Live twitter updates from Stair Park as Motherwell take on Stranraer in the Scottish Cup Fifth Round.
Stranraer vs Motherwell: LIVESaturday 05 February 2011
Smoke bombs and flaresFriday 04 February 2011
Ahead of this weekend’s Scottish Cup card, Strathclyde Police is offering the following guidance regarding smoke bombs and flares.
Is it illegal to attempt to enter a sporting ground in possession of a flare or a smoke bomb during the designated period of a match.
It is also in the Ground Regulations of the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Football League and Scottish Premier League to be in possession of such a smoke bomb or flare
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Scottish Cup fifth round ties, Chief Superintendent Andy Bates said: “Over recent weeks, Strathclyde Police has seen more of these flares and smoke bombs set off at football matches.
“They represent a significant risk to the safety of those attending the match which is why the law regarding them clearly states that possession of these articles while trying to enter or within the stadium is an offence.
“This weekend, we will have trained police dogs inside and outside of various stadiums. Anyone found in possession of a flare or a smoke bomb will be arrested.
“My message is absolutely clear – There is no place for smoke bombs or flares at stadiums and football matches”
Derek Kirkwood, Head of Security Operations, Scottish FA added: “Traditionally, Scotland has not had a culture of flares and smoke bombs being set-off in football stadiums. Unfortunately, in recent months the use of them has become more prevalent.
“It is important that supporters heed the warning from Strathclyde Police this Scottish Cup weekend and at all games in the future. The safety and enjoyment of supporters on matchdays is paramount.”
Head of Safety at Motherwell FC, Alan Marshall, concluded, “We are very keen to provide an enjoyable atmosphere at games but the threat posed from smoke bombs and flares is significant.
“We have already had numerous instances this season, both at Fir Park and at away grounds, and we would plead with our supporters not to bring them to games.”
McCall aims for professional jobFriday 04 February 2011
Stuart McCall insists that there will be no complacency as his side head to the south west coast for a banana-skin tie with Stranraer on Saturday.
Hibs fell to lower league opposition in the last round, while the likes of St. Mirren and Dundee United had to go to replays. The Motherwell boss is determined the same fate will not befall his side against Third Division Stranraer.
[onlymembers]“We’re travelling overnight and doing everything correctly because we know that we’ve got everything to lose; it’s role-reversal from last Sunday against Rangers. People will be expecting us to run away with the match,” McCall, a three-time Scottish Cup winner with Rangers, revealed.
“The pitch and conditions could be a bit of a leveller, but if my players are at their best and we play like we have done in the last two games then I’m confident we’ll get the win.
“You only have to look at the last round to know how tough the match will be. If we don’t approach the game correctly we could have problems.
“Berwick gave Celtic a serious test, and Stranraer are above Berwick. So we know this could be a very tricky match.”
McCall admitted that there is added significance to the Scottish Cup for his players, and for Motherwell Football Club as a whole.
‘Well narrowly missed out on a place in the Co-operative Insurance Cup final last week but the Hampden experience – for players and fans alike – has only served to whet the appetite for more.
“The Motherwell fans really take to the Scottish Cup, and it’s great that we will be taking a big support to Stranraer.” McCall praised.
“If we can get through Saturday’s match then we are only one game away from getting back to Hampden. That is a massive incentive for the younger lads and the senior pros.
“A good cup run just creates a great buzz; you could see that at Hampden last week. The fans were fantastic and we’d like to get there again.”
Away from Saturday’s tie, the ‘Well gaffer was in a coy mood when discussing the club’s link, this morning, with former Everton and Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers.
Reports suggested that Motherwell are close to agreeing term with the 30-year old, but McCall insists that he hasn’t spoken to Jeffers – although he is keeping his options open.
“I’ll be honest; my brother-in-law down south has texted me about a hundred names lately, and it was Francis Jeffers last night – but I have no idea where it has come from,” the former Everton midfielder admitted.
“Francis is a free agent and I’m sure his name will have been put around to a lot of clubs, but at this moment there’s nothing happening and our focus is solely on the cup tie.
