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    A big week

  • Archive

    Humphrey insists there’s more to come

  • Archive

    Club Statement

  • Archive

    Rangers defeat in pictures

  • Archive

    Rangers 4 – 1 Motherwell

  • Archive

    Motherwell U19s 0 – 5 Rangers U19s

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    Hateley ready to shock the champions

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    Motherwell U19s vs Rangers U19s

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    Officials appointed for Ibrox encounter

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    Rangers Ticket Information

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    A big week

    Today we start the first of three vital home fixtures, so we welcome Peter Houston and his players for their first of two visits inside three days.

    Both of us played the Old Firm last week in much-publicised matches and I have to say I thought Dundee United played very well in their narrow home defeat.

    Similarly, I think most independent people would agree that our performance at Ibrox was far better than the score line indicated, with the home side getting the breaks in a match in which, according to the BBC website, we had more possession than the home team. But I’m sure Peter will agree that these matches are now behind us and we must look forward to competing against teams around us in this highly competitive SPL.

    Before leaving last week’s match I wish to thank, yet again, our tremendously loyal and vocal away support. The lads greatly appreciate the encouragement we have received in away matches and, until last Saturday, we have given you a great deal of pleasure in terms of victories.

    Meanwhile, and before that match at Ibrox, we watched the Scottish National team have mixed fortunes in terms of performances but I’m still extremely optimistic that we will get the points necessary to obtain a playoff place at the end of the current campaign.

    Back at Fir Park, there was a novel event here at the Centenary Suite a few weeks ago. The club was pleased to welcome, to a social event of gratitude, those supporters who had travelled on our three foreign excursions in the Europa League this season. This event was appreciated by the fans and attended by a good number of the players and staff.

    All it did for me was to whet my appetite for more European involvement next season. To be able to experience the enjoyment and satisfaction that provides we have to ensure we try to win matches such as today’s against major opponents for the two European spots this season. It will take a massive effort, but I’m sure our players are up for the challenge!

    Here’s hoping we all witness, today, the first of two quality matches against a fine Dundee United side.

    We’ll go all out to please our loyal supporters and, yet again, on Tuesday evening in the Co-operative Insurance Cup.

    Thanks for coming and for your support.

    Enjoy the match

    Craig Brown

  • Archive

    Humphrey insists there’s more to come

    There is little doubt that Chris Humphrey is enjoying a purple patch in his short career – but the talented flyer insists that the fans will see him get even better as the season goes on.

    “This season has been absolutely terrific so far. I’m happy with my performances this season and I’m really enjoying my football,” Jamaican-born Humphrey said.

    “I believe there’s more to come from my game; learning every day with Archie in training is so helpful and he works me really hard with extra sessions to work on aspects of my game.”

    Many feared the loss of Jim O’Brien would mean a lack of incisiveness on the flanks for The Steelmen this season, but Craig and Archie have kept faith with the in-form wide-man and their belief has paid dividends – with Chris turning in some blistering performances.

    Humphrey is full of praise for the management team which has extracted the best form of the wingers’ short career.

    “The style of football we play really gets the best from me,” The youngster said. “The manager tells me to run at defenders and get supply into the forwards and let them do what they do best. It is the best thing an attacking player like me can hear from a coach: go out and attack.

    “It’s vital to have a manager that suits your style.”

    The player knows it will be a massive challenge to maintain his own – and the clubs’ – good form against United on Saturday.

    The Arabs are currently two points behind third place ‘Well, but Peter Houston’s charges are expected to be challenging for third place as the season progresses – something Humphrey is acutely aware of.

    Looking ahead to the vital encounter, he analysed: “I expect a real battle against United. We need a win to keep our place in third spot and keep Dundee United at bay below us.

    “As I say, it will be a competitive game and we will be going all-out to get the win that we need.”

    Humphrey’s name was thrust into the news during the recent international break when it emerged the 21-year old is eligible for Scotland selection through his Kilmarnock-born mother.

