Motherwell and Kilmarnock played out a tame, goalless draw at Fir Park this afternoon. And although the Steelmen created a few clear cut chances to win the game, both defences held strong for rare shutouts and a share of the points.
Mark McGhee spent the first of his touch line bans in the stand joined by injured pair Stevie Hammell and Chris Cadden. That forced two changes from the side which started so strongly against Celtic. However, there was no dynamic start to this game and for most of the first half the action was contested around the middle of the park.
The first routine save didn’t arrive until 17 minutes when Craig Samson comfortably held Rory McKenzie’s drive down the middle of the goal.
‘Well’s reply came from the impressive Ross MacLean, who worked a couple of neat one-twos before volleying the ball narrowly past the post from 12 yards.
The Fir Park men had the bulk of the play as the half progressed and a couple of crosses caused some anxiety in the visitors defence. From Ben Heneghan’s knockdown Stephen McManus’ thumping drive from 10 yards was goal bound until it deflected off a defender’s hand. Referee Steven McLean, however, waved aside strong appeals for a penalty.
As the game aimlessly drifted towards the half-time whistle, ‘Well created two terrific chances to open the scoring.
Firstly, a clever flick from Louis Moult and an incisive pass from Scott McDonald sent MacLean through on goal but his drive across the ‘keeper was brilliantly blocked by Jamie MacDonald.
Thirty seconds later Moult was again the provider when his disguised pass released Lionel Ainsworth but from six yards and with only MacDonald to beat he slashed his angled drive wildly past the post.
Within three minutes of the restart Motherwell were forced into a change, when MacLean, who had seemed to have recovered from a hefty second minute challenge, limped off and replaced with Lee Lucas.
In general the play from both teams was untidy but a wonderfully measured through ball from Craig Clay after 64 minutes sent Moult darting towards the Killie goal. Scott Boyd, though, tracked his run well to block the ‘Well striker’s shot at the edge of the box.
With 15 minutes remaining, James McFadden called a double substitution hoping that the introduction of Dom Thomas and Jake Hastie might help break the stalemate.
And five minutes later the home side produced the best move of the second half.
Lucas released Richard Tait who hared down the right before cutting the ball back to McDonald. From the corner of the box his low curled effort carried the ball just beyond the far post as ‘Well’s hopes of taking three points slipped away.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Fir Park
FT | 0-0
A game of few chances and ultimately they weren’t taken for the Steelmen. Match report and reaction to follow.
’88 | 0-0
…It’s not good enough and MacDonald can collect comfortably
’86 | 0-0
Killie sub – Jones off for Hawkshaw
… the corner comes in and McManus attempts to turn it at goal on the half volley, but its over the bar from the centre-back
’86 | 0-0
Hastie delivers a low powerful cross which is scooped clear only to Moult, his effort is blocked behind for a corner…
’85 | 0-0
Gary Dicker gives away the ferric for a bad challenge on Hastie – the following delivery is cleared
’80 | 0-0
Inches away!!! McDonald curls a low shot towards the far post but it is ever so narrowly wide.
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’74 | 0-0
Double sub for Motherwell: Ainsworth and Lasley off – Hastie and Thomas on
’73 | 0-0
Tyson turns it towards goal, Samson saves with ease
… Jones blazes it miles over
’71 | 0-0
Lasley is late with a tackle on the edge of the box and he’s booked – free kick to Killie
’69 | 0-0
Coulibaly goes for the spectacular, striking at goal with an overhead kick, but it’s well over the bar
’65 | 0-0
Moult is freed to race through on goal with only Boyd to stop him – he does well to put a foot in and block the shot
’64 | 0-0
A goal mouth scramble in the Killie box is followed up by a big penalty shout for the ‘Well – Moult was dragged to the deck
’58 | 0-0
Lee Lucas is cautioned for a badly timed challenge.
’50 | 0-0
Scott Boyd goes in to the book for an off the ball foul on Craig Clay
’47 | 0-0
‘Well sub: ➡️ Ross MacLean ⬅️ Lee Lucas is on
Lasley gets the second half going…
HT | 0-0
A fairly uneventful first half came to an end with two glorious chances for Motherwell. Second half to follow.
’45 | 0-0
Should be 1-0 Motherwell!!! This time Ainsworth has the chance, he’s played in and he goes for power and blazes it off target
’44 | 0-0
MacLean with the best chance of the game so far! He’s slipped through one-on-one but MacDonald does well to save
’42 | 0-0
Kilmarnock win the corner and McKenzie’s delivery is low, Tyson turns it towards goal at the near post but it’s wide.
’39 | 0-0
Ben Heneghan nearly turns his header on target, but it comes off Taylor for a corner. From the set-piece, Killie clear the danger
’35 | 0-0
Immediately down the other end, Coulibaly gets on the end of a low cross, striking on the spin and narrowly missing the target
’34 | 0-0
MacLean delivers another fine ball in, Moult turns it towards goal but it’s blocked and falls to McDonald, his shot is blocked too
’29 | 0-0
Huge call for handball! McManus volleys on target but Smith appears to block with his hand, big call but the referee waves play on
’28 | 0-0
Ainsworth plays in a deep cross for MacLean towards the back post, but it was slightly beyond the youngster, goal kick Killie
’20 | 0-0
Great run and so close for MacLean! He bursts inside, plays a neat one-two but side foots wide from ten yards. Unlucky!
’18 | 0-0
Jones squares for McKenzie inside the Motherwell box – his shot is low and straight at Samson who gathers comfortably
’14 | 0-0
From the following corner, the ball falls to Clay, but he strikes his shot wide of the mark. Better from the ‘Well
’13 | 0-0
Ainsworth whips in a great cross from a corner and Boyle is forced to head narrowly wide of his own goal
’11 | 0-0
Down the other end, Lasley’s clearance is shut down by McKenzie, the deflection flashes past Samson’s left post
’10 | 0-0
MacLean cuts on to his right and curls in a cross, Killie clear but the Steelmen are starting to get the ball on the deck and play
‘8 | 0-0
Kilmarnock have got off to the better start here. Jones whips in a dangerous cross but Tyson can’t get his head on it – goal kick
‘5 | 0-0
Tyson slips as he tries his luck from 25 yards, but he still gets the shot on target and Samson saves comfortably
‘2 | 0-0
Killie cross the ball in and it’s cleared only as far as Dicker – his shot from outside the box is blocked
Kilmarnock get the game underway…
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark: