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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 00:52 GMT
Well hold on against Hibees
David Clarkson dives to head in Motherwell's first goal
David Clarkson dives to head in Motherwell's first goal
Motherwell 2-1 Hibernian


Motherwell took all three points from a bad-tempered match that frequently boiled over.

First-half goals from David Clarkson and Shaun Fagan gave Well a deserved half-time lead over the Edinburgh side.

Hibs fought back in the second half and a Garry O'Connor goal gave them hope of a point.

But a series of niggly fouls and clashes marred the remainder of the game, with football playing second fiddle to the petty squabbling.

Hibs could have opened the scoring when John O'Neil's free-kick was met by Mixu Paatelainen at the near post but the big Finnish striker nodded just wide from a few yards out.

Shaun Fagan leaps in to challenge Paul Fenwick
Shaun Fagan leaps in to challenge Paul Fenwick
Grant Brebner picked out O'Connor in the box, but the young striker struggled to control the ball and goalkeeper Francois Dubourdeau managed to clear the danger.

Instead, it was Motherwell who took the lead on the half-hour mark when Clarkson met Stephen Pearson's cross with a diving header to bullet the ball past goalkeeper Nick Colgan.

Motherwell doubled their lead five minutes before the break. Steven Hammell's free kick was cleared by the Hibs defence but the ball broke to Fagan who rammed home from 15 yards.

Hibernian started the second half determined to haul themselves back into the game and they could have pulled a goal back just two minutes after the restart.

O'Neil flighted a corner into the box and it was met by O'Connor, but the striker nodded just inches over the crossbar.

Garry O'Connor celebrates his goal
Garry O'Connor celebrates his goal
Minutes later O'Connor squared the ball into the path of Paatelainen, leaving the big Finn the chance to stab the ball into an empty net, but, somehow, he missed the ball completely.

Hibs did pull a goal back with just under 20 minutes remaining, O'Neil doing well to cut the ball back to O'Connor, who lashed the ball past Dubourdeau at his near post.

Motherwell sub Khaled Kemas almost grabbed Motherwell's third goal after 76 minutes when he went on an impressive solo run before firing wide across the face of goal.

Hibs had a great chance to draw level when substitute Freddie Arpinon played the ball into O'Connor's path just a few yards out from goal only for him to volley over the crossbar with 10 minutes to go.

Motherwell should have killed off the game in injury time when Pearson's run took him all the way to the six-yard line but his shot was blocked by Colgan and Kemas sent the rebound well over the crossbar.


Motherwell: Dubourdeau, Cowan, Hammell, Corrigan, Vaughan, Partridge, Adams, Leitch (Fagan 7), Pearson, Clarkson, Craig (Khaled 70).

Subs Not Used: Woods, Lasley, Kinniburgh.

Booked: Adams, Cowan, Fagan.

Hibernian: Colgan, Orman, Murray, Townsley, Zambernardi (James 36), Fenwick, O'Neil, Brebner, Jack (Arpinon 79), Paatelainen, O'Connor (Reid 90).

Subs Not Used: Doumbe, Andersson.

Booked: Zambernardi, Jack, Murray, Colgan, Townsley, O'Neil.

Att: 4,999

Ref: C Richmond

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BBC Scotland's Paul Mitchell
"Motherwell move off the bottom of the table"
Motherwell's Tony Vaughan
"It wasn't pretty, but we're delighted"
The SPL season gets under way

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