“I thought the other night (1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock) showed that we could have done with getting another striker in, but unfortunately, on deadline day, we didn’t manage to do that. We’re still working hard, but obviously options will be few and far between now and we need to make sure they are good enough to improve the squad.”[/onlymembers]
Saunders and Craigan called upThursday 03 February 2011
‘Well defensive duo Steven Saunders and Stephen Craigan will be in International action next midweek.
Saunders, who has already picked up a full Scotland cap when he appeared as a second half substitute against the Faroe Islands recently, will rejoin the U21s who have a squad gathering and two closed-door bounce games.
Stephen Craigan is set to create another milestone if he picks up his 53rd cap for Northern Ireland when they take on Scotland in the Carling Nations Cup in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Should the skipper play, it will be the 50th time he has appeared in the green of Northern Ireland whilst playing for Motherwell.
Supporters Advisory Committee updateThursday 03 February 2011
Supporters Advisory Committee member Stephen Cameron gives an update as to the latest developments.
He said, “You may recall some time ago our Chief Executive proposed the setting up a supporters committee. Leeann posted an open invitation via the Matchday Programme and forum websites asking for volunteers to step forward to help form the aforementioned committee.
[onlymembers]“The club was keen to ensure that the very people who matter most, the supporters, did not become disconnected and disenfranchised going forward.
“From these Leeann received responses from interested fans who have now met with her on several occasions to discuss how the committee should be formed and how it would benefit the club.
“The main thing about the newly formed committee is we are supporters just like you, however through the committee we hold a unique position in the structure of the club by having full access to the board. The twelve members sit in all three home stands, vary in age and cover both genders. We all regularly use the same facilities and experience the same levels of service.
“We feel that with Leeann, board members and the club staff we can help bring everyone together, re-invigorate and enhance the experience not only on the park but off it as well. We can work with the club to bring on board what we, the fans would like to see happen at our club.
“Now that we are all in place we want to formalise our aims by canvassing supporters. There is no point in us discussing and deciding areas and ideas we would like to tackle or put to the club without first asking for your opinion. So with this in mind, we will be talking to you soon online, on matchdays and at organised meetings to get your views.
“We won’t always get things right and while we may not always have the answer or on occasion be as effective as you may hope, please bear in mind that we are the first football club in Scotland to launch such an initiative and with a united effort , in time, we can be more effective and influential.
“We are sure most fans accept there will be many aspects of Scottish Football where the power to change lies with other bodies and organisations. We can however influence many issues where responsibility rests directly with MFC. We would welcome any communication from our peers so please use the following contact methods to let us know what you think the priorities are, and any ideas you might have:
Steelmen Online Forum: MFC Supporters Advisory
FirParkCorner Forum: Supporters_Advisory
“ Or, if you prefer, write to us at Fir Park. We will reply within 48 hours and, where possible, give a solution to any issues within 5 days.
“We want to know your big picture gripes and ideas, views on reconstruction, safe standing, television and the like. In response the club have promised to be transparent on their position and policies in whatever we identify and where possible and appropriate, use their influence to push forward change.
“Importantly though we also want to work in areas where the club have the ability to make the changes we desire. Stewarding, ticket allocations, pricing, initiatives, club policies, facilities, match day to name but a few. The list is really up to you to help us identify. These are really the most exciting opportunities for you the supporters and where we can most likely see some quick wins.
1. As far as our first “win” is concerned we have brought to the attention of Leeann that the way half season tickets were sold, with the first 9 vouchers torn out. This would have meant that these books would not have been valid for the Kilmarnock game were voucher number 9 to be used. With this in mind, Leeann agreed fully that everyone should be able to get into that match, irrespective of when you bought your season ticket. The club will use “special voucher K” for the match on Wednesday meaning all season ticket holders can get in. Because of the cancellation, a bonus game for those who bought a half ticket.
2. The committee has also taken over the running of the official MFC eBay site and we have some great ideas and items for you to bid on through the season.
“Our committee members are all volunteers and have only your and the best interests of the club at heart. We are not here to replace any of the other supporters groups. Hