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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 09:41 GMT
Well dent Pars Euro hopes
Stephen Pearson opened the scoring for Motherwell
Stephen Pearson opened the scoring for Motherwell
Motherwell 2-1 Dunfermline Athletic


Motherwell won an exciting battle on the Fir Park beach to dent Dunfermline Athletic's Uefa Cup qualification hopes and move clear of the bottom of the Scottish Premier League.

Stephen Pearson and Steven Craig grabbed the home side's goals either side of the break.

But they then had to survive some intense pressure after Scotland striker Stevie Crawford brought the Pars back into the match before clinching their first back-to-back win of the season.

Motherwell boss Terry Butcher had made one change from the side that defeated Hibernian, an injury to captain and former Pars midfielder Scott Leitch allowing a start for Shaun Fagan.

Dunfermline re-called Jason Dair and Gary Dempsey for midfielder Ged Brannon, out after his red card in Saturday's victory away to Hibs, and the versatile Lee Bullen, who had picked up a hamstring injury.

Both sides took time to adjust to a much-criticised Fir Park pitch that was heavily sanded.

Motherwell made the breakthrough after 19 minutes after Steven Hammell's shot from 25 yards had been pushed over by goalkeeper Derek Stillie for a corner.

When the defender flighted the ball in from the flag-stick, Pearson was on hand to glide a header from 14 yards into the top corner of the net.

The goal was barely deserved but sparked the game into life, with the home side edging the first half.

Pearson came close to adding his second when clean through after playing a one-two with David Clarkson, only for the midfielder's drive from 10 yards to bounce off Stillie and on to the roof of the net.

Craig Brewster should have equalised when he latched on to a long Stillie clearance, but his angled shot was tentative and goalkeeper Francois Dubourdeau cleared with his feet.

Pearson also squandered a chance when he met a Hammell corner but sent his close-range header over the bar.

Davide Grondin almost equalised just before half time, the former Arsenal defender's angled drive crashing off the inside of the post, hitting the goalkeeper and then slipping past the post.

The home side doubled their lead five minutes after the break, David Clarkson sending away strike partner Craig to drill his shot into the net for his first goal for the club.

Dunfermline immediately struck back when top scorer Crawford netted from close range after slack play in the Motherwell defence.

The visitors applied intense pressure but squandered a chance when Steve Hampshire pounced on Brewster's sliced drive but headed over from a few yards out.

Dubourdeau produced a superb, stoppage time stop to deny Crawford from long range.


Motherwell: Dubourdeau, Corrigan, Partridge, Vaughan, Hammell, Shaun Fagan, Shaun Fagan, Adams, Pearson, Cowan (Ramsey 67), David Clarkson (Lasley 89), David Clarkson (Lasley 89), Craig.
Subs Not Used: Woods, Khemas, Kinniburgh.

Booked: Adams.

Goals: Pearson 19, Craig 50.

Dunfermline: Stillie, MacPherson (Hunt 82), Scott Wilson, Skerla, Dair (McGarty 69), Nicholson, Mason, Dempsey (Hampshire 51), Grondin, Brewster, Crawford.
Subs Not Used: Ruitenbeek, Walker.

Booked: Nicholson.

Goal: Crawford 52.

Attendance: 3,741

Referee: D Somers.





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