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    Hamilton Programme

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    Last four confirmed

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    Dundee Utd win in pictures

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    Motherwell 1 – 0 Dundee Utd

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    Our best chance of success

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    Dundee Utd win in pictures

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    Motherwell 2 – 1 Dundee Utd

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    A big week

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    Humphrey insists there’s more to come

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    Club Statement

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    Hamilton Programme

    The seventh edition of the Motherwell Matchday Magazine is on sale this Saturday when Accies visit Fir Park for the Lanarkshire derby.

    After successive home wins against Dundee United, ‘Well will be hoping to make it three from three against their nearest rivals.

    And the new-look, 64-page programme will again be on sale with all the latest from Fir Park.

    This week, boss Craig Brown looks back at the double header against the Arabs and addresses the emotive issue of Scottish officials.

    The hero from Tuesday night, Alan Gow, gives his verdict on progressing to the Cup Semi Final and his long-term plans for the future.

    There’s a fantastic 8-page interview with influential midfielder Steve Jennings. The scouser, enjoying another brilliant season, talks about derby football, life in Scotland and playing for Motherwell FC.

    We have a ten-page section dedicated to our visitors, Hamilton Accies, including a player-by-player account of Billy Reid’s men. Peter Elder also takes us back through time to recall some of the good and, erm, not so good encounters between the sides.

    Alan Temple examines the ‘modern derby’, Jamie Murphy talks crazy golf, lonely Spaniards and ball bags in our Pot Shots feature. The latest bout of Brainiacs yields the best to scores so far! Stevie Hammell takes on Stevie Saunders and both scored high. Only one can win and progress to take on Jamie Murphy in the Quarter Final. You’ll need to pick up your copy to check it out.

    And that’s not all… We look back at the 2-1 SPL success against Dundee Utd in the SPL as well as the 1-0 win against the same side in the Co-operative Insurance Cup three days later. There’s a breakdown of the Show Racism the Red Card Fortnight of Action, the latest community news as well as all the latest ticket information for our next six matches.

    The programme, priced at £3, will be available in the ‘Well Shop with sellers in and around the ground from about 1pm.

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    Last four confirmed

    Celtic and Rangers will join Aberdeen and Motherwell in Friday’s Co-operative Insurance Cup Semi Final draw at Hampden.

    The Steelmen will appear at this stage of the competition for the first time in almost five years. Last time, a late goal by Shaun Maloney, following a pass-back by Martyn Corrigan, dashed ‘Well hopes of another appearance at the Final, having got there one season before.

    The draw, which will take place at Hampden this coming Friday (2.30pm), could pit the Fir Parkers against either half of the Old Firm or Mark McGhee’s Aberdeen side.

    Speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, young defender Steven Saunders said, “We are all really looking forward to the draw and the game itself.

    “You could say that Scotland’s three biggest teams are there, along with ourselves, so we’ll relish the challenge. It would be amazing to get to a Cup Final and everyone will be focusing on getting just that when the times comes.”

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    Dundee Utd win in pictures

    Pictures from the 1-0 victory over Dundee Utd in the Co-operative Insurance Cup Quarter Final at Fir Park. These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.

    [svgallery name=”dundeeutd261010″]

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    Motherwell 1 – 0 Dundee Utd

    [tab:Match report]

    Alan Gow struck with a matter of seconds left on the clock to send the Steelmen into their first semi-final since 2006.

    The dramatic finale was not in keeping with the rest of a scrappy encounter, which was only really lively in a vibrant opening 15 minutes.

    However that was rendered well and truly irrelevant as Gow latched onto a Prince Buaben ‘clearance’ which hit Dusan Pernis’ post and fired home emphatically.

    It was an unusual quirk of coincidence which saw The Steelmen line up against United so soon after playing them in the SPL – with The Arabs hunting for revenge and ‘Well looking for a repeat score-line and performance.

    Unsurprisingly, after a lacklustre display from his men on Saturday, Peter Houston made a couple of changes to his starting eleven. The scorer of the first own goal, Scott Severin, dropped out to be replaced by young Keith Watson with Sean Dillon moving into the centre of defence. Scott Robertson came in to replace the injured Craig Conway.

    Equally predictable was Craig Brown’s decision to stick with the same team as his side looked to defeat The Terrors twice in the space of three days – and set up a Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final date.

