11-16-2016, 07:03 AM
Motherwell and Dundee U20s couldn’t be separated at Links Park in Montrose in a frustrating 0-0 stalemate.
A tight decision ruled Dylan Mackin’s volleyed finish as offside in the second half but aside from that there were few chances during the closely-fought Development League clash.
Stephen Craigan named two changes to the side that lost 0-1 at home to Hearts last week, calling on the recovering Kieran Kennedy and restoring PJ Morrison to the starting line-up in place of David Ferguson and Jordan Pettigrew respectively.
Dundee named a fairly strong side, with striker Rory Loy leading the Dark Blues line.
The game got off to a fast start in terms of tempo, as both sides scrambled around desperate to keep possession but failed to create any opportunities in the opening 15 minutes.
The first notable moment of the match was a poor foul from Matty Allan on Ross MacLean, who touched it past the defender only to be clattered off the pitch, yet somehow it didn’t result in a booking for the Dee offender.
Two minutes later and the referee did decide to use his cards, but this time giving Kennedy a yellow card for a shirt pull.
Tempers were rising among both sides with some heavy challenges on show – MacLean receiving a couple of warnings after clashing with Allan.
It took until the 24th minute for either side to create a chance, and it was for the young Steelmen thanks to a swift, neat move on the break.
Dylan Mackin, turning near the halfway line, slipped in Jake Hastie who looked up and lofted a delicate pass over the Dundee defence into the path of MacLean who took a touch before being knocked to the ground eight yards from goal. There were a few appeals, but it would have been soft.
Craigan’s side started growing in to the match around the half hour mark and MacLean did well to get on the end of a fizzing Luke Watt cross, but he couldn’t redirect it and it sailed high and wide.
Dundee were afforded a golden opportunity in the 38th minute when Mark Smith was gifted a one-on-one opportunity after a short back-pass by David Turnbull fell to the forward, but he scuffed his effort and Morrison collected comfortably.
Dundee’s number nine had another good opportunity fall his way shortly after, cutting in onto his right foot but yet again scuffing his shot straight at Morrison.
Kennedy was on hand to deny Dundee from opening the scoring, diving in superbly to slide and block Loy who attempted to get on the end of a low, hard cross.
The Steelmen finished the half strongly and a well-worked corner was nearly taken advantage of seconds before the interval. Barry Maguire timed his late run to the back post and got the ball under control at the second attempt, teeing up Mackin who curled a left-footed effort towards the far post but it flew narrowly wide.
The second half got off to a quicker start than the first in terms of chances, with both sides going close in the first five minutes.
Calvin Colquhon tested Morrison with a low driven strike following a corner, but the young stopper got down well and gathered it at the first attempt. Immediately up the other end of the park, Hastie was nearly in on goal but was blocked off so slipped it to supporting teammate Mackin, but his effort was blocked.
A clever corner from the Fir Parkers should have led to the first goal of the game. Watt arrived in the box and received the low pass before touching it towards Turnbull who should have hit the target as he spun and struck at goal on his left foot from inside the area.
Jesse Curran tested Morrison on the hour mark but his powerful, low effort was well held by the keeper.
In the 65th minute, MacLean had his best opportunity of the game after a pinpoint, switching cross from Tom Fry dropped perfectly for the midfielder but his side-footed volley was stopped by Kyle Gourlay in the Dundee goal.
Adam Livingstone was introduced to the action in the 68th minute in place of Turnbull as Craigan switched to a back three in a bid to find a winner.
Dundee made their first change of the night when Taylor Berry replaced Mark Smith in the 78th minute.
Craigan called upon Ryan Watters with eight minutes left to play – the youngster replaced Hastie.
It looked like the travelling Motherwell youngsters had snatched it when Dylan Mackin volleyed home with just five minutes remaining, but the celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag. It looked extremely tight, but a correct call.
Fry went in to the book in the 88th minute for a late foul as the game drew to a close. But the game came to a head in the dying minutes when Campbell and Curran collided – inciting a mass altercation between the two sides and it had been brewing all match.
But the two sides couldn’t be separated as the referee brought an end to an intense match at Links Park.
Motherwell U20s: Morrison, Watt, Kennedy, Maguire, Armstrong, MacLean, Campbell, Fry, Turnbull (Livingstone ’66), Hastie (Watters ’78), Mackin
Unused subs: Pettigrew, Scott, Agyeman