Motherwell 4
Dundee Utd 5
League (SPL)


4 - 5

Dundee Utd

League (SPL)
Saturday, August 20th, 2005
Fir Park. Att. 4,706
3:00 PM Kick-off

Alan McCormick (6)
Scott McDonald (12)
Mark Fitzpatrick (49)
Jim Hamilton (57)
Lee Miller (42)
David Fernández (53)
Lee Miller (67)
Grant Brebner (71)
Grant Brebner (74)

Team Managers
Terry Butcher Gordon Chisholm

Starting Eleven
Colin Meldrum
Paul Quinn
Stephen Craigan
Willie Kinniburgh
Steve Hammell
Brian Kerr
Alan McCormick
Phil O'Donnell
Jim Paterson
Scott McDonald
Jim Hamilton
Derek Stillie .1
Alan Archibald .5
David McCracken .3
Mark Wilson .2
Stuart Duff .12
Barry Robson .11
Grant Brebner .8
Mark Kerr .7
David Fernández .20
Lee Miller .9
Stevie Crawford .19

Graeme Smith
Darren Smith
Shaun Fagan
Mark Fitzpatrick
David Keogh
Andy Smith
David Clarkson
Craig Samson .17
Garry Kenneth .18
David Robertson .25
Greg Cameron .26
Collin Samuel .21
Jim McIntyre .10
Billy Dodds

Mark Fitzpatrick for Willie Kinniburgh (45)
David Keogh for Jim Paterson (45)
Andy Smith for Mark Fitzpatrick (80)
Collin Samuel for Barry Robson (61)
Jim McIntyre for Stevie Crawford (67)

Paul Quinn (83)
Brian Kerr (89)
David McCracken (55)
Grant Brebner (64)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Mike Ritchie (Referee)
Mark Doyle & John Gilmour (Assistants)
Crawford Allan (Fourth Official)

Match Report

The exciting news for Arabs making their way to the ground was the place in the first eleven for David Fernandez, playing just behind the front two of Miller and Crawford as Jim McIntyre dropped on to the bench. Stuart Duff again started the game in the back three with McCracken and Archibald on either side. Motherwell’s lengthy injury list included first and second choice goalkeepers Marshall and Smith, so Colin Meldrum started in goal – just a month after having conceded three against United in the City of Discovery Cup.

From United’s point of view the first half was a disaster. Motherwell played with fast fluid passes and lots of movement; United were static and lethargic looking. The visitors received an early warning when Scott McDonald came close to converting a Quinn cross from the right, and the opening goal followed soon after with five minutes on the clock. McDonald outpaced McCracken on the left wing and his cross from the bye-line was met by a beautifully timed run from right midfielder Alan McCormick, and he headed home from 12 yards. At the other end Mark Wilson shot wide from twenty yards, but for much of the rest of the half it was one-way traffic towards the United goal. Jim Hamilton almost grabbed a second with a header just past the post from another McDonald cross and it was no real surprise when the “Steel Men” doubled their advantage after twelve minutes. Craigan’s flick from Brian Kerr’s corner found Jim Paterson at the edge of the box. He was offered bag loads of time and space to drill a shot goalwards which deflected beyond Stillie – Brebner blocked on the line but Scott McDonald was on hand to drive the rebound home. Manager Chisholm reorganised his team into a 4-4-2 formation with Fernandez pushed up front, Crawford out to the right and Duff to left back as United desperately sought just to stay in touch. They were almost gifted a goal when Meldrum took an age to deal with a pass back as he was closed down by Robson but Motherwell continued to dominate. Duff’s awful pass to McCracken was pounced upon by McDonald who tore away down the left flank again – this time Archibald was on hand to scramble his low driven cut-back away as McCormick looked set to score again. Brian Kerr was then put through on goal by Hamilton but the off-side flag went up. As the half hour mark approached, Stillie produced a magnificent save to turn McCormick’s 20 yard volley behind after Hamilton’s knock-down. From the resulting corner Motherwell claimed for a penalty for a push by Duff on O’Donnell as the ball was flighted across the penalty area. These were key moments as Motherwell were to regret not having found the killer third when they were so much on top. Ten minutes before half time United had a penalty appeal of their own turned down as Fernandez appeared to be tackled from behind by Kinniburgh in the box. Then just three minutes from the break Fernandez released Crawford on the right and his pin-point cross was headed low into the far corner from 10 yards by Lee Miller. United had not even managed a shot on target up until this point and should have been dead and buried – instead they had a half-time life-line.