    Houston’s men emerged like a team keen to right some wrongs, and within three minutes United had carved out a decent chance. A hopeful long ball into the box found the towering Garry Kenneth and his knock-down was latched onto by David Goodwillie, but the gifted 21-year old could only poke his snapshot into the grateful arms of Darren Randolph.

    The ‘Well gaffer was repeating his occasional ploy of starting with Chris Humphrey on the left flank, and the Jamaican-born winger carved out Motherwell’s immediate response to that threat. Humphrey hared down the left before surging in-field, a perfectly timed pass released Jamie Murphy and his cross-cum-shot which narrowly evaded Alan Gow and Nick Blackman sliding at the back stick.

    Two minutes later, in an excellent opening to the encounter, a lovely Jamie Murphy pass slipped Gow clear in the box, but at a tight angle the former Rangers man could only fire into the arms of Dusan Pernis.

    There was a morbid predictability about Willie Collum being involved in a controversial penalty decision following his display on Sunday, and it didn’t take long – 14 minutes in fact.

    Scott Robertson played a beautifully incisive pass into the left channel of the ‘Well box for Paul Dixon, and the United left back lashed a decent effort on target. The shot was parried, and with Scott Robertson ready to tap in Steve Jennings made a last-ditch tackle from behind.

    The visitors screamed for a penalty, but Collum said no, and it looked like the correct decision.

    Amazingly, at almost the exact same time as Lasley went off injured on Saturday – 19 minutes in – Jamie Murphy hobbled off to be replaced by John Sutton. The Scotland under-21 star looked in some distress and all ‘Well fans will be hoping he won’t be out for too long.

    It took until just after the half-hour mark for ‘Well to carve out another couple of efforts on goal; firstly coming from a long-distance in-swinging free-kick from Tom Hateley which evaded everyone and almost beat Dusan Pernis at the far post.

    That was followed five minutes later by a superb one-two between Blackman and Gow on the edge of the United box which set the on-loan Blackburn man through on goal, but Dusan Pernis was quick off his line to block.

    ‘Well started the second half the way the ended the first, and had another half-chance as Chris Humphrey whipped in a cracker of a cross which narrowly evaded Nick Blackman in the centre.

    Unfortunately that proved to be the only chance of note until nearly the hour-mark when Alan Gow fed Nick Blackman on the edge of the box and the bustling striker flashed a shot narrowly wide of Pernis’ left-hand post. That was quickly followed by another dangerous cross by Humphrey which Pernis was forced to fist away, as ‘Well attempted to nick an opener in a disappointing second period.

    With less than 15 minutes left on the clock Pernis was called into action again, this time a stinging effort from Nick Blackman was parried wide of goal. The shot may have been drifting wide but the Slovakian stopper was taking no chances.

    With the clock winding down Fir Park erupted as The Steelmen took the lead. Amazingly it was nearly another own goal by United, after the brace at the weekend. A Tom Hateley corner was sliced against the post by a Dundee United body, and Alan Gow reacted quickest to lash home the rebound from close range.

    An almighty stramash on the line proved the closest the visitors came to an equiliser, with a long throw causing havoc in the box, forcing a top save from Randolph at the back post. Amongst bodies flying everywhere ‘Well got it clear to rapturous cheers from the home fans.

    [tab:As it happened]

    90+3 FULL TIME The final whistle goes and the game is over.

    90+2 Scott Robertson fouled by Ross Forbes, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Barry Douglas.

    90+1 Garry Kenneth concedes a free kick for a foul on John Sutton. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    89′ SUB Jonathan Page comes on in place of Alan Gow.

    87′ Danny Cadamarteri challenges Mark Reynolds unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

    87′ SUB Andis Shala is brought on as a substitute for David Robertson.

    87′ SUB (Motherwell) makes a substitution, with Ross Forbes coming on for Steve Jennings.

    85′ Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Hateley played to the near post,

    85′ GOAL – Alan Gow: Motherwell 1 – 0 Dundee Utd Alan Gow finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Motherwell 1-0 Dundee Utd.

    85′ The referee blows for offside. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    84′ Unfair challenge on Barry Douglas by Steve Jennings results in a free kick. Dusan Pernis takes the direct free kick.

    84′ BOOKING Steve Jennings shown a yellow card.

    83′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John Sutton by David Robertson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Tom Hateley.

    82′ Centre by David Goodwillie.

