McCulloch
Subs unused: Woods Ouiefio Lasley
Referee M McCurry
Motherwell 2 Hearts 0
16 December 2000
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