    The player admits it would be a massive honour to pull on the dark blue, and it is something he is open to, but performing well for The Steelmen remains his number one priority.

    “It would be great to play at international level,” said the former Shrewsbury Town man. “I’ve made no secret that I would jump at the opportunity and if it was to come along then I would be absolutely delighted.

    “I haven’t heard anything from Scotland so at the moment I am just focused on doing well for my club. The only manager I’m looking to impress is Craig Brown.”

  • Archive

    Club Statement

    The Board of Motherwell FC has reviewed the draft strategies and ideas being put forward from both the SPL and the McLeish review process.

    We will listen to the thoughts and views of our fans before reaching a final position and will consider the package of all measures in the round. Our agreed position as a Board going into the debates and negotiations is as follows:

    • We urge all Clubs and participants in the debate to act in the long term interests of the sustainable development of football in Scotland as a whole. While it is tempting to have as our core driver the narrow interests of our own Club in the short and medium term – because it makes decisions easier – we believe that such an approach is ultimately to the detriment of all including Motherwell FC.
    • It is fair to assert that the sport enjoys proportionately greater support from the Scottish population and society than in any other country. Given this, the wider evidence we believe is unequivocal: Scotland is massively underperforming our potential in football both commercially and in sporting terms.
    • As a result we believe that everyone with the future of the game at heart has to conclude that ‘no change’ is no option.
    • We recognise that the historic evolution of the structure of football has ensured for too long that there is a blockage on reform and improvement from vested interests almost baked-in to the constitution of the game. That said we recognise the groundswell for change and will do all we can to support those taking leadership positions, including the leadership of the SPL with our fellow member clubs.
    • Our priority for reforms will be behind those fundamental and substantial measures that stand a chance of arresting the decline in average attendances, commercial performance and sporting achievement at a club and national team level.
    • Our number one priority would be the introduction of a substantial ‘winter-break’ and a Spring/early Summer start to the football calendar. The commercial, practical and cultural advantages of this we believe are compelling. We also support innovations around the timing of games throughout the week to secure maximum attendance, new audiences and commercial advantage.
    • We remain open-minded on league and cup structure and will test any model against its ability to grow interest and active support for the game on a sustainable commercial basis. We believe it is critical for models to be found that allow ambitious clubs to move up through the league ranks and for underperforming clubs to take the opposite route through all levels of the game.
    • We are fully supportive and urge moves to streamline the governance structure of the game in Scotland.
  • Archive

    Rangers defeat in pictures

    Pictures from the 4-1 defeat to Rangers 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=”rangers161010″]

  • Archive

    Rangers 4 – 1 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell suffered their first away defeat of the season after Rangers came from behind to win at Ibrox.

    On-loan Blackburn striker Nick Blackman got on the end of a Murphy cross from the left to head the Steelmen in-front with just two minutes of the first-half remaining.

    But Rangers levelled two minutes after the interval when Steven Naismith got a lucky bounce of Darren Randolph.

    Smith’s men then went goal crazy with three strikes in a devastating four minute spell. Steve Davis smashed in the second before Kenny Miller and Vladimir Weiss added a third and fourth to hand Rangers all three points.

    Craig Brown made just one change from the team that won against St Mirren two weeks ago. Steven Saunders, who picked up a groin injury in that game, hadn’t recovered and was replaced by Stevie Hammell.

    Motherwell started relativity confidently but it was Rangers who would threaten first. A fairly innocuous looking ball towards the edge of the box fell kindly for Davis. The Northern Irishman smashed a first-time shot that was deflected over the bar, just, by the foot of Mark Reynolds.

    Kyle Lafferty, Naismith and Weiss all fired long-range shots over the bar but nothing really threatened Darren Randolph’s goal.

    It took ‘Well 20 minutes to create something but when they did Keith Lasley almost put his side ahead with a half-volley that zipped just wide of Alexander’s right hand post.

