26th July 1997



0 – 3

Aston Villa

Saturday, July 26th, 1997
Fir Park. Att. –


Savo Milošević (2 Goals)
Dwight Yorke

Scott Howie
John Philliben
Brian Martin
Franz Resch
Kevin Christie
Greg Denham
Billy Davies
Mickey Weir
Willie Falconer
Mario Dorner
Owen Coyle

Stevie Woods
Ian Ross
Alex Burns
John Hendry
Tommy Coyne

John Hendry for Mickey Weir
Alex Burns for Mario Dorner
Ian Ross for Franz Resch
Tommy Coyne for Owen Coyle


Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

– (Referee)

Match Report

In the end this eagerly awaited challenge match made pretty grim viewing as Motherwell toiled against a quality side. Motherwell fans were delighted to see the two Austrians, finally signed, line up in the starting eleven. International clearance for French keeper Pegguy Arphexad failed to arrive in time so Scott Howie was in between the sticks seemingly making one of his last appearances for the club. The first half saw Motherwell hold their own against their more illustrious opponents. Bosnich saved from impressive wing back Franz Resch after he had worked his way cleverly into the box and then the Australian number one had to rush from his line to clear from the onrushing Mario Dorner. For Villa they eased themselves into the game slowly but surely impressing with their crisp passing and good movement off the ball. Collymore had a couple of efforts wide of the target and didn’t really set the heather on fire, however.

The second half was a totally different story though as Villa stepped up a gear and in the end ran rings round a tired looking Motherwell. Both sides made a few changes at the break and Villa’s move to replace Collymore with Milosevic worked wonders as within 2 minutes of the restart he had headed the Birmingham side into the lead Motherwell did not recover. Not too long after it was 2-0 when Dwight Yorke headed home unmarked and job was complete when Milosevic got his 2nd and Villa’s third despite Buff’s despairing attempt to clear the ball. It could have been an even worse scoreline wise as the Villains also hit the woodwork twice in the second half. As for ‘Well we struggled in the second half though Willie Falconer did have a couple of goalscoring opportunities with headers and substitute Tommy Coyne had a half chance that went a begging. John Hendry’s injury agony continued when with 10 minutes to go he injured his hamstring and seems certain to miss the season opener against Dunfermline. Good points were that the Austrians made solid debuts and Franz Resch particularly impressive. Aston Villa’s sporting applause towards an appreciative Motherwell crowd was well received and we wish them well in the premiership next season.

SAID MCLEISH: “Villa are a very strong, quick side who play in one of the hardest leagues in Europe. Obviously we knew it was going to be a hard game. I’m just disappointed at the goals we lost as we seemed to collapse after they scored. We’ll worry about defeat next week though. That’s the important one, the start of the new season.”

Match Report taken from Match Day programme (vs St Johnstone 16th August 1997)


French trialist Pegguy Arphexhad was originally pencilled in to start with the number 1 jersey but his international clearance never arrived in time so Scott Howie started the match, this would prove to be his last game for Motherwell as he was involved in a contract dispute.

Austrian duo Franz Resch and Mario Dorner recently arrived in Lanarkshire after completing their deals to join the club, the fans were delighted to see new faces in the playing squad.