    81′ David Goodwillie crosses the ball, Stephen Craigan makes a clearance.

    79′ Foul by Scott Robertson on Nick Blackman, free kick awarded. Tom Hateley crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, save made by Dusan Pernis.

    78′ The official flags Jon Daly offside. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    78′ SUB Danny Cadamarteri is brought on as a substitute for Jon Daly.

    76′ Nick Blackman takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.

    75′ Chris Humphrey produces a cross, save by Dusan Pernis.

    74′ Morgaro Gomis sends in a cross, Close range headed effort by Garry Kenneth misses to the right of the goal.

    74′ Barry Douglas delivers the ball, clearance made by Alan Gow.

    74′ Short corner taken by Barry Douglas from the right by-line.

    74′ Centre by David Goodwillie, Mark Reynolds gets a block in.

    73′ Keith Watson delivers the ball.

    72′ The official flags David Goodwillie offside. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

    71′ Keith Watson challenges John Sutton unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Tom Hateley.

    69′ Inswinging corner taken by Barry Douglas from the right by-line played to the near post, Tom Hateley manages to make a clearance.

    69′ The ball is delivered by Prince Buaben, Stephen Craigan manages to make a clearance.

    68′ John Sutton produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.

    65′ Corner taken by Tom Hateley.

    65′ Chris Humphrey delivers the ball, blocked by Barry Douglas.

    64′ Sean Dillon challenges Nick Blackman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stevie Hammell restarts play with the free kick.

    63′ Centre by Nick Blackman, blocked by Sean Dillon.

    61′ The ball is delivered by Chris Humphrey, blocked by Barry Douglas.

    61′ Chris Humphrey delivers the ball, save by Dusan Pernis.

    60′ Keith Watson produces a cross, Steven Saunders makes a clearance.

    59′ The ball is crossed by Tom Hateley, Garry Kenneth makes a clearance.

    59′ David Robertson concedes a free kick for a foul on John Sutton. Stevie Hammell restarts play with the free kick.

    58′ Effort on goal by Prince Buaben from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.

    56′ Nick Blackman produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

    55′ Nick Blackman delivers the ball.

    53′ The ball is swung over by Stevie Hammell, clearance by Garry Kenneth.

    51′ Foul by Nick Blackman on Morgaro Gomis, free kick awarded. Barry Douglas produces a cross, Shot from just outside the box by Scott Robertson goes over the crossbar.

    49′ John Sutton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Keith Watson. Sean Dillon produces a cross, Header by Jon Daly from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.

    47′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sean Dillon by Alan Gow. Dusan Pernis takes the direct free kick.

    46′ The ball is sent over by Chris Humphrey, clearance by Sean Dillon.

    45′ A cross is delivered by Barry Douglas, clearance by Mark Reynolds.

    45′ KICK OFF The match restarts for the second half.

    45′ SUB Barry Douglas replaces Paul Dixon.

    45+2 HALF TIME The first half comes to an end.

    43′ Prince Buaben gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Hateley. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

    43′ BOOKING Booking for Prince Buaben for unsporting behaviour.

    42′ Keith Watson fouled by Steve Jennings, the ref awards a free kick. Dusan Pernis takes the free kick.

    42′ Steven Saunders delivers the ball, clearance made by Keith Watson.

    40′ Tom Hateley takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Sean Dillon.

    39′ Steve Jennings fouled by David Robertson, the ref awards a free kick. Shot comes in from Tom Hateley from the free kick, blocked by Prince Buaben.

    39′ Nick Blackman has an effort at goal. Paul Dixon gets a block in.

    38′ Steve Jennings takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Robertson.

    37′ Nick Blackman takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.

    37′ Mark Reynolds produces a cross, clearance by Paul Dixon.

    35′ Shot from 35 yards from David Goodwillie. Save by Darren Randolph.

    34′ Alan Gow fouled by Prince Buaben, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Craigan.

    31′ Keith Watson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nick Blackman. Tom Hateley crosses the ball in from the free kick, save made by Dusan Pernis.

    28′ Morgaro Gomis takes a shot. Blocked by Tom Hateley.

    26′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan by Jon Daly. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    22′ The ball is crossed by Chris Humphrey, clearance by Keith Watson.

    22′ David Goodwillie is ruled offside. Stephen Craigan restarts play with the free kick.