    Blackman followed that with a dipping strike from distance then a low shot from the edge of the box but neither troubled Neil Alexander in the Rangers goal.

    Then at the other end, Steven Whittaker went close to breaking the deadlock. Getting on to a long ball over the top and outpacing John Sutton, the Scotland full-back cut inside and struck a shot that was well saved by Randolph. The rebounded landed back at the same player but his header looped harmlessly over the bar.

    Rangers were being restricted to efforts from distance but, incredibly, it was Motherwell who took the lead just two minutes before the interval. Jamie Murphy roasted Whittaker on the right flank and his fired cross found Blackman at the back post who headed into the net from close range to send the small band of ‘Well fans in the far corner into delirium.

    Despite a couple of corners, Motherwell managed to hold on to the interval. However, the lead was short lived as the home side drew level just three minutes into the second period.

    Lafferty picked up on the edge before sending a neat reverse pass into the path of Naismith. The Scotland International hit a shot that hit Randolph before cannoning back off the strikers and rolling into the net. It was a cruel blow for the Steelmen and one that would prove crucial.

    Despite the set-back, Motherwell still looked comfortable enough. However, a crazy four minute spell turned the game on its head and consign the Steelmen to their first away defeat of the campaign.

    Davis set Rangers on their way, charging 40 yards before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the top corner leaving Randolph helpless.

    It quickly went from bad to worse for the Fir Parkers when Miller added another, heading home a cross from the in-form Naismith.

    And incredibly, less than sixty-seconds after Miller had made it three, on-loan Man City winger Weiss added a fourth. The Slovak played a neat one-two with Kyle Lafferty on the edge of the area before rounded the outrushing Randolph and coolly tucking into an empty net.

    Craig Brown’s men were shell-shocked but they regained their composure and almost pulled one back ten minutes from time when Murphy forced a decent save from Alexander with a stinging low drive.

    However it wasn’t to be and it remained 4-1 to the home side, who maintained their 100% record this season.

    [tab:As it happened]

    90’+3 FULL TIME The referee ends the match.

    90’+2 Foul by Madjid Bougherra (Rangers) on Alan Gow (Motherwell). Free kick taken right-footed by Tom Hateley (Motherwell) from left channel (18 yards), over the bar.

    90’+2 Booking Madjid Bougherra (Rangers) booked for unsporting behaviour.

    89′ Goal kick taken long by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    88′ Foul by Steven Naismith (Rangers) on Steve Jennings (Motherwell). Free kick taken right-footed by Ross Forbes (Motherwell) from right channel (12 yards), hit wall.

    87′ Foul by Rory Loy (Rangers) on Ross Forbes (Motherwell). Free kick taken right-footed by Steve Jennings (Motherwell) from own half, passed.

    86′ Foul by Steve Jennings (Motherwell) on Steven Naismith (Rangers). Free kick taken right-footed by Madjid Bougherra (Rangers) from own half, passed.

    86′ SUB Rangers substitution: Maurice Edu replaced by Kyle Hutton (tactical).

    84′ Shot by Gregg Wylde (Rangers) right-footed from right channel (20 yards), blocked by Mark Reynolds (Motherwell).

    83′ Attacking throw-in by Chris Humphrey (Motherwell).

    81′ Attacking throw-in by Tom Hateley (Motherwell).

    80′ Foul by Steve Jennings (Motherwell) on Steven Davis (Rangers). Free kick taken right-footed by Sasa Papac (Rangers) from own half, passed.

    79′ SUB Motherwell substitution: Stevie Hammell replaced by Jonathan Page (injury).

    79′ Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Ross Forbes (Motherwell) to centre, clearance by Steven Whittaker (Rangers).

    78′ Shot by Jamie Murphy (Motherwell) right-footed from right channel (25 yards), fantastic save (parried) by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    77′ Substitution Rangers substitution: Vladimir Weiss replaced by Gregg Wylde (tactical).

    76′ Shot by Keith Lasley (Motherwell) right-footed from right channel (20 yards), save (caught) by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    74′ Attacking throw-in by Tom Hateley (Motherwell).

    73′ Defending throw-in by Stevie Hammell (Motherwell).

    72′ Chris Humphrey (Motherwell) caught offside. Free kick taken left-footed by Sasa Papac (Rangers) from own half, passed.

    72′ SUB Rangers substitution: Kenny Miller replaced by Rory Loy (tactical).

    70′ Cross by Tom Hateley (Motherwell), fantastic save (caught) by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    68′ SUB Motherwell substitution: Nick Blackman replaced by Ross Forbes (tactical).

    68′ SUB Motherwell substitution: John Sutton replaced by Alan Gow (tactical).

    66′ Assist (pass) by Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) from left channel.

    66′ GOAL – Vladimir Weiss: Rangers 4 – 1 Motherwell Goal by Vladimir Weiss (Rangers) right-footed (top-right of goal) from right channel (20 yards).Rangers 4-1 Motherwell.

    64′ Assist (pass) by Steven Naismith (Rangers) from right channel.

    64′ GOAL – Kenny Miller: Rangers 3 – 1 Motherwell Headed goal by Kenny Miller (Rangers) (bottom-right of goal) from centre of penalty area (6 yards).Rangers 3-1 Motherwell.

    63′ Goal kick taken long by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    61′ Assist (pass) by Steven Naismith (Rangers) from right channel.

    61′ GOAL – Steven Davis: Rangers 2 – 1 Motherwell Goal by Steven Davis (Rangers) right-footed (top-left of goal) from right channel (20 yards).Rangers 2-1 Motherwell.

    61′ Goal kick taken long by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    60′ Shot by Steve Jennings (Motherwell) drilled left-footed from right channel (20 yards), missed right.

    58′ BOOKING Maurice Edu (Rangers) booked for unsporting behaviour.

    55′ BOOKING Keith Lasley (Motherwell) booked for unsporting behaviour.

    54′ Shot by Steven Whittaker (Rangers) left-footed from right channel (20 yards), save (caught) by Darren Randolph (Motherwell).

    53′ Attacking throw-in by Steven Whittaker (Rangers).

    53′ Goal kick taken long by Darren Randolph (Motherwell).

    52′ Attacking throw-in by Steven Whittaker (Rangers).

    50′ Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell) on Steven Naismith (Rangers). Free kick crossed right-footed by Vladimir Weiss (Rangers) from right wing, clearance by Mark Reynolds (Motherwell).

    46′ Assist (pass) by Steven Davis (Rangers) from right channel.

    46′ GOAL – Steven Naismith: Rangers 1 – 1 Motherwell Goal by Steven Naismith (Rangers) right-footed (bottom-right of goal) from right side of penalty area (6 yards).Rangers 1-1 Motherwell.

    46′ Cross by Madjid Bougherra (Rangers), resulting in open play.

    45′ KICK OFF The second half kicks off.

    45+6 HALF TIME It is the end of the first-half.

    45+3 Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Steven Davis (Rangers) to centre, clearance by Tom Hateley (Motherwell).

    45+3 Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Steven Davis (Rangers) to far post, resulting in open play.

    45+2 Goal kick taken long by Darren Randolph (Motherwell).

    45+2 Header by Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) from centre of penalty area (6 yards), over the bar.

    43′ Assist (cross) by Jamie Murphy (Motherwell) from left channel.

    43′ GOAL – Nick Blackman: Rangers 0 – 1 Motherwell Headed goal by Nick Blackman (Motherwell) (low centre of goal) from right side of penalty area (6 yards).Rangers 0-1 Motherwell.

    42′ Attacking throw-in by Tom Hateley (Motherwell).

    41′ Sasa Papac (Rangers) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Darren Randolph (Motherwell) from own half, resulting in open play.

