Motherwell earned a point at Kilmarnock that was a fair reflection of the play at Rugby Park.
With neither team able to produce a goal over 135 minutes play at Rugby Park this week, both sides had to settle for a point each for their determined efforts to overcome some testing weather conditions.
Although visibility wasn’t a problem for the 1,500 Motherwell fans’ second trip to Ayrshire in four days, the rain and swirling wind on the artificial surface posed more of a challenge for the players.
Stephen Robinson’s side resumed action at Rugby Park with the same line-up that started in midweek.
However, Steve Clarke saw enough through Wednesday’s fog to recognise that ‘Well had the upper hand and subsequently, the Killie boss made two tactical changes to strengthen his midfield.
Just like the game in midweek Killie looked more menacing from kick-off and Conor McAleney broke through only to drive wide of target.
The first goalmouth threat came at the other end after six minutes. David Turnbull’s corner found Richard Tait with his back to goal and his speculative overhead kick was fumbled by Dan Bachmann on his line, with Curtis Main lurking.
Eight minutes later, the Killie ‘keeper redeemed himself. A quick pass from Main released Jake Hastie, who raced towards the home penalty area before curling a terrific left foot shot destined to bend inside the post, until Bachmann leapt to his right to beat the ball away.
The Killie goal was under threat again when Charles Dunne thundered the ball across the goal face. But it was hoisted high and clear before it reached Turnbull at the back post.
After 21 minutes, Mark Gillespie made his first save comfortably holding Rory McKenzie’s 25 yard drive.
Motherwell were again on the front foot and ten minutes from half time Main’s angled drive deflected for a corner. Before Turnbull could take it, though, Richard Tait and Stephen O’Donnell were involved in a tussle which earned both of them a yellow card from John Beaton.
Just before the break ‘Well again came close to opening the scoring. Allan Campbell rolled the ball along the 18 yard line for Gboly Ariyibi, whose drive was heading towards the right hand corner of Bachmann’s goal before the ‘keeper produced another great stop.
The Steelmen headed to the dressing room at half-time knowing that they had chances to go in front on the first half – but assured they would have a second 45 minutes this time to claim all three points.
But within minutes of the restart Gillespie had to fall on Gary Dicker’s 12 yard shot to keep the scores level.
‘Well’s first threat of the half came in the 57th minute. Turnbull’s corner found Tom Aldred’s heavily bandaged head but as the defender stooped to meet the ball he fell on the ball which led to an almighty scramble two yards from the home goal line.
It was Gillespie’s goal, though, that had a lucky escape after 67 minutes when McKenzie met the ball eight yards out. His effort carried the ball over the ‘keeper only to rebound off the face of the crossbar.
Action moved to the other end and Turnbull’s trundler forced Bachmann to squeeze the ball round his post.
Elliot Frear, at the expense of Ariyibi, was then given 20 minutes to make an impact on the game. But it was Killie sub Eamonn Brophy who came close to an immediate impact when he hooked the ball towards goal only to watch Gillespie react superbly to palm the ball away.
With 15 minutes remaining and both sides aiming for a winning goal, James Scott took Main’s place leading the Fir Park attack.
Three minutes from time a determined drive to the bye-line and tempting cross from Grimshaw found no takers in front of goal was ‘Well’s final attempt to grab all three points.
Driving sleet in the final minutes summed up the weather that both sets of players had to endure to eventually get through this fixture.