    21′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan by Jon Daly. Darren Randolph restarts play with the free kick. David Goodwillie is ruled offside. Stephen Craigan takes the direct free kick.

    20′ The ball is swung over by Prince Buaben, Mark Reynolds manages to make a clearance.

    19′ Corner taken left-footed by Paul Dixon.

    19′ SUB Jamie Murphy goes off and John Sutton comes on.

    19′ Scott Robertson sends in a cross, blocked by Steve Jennings.

    17′ Free kick awarded for a foul by David Goodwillie on Steven Saunders. Darren Randolph restarts play with the free kick.

    14′ Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Paul Dixon.

    14′ The ball is swung over by Morgaro Gomis, blocked by Chris Humphrey.

    13′ Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Paul Dixon.

    13′ Alan Gow gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Robertson. Paul Dixon takes the free kick.

    12′ Shot by Paul Dixon. Darren Randolph makes a save.

    10′ David Goodwillie is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Mark Reynolds restarts play with the free kick.

    9′ David Goodwillie takes a shot. Save made by Darren Randolph.

    8′ Unfair challenge on Morgaro Gomis by Steven Saunders results in a free kick. Paul Dixon takes the direct free kick.

    6′ Alan Gow takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.

    5′ Effort from the edge of the area by Jamie Murphy goes wide of the left-hand post.

    4′ Free kick awarded for a foul by Garry Kenneth on Alan Gow. Free kick taken by Tom Hateley.

    2′ David Goodwillie takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

    2′ Nick Blackman challenges Sean Dillon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sean Dillon restarts play with the free kick.

    1′ Corner taken by Chris Humphrey played to the near post.

    0′ The referee starts the match.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell boss Craig Brown:

    “I’ve had two semi-finals with Motherwell in the Scottish Cup as assistant manager in the 1970s. We played Rangers and lost 3-2, then Airdrie. Sadly, we didn’t progress.”

    “We had an excellent game here at the weekend but when you are playing each other so quickly again, you cancel each other out. We nullified each other.

    “It wasn’t a flowing game like Saturday’s was. It came too quickly for both of us. I am pleased for Alan Gow, who has worked hard since he came here to get fit – and for him to score the only goal is a reward for his efforts so far,” he said.

    “I thought (Stephen) Craigan and (Mark) Reynolds were first class. There was quite an aerial bombardment against them, particularly in the first half, and they withstood that very capably.

    “Dundee United were, and probably are, the third team in Scotland, so to have managed to beat them twice is a good achievement. We have played better in other games this season, but we’ll accept the result gratefully.

    “We are progressing, but there is a bit to be done.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”18″]

  • Archive

    Our best chance of success

    It was pleasing to get a positive result against United on Saturday but I have emphasised to everyone at the club that the win will have no bearing on tonight’s match.

    Whilst I appreciate Peter Houston’s generous remarks about our performance, I know that he will have been disappointed with his own team and will ensure that they will be much improved tonight.

    We certainly won’t allow ourselves to be complacent because, after all, we didn’t actually score any of the goals!

    Some of the play from both sides was of good quality but I know that we are capable of even better. Let’s hope it’s tonight because those that come out and pay good money for this additional match deserve to be entertained. Both United and Motherwell will, I am sure, ensure that true value is obtained for the admission money.

    With the Old Firm looking certain to fill the first two positions in the SPL this season, teams like Dundee United and Motherwell’s best hope of silverware is in one or other of the Cup competitions.

    Peter Houston’s men have tasted the glory of Scottish Cup success and I am sure they would love to repeat it or replicate it in the Co-operative Insurance Cup. We too would like to think that we have a chance in both Cup competitions although we will have to eliminate some of the slackness that appears in our play.

    We take all competitions extremely serious and that includes the Co-operative Insurance Cup. We have a great respect for the tournament and would thank the sponsors for their support.

    I was slightly irked by some of the criticism we received in the wake of the Quarter Final draw but if we’re lucky to progress to the Semi Final, then I am sure we’ll be well represented, even if does mean posing for pictures with the trophy again!*

    One down side from Saturday was another injury, this time to Keith Lasley, but we hope he will be fit if not for tonight, then for the forthcoming Lanarkshire derby with Hamilton Accies here at Fir Park.

    One other thing that has been brought to my attention is the amount of clubs that are represented at our matches. This is testimony to the progress of some of talented players.

    But, I would like to emphasise that, at this point in time, we have had no official interest intimated regarding any of our outstanding young players.

    I would also like to take the time to welcome perhaps the most influential man in my coaching career, former Motherwell manager Willie McLean.

    He will join us with former Kilmarnock and Ayr United stalwart Jim McSherry and Bobby Williamson, who has just signed a new contract as national team manager of Uganda, as guests of the club.

    Finally, I would like to reiterate my thanks for your support. We did feel it was a bit lukewarm at times on Saturday and the United fans managed to outshout us at times. Please be our twelfth man tonight and we‘ll do our very best to book a place in the Semi Final.

    Thanks again

    Craig Brown

  • Archive

    Dundee Utd win in pictures

    Pictures from the 2-1 victory over Dundee Utd 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=”dundeeutd231010″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell 2 – 1 Dundee Utd

    [tab:Match report]

    A brace of own goals by Dundee United secured a well-deserved 2-1 victory for the Steelmen at Fir Park this afternoon.

    The Steelmen took the lead within the first minutes following a swift counter attack, ending with Scott Severin firing into his own net.

    Missed chances galore were the only reason Motherwell didn’t have the match sewn up by half time – and United took advantage, with David Goodwillie lashing home a second half penalty.

    However justice was done later in the second half when a fantastic cross from the excellent Chris Humphrey was turned in by the Dundee United right-back Sean Dillon.

    Motherwell’s challenge against the men from Tannadice was illustrated by the fact Dundee United came to Fir Park having not lost an away game out-with the Old Firm in over a year. ‘Well, for their part, were looking to build on their first home win of the season against St. Mirren earlier in the month.

    Craig Brown sprung a pre-match surprise as he attempted to nullify United’s terrific recent record, replacing John Sutton with Alan Gow; handing the former Rangers man his first SPL start for the Fir Park side. Other than that it was the same team which was defeated 4-1 at Ibrox last week.

    It didn’t take long for the gaffer’s decision to be vindicated as Alan Gow capatalised on a Scott Severin slip in the very first minute before striding into the United half. His pass into Blackman was beautifully weighted and allowed the big English striker to turn and feed Murphy in the left channel of the box. Muphy’s low drive was parried by Pernis, but it deflected off Scott Severin – trying to make up for his original mistake – and crossed the line.

    The early strike was a sign of things to come as ‘Well went for the jugular. Surging runs from Nick Blackman and Jamie Murphy created excellent openings for ‘Well as, in particular, Garry Kenneth was given a torrid time by vibrant Motherwell front four of Humphrey, Murphy, Blackman and Gow.

    Strikes from distance by Steve Jennings and Alan Gow saw the home side threaten to stretch their lead in a blistering opening 15 minutes  in which Motherwell could quite easily have been four goals to the good against a sluggish United side.

    The only negative of the early stages – although a notable one – came after 20 minutes with the withdrawal of influential midfielder Keith Lasley with a nasty looking knock, to be replaced by Stevie Saunders with Hateley moving into the midfield.

    Peter Houston’s men had to wait until almost the half-hour mark for anything resembling a response from his men. It came through captain Jon Daly, as the big Irishman brought a long clearance out of the sky and fed David Robertson out wide. Robertson’s cross perfectly picked out Daly, but thankfully his spectacular scissor-kick was straight into the arms of his fellow countryman Darren Randolph.

    The balance of injury misfortune was redressed ten minutes before the break as gifted wide-man Craig Conway had to be replaced by young Barry Douglas. It was a real blow for United, at a time when they were actually threatening to pin the home side back.

    A scrappy closing period to the first half saw both teams’ trade bookings – for Saunders and Buaben – but not too much enterprising football as ‘Well went in at the break one-nil to the good.

    As the second half got under way most of the 4635 fans inside Fir Park were hoping to banish the memories of recent sluggish second half performances, especially considering ‘Well could quite easily have built a more substantial lead during an excellent first 45.

    Early signs were certainly promising. ‘Well almost doubled their advantage after a stunning Tom Hateley delivery evaded the head of Alan Gow by a matter of inches with Dusan Pernis absolutely stranded.

    Yet just 60 seconds later history repeated itself. A rangy long throw by Garry Kenneth was headed straight up into the air by the ‘Well backline, and as the ball dropped out of the sky Stephen Craigan flicked the ball clear with his arm. Ref Steven McLean quickly pointed to the spot.

    David Goodwillie stepped up and sent Darren Randolph the wrong way with aplomb, following a stuttering run up, to bring United level in a match which should have been out of sight.

    The whistle of young ref Steven McLean was becoming an all-too familiar sound in a bitty, disappointing start to the second half, disrupting any attempts by Craig Brown’s troops to recapture the flow and attacking impetus of an invigorating first half.

    A bizarre booking for Chris Humphrey when he merely queried an incorrect decision and the decision to not give Prince Buaben a second yellow card – after he appeared to be reaching to his pocket, until he realised the culprit already had a booking – symptomised a poor afternoon from the rookie whistler.

    Despite refereeing inconsistency, Motherwell did manage to regain some semblance of control as the half wore on. Strikes by Alan Gow and Jamie Murphy both tested Dusan Pernis from distance as The Steelmen attempted to chase a deserved lead.

    Those efforts were merely the forerunners for something more incisive. Tom Hateley showed marvelous composure in the middle of the park to shake off the attentions of two players before slipping the ball to Chris Humphrey in acres of space down the right. The English wingers’ brilliant driven cross was simply impossible to defend and Sean Dillon fired into his own net from close range.

    ‘Well could have extended their lead when Chris Humphrey whipped in a super corner for Steven Saunders to head over.

    The miss didn’t prove costly as The Steelmen held on to claim a deserved, and valuable, three points – keeping ‘Well in third place.

    [tab:As it happened]

    90+1 The match has reached full-time.

    90′ SUB Robert McHugh is brought on as a substitute for Chris Humphrey.

    88′ Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Chris Humphrey from the left by-line.

    88′ Chris Humphrey takes a inswinging corner.

    86′ Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Barry Douglas from the right by-line, Mark Reynolds makes a clearance.

    83′ David Goodwillie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stevie Hammell. Free kick taken by Stevie Hammell.

    82′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mark Reynolds by David Goodwillie. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    81′ Corner taken by Chris Humphrey from the right by-line to the near post, Close range header by Steven Saunders goes over the bar.

    81′ Unfair challenge on Steve Jennings by Prince Buaben results in a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

    80′ Paul Dixon challenges Chris Humphrey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

    80′ Steve Jennings concedes a free kick for a foul on David Goodwillie. Free kick taken by Scott Severin.

    79′ Stephen Craigan fouled by Jon Daly, the ref awards a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick,

    79′ SUB David Robertson goes off and Johnny Russell comes on.

    77′ SUB John Sutton joins the action as a substitute, replacing Alan Gow.

    76′ Unfair challenge on Jamie Murphy by David Robertson results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Stevie Hammell.

    76′ BOOKING David Robertson booked for unsporting behaviour.

    74′ Assist by Tom Hateley.

    74′ GOAL – Sean Dillon: Motherwell 2 – 1 Dundee Utd Sean Dillon puts the ball into his own net.

    72′ Jon Daly gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    71′ Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Chris Humphrey.

    71′ Jamie Murphy takes a shot from 20 yards. Dusan Pernis makes a save.

    69′ Free kick awarded for a foul by David Goodwillie on Mark Reynolds. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

    68′ Alan Gow is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Direct free kick taken by Garry Kenneth.

    67′ Drilled right-footed shot by Chris Humphrey. Tom Hateley gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Chris Humphrey.

    65′ The assistant referee signals for offside against Alan Gow. Dusan Pernis takes the direct free kick.

    63′ Morgaro Gomis gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan. Stephen Craigan restarts play with the free kick.

    61′ BOOKING Chris Humphrey is booked.

    60‘ Alan Gow produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.

    58′ Steve Jennings challenges David Goodwillie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Garry Kenneth restarts play with the free kick.

    57′ Nick Blackman is caught offside. Direct free kick taken by Scott Severin.

    56′ Unfair challenge on Jamie Murphy by David Robertson results in a free kick. Stevie Hammell takes the direct free kick.

    55′ Barry Douglas takes the inswinging corner, save by Darren Randolph.

    55′ Steve Jennings concedes a free kick for a foul on Morgaro Gomis. Scott Severin restarts play with the free kick.

    54′ Free kick awarded for a foul by David Robertson on Nick Blackman. Tom Hateley takes the free kick.

    53′ Alan Gow has an effort at goal. Save made by Dusan Pernis.