    39′ Header by Steve Jennings (Motherwell) from centre of penalty area (12 yards), blocked by Madjid Bougherra (Rangers).

    35′ Cross by Chris Humphrey (Motherwell), fantastic save (caught) by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    34′ Goal kick taken long by Darren Randolph (Motherwell).

    34′ Shot by Madjid Bougherra (Rangers) right-footed from right channel (25 yards), over the bar.

    33′ Attacking throw-in by Sasa Papac (Rangers).

    30′ Shot by Steven Whittaker (Rangers) left-footed from right side of penalty area (18 yards), save (parried) by Darren Randolph (Motherwell). Header by Steven Whittaker (Rangers) from centre of penalty area (6 yards), foul by Nick Blackman (Motherwell) on Madjid Bougherra (Rangers). Free kick taken right-footed by David Weir (Rangers) from own half, passed. Blocked by Mark Reynolds (Motherwell).

    29′ Defending throw-in by Sasa Papac (Rangers).

    29′ Defending throw-in by Tom Hateley (Motherwell).

    28′ Goal kick taken long by Darren Randolph (Motherwell).

    28′ Cross by Madjid Bougherra (Rangers), resulting in ball out of play.

    27′ Shot by Kenny Miller (Rangers) right-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), blocked by Mark Reynolds (Motherwell).

    27′ Shot by Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) left-footed from right side of penalty area (18 yards), blocked by Stevie Hammell (Motherwell).

    25′ Defending throw-in by Steven Whittaker (Rangers).

    25′ Goal kick taken long by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    25′ Shot by Nick Blackman (Motherwell) right-footed from right channel (25 yards), missed right.

    24′ Goal kick taken long by Darren Randolph (Motherwell).

    23′ Shot by Steven Whittaker (Rangers) left-footed from right channel (18 yards), missed right.

    23′ Goal kick taken long by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    23′ Shot by Nick Blackman (Motherwell) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), over the bar.

    21′ Foul by Nick Blackman (Motherwell) on Kenny Miller (Rangers). Free kick taken right-footed by Steven Davis (Rangers) from left channel, passed.

    19′ Goal kick taken long by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    19′ Shot by Keith Lasley (Motherwell) left-footed from left side of penalty area (12 yards), missed left.

    18′ Attacking throw-in by Nick Blackman (Motherwell).

    17′ Foul by Steven Whittaker (Rangers) on Steve Jennings (Motherwell). Free kick taken right-footed by Darren Randolph (Motherwell) from own half, resulting in open play.

    17′ Defending throw-in by Stephen Craigan (Motherwell).

    17′ Attacking throw-in by Tom Hateley (Motherwell).

    16′ Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Mark Reynolds (Motherwell) to centre, clearance by Kenny Miller (Rangers).

    16′ Shot by Keith Lasley (Motherwell) right-footed from right side of penalty area (12 yards), blocked by Madjid Bougherra (Rangers).

    16′ Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Chris Humphrey (Motherwell) to far post, resulting in open play.

    15′ Attacking throw-in by Stevie Hammell (Motherwell).

    15′ Attacking throw-in by Stevie Hammell (Motherwell).

    14′ Shot by Vladimir Weiss (Rangers) right-footed from right channel (25 yards), over the bar.

    13′ Shot by Steven Naismith (Rangers) right-footed from right wing (20 yards), over the bar.

    12′ Goal kick taken long by Darren Randolph (Motherwell).

    12′ Shot by Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), over the bar.

    11′ Attacking throw-in by Madjid Bougherra (Rangers).

    9′ Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell) on Vladimir Weiss (Rangers). Free kick taken left-footed by Steven Davis (Rangers) from left channel, passed.

    8′ Attacking throw-in by Steven Whittaker (Rangers).

    8′ Goal kick taken long by Darren Randolph (Motherwell).

    8′ Inswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Vladimir Weiss (Rangers) to centre, resulting in open play.

    7′ Shot by Steven Naismith (Rangers) right-footed from right channel (20 yards), blocked by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

    7′ Foul by Mark Reynolds (Motherwell) on Kyle Lafferty (Rangers). Free kick crossed right-footed by Vladimir Weiss (Rangers) from right wing, clearance by Tom Hateley (Motherwell).

    6′ Goal kick taken long by Neil Alexander (Rangers).

    5′ Attacking throw-in by Tom Hateley (Motherwell).

    4′ Defending throw-in by Stevie Hammell (Motherwell).

    4′ Attacking throw-in by Steven Whittaker (Rangers).

    4′ Cross by Steven Whittaker (Rangers), clearance by Stephen Craigan (Motherwell).

    3′ Handball decision goes against John Sutton. Madjid Bougherra restarts play with the free kick.

    2′ Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell) on Madjid Bougherra (Rangers). Free kick taken right-footed by Madjid Bougherra (Rangers) from own half, resulting in open play.

    1′ Corner from left by-line taken short right-footed by Vladimir Weiss (Rangers).

    1′ Inswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Vladimir Weiss (Rangers) to near post, clearance by Stevie Hammell (Motherwell).

    0′ The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell boss Craig Brown:

    “I wonder about the resolve of some of the lads, whether they really felt they could win this match. At half-time I said ‘prove you can win it and show you are determined and that you have the conviction required here’.

    “You need a winning mentality at Ibrox or Celtic Park. Unfortunately we seemed, for a spell, not to have that.

    “I felt the lads played well in the first half and for good parts of the second half were OK. The keeper (Darren Randolph) has not really had a save in the match but we have lost four goals. In the first half we did a competent job and came in a goal up.

    “We warned our lads that they would have to be up for it in the second half and have conviction that they could win the game. Then we lost three goals in four minutes. It was quite a disaster in that period.”

    Rangers manager Walter Smith:

    “There has to be an understanding that when we have players at international level it is hard for them to come back immediately and kick-stark. It’s not always a physical thing; it’s a mental thing. The Scotland players were playing the world champions.

    “The intensity of that game is a big thing for them.

    “We were certainly slow to start today but give credit to Motherwell – they played really well, they keep possession of the ball well, they get players behind the ball but are quite willing to get them up the pitch, they have got really good balance in the team.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”16″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell U19s 0 – 5 Rangers U19s

    Motherwell’s excellent run of form came to an abrupt end as Rangers ran out comfortable 5-0 winners at Bathgate this morning.

    ‘Well, who had been sitting comfortable at the top of the table, were overpowered by a much more experienced Rangers side playing at the top of their game.

    Billy Kirkwood’s men came out the traps and it only took seven minutes for them to take the lead. Max Wright picked up the ball thirty yards out and smashed a curling effort at goal. Tom Bradley done well to make the initial save but the ball cruelly bounced into the net despite the best efforts of the young Welshman.

    Two minutes later and Rangers doubled their advantage giving Motherwell a mountain to climb. The visitors done well to work space on the left flank but the ball towards the back post looked hopeful at best.

    That was, however, until captain Ross McKinnon slipped allowing Dylan McGeough a clear shot at goal. The winger certainly wasn’t wasteful, blasting a shot that beat Bradley, despite the keeper getting a solid touch.

    Rangers continued to dominate early possession and a Cole header almost made it three but for a solid save from Bradley. Down the other end, ‘Well registered their first real shot at goal when Josh Watt cut inside from the right but his shot flew over the bar and out for a goal kick.

    Two minutes later, the same player again took up good position and got on the end of a deep McGachie cross from the left but his low, goal-bound looking shot was blocked by the boot of Kyle McAusland.

