Sunday, 5 October 2008

Bairns at Fir Park

John Sutton's fifth goal in six SPL games proved to be the winner after Falkirk had twice pegged back their hosts. Jamie Murphy and Chris Porter put Motherwell ahead only for Steve Lovell and Graham Barrett to level.

Murphy and Sutton were restored to the starting line-up in place of Bob Malcolm and David Clarkson following Thursday night's UEFA Cup defeat by Nancy.

Motherwell played some of their best football of the season and some sloppy defending at both ends contributed to the excitement.

The teams were tied on seven points before the game but both were looking to continue moving away from the bottom reaches of the table.

Falkirk, who were unchanged, had gone four matches without defeat but it was the home side who secured back-to-back SPL wins.

Motherwell took control early on and Murphy had a deflected effort turned past the near post by Robert Olejnik following an accurate long pass by Paul Quinn.

Murphy, playing wide right in a 4-4-2 formation, then sped to the byline and crossed to the back post where Steven McGarry rose well but could not direct his header on target.

Well had regained some of the fluency largely missing so far this season and Murphy made their pressure count with a calm finish in the 12th minute. Referee Stevie O'Reilly played a good advantage after Lee Bullen fouled Sutton on the right touchline and Keith Lasley lofted the ball into Murphy's path.

The bounce deceived Falkirk defender Darren Barr and the 19-year-old took a touch before sliding the ball past Olejnik from 15 yards.

Well sat off and conceded a soft goal in the 22nd minute when Michael Higdon headed Bullen's long ball over a static defence for Lovell to slot home.

However, the Bairns were guilty of far sloppier defending a minute later as Porter put Motherwell back in front.

Olejnik came off his line to smother Quinn's long ball but deliberately let go as he slid out of the box. Bullen had turned his back on play to leave Porter to slip the ball home from a tight angle.

No comments: