MOTHERWELL captain Keith Lasley believes Jamie Murphy is destined for bigger and better things after playing in what looked to be his last game at Fir Park.
Motherwell 2 - 2 Kilmarnock
Scorers: Motherwell - Murphy (71), Ojamaa (74) ; Kilmarnock - Perez (13), Heffernan (62)
Referee: C Allan
Murphy has been linked with a number of clubs in recent weeks including Sheffield United and appeared to wave goodbye to the home supporters at full-time in the draw with Kilmarnock.
Motherwell battled back from two goals down to earn a deserved share of the spoils.
Borja Perez opened the scoring after 12 minutes when he spun before slamming the ball beyond Fir Park goalkeeepr Darren Randolph.
Paul Heffernan doubled Kilmarnock’s lead against the run of play on 63 minutes when he headed a Perez corner into the net from close range, but Motherwell came storming back and goals by Murphy and Henrik Ojamaa put the hosts back on level terms.
Murphy claimed his 50th goal for Motherwell on 70 minutes when he prodded home a Bob McHugh effort, before Ojamaa struck an impressive equaliser following a jinking run.
At full-time manager Stuart McCall embraced Murphy and encouraged the fans to give him what looked to be a farewell applause.
“In the last few seasons it’s been a pleasure to play with Jamie,” said
Lasley. “If he goes it will be with the blessing of the squad, the club and the fans. He’s given the fans some memorable moments and I’m sure he will go on to bigger and better things.
“Jamie loves the club and it’s here where he was given his big chance. I don’t think he would have a bad word to say about Motherwell.”
Both sets of supporters rose to their feet on the tenth minute as a tribute to former Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell who tragically died after collapsing during a fixture with Dundee United exactly five years to the day.
Lasley was touched by the tribute to his former captain and felt Motherwell’s comeback was fitting of the occasion.
“It was an emotional moment. It was a pleasure to be able to play alongside and be a friend of Phil,” added the 33-year-old. “We knew there was going to be a tribute and it was a nice touch from the fans. Hopefully our comeback was a fitting tribute as well.”
Kenny Shiels hopes his Kilmarnock side can push on in 2013. The Ayrshire club grabbed Scottish Communities League Cup glory by defeating Celtic in the final earlier in the year and ended 2012 by stretching their unbeaten run in the league to four matches.
“We’re doing okay. We’ve got a point at Fir Park, which I think is a good achievement, having visited there under strength,” said Shiels. “We’ve had a good December and a good 2012. It’s been a great year for Kilmarnock. Let’s kick on and see if we can improve.”