Jaakkola keeps Motherwell out

PA Sport
Anssi Jaakkola
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Anssi Jaakkola

A brilliant double save from Kilmarnock goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola denied Motherwell a fourth consecutive Clydesdale Bank Premier League win as they were held to a goalless draw at Fir Park.

The Finn, who made a great early save from Chris Humphrey, stopped Steve Jennings and Michael Higdon netting just after the interval.

Kilmarnock were worthy of a point though and the impressive Gary Harkins hit the post for the visitors.

Motherwell started on the front foot but some sloppy passes inside their own half saw then temporarily concede the initiative and Harkins, whose twists and turns were to cause the home defence problems throughout, got a shot on target.

Humphrey came close when he chested down Stevie Hammell's deep cross and fired a powerful shot towards the far corner but Jaakkola got down brilliantly to push the ball just wide.

Motherwell had a let-off in the 37th minute when Harkins took on Stephen Craigan inside the box and shot off the foot of the far post with Tim Clancy reacting quickly to block Paul Heffernan's follow-up.

Manuel Pascali had the ball in the net in the 43rd minute when he headed home Dean Shiels' cross from close range but he was penalised for pushing down on Clancy's shoulders.

The second half began in open fashion and Jaakkola maintained the stalemate following an excellent move from Motherwell in the 54th minute. The Finn came out to block from Jennings after the midfielder had played one-twos with Higdon and Keith Lasley and recovered to brilliantly block Higdon's powerful volley.

Harkins continued to cause problems, setting up Heffernan to shoot and then working space for himself, but Darren Randolph was equal to both efforts.

Neither side settled for a point and Motherwell had a string of late set-pieces, while Tom Hateley's low cross deserved a better response from his team-mates. But a draw ultimately proved a fair result.

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