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    Mitre launch new TENSILE microsite

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    Club statement

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    Saunders deflated by groin injury

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    Practice makes perfect for Hateley

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    Brown pleased with three points

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    St Mirren win in pictures

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    Motherwell 3-1 St Mirren

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    Building on success

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    Aberdeen U19s 1-1 Motherwell U19s

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    Brown asks for calm amongst fans

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    Mitre launch new TENSILE microsite

    Mitre are giving fans of all 72 Football League and 12 SPL Clubs the chance to win a limited edition Mitre TENSILE football.

    They have recently launched a new Microsite dedicated to the Mitre TENSILE – the official football of the Football League and SPL for the 2010/11 season. 

    The TENSILE is a revolution in football design and technology, comprised of just 10 panels and with over 30% less stitching – optimising power and efficiency, improving airflow and reducing drag.

    The TENSILE’s graphic design is completely unique; with each of the 72 Football League clubs and 12 SPL Clubs having their own TENSILE matchballs printed in club colours and with their club badge – and now fans of each club can get their hands on a limited edition ball from their team by visiting www.whateveryourcolours.com from Wednesday 29th September 2010.

    As well as offering fans the chance to win their club balls, the site includes a background on the unique TENSILE technology, links to see what the players and clubs think of the new ball, along with access to the Mitre Facebook and Twitter feeds.

    Nicki Lesirge, Marketing Manager for Mitre, commented, “We’re delighted to announce the launch of the TENSILE Microsite.

    “The ball is a revolution in football technology and we’ve already had fantastic feedback from both players and managers.

    “We wanted to give something back to the fans by giving away the club balls, and we hope they’ll continue to engage with their clubs through the Microsite”.

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    Club statement

    The club are today pleased to announce the appointment of Derek Weir as Vice Chairman with direct responsibility for finance.

    In addition, Chairman John Boyle has sold a block of shares to Derek, although Mr Boyle continues to hold a controlling interest in the club.

    Commenting, Chairman John Boyle said: “Derek joined the Board two years ago and his increased involvement will greatly assist the club in these challenging times for Scottish football clubs.  He is a lifelong Motherwell supporter and bought his first season ticket 35 years ago.

    “In his commercial life he has held many senior finance roles, in the UK and overseas, latterly as Head of Barclays Corporate in Scotland and Ireland.  He now holds a number of non-executive roles which will allow him to devote some time to his new role at Motherwell, in particular the ongoing requirement to secure additional sources of finance for the club.”

    Derek will work closely with Leeann Dempster, who was appointed to the role of Chief Executive last year.  Her appointment has been an outstanding success and the club is now extremely well served with a combination of existing and new directors overseeing segments of the club’s activities such as communications, finance, safety & stadium and supporter relations.

    The club will shortly announce a profit for last year and, although modest, will be the sixth profit in the last seven years.

    As a club, Motherwell have punched significantly above their weight having had three consecutive years in Europe.  However the Board recognises that we operate in a difficult environment and is very focused on the need to balance the books whilst remaining competitive on the park.

    Derek Weir added: “As a fan, I regard the opportunity to work with the club as a privilege. As Directors we are only ever part of a longer story. Motherwell has played a very positive role in the history of the game and it is our role to ensure that continues.

    “It is not always obvious to the fans but John Boyle has personally supported the club to a massive extent and continues to do so. That cannot continue forever, nor should it. Our income must exceed our costs if we are to secure the club for the future.

    “Our collective focus will be on ensuring fans come first in all that we do at the club. We have a superb core base of support and we are focused on increasing that by positioning the club as a true family club at the heart of the community. We have high hopes that the business side of the club can match the success being achieved by Craig, his management team and the players on the field.

    “I look forward to working alongside John, my fellow Directors and everyone involved with the club and I urge every Motherwell fan to play what part they feel they can. It’s a good time to be at Motherwell and I’m excited about the future.”

  • Archive

    Saunders deflated by groin injury

    Steven Saunders admits he is devastated at missing Scotland’s crucial U21 play-off match with Iceland following a groin injury sustained against St Mirren.

    The young defender, who is enjoying a terrific run in the team, fell awkwardly ten minutes into the second-half of the 3-1 win at Fir Park and had to be replaced by Stevie Hammell.

    Initials fears were that Saunders would miss the International double-header and those were realised after he was withdrawn from the squad following an examination by SFA doctors.

    Speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk, Saunders said: “I’ve been fortunate since I’ve came to Motherwell that I’ve pretty much remained injury free so to get injured now and miss the Scotland game is a massive disappointment.

    “I think it’s the first time in something like 15 years that the team have a real chance of qualifying and I can’t play which I am gutted about.

    “Hopefully the boys will do the business and I get the opportunity to play in the tournament next summer. It’ll be a tough game, that’s for sure.

    “I know from playing the Icelandic U19s side just how good they are and, of course, Breidablik had six or seven U21 players in their side and we know how tough they were to breakdown.”

    It looked a rather innocuous incident at the time but it was clear moments later that the youngster had hurt himself.

    Saunders explained what happened; “I went in for the tackle and, to be honest, I probably didn’t have to.

    “That’s maybe a wee bit of inexperience on my part. I lost my footing and my legs went away from me and I felt my groin straight away. I tried to stand up but couldn’t so had to signal to the bench.

    “In terms of when I’ll be back; I’m not putting a date on things but I want to get back to fitness as quickly as possible. I’ll be working with John (Porteous) almost every day and hopefully I won’t miss many games.

    “The important thing for me is that I return as quickly as possible but not too early where I’m not ready and make things worse.”

  • Archive

    Practice makes perfect for Hateley

    Tom Hateley admitted he was more than happy to step up to the spot and take Motherwell’s late penalty against St Mirren.

    The midfielder scored in the 87th minute to put ‘Well back in front after Alan Gow was brought down in the box by Lee Mair.

    And he says was always confident of finding the back of the net due to the many hours of practice put in on the training ground.

    “I was aware at some point I would have to step up and take an important penalty, although a last minute one to get a win wasn’t ideal!” said Hateley.

    “But I scored it and hopefully settled a few nerves.

    “I knew where I was going to go as I had been practicing them earlier this season for the European games, so I was very confident.”

    Hateley was honest when looking back on the performance against St Mirren, acknowledging a lacklustre second-half in which the visitors looked set to claim a point.

    Yet, as all the top teams prove, sometimes the ability to win when you are not at your best is an extraordinarily useful skill to acquire. 

    “It wasn’t the best performance by any means but we are very happy to get the three points. One of the only good things you can say is that we fought very hard and we really ground out the result despite not playing well,” he said.

    “We controlled the game in the early stages and controlled the pace, and then all of a sudden St Mirren came back into the game.

    “Sometimes the intensity just drops and you don’t know what is going wrong, but, as professionals, it is something we shouldn’t have let happen.

    “It’s a great sign that we are winning even when we don’t play particularly well. Last week we played superbly and came away with the points from Hearts, this week we didn’t play well but still managed to get the result.

    “You’ll always take playing badly and getting the win – the points are all that matter.”

    Motherwell head into the international break in third place in the SPL following their first home win of the campaign.

    And Hateley insists the team were never in any doubt that they would end their poor run of results at Fir Park.

    “A lot has been said about how we hadn’t won a game at home but won all our away matches, but that’s not something we were overly concerned about,” added the midfielder.

    “After all, we have played some really tough home matches, and we have a lot of belief in the squad.

    “The management and everyone around the club know we are good enough to beat anyone at Fir Park, so we knew the win would come.”

  • Archive

    Brown pleased with three points

    Craig Brown was delighted to see his side seal their first home victory of the season with a 3-1 success agaisnt St Mirren.

    Late goals from Tom Hateley and Jamie Murphy swung the game in Motherwell’s favour after Gareth Wardlaw cancelled out Chris Humphrey’s opener.

    It is arguable whether the home side deserved all three points but Brown believes the Steelmen finally got a bit of luck at Fir Park.

    “We’ll take the three points because there have been occasions this season where we have deserved three points and haven’t got them,” he said.

    “The game against Hibs is a great example of that, and we also deserved to beat Aberdeen.

    “I would say that the St Mirren performance in the second-half was the most pressure we have been under all season. They were sharp, lively, and aggressive and with 20 minutes to go we would have taken a draw.

    “They got the equiliser and there is no doubt they were pushing for the winner.”

    The Motherwell  boss was honest enough in his assessment of his own side’s display to admit there were failings against The Buddies.

    Fresh faces were called from the bench to reinvigorate the performance, as stalwarts of recent results struggled to make the same impact as in past fixtures.

    “The defence was solid and Jennings and Lasley always compete, but apart from that our team was very hit-and-miss today,” said Brown.

    “We have players who can make a real impact when they are form, in fact they are unstoppable; but today our players were short of form and we could have replaced a few of the guys.

    “That is not to be disrespectful, because our players have played seven league games, a Co-operative Insurance Cup tie and six European matches.”

    One player who did catch the eye in a quality cameo was recent signing Alan Gow.

    The 27-year old came off the bench and won the penalty which Hateley converted, before setting-up Murphy to put the result beyond doubt.

    “Alan Gow made a terrific impact coming off the bench and he managed to keep the ball – and at that stage of the game nobody was keeping the ball, it was going up top and coming straight back at us.

    “He also broke extremely well from his own half to create the goal to seal the game.

    “At the moment he is a very good substitute, but when he is fully fit I expect him to be a very good starting player and give more competition for those front places. It is only a lack of match practice which is stopping his getting a start for us.”

    One sour note from the game was an injury to Steven Saunders, who had to be stretched off early in the second-half.

    “He’s strained his groin muscle stretching for the ball in the second half on the wet turf,” confirmed Brown.

    “I feel sorry for him because he is to report for Scotland duty in the morning and there is no chance he will be able to play, according to our doctor.

    “It’s unfortunate because he is a terrific prospect for us and Scotland.”

  • Archive

    St Mirren win in pictures

    Pictures from the 3-1 victory over St Mirren in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park. These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.

    [svgallery name=”stmirren021010″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell 3-1 St Mirren

    [tab:Match report]

    Late goals from Tom Hateley and Jamie Murphy handed Motherwell their first home victory of the season against St Mirren.

    Another draw looked on the cards for long spells after Gareth Wardlaw cancelled out Chris Humphrey’s early opener.

    But Hateley converted a penalty three minutes from time and then Murphy netted moments later to seal a 3-1 win at Fir Park.

    Manager Craig Brown named the same starting eleven for the third game in a row as his side looked to end their poor run at home.

    And they made a perfect start as man of the moment Humphrey opened the scoring after only three minutes.

    The winger pounced on a poor clearance by David Van Zanten 20 yards from goal and fired an unstoppable shot past Craig Samson into the far corner of the net.

    It was a stunning strike by Humphrey, who started the game on the left-flank, as opposed to his usual right-wing position.

    St Mirren’s early desperation was epitomised by the fact Michael Higdon could easily have been sent off after two scything tackles in the first ten minutes; both were undoubtedly bookable offences, but only one was punished with a caution.

    Humphrey, having switched back to the right, was causing havoc again, as he deceived Jure Travnor and Paul McGowan before whipping a good ball in for Nick Blackman, who shot narrowly wide.

    Motherwell were purring and were desperately unlucky not to double their advantage from a free-kick on 22 minutes. Hateley stepped up to curl in a super rasping effort but Samson pulled off a fantastic stop to tip the ball onto the bar.

    Samson was warming up to the task of standing in for Paul Gallacher and he pulled off another smart save four minutes later, tipping a long range drive by Blackman wide of the post.

    Despite the fact Motherwell should have been two or three up, St Mirren could have gone in at the break all square after coming into the game as the half wore on, and having two terrific chances to draw level.

    With five minutes to go until the break Hugh Murray swung in a lovely deep free-kick which was headed temptingly across the face of goal by the towering Higdon – but somehow Gaeth Wardlaw nodded the ball wide from inside the six yard box.

    Then, on the stroke of half-time Paul McGowan fired in a superb corner kick which was headed onto the crossbar by the dangerous Higdon.

    An almighty scramble for the rebound resulted, with Stephen Craigan heroically clearing off the line amongst the melee, preserving ‘Well’s half time advantage.

    Worryingly for Brown’s men St Mirren continued to press for an equliser in the second-half, and once again Higdon was proving a menace.

    Some nice interplay five minutes into the second period saw Patrick Cregg released in the insider-right channel of the box and the former Hibs man floated a nice ball across the face of goal. Higdon looked favourite to nod it home before Craigan made a terrific blocking challenge.

    Motherwell were dealt a blow on 54 minutes when defender Steven Saunders had to be stretchered off. Steven Hammell came on in his place – just back from injury himself.

    Murphy offered some welcome respite for the host’s moments later as he cut in from the right flank and drove an effort into the grateful arms of Samson from the edge of the area.

    The Scotland under-21 star was doing his very best to quell the black-and-wide tide all on his own, and he threatened again, absolutely blasting past John Potter on the left flank before firing the ball crisply across the goal from the by-line; but a Lee Mair interception was enough to deny the arriving Steve Jennings a great chance.

    But even the enterprising Murphy couldn’t prevent St Mirren from claiming a deserved equiliser on 65 minutes.

    The tricky Pul McGowan picked up on a poor defensive clearance by the home side 35 yards out and fed a beautiful ball through to Wardlaw. With the angle tightening, the former Cowdenbeath striker smashed the ball high into Randolph’s net at the near post.

    It was a terrific goal, albeit aided by slack defending, and the least the adventurous visitors deserved.

    Just after Wardlaw’s strike, the Steelmen could have been awarded a penalty as Blackman appeared to be barged off the ball as he challenged for a Hateley cross. Muted claims were waved away by referee Iain Brines and St Mirren continued to make the running in the proceeding spell.

    The introduction of Alan Gow for Humphrey with 15 minutes still to play was intended to ignite Motherwell’s flagging challenge, and the creative attacker would go on to play a big part in the closing stages.

    ‘Well had done precious little to deserve the three points in the second-half, but in the space of two late minutes they secured the points with two quick-fire strikes.

    The goal to allow Motherwell to retake the lead was a classic example of “shooting yourself in the foot” by the Saints. A poor van Zanten clearance ricocheted back towards Samson and, with Gow closing, the keeper slipped, prompting Lee Mair to make a panicked shove on Gow in the box.

    Hateley stepped up and fired the resulting penalty into the bottom-left corner of Samson’s net to restore the lead.

    And then, with St Mirren pushing forward, a long Mark Reynolds clearance set Gow haring through down the left, and he crossed perfectly for Murphy to fire home at the back post and seal a late win.

    [tab:As it happened]

    90+3′ FULL-TIME The final whistle is blown by the referee.

    90+2 Ross Forbes is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Craig Samson.

    90+1 Short corner taken by Nick Blackman from the left by-line.

    88′ GOAL Jamie Murphy scores from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Assist by Alan Gow.

    88′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul McGowan by Ross Forbes. Free kick taken by Hugh Murray.

    87′ GOAL Tom Hateley scores from the penalty spot with a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner.

    86′ BOOKING Lee Mair goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.

    86′ Penalty awarded for a foul by Lee Mair on Alan Gow.

    84′ Corner taken left-footed by Ross Forbes, clearance by Lee Mair.

    83′ David van Zanten challenges Nick Blackman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Shot comes in from Tom Hateley from the free kick, blocked by David van Zanten.

    83′ Darren McGregor produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.

    82′ Unfair challenge on Hugh Murray by Alan Gow results in a free kick. Hugh Murray takes the direct free kick.

    80′ Foul by Gareth Wardlaw on Darren Randolph, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    79′ BOOKING Caution for Gareth Wardlaw.

    77′ Gareth Wardlaw is adjudged to have handled the ball. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

    76′ Stephen Craigan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gareth Wardlaw. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Paul McGowan from left channel, Stephen Craigan makes a clearance.

    76′ SUB Chris Humphrey leaves the field to be replaced by Alan Gow.

    75′ Foul by Hugh Murray on Keith Lasley, free kick awarded. Ross Forbes takes the free kick.

    74′ Stevie Hammell concedes a free kick for a foul on John Potter. Craig Samson restarts play with the free kick.

    73′ Stephen Craigan fouled by Michael Higdon, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stevie Hammell.

    72′ Gareth Wardlaw produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.

    70′ SUB John Sutton goes off and Ross Forbes comes on.

    70′ Effort from outside the penalty box by Paul McGowan goes wide right of the goal.

    69′ Corner taken right-footed by Paul McGowan from the right by-line, Nick Blackman makes a clearance.

    69′ Paul McGowan takes a shot. Craig Samson makes a save.

    67′ Craig Samson restarts play with the free kick.

    67′ BOOKING Caution for Steve Jennings.

    67′ Steve Jennings gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Paul McGowan.

    64′ GOAL – Gareth Wardlaw equalises from deep inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Assist by Paul McGowan.

    63′ Steve Jennings concedes a free kick for a foul on Gareth Wardlaw. Free kick crossed right-footed by Paul McGowan.

    62′ Shot from 25 yards by John Sutton. Craig Samson makes a save.

    59′ Effort on goal by Darren McGregor from a long way out goes over the bar.

    58′ Jamie Murphy takes a shot. Save by Craig Samson.

    58′ Lee Mair challenges John Sutton unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Nick Blackman.

    57′ Lee Mair concedes a free kick for a foul on Jamie Murphy. Steve Jennings takes the free kick.

    56′ Jamie Murphy has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Craig Samson makes a save.

    55′ Patrick Cregg concedes a free kick for a foul on Steve Jennings. Steve Jennings restarts play with the free kick.

    54′ SUB Stevie Hammell joins the action as a substitute, replacing Steven Saunders.

    52′ Chris Humphrey concedes a free kick for a foul on Jure Travner. Jure Travner takes the free kick.

    48′ Free kick awarded for a foul by Patrick Cregg on Nick Blackman. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    46′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jamie Murphy by Hugh Murray. Steven Saunders takes the direct free kick.

    46′ KICK-OFF The second half begins.

    45+1′ HALF-TIME The referee calls an end to the first half.

    45+1′ Corner taken by Paul McGowan from the left by-line to the near post, Lee Mair takes a shot.

    44′ Shot by Tom Hateley from outside the box goes high over the target.

    42′ Foul by Darren McGregor on Nick Blackman, free kick awarded. Nick Blackman restarts play with the free kick.

    40′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Humphrey by Jure Travner. Stephen Craigan restarts play with the free kick.

    39′ Close range headed effort by Gareth Wardlaw misses to the right of the goal.

    39′ Foul by Keith Lasley on Paul McGowan, free kick awarded. Hugh Murray restarts play with the free kick.

    36′ Effort from inside the area by Darren McGregor misses to the right of the goal.

    35′ Free kick awarded for a foul by Jamie Murphy on Lee Mair. Craig Samson takes the direct free kick.

    32′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan by Michael Higdon. Darren Randolph restarts play with the free kick.

    32′ John Sutton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Hugh Murray. John Potter restarts play with the free kick.

    30′ Chris Humphrey takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Unfair challenge on John Potter by Nick Blackman results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Craig Samson.

    28′ Corner taken by Chris Humphrey from the left by-line, Michael Higdon makes a clearance.

    28′ Keith Lasley takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Patrick Cregg gets a block in.

    27′ Corner from left by-line taken by Chris Humphrey.

    27′ Corner taken right-footed by Chris Humphrey from the right by-line, clearance made by Hugh Murray.

    26′ Nick Blackman has a drilled shot. Save made by Craig Samson.

    25′ Paul McGowan takes a shot from 12 yards. Save made by Darren Randolph.

    22′ Unfair challenge on Tom Hateley by David van Zanten results in a free kick. Strike comes in from Tom Hateley from the free kick, save by Craig Samson.

    21′ Effort from 18 yards by Chris Humphrey. Blocked by John Potter.

    20′ Shot from just outside the area by Jamie Murphy misses to the right of the target.

    16′ Free kick taken by Stephen Craigan.

    16′ BOOKING The referee shows Hugh Murray a yellow card.

    16′ Unfair challenge on Nick Blackman by Hugh Murray results in a free kick.

    11′ Stephen Craigan takes the direct free kick.

    11′ BOOKING Michael Higdon is booked.

    11′ Michael Higdon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Keith Lasley.

    9′ Unfair challenge on Nick Blackman by Jure Travner results in a free kick. Stephen Craigan takes the direct free kick.

    3′ GOAL Chris Humphrey finds the net with a goal from just outside the box to the right corner of the goal.

    2′ Michael Higdon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steve Jennings. Tom Hateley takes the direct free kick.

    1′ Nick Blackman challenges Darren McGregor unfairly and gives away a free kick. Craig Samson restarts play with the free kick.

    1′ Gareth Wardlaw takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.

    1′ KICK-OFF The match gets underway.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell boss Craig Brown:

    “We scored two good goals out of the three, a good opening goal and a good second goal and in-between, we didn’t play at all.

    “I thought we were very poor today in relation to the way we can play. The second-half performance was very poor in spite of the way we scored two goals at the end.

    “I would’ve taken a draw and when we scored at the end, it was a little fortunate for us to win the match, which I think St Mirren deserved a point from.

    “St Mirren scored a fine goal and they were back in the game. I felt they were up for it and they competed very, very well and they’re far from the poorest team that have been here this season.

    “We genuinely were fortunate but we have good players and they know and I know they can play better than they played this afternoon.”

    St Mirren manager Danny Lennon:

    “I’m very frustrated. The players’ application, desire and willingness to make things happen was great. We tried to frustrate Motherwell and then hit on the break.

    “We started to come into it and were very unfortunate not to come in level at half-time after hitting the bar.

    “In the second-half I couldn’t have asked for any more, other than end product, as Michael Higdon and Gareth Wardlaw really competed well and caused problems.

    “Gareth took his goal well and it was well-deserved; that gives us something to take away and build upon.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”14″]

  • Archive

    Building on success

    Since our match against Aberdeen two weeks ago we’ve had two successful away games in which we have not conceded a goal.

    It was pleasing to get through the Co-operative Insurance Cup match against Brechin, although I must concede that Jim Weir’s side made it difficult for us. Last week, at Tynecastle, we played very efficiently and it was pleasing to beat Hearts for the third time in succession since Archie and I have been in charge at Motherwell.

    A particularly positive aspect of our two performances was the superb support we had from our loyal band of travelling fans. Particularly last week in the Capital, the encouragement of our young team was superb and all of us are extremely grateful.

    It has always been a bone of contention of mine that injured players get mentioned more than those who turn out every single week. However, I do have sympathy for our long-term injured guys like Marc Fitzpatrick and Shaun Hutchinson. They have been working extremely hard to get themselves back in contention.

    More recently, Stevie Hammell has missed the last couple of matches but we hope all three will be ready, if not today, then very soon indeed. To add to that, Esteban Casagolda had a knee operation just when he was beginning to show the exciting potential he undoubtedly has. We’ll need a full strength pool in the forthcoming weeks because we have an away match at Ibrox after the International break followed by three important home games, two against Dundee United and, of course, against our local rivals Hamilton Accies.

    With arguably the smallest playing squad in the SPL; we have had to promote young lads very quickly. For our last two league matches we have had nine players, in our eighteen-man squad, who qualify for the Under 21 rule.

    It is, of course, mandatory that three Under 21 players are listed and I’ve noticed that many teams are being forced to list relatively unknown youngsters to fulfil this requirement. We are fortunate that we can dip into an excellent Under 19 resource, as we did last week when adding Ross McKinnon and Stuart Carswell to the squad. In addition, young Tom Bradley gives us goalkeeping cover and last week we took sixteen-year-old Lee Erwin with us to Tynecastle.

    I watched with pride as our Under 17s/Under 19s squad played in a memorial match in East Kilbride last Sunday for the late David Linning. The healthy crowd at the Showgrounds got a glimpse of the exciting young talent here at Motherwell.

    Archie and I went to watch the Under 19s take on Kilmarnock at Kilwinning last Friday; again it was an exceptional performance with a 3-0 away victory. We are delighted to see Gordon Young has more promising talent in the pipeline.

    Congratulations are due to a few of the lads, notably Chris Humphrey who has become a dad for the first time following the birth of his daughter Amelea. In addition, we all congratulate both Stevie Saunders and Jamie Murphy for the inclusion in the Scotland Under 21 squad for the play-off clash with Iceland; the second leg of which will take place at Easter Road a week on Monday. Stephen Craigan, as usual, will be a stalwart in the Northern Ireland defence in the qualification matches against Italy and the Faroe Islands.

    A bit belatedly in this column, but very sincerely, I welcome Danny Lennon, the coaches and players, directors and supporters of St Mirren to Fir Park. In the evidence of what I have seen so far, Saints are in a false position with virtually nothing between the teams in the SPL.

    I know, and have emphasised to the players, that we will have to be at our best to win the three points which we very much desire before the International break. It would be extremely pleasing to watch the European and World Champions at Hampden with the assurance of a comfortable league position!

    Finally, I think it would be remiss of me not to refer to the criticism we have had for failing to attend the Co-operative Insurance Cup draw. Whilst it could be argued that someone from Motherwell should have been there, it has never been mentioned that I was only one of three managers, from sixteen, who attended the draw from the previous round.

    I can assure you it is embarrassing to pose for picture after picture holding a Cup that hasn’t been won. But this I did too, at the request of the sponsors and, in addition, spent a couple of hours responding to media questions. There was no mention of that in any of the criticism which accompanied the more recent draw for the Quarter Finals.

    As it turns out, we were drawn against Dundee United here at Fir Park and we do wish to make a positive impression in the competition and will continue to do our best to please our loyal, and on the evidence of last week, very vocal support.

    Thank you and enjoy the match

    Craig Brown

  • Archive

    Aberdeen U19s 1-1 Motherwell U19s

    A last minute goal from Jordan Brown denied the youth team a superb away win at Aberdeen today.

    In a fairly even encounter, Motherwell took the lead with nine minutes remaining when Lee Erwin got on the end of a Josh Watt cross from the right to knock home in off the post.

    That looked as if it was going to be enough to secure a win and, at the same time, inflict the Dons’ first defeat of the 2010/11 campaign.

    However, a late strike from Brown gave the home side a share of the spoils and sent a dejected Motherwell side back to Lanarkshire wondering what might have been.

    Aberdeen started the game well and after Joe Shaughnessy narrowly failed to connect from a corner on the right, Anthony Bolger went close with an excellent header from distance that prompted an equally tidy save from ‘Well keeper Tom Bradley.

    However, as the half wore on, Motherwell began to get a firm grip on the game and Erwin came within inches of putting the Steelmen in front but Keiran McGachie’s cross, after a brilliant solo run, was just too far in front.

    Neither side was able to break the deadlock before the interval though but it was Aberdeen again who got out the traps in the second-half and had a number of opportunities to take the lead.

    Conor Devaney and Nico Gibson both had efforts but neither could trouble Bradley in the visiting goal. Defender Shaughnessy also had another header well saved by Bradley but ‘Well never really looked like they were going to concede.

    Indeed, Erwin was causing problems for the home defence, seeing a header well saved by Lukasik in the home goal before curling a beautiful effort that scraped the outside as it went past.

    However, the Scotland U17 hitman wasn’t to be denied and in the 81st minute he grabbed what looked like the winning goal. Josh Watt was the architect, causing mayhem down the right before hooking in a cracking cross that was turned in by the 16-year-old.

    That looked to be that but late in injury time, Ryan Fraser managed to get to the byline before cutting it across the face for Brown, who equalised from clsoe range.

    It was a sucker punch for the young Steelmen but a draw on reflection was probably a fair result.

    Motherwell: Bradley, Sloan, Murray, Lynch, McKinnon, Carswell, Watt, McGachie (Trialist 75), Erwin, Pollock, Scanlan (Brown 86). Subs not used: Muir, Connor, Griffin.

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    Brown asks for calm amongst fans

    Manager Craig Brown has pleaded with fans to halt the growing trend of bringing flares and smoke devises to Motherwell matches.

    Following three consecutive SPL delegate reports highlighting the issue, the club are under threat of sanctions if it continues, not to mention the very real safety risk they pose to fellow fans, particularly those with breathing and respiratory problems.

    Brown said: “I must first put on record my extreme thanks to all our supporters who have backed Archie and me, along with the team, so enthusiastically since we arrived at the club last December.

    “However, in recent weeks, we have seen a steady and consistent rise in the number of flares and smoke devises at our games, both at Fir Park and on our travels.

    “This has given the club a real headache with the authorities, not to mention the potential safety risks it poses to people inside the stadium.

    “I would ask our fans not to bring anything like this with them to games and, instead, concentrate all energies on singing, chanting and clapping for the team which will have a much more positive impact.”