Motherwell and Nottingham Forest draw 1-1
Motherwell and Nottingham Forest will be satisfied after an honourable 1-1 draw at Fir Park in the summer sunshine. Bob McHugh's composed strike levelled the game after Derbyshire gave the visitors a first half lead.
For both teams this was the final warm up game before they face real competition week and the starting elevens were close to full strength. Hollis was given the lion's share of this game and he stated his case for first pick with a decent display. He had little chance of stopping the Forest goal that arrived after 11 minutes when a low drive across the six yard line was dispatched by Derbyshire off the underside of the bar. He made a couple of fine reaction stops from close range and his stout defenders restricted most of the goal threats. Neilsen was largely untroubled during his fifteen minute spell at the end.
The defence looked secure although at times we were caught square and vulnerable to a speedy attacking run. McManus and Hutchinson will make a solid central pairing. Both left the field after knocks, McManus after 50 minutes and his partner in the closing minutes.
The midfield of Vigurs, Lawson, Lasley and McFadden took a while to settle as forest made the best of the opening exchanges. They kept possession for long spells and our men were forced to do the chasing.
After the loss of the goal McFadden was switched infield and we gained some confidence from a nice passing move that saw the ball travel from back to fronr with Hammell, Lasley, Vigurs and McFadden all involved and the move finished with a Sutton header that earned a corner. Sutton almost a minute before the break and only a fine save from de Vries kept his header from the top corner.
We made no half time changes and the pace stepped up as we began to press for an equaliser. On the hour Vigurs and faddy were replaced by Francis-Angol and Carswell.
The goal came inside the final ten minutes after excellent work on the left from Francis-Angol. He eluded the challenge from Harding and found time and space inside the box to pick out McHugh. The striker controlled well and made no mistake from 12 yards to claim the equaliser that the team's efforts deserved.
It would be foolish to draw too many conclusions from this type of game but if the defenders can shrug off the knocks it would seem that we are as prepared as is possible for the season's start next week.
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