Point lifts ’Well off foot of table

Scott McDonald celebrates his first goal since returning to Fir Park
Scott McDonald celebrates his first goal since returning to Fir Park

Motherwell could only earn a point against the 10 men of Kilmarnock, but it was enough to move them off the bottom of the table.

The home side had a good shout for a penalty in the seventh minute as Killie ’keeper Craig Samson bundled into Marvin Johnson, but referee booked the winger for diving.

At the other end Josh Magennis and Chris Johnston had opportunities before in 20 minutes the visitors took the lead.

There seemed little danger as TOPE OBADEYI collected the ball on the left of the box, but he took a step away from Josh Law and crashed a sudden shot into the top corner.

’Well tried to hit back as Stephen McManus headed a Conor Grant corner over and then Grant himself was denied by a good save from Samson as he met a Johnson cross.

Samson kept Killie’s lead intact with another fine stop from a Scott McDonald header and then did well to tip a Grant snapshot round the post.

Killie right-back Daryl Westlake was shown two yellow cards in the space of two minutes for fouls on Johnston.

The second foul would prove particularly costly as in injury time at the end of the second half McDONALD fired a 25-yard free-kick past Samson for his first goal since returning to Fir Park.

It seemed with a man advantage that ’Well would surely run out winners in the second half.

However, despite the lion’s share of possession and periods when Long was the only player in the home side’s half the breakthrough just never came.

Early chances fell to Lee Erwin, who seemed in two minds as to whether to try and overhead kick or bring the ball down and ended up fluffing a half-hearted volley wide, and Johnson, whose angled drive was palmed out by Samson.

Killie threw up a formidable barrier which ’Well tried everything to get past as Lionel Ainsworth, John Sutton and Dom Thomas were all introduced into the action

An Ainsworth shot was deflected high in the air and Sutton did well to turn to goalwards but straight at Samson.

Then three minutes into injury time McDonald laid the ball into the path of Thomas, but he fired wide and the hosts had to settle for a point.

Motherwell: Long, McManus, Lasley, Law, Erwin (Sutton 71), Johnson (Thomas 84), Straker, Laing, Grant (Ainsworth 55), Pearson, McDonald. Subs not used: Twardzik, Carswell, O’Brien, Moore.

Kilmarnock: Samnson, Johnston (Barbour 46), Eccleston (Miller 85), Obadeyi (Cairney 81), Ashcroft, Slater, Westlake, Chantler, O’Hara, Magennis, Pascali. Subs not used: Brennan, Eremenko, Kiltie, Syme.

Referee: John Beaton.

Attendance: 4,192.