    The next goal would be vital and it was Rangers who would get it, securing the game and killing off any chance of a Motherwell comeback. Incredibly,

    it came from a Motherwell free-kick on the edge of the visitor’s box. An attempt to move the wall with a clever free-kick didn’t work out and Rangers broke at pace. Three passes later, the ball once again found McGeough in space and from twelve yards out, he blasted the ball high past Bradley leaving the Motherwell stopper with no chance.

    Motherwell were shell-shocked and Young had to remove one of his strikers, Keiran McGachie, to get more numbers into the middle of the park. His replacement was Bradley Halsman.

    However, it didn’t stem the flow of the Rangers attack and they added a fourth, six minutes before the interval. Gordon Dick found space on the right and his lovely ball across the face was inviting for substitute Robbie Crawford, who turned it home from almost underneath the bar.

    Into the second half and Rangers continued to control the play, and almost added a fifth when Wright fired a low shot from the edge of the box that forced another good save from the Motherwell keeper.

    Thirteen minutes later, it was the same story, this time Rhys McCabe was the man having a pop from distance but, despite an awkward deflection, Bradley was on hand to make the stop.

    The ‘Well keeper was keeping it respectable as he pulled off another brilliant save, again from McCabe, his curling effort turned on to the bar and eventually out for a corner. However, Rangers wouldn’t be denied as the resulting kick from the quadrant wasn’t properly dealt with and Crawford was once again on hand to tuck home from close range.

    Motherwell, to their credit, continued to battle on and Steve Howarth almost added his sixth of the season fourteen minutes from time. Bursting through the middle of the defence, the former Clyde man was in one-on-one with Wayne Drummond. However, the Rangers keeper wasn’t in a forgiving mood and stood up long enough to make a good save, denying ‘Well the consolation goal.

    It was the last action of an otherwise forgettable afternoon for the youths who face Hearts next week, fresh from a 7-0 thrashing from Hamilton Accies.

    Motherwell: Bradley, Sloan, Murray, McKinnon, Lynch, Carswell, Watt (Moore – 75mins), McGachie (Halsman – 29mins), Howarth, Pollock, Erwin (Connor – 65mins)

    Subs Not Used: Muir, Griffin, Scanlan, Brown

    Booked: Halsman

  • Archive

    Hateley ready to shock the champions

    Tom Hateley reckons Motherwell have a great chance of taking a positive result from Saturday’s daunting trip to Ibrox.

    Walter Smith’s men are unbeaten in all competitions this season and will be looking to make it eight SPL wins on the trot against Craig Brown’s troops this weekend.

    “Since Archie and the gaffer have come in they’ve drummed into us that we are all very good footballers and we can go anywhere and get a result. We have a great group of lads and there is a lot of belief; we know Rangers will be favourites but we think we have a chance,” the former Reading man said confidently.

    “Of course Rangers and Celtic are tough places to go, but if you go there expecting to get beat then that is the kind of defeatist attitude then you’ve lost the match already.”

    Motherwell’s 09/10 Young Player of the Year seemed visibly refreshed after the short international break, and he admits everyone at the club was buoyed by going into the short hiatus sitting in third spot in the SPL.

    “I’m feeling really good after the break, we had an early start to the season with the European games so it was nice to get a little break – and the boys have come back in firing this week,” he praised.

    “It’s especially good when you’re sitting in third. It’s a great feeling to look at the table and see yourself in that position and know you don’t have a game for a couple of weeks and that won’t change for a while.

    It is clear third spot is something everyone at Motherwell is keen to retain, with Hateley confidently proclaiming:  “I don’t see why we can’t finish third. Of course there are clubs around us who are perhaps considered bigger clubs, but we feel more than capable of winning every match we go out and play.

    “We have Dundee United coming up later in the month and have a massive League Cup tie coming up too, so there are big tests to come and we are ready – but we won’t get ahead of ourselves.”

    Another reason to be cheerful for ‘Well is the clubs extraordinary away form of the club this season. The Steelmen head to Govan defending a 100% record on the road, and the player admits that breeds confidence – even though Ibrox is a different proposition from Perth, Kilmarnock or Edinburgh.

