Phil McGhee Fir Park
The late summer sun shone on one of Motherwell’s favourite son’s as Bolton provided the opposition for ‘Well captain Keith Lasley’s testimonial match.
And although Lasley’s 403rd appearance in claret and amber ended in defeat, the richly deserved occasion for the Fir Park stalwart and his family was well celebrated by the fans of both teams.
Fittingly, the last touch of the game belonged to Lasley’s three young son Alfie, who rolled the ball into the Bolton net. By that stage Neil Lennon’s men were two goals to the better of an entertaining ninety minutes.
Although the match was for Lasley’s benefit it gave Ian Baraclough the opportunity to give a couple of his latest tranfer acquisitions, Theo Robinson and Man United loanee Liam Grimshaw, a starting place.
It was almost the perfect start for Robinson and the home side when, after three minutes, Marvin Johnson’s floated cross picked out the former Doncaster striker but he guided his header over a begging goal.
Bolton quickly signalled they hadn’t travelled from Lancashire just to make up the numbers and ex England striker Emile Heskey rose above Louis Laing to head the ball over the bar.
Ten minutes later Wellington Silva worked his way in from the byeline before squeezing a shot through a ruck of legs forcing Dan Twardzik to save at the foot of his post.
At the other end David Clarkson’s touch inside the six yard box directed the ball towards goal but Frances Pisano was on the line to clear.
Clarkson’s deep cross found Robinson but his header was wide of target. Jack Taylor then broke from midfield before his shot from the edge of the box took a deflection and rippled the side netting.
‘Well made three changes at the interval with Scott McDonald teaming up with Clarkson in the home attack.
However, it was Bolton’s veteran striker Heskey who opened the scoring, prodding Silva’s cross beyond Twardzik from a couple of yards.
The game still had a competitive edge and after 58 minutes McDonald created anopening for himself but his lowshot shot from 18 yardswas easily gathered by Paul Rachubka.
On the hour mark the ‘Well fans acknoeldged the introduction of James McFadden and Stevie Hammell.
And within a few minutes McFadden had combined with Thomas to setup McDonald but from15 yards he curled his shot over the bar.
With three minutes remaining ‘Well fans were on their feet to soundly welcome the introduction of legend Steven Kirk, appropriately sporting the number 91jersey, and former captain Stephen Craigan.
However, it was Bolton who wrapped up the game when Stephen Dobbie capitalised on some confusion in the home defence to score.
The last action of the game would come from Lasley, but not the veteran Motherwell skipper, but his three-year old son who dribbled (slightly aided) from the half way line to just about knock the ball into the empty net.
That got the biggest roar of the day, as did the Motherwell skipper who thanked the crowd at the finish for marking what may turn out to be the last testimonial played at Fir Park given the nature of modern football.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
FT: Motherwell 1 – 2 Bolton Wanderers
91′ | 1-2
GOAL!!! Supersub Alfie Lasley scores! Dribbled all the way from the half-way line and fired it past the helpless goalie!!!
91′ | 0-2
Motherwell sub, Alfie Lasley comes on. Can he pull one back?
89′ | 0-2
Goal – Dobbie makes it 2-0, volleying home from just outside the box
87′ | 0-1
Motherwell double sub, it’s a standing ovation for Stevie Kirk and Stephen Craigan, who come on for McManus and Taylor
79′ | 0-1
Motherwell sub, young PJ Morrison comes on to replace Twardzik in goal.
78′ | 0-1
Nearly two for Bolton but the foot of Twardzik is enough to put it past for a corner.
76′ | 0-1
Another Bolton sub, Osede off for Taylor
72′ | 0-1
Another Bolton change, Silva makes way for Woolery
69′ | 0-1
Bolton sub, Casado for Twardzik, brother of Dan.
64′ | 0-1
McFadden shows some quick feet to get away from two and finds Thomas who squares it to McDonald. He goes for the curler: just past
62′ | 0-1
And a Bolton change, Trotter on for Walker.
61′ | 0-1
Motherwell triple sub, off are Chalmers, Grimshaw and Clarkson, replaced by Hammell, Leitch and McFadden
58′ | 0-1
Nice through ball by Grimshaw finds McDonald who checks inside on his right foot. Fires straight at Rachubka though
51′ | 0-1
Goal – Heskey opens the scoring, tapping home from 6 yards after an inviting low ball into the box.
49′ | 0-0
Great chance for Dobbie to open the scoring but he somehow fires wide form 8 yards out.
Couple of Bolton subs to tell you about as well, Campbell and Pisano make way for Rachubka and Holding.
Second half is underway.
Three subs at half-time for ‘Well, McDonald, McMillan and Thomas are on for Robinson, Johnson and Reid
HT: Motherwell 0 – 0 Bolton Wanderers
32′ | 0-0
Taylor’s curled effort from the left side of the box flashes just past the post. Unlucky!
24′ | 0-0
Some neat midfield play again sets up Clarkson about 30 yards out. It’s an ambitious effort which flies well over.
17′ | 0-0
Grimshaw advances forwards and on his left foot, his shot is deflected narrowly wide for a corner.
15′ | 0-0
Decent stop from Twardzik to deny Silva who had jinked his way into the box and got a low shot away from close range.
10′ | 0-0
Two corners in a row for Bolton and on the second attempt, Osede flicks it just past the post.
3′ | 0-0
Early chance for ‘Well. Johnson gets down the left wing and dinks in a cross to Robinson who sees his header loop just over the bar
And we’re underway here a a sunny Fir Park.
Motherwell legend Keith Lasley: