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Motherwell 2 (1) Fulham 1 (2) - Match report

last updated Monday 04th August 2003, 9:37 AM
Motherwell 2 (1) Fulham 1 (2)
Fulham striker Louis Saha
Fulham striker Louis Saha scores Fulham's opener at Motherwell
Fulham twice went in front at Motherwell but each time they were pegged back by Well's summer signing Alex Burns.

Fulham had handed a starting place to new signing Jerome Bonnissel, who spent six months at Rangers last season.

And it was they who took the lead when the Motherwell defence failed to clear a corner properly.

The ball fell to Steed Malbranque, who slid a pass through to Saha and he stabbed the shot past Corr after 16 minutes.

Fellow new keeper Gordon Marshall watched from the stand as Corr was tested between the sticks by Fulham and the former Celtic youngster impressively denied Saha after 28 minutes by tipping a point-blank shot just over the crossbar.

However, in the 39th minute, Motherwell levelled from the spot when Clarkson was hauled down in the area by Goma.

Former Partick hitman Burns stepped up for the spot-kick and coolly sent Edwin van der Sar the wrong way from 12 yards.

The second half started slowly but Motherwell almost took the lead in bizarre fashion. A high ball seemed to pose little threat until a Fulham defender attempted an enthusiastic header back to the goalie. Van der Sar needed all of his massive frame to prevent an embarrassing own goal.

But Fulham were back in front again on the hour mark when Stephen Pearson, who is set to retract his transfer request this weekend, failed to stop Marlet surging into the area and firing home past Corr.

The largest cheer of the day, even more heartier than for Burns' opener from the spot, was reserved for the arrival of McFadden with half-an-hour remaining.

The 20-year-old has been linked with a move to both Celtic and Rangers over the summer but the home fans were delighted to see the club's prize asset still at Fir Park.

Twice, he feinted past a couple of bemused defenders and unleashed long-range shots that troubled Edwin van der Saar. He then set up the last-minute leveller with a shimmy and neat pass for Burns to sweep home.

“I’m delighted to get a result against such high-quality opposition,” said Butcher. “Pre-season friendlies are notoriously bad barometers, but we’ve been unbeaten and looked good. It was great to see James back, and I’m hopeful of hanging on to him all season.”

Corr; Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell; Lasley, Adams, Pearson, Craig (MacDonald 71min); Burns, Clarkson (McFadden 67min)

Van Der Saar; Rehman, Djetou, Bonnissel (Green 87min); Marlet (Bruari 73min), Inamoto, Legwinski, Clark, Malbranque (Boa Morte 57min); Saha (Hayles 73min)

Motherwell: Burns 40pen, 89
Fulham: Saha 18, Marlet 60

Referee: E Mack
Source PA Sport
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