    Tom recalled: “We’ve got a good away record, and that’s down to the gaffer.”

    “That’s not something we think about. We get told to do a job and we’ll go out and do what we’re told and exact the tactics which we are given.

    “We’ve got some massive games coming up in the next few weeks that can make a massive difference to our season, and we go into the games with our heads screwed on and looking to do whatever we need to do in order to get the result.

    Hateley admits that there is a special feeling to returning to his father’s old stomping ground, and the stadium where he grew up watching his football – but that won’t cause him to lose his focus.

    The versatile midfielder insisted: “You shouldn’t be a football player if you’re not excited about going somewhere like Glasgow. It’s somewhere I went to regularly growing up and for me to go there and play is very special.

    “It’s a massive football club but I’m not going there to enjoy the memories; I’m going there as a Motherwell player to get three points.

    Tom has set about writing his own history regarding Rangers, starting with a stunning 30-yard free-kick to give ‘Well the lead against the Ibrox club back in February. It was Hateley’s first strike for The Steelmen, and the 21-year old fancies another on Saturday.

    “If I score another free-kick like that I will be delighted; it was my first goal for Motherwell and it wasn’t a bad one!” Monte Carlo-born Hateley laughed.

    “Sometimes you feel like you are just striking the ball well, and I feel like that this week, so if we get another free-kick tomorrow I’ll feel confident of doing the same thing again.”

  • Archive

    Motherwell U19s vs Rangers U19s

    The Under 19s return to league business this coming Saturday when Rangers are the visitors to the Creamery Park, Bathgate.

    The Steelmen are top of the Clydesdale Bank Under 19s League Table but have played more games than some of the closest challengers.

    Indeed, Saturday’s opponents Rangers have a 100% record having won their first three games but sit sixth in the table such is the unpredictable nature of the fixture scheduling.

    So it’s sure to be a fairly even, exciting encounter with plenty at stake for both teams.

    Head of Youth Development Gordon Young said, “Games against the Old Firm are always special no matter what level you play at.

    “However, we will treat this game no different to any other we face. The players are buoyed by a good SFA Youth Cup result last weekend and go into the game in good form.

    “What with Rangers still unbeaten, there could be a right good game in prospect.”

    The game will kick-off at 11am – Entry for spectators is free of charge and ‘Well fans are encouraged along to give the youngsters plenty of support.

  • Archive

    Officials appointed for Ibrox encounter

    Referee for Saturday’s trip to Ibrox will be the relatively unfamiliar face of Stephen Finnie.

    The 40-year-old, a Grade One official for almost five years, will be taking charge of only his third Motherwell game.

    The first, in his ‘debut’ season, was back in March 2007 when a Scott McDonald double gave ‘Well a comfortable 2-0 win over Dunfermline at Fir Park.

    His second, some seven months later, came when ‘Well, under the tutorship of Mark McGhee, went down 1-0 to Dundee United at Tannadice courtesy of a Darren Dods header twelve minutes from time.

    The last and final ‘Well appointment was at the tail end of last season, when he oversaw the 3-1 home win against Hearts last March when goals from Mark Reynolds, John Sutton and Jim O’Brien handed Craig Brown’s men an excellent three points.

    In those three games, Finnie has flashed sixteen yellow cards; seven of them at players wearing Claret and Amber. No-one, as yet, has been sent for an early bath.

    Finnie will be ably assisted by Billy Baxter and Brian Templeton with Anthony Law on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    Rangers Ticket Information

    ‘Well fans wishing to go to the game against Rangers this coming Saturday should note that tickets are only on sale until Friday afternoon.

    Tickets will not be on sale from Fir Park or Ibrox on the day of the game.

    The match is strictly all-ticket with prices as follows:

    Adults: £24
    Concession: £12

    * Concessions are listed as Under 16s (including school kids) and Over 65s