Motherwell emerged from the break with David Keogh on for Jim Paterson, and Mark Fitzpatrick on for Willie Kinniburgh – presumably the injury list had lengthened again. The two substitutes made an immediate impact. Keogh was released by Brian Kerr on the right, and his deep cross was headed down by Hamilton for Mark Fitzpatrick to side foot home with virtually his first touch. But United were looking far more threatening now and the goal feast had only just begun. Robson came close with a powerful shot blocked by Meldrum. Then David Fernández celebrated his first start for United with a beautiful goal. Accepting a pass from Crawford the Spaniard let the ball run across him before burying a superb left foot shot low in the net from twenty yards and the gap was down to one again. Brebner then had a chance from McCracken’s knock-down but he delayed his shot slightly and Craigan cleared for a corner. Just as United looked to be getting on top they found themselves two goals in arrears again. McCracken gave away a free-kick at the corner flag, collecting a booking in the process. Steve Hammell’s set-piece was met by Jim Hamilton who headed high into the net – yet another goal lost at a set piece. But United would just not give up. Miller released Fernandez on the left and his cross was just inches too far ahead of Crawford who could only head wide from six yards. Samuel replaced Robson on 62 minutes, the winger looking like he had picked up another knock. Motherwell remained a threat and Stillie had to block a powerful drive from McDonald. Samuel then moved to right wing as Crawford made way for McIntyre to come on at left midfield. Good work from Samuel allowed Wilson room to cross from the right on 67 minutes, and Lee Miller claimed his second with an excellent diving header. 4 v 3 – and still more than twenty minutes left on the clock. On seventy-one minutes came the goal of the game. United moved the ball patiently from left to right where Samuel outpaced Hammell to the bye-line – his low driven cross was converted by Grant Brebner and United were level. Motherwell looked rattled and United’s fifth followed soon after. Another Wilson cross picked out Miller and his clever little back flick was again pounced on by Grant Brebner who stabbed home from close range: 4 v 5 and still fifteen minutes to go! Motherwell manager Butcher took Fitzpatrick off again to be replaced by Andy Smith with Motherwell going 4-3-3 in search of an equaliser. They were almost hit by a sucker punch when Meldrum again looked shaky dealing with a pass back and the goalkeeper got a huge slice of luck when he scrambled the ball through the legs of the tireless Fernandez. But United were under the cosh again – Wilson did well to come across and cut out a dangerous through ball when Smith looked to be clear, then Craigan took a fresh air shot at goal from Hamilton’s knock-down. United sought to clinch the game on the break and Fernandez and Miller set up Kerr who shot wide from twenty yards. With two minutes left and finger nails all round the ground chewed to a pulp, Motherwell came ever so close to making it 5v5. McDonald’s header was cleared from the line by Brebner; Hamilton’s follow-up shot from the edge of the box was superbly saved by Stillie, then as McDonald collected the rebound he appeared to be sliced down by Samuel – but the referee waived away strong claims for a penalty, then yet more claims as Duff and McDonald tangled. United almost added a sixth in injury time after an amazing break. Stillie threw to Kerr who hit a superb cross-field pass for Fernandez. His pass picked out the run of McIntyre whose chip beat the onrushing Meldrum – but landed just on the wrong side of the far post. But United had already done enough to secure all three points. A truly incredible ninety minutes: for United a disastrous first half to forget; and a stunning second half fight-back to remember.

Squad Statistics (as at August 20th, 2005)

2005-06 All Time
Derek Stillie (GK)31 5 - 5 -
Alan Archibald27 5 - 936
David McCracken23 5 - 1355
Mark Wilson21 5 - 11811
Stuart Duff23 5 - 1043
Barry Robson26 4 - 7811
Grant Brebner27 52454
Mark Kerr23 5 - 773
David Fernández29 2121
Lee Miller22 5353
Stevie Crawford31 5 - 285
Collin Samuel (sub)23 3 - 562
Jim McIntyre (sub)33 5 - 14042

League Table (as at August 20th, 2005)

No league table has been added for this season.