Motherwell 1
Dundee 2
League (Premier League)


Motherwell 

1 - 2

Dundee


League (Premier League)
Saturday, April 12th, 2003
Fir Park
Attendance: 4,693
3:00 PM Kick-off


Goalscorers
James McFadden (77) Mark Burchill (2)
Steven Milne (24)

Team Managers
Terry Butcher Jim Duffy

Starting Eleven
13. Francois Dubourdeau
2. Martyn Corrigan
3. Steven Hammell
16. David Cowan
14. David Partridge
4. Keith Lasley
8. Scott Leitch
17. Steven Craig
7. Derek Adams
10. James McFadden
9. Dirk Lehmann
Julian Speroni .12
Jonay Hernández .16
Lee Mair .19
Barry Smith .2
Lee Wilkie .6
Garry Brady .26
Giorgi Nemsadze .10
Gavin Rae .8
Mark Burchill .18
Fabian Caballero .7
Steven Milne .15

Bench
1..Stevie Woods
22. William Kinniburgh
20. Kevin McDonald
27. David Clarkson
41. Richard Offiong
Jamie Langfield .1
Zurab Khizanishvili .13
Beto Carranza .5
Steven Robb .21
Nacho Novo .17

Substitutions
David Clarkson for Keith Lasley (55)
Richard Offiong for Dirk Lehmann (67)
Nacho Novo for Mark Burchill (52)
Steven Robb for Garry Brady (76)
Zurab Khizanishvili for Nacho Novo (79)

Cautions
None. Barry Smith (63)
Gavin Rae (64)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

John Underhill (Referee)
David Doig & Jim McBride (Assistants)
Ian Fricklaton (Fourth Official)



Match Report


An outstanding second half display from Motherwell's young star James MacFadden wasn't enough to deny Dundee a deserved win at Fir Park and ease the Dens men into the top six as the SPL splits. Motherwell deserve credit for pulling themselves back into the match after a first half in which they were out-thought, outfought and outplayed by the light blue clad Dees, but with Julian Speroni in top form it rarely looked as if they would snatch a point. It was too tight for the thousand plus away support though, mindful of two goal leads dropped in the previous two league games they weren't counting their chickens until referee Mr Underhill blew for time.

Dundee were missing Steve Lovell with an ankle injury, while Dave Mackay missed only his second game of the season, he was left out because of a family illness. On the plus side Zura Khizanishvili made an earlier than expected return to the squad after injury and there was delight from the visiting fans at Beto Carranza's appearance on the bench, his first involvement in the top team since pre-season.

Motherwell were first to threaten as McFadden went on a run down the left and fired in a low cross, with an excellent Mair tackle on Lasley mopping up the danger. Within seconds though Dundee were ahead, as Scott Leitch hit a loose pass straight to Burchill 40 yards from goal, the in form hit man raced at the defence and fed the ball wide to Milne, who took on Cowan before curling in a left foot cross for Burchill to head home at the near post. It was the third game in a row in which Mark had scored and he was soon leading the line with confidence and an awareness of where the other strikers were.

In thirteen minutes 'Well had a golden opportunity to get level as the unmarked Lehman became the lucky recipient of a missed clearance, the ball arrived at his feet ten yards from goal but he blasted wildly over to jeers from the relieved Dees congregated behind that goal. Motherwell came closer minutes later when Craig wheeled on the edge of the box and fired a left foot drive off the top of the bar.

Dundee though always threatening in front of goal and Caballero looked more (spin in a packed box and curled shot over) and Burchill (fine run and 25-yarder dipping just too high) had chances as the game progressed.

It was no surprise when they went two up and it came in 24 minutes from a move which was started by a fine tackle by Nemsadze midway inside the home half, The Georgian fed the ball to Caballero, and as his strike partners made probing runs he slid a magical reverse pass to Milne who steadied and fired a low shot past Dubourdeau and in off the post.

Three minutes later we saw the ugly side of McFadden as Georgi Nemsadze bamboozled him with a range of trickery which included a 360 degree turn, The 'Well youngster's fiery reputation is well documented and he wasn't having an opponent taking him apart in this manner, as evidenced by his crude hack at Nemsadze which brought only a talking to from Mr Underhill when another card for the McFadden collection wouldn't have been unreasonable.

His team were almost punished as from the free kick Georgi took on the whole defence single handed with a dancing masterclass which would have ended any goal of the season debate had it not been for a decent stop from Dubourdeau.

The more acceptable side of McFadden appeared with ten minutes to the interval as he showed that he too can dance, jinxing goalwards before hitting a twenty-yarder straight at Speroni.

Seven minutes into the second half, McFadden showed excellent tenacity to win the ball back before surging past a couple of defenders with a fine twisting run, only to be stopped dead in his tracks by Lee Wilkie.

Dundee introduced Nacho Novo, in 53 minutes, for Burchill, who had picked up a knock, but it was Motherwell who again threatened three minutes later, a superb McFadden cross field ball found Steven Craig who cut in from the left and fired in a swerving shot which had goal stamped all over it until Speroni twisted in the air to fingertip it over.

The Argentinian keeper had to be in just as good form just before the hour as McFadden turned and fired a thirty yarder towards the top corner of the net, Speroni was at full stretch to foil the dangerman.

Just a minute later Dundee should have had the points sewn up as they got in a three against one situation, Milne fed the unmarked Novo on the edge of the box but his first touch was poor on the sandy surface and the chance was gone. Craig again threatened but Speroni wasn't needed this time as Rae got in a brave block on the winger's pile-driver.

Nemsadze came close with a free kick which curled just over and sub' Offiong almost set up a goal for Motherwell with a fine cross, but Craig couldn't direct his header on target.

Dundee brought on Steven Robb for Garry Brady with fifteen minutes to go, but Motherwell were about to cut the deficit in half.

With twelve minutes left, a Craig cross found McFadden who scrambled the ball home at the second attempt from close range.

Nacho Novo had picked up a knock and was replaced by Zura Khizanishvili with six minutes to go as Dundee tightened it up with a change to 4-4-2 but there was one final scare to come, It arrived via a lobbed cross from Offiong which beat Speroni but Barry Smith was there to head over from under his own bar to ensure that Dundee would take the points.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme



Squad Statistics (as at April 12th, 2003)


2002-03 All Time
Age
Julian Speroni (GK)23 39 - 60 -
Jonay Hernández24 301301
Lee Mair22 27 - 27 -
Barry Smith29 37 - 3041
Lee Wilkie22 362843
Garry Brady26 271271
Giorgi Nemsadze30 261784
Gavin Rae25 37522123
Mark Burchill22 9393
Fabian Caballero25 3779323
Steven Milne22 2768917
Zurab Khizanishvili (sub)21 20 - 46 -
Steven Robb (sub)21 11 - 12 -
Nacho Novo (sub)24 379379






League Table (as at April 12th, 2003)


No league table has been added for this season.