Honours even in Fir Park thriller

Motherwell fans can't hide their emotions as they celebrate John Sutton's late equaliser
Motherwell fans can't hide their emotions as they celebrate John Sutton's late equaliser

A last minute equaliser from John Sutton earned Motherwell a share of the spoils as champions Celtic came calling on Saturday.

However, it could have been even better had ’Well not thrown away a two-goal lead, just as they had done on their last outing at St Mirren.

The home side took the lead after just four minutes as Efe Ambrose failed to deal with Stephen McManus’s long ball and SUTTON drilled the ball under Fraser Forster.

Ambrose did rather better to hold up and then block Henri Anier as the striker threatened to make it 2-0 and at the other end McManus did equally well to deny Scott Brown.

On 20 minutes Celtic were awarded a penalty as Iain Vigurs put in a needless challenge on Anthony Stokes.

However, Gunnar Nielsen pulled off a brilliant save by diving low to his left to keep out Kris Commons’s powerful shot.

’Well took advantage and scored again a minute from the break as Stevie Hammell threw the ball into the box and after Virgil van Dijk got himself in a mess Anier set up ZAINE FRANCIS-ANGOL to knock it in.

However, the two-goal lead didn’t last until half-time as STOKES curled the ball from the left edge of the penalty area and perhaps fortuitously into the top corner.

Into the second half and it was nearly 3-1 as Beram Kayal cleared a Fraser Kerr header off the line.

Instead it was 2-2 on 56 minutes as GEORGIOS SAMARAS diverted a Stokes shot into the net.

The game swung from end to end with both side creating chances, the best of them seeing Nielsen deny Brown with his legs and then Forster tipping a Anier effort into the side netting.

Six minutes from time it looked like the visitors had completed their comeback as Vigurs inadvertently diverted Stokes’s pass into the path of substitute LEIGH GRIFFITHS who finished well.

However, ’Well weren’t quite finished and threw on Craig Moore and Lionel Ainsworth for Anier and Jack Leitch.

The latter didn’t have long, but he had long enough to make an impression as a minute into stoppage time he got in behind a sleeping Emilio Izaguirre and his low cross was slid in by SUTTON.

Motherwell: Nielsen, Reid, Hammell, Hutchinson, McManus, Sutton, Vugurs, Francis-Angol, Kerr, Anier (Moore 88), Leitch (Ainsworth 88). Subs not used: Hollis, Erwin, Murray, Thomas, Cadden.

Celtic: Forster, Izaguirre, Ambrose, van Dijk, Brown, Samaras, Stokes, Commons, Johansen, Herron (Balde 73), Kayal (Griffiths 66). Subs not used: Zaluska, Fridjonsson, Pukki, O’Connell, Henderson.

Referee: Craig Thomson.

Attendance: 7,493.