Chapmans Motherwell fell to their second defeat of the season on Saturday, losing 4-2 against fellow promotion rivals Granite City Wanderers away in Aberdeen.
Chapmans were up against it from the start, after goalkeeper Robert Black bumped his car on route to the game, leading to veteran striker Andy Liddle donning a borrowed set of pads and taking up an unfamiliar residence between the sticks.
The game on the whole was a disappointing one for the Motherwell club, lacking the overall desire and passion that had propelled them to top spot in the table. Yet they only conceded one goal in the first half when the Granite centre forward rounded Liddle in goals and firing home, after he had unwittingly kicked it into his path. Granite City in reality struggled going forward, they had the lions share of possession but struggled to create many meaningful openings, however, Motherwell really struggled to gain a foothold, and created few chances in the first half.
The second half saw Motherwell draw level early on, with their best spell of the match, Gordon Strachan knocking it home from close range following an Ian Mathie cross. However, Granite regained the lead minutes later, a ball over the top caused confusion in the Motherwell back-line and their left-winger was on hand to fire home. After regaining the lead Granite began to assert more pressure on the Motherwell defence and the third soon came, this time a clever passing move saw their left-winger again free at the back-post.
Motherwell decided to shuffle their formation around, and it immediately proved successful, Chris Mitchell firing home from a short corner to reduce the deficit to 1 goal. Motherwell continued to press, but saw themselves reduced to 10 men when Ian Dyett was sin-binned for an off the ball shove, and then was red carded for his remonstrations. This was the final nail in Motherwell’s coffin and sheer weight of numbers saw Granite City soon grabbed a 4th, despite appeals that there was a foul in the build up play. This is the way the scores would stay, leaving Motherwell with the long journey home wondering what might have been.