Scottish Premier League

Motherwell hit back for point

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Sat, 29 Dec 2012 17:51:00

Motherwell battled back from two goals down to earn a deserved share of the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock at Fir Park on Saturday.

Borja Perez opened the scoring after 12 minutes when he spun before slamming the ball beyond Darren Randolph. Paul Heffernan doubled Kilmarnock's lead against the run of play on 63 minutes, however, Motherwell came storming back and quickfire goals from Jamie Murphy and Henrik Ojamaa put the hosts back on level terms.

There were further chances for the home side in the closing stages, but the Kilmarnock defence survived some late scares to ensure a point.

Both sets of supporters rose to their feet on the 10th minute as a tribute to former Motherwell captain Phil O'Donnell, who tragically died after collapsing during a fixture with Dundee United exactly five years to the day.

The hosts almost marked the moment with a goal as Chris Humphrey surged down the right and cut the ball back for Michael Higdon, however, the striker could only fire a shot straight at Cammy Bell. Two minutes later and Kilmarnock were ahead, James Dayton found Perez and the Spaniard spun before blasting the ball beyond Randolph.

Stuart McCall's side responded in a positive fashion and Higdon had an effort well blocked before Murphy floated a shot just wide of the target.

Bell did well to hold Nicky Law's drive from the edge of the box as Motherwell turned up the pressure, but they could have found themselves two behind after 22 minutes when Heffernan took advantage of some slack defending before getting away an effort on goal.

The striker saw his shot blocked by Randolph but the ball appeared to be looping into the net - only for Shaun Hutchinson to head over the top.

Motherwell continued to press in the opening stages of the second half and Keith Lasley's shot flew inches wide after 52 minutes, and they were almost punished on the counter-attack when Cillian Sheridan raced through on goal, but he was denied by a good stop by Randolph.

The Republic of Ireland keeper was forced into another save seconds later from Liam Kelly and Kilmarnock showed their clinical side as they doubled their lead after 63 minutes. Dayton's corner caused unrest amongst the home defence and Heffernan bundled the ball home at the back-post.

Cummins, having come on as a substitute earlier in the match was withdrawn for Robert McHugh, in an attempt to add some much needed attacking spark into the home attack.

The hosts finally managed to breach the Killie defence with 20 minutes remaining, Humphrey's cut-back found McHugh and the striker's shot was turned in by Murphy.

Suddenly Kilmarnock were back on the back foot and they conceded again three minutes later when Ojamaa cut inside before bending a wonderful shot past Bell. Murphy fired into the side-netting when there was perhaps better options inside the box and McHugh headed just wide at the near-post before Kenny Shiels tried to tighten things up by introducing Mark O'Hara for Perez.

Three minutes of injury-time brought more pressure on the Killie goal, but their defence held firm to ensure an entertaining affair ended in stalemate.

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