    52′ The assistant referee flags for offside against Barry Douglas. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    51′ Alan Gow concedes a free kick for a foul on Dusan Pernis. Dusan Pernis restarts play with the free kick.

    49′ GOAL – David Goodwillie: Motherwell 1 – 1 Dundee Utd David Goodwillie scores a penalty.

    49′ PENALTY for Dundee Utd. Stephen Craigan handball in the area

    48′ Shot by Nick Blackman from 30 yards. Dusan Pernis makes a save.

    47′ Steven Saunders is ruled offside. Dusan Pernis takes the free kick.

    47′ David Goodwillie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alan Gow. Tom Hateley takes the free kick.

    46′ Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Chris Humphrey.

    45′ KICK OFF The match restarts for the second half.

    45+3 HALF TIME The match has reached half-time.

    45+1 Free kick awarded for a foul by Alan Gow on Prince Buaben. Scott Severin takes the free kick.

    43′ Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Severin by Steven Saunders. Dusan Pernis restarts play with the free kick.

    43′ BOOKING Steven Saunders is shown a yellow card.

    42′ Unfair challenge on Darren Randolph by Jon Daly results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph. .

    42′ Corner taken left-footed by Barry Douglas, Darren Randolph makes a save.

    40‘ Unfair challenge on Stevie Hammell by David Goodwillie results in a free kick. Stevie Hammell takes the direct free kick.

    39′ Unfair challenge on David Goodwillie by Stephen Craigan results in a free kick. Barry Douglas takes the free kick, Prince Buaben takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.

    36′ Prince Buaben challenges Jamie Murphy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Reynolds takes the free kick. Corner taken by Chris Humphrey. Chris Humphrey takes a corner.

    36′ BOOKING Prince Buaben is cautioned.

    34′ SUB Barry Douglas comes on in place of Craig Conway.

    33′ The referee blows for offside against Craig Conway. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    31′ Drilled right-footed shot by Jamie Murphy. Save by Dusan Pernis.

    30′ Tom Hateley fouled by David Goodwillie, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Stephen Craigan.

    29′ Morgaro Gomis challenges Steve Jennings unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

    28′ SUB Steven Saunders replaces Keith Lasley.

    17′ Effort on goal by Steve Jennings from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

    15′ Corner taken right-footed by Chris Humphrey from the left by-line to the near post, Sean Dillon makes a clearance.

    13′ The assistant referee signals for offside against David Goodwillie. Direct free kick taken by Tom Hateley.

    12′ Drilled left-footed shot by Alan Gow. Dusan Pernis makes a save.

    11′ Craig Conway concedes a free kick for a foul on Tom Hateley. Tom Hateley restarts play with the free kick.

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

    9′ Shot from 25 yards by Jamie Murphy. Save made by Dusan Pernis.

    5′ Free kick awarded for a foul by Craig Conway on Tom Hateley. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

    4′ Stephen Craigan fouled by Jon Daly, the ref awards a free kick. Tom Hateley takes the free kick.

    3′ Garry Kenneth gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alan Gow. Direct free kick taken by Tom Hateley.

    1′ GOAL – Scott Severin: Motherwell 1 – 0 Dundee Utd Own goal by Scott Severin. Motherwell 1-0 Dundee Utd.

    0′ KICK OFF The game begins.

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    Motherwell boss Craig Brown:

    “We have no chance of being in the first two. That’s not being defeatist, that is being realistic. I think we can occasionally get a result against the Old Firm, but over the period there is no way any team will divide the top two.

    “If it’s the same at the end of the season we can say we are third best.We have no chance of being in the first two. That’s not being defeatist, that is being realistic,” he said after the 2-1 home win over Dundee United.

    “I think we can occasionally get a result against the Old Firm, but over the period there is no way any team will divide the top two.

    “If it’s the same at the end of the season we can say we are third best.”

    Dundee Utd manager Peter Houston:

    “I thought we were poor and what we’ve got to find out is why we were dictated to in the first half.They were the better team and created more chances,” Houston added. “It was 27 minutes before Jon Daly had a shot at goal; that’s not the United I know.”

    “I felt we got a wee break getting back into the game with a penalty kick. Then it comes to the bit where we actually do okay for 20-25 minutes and then Motherwell score.

    “I’ve got to find out why we’re not starting games well. I had a right blast at them at half-time. The only reason I did that was because we were second to every ball.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”17″]

  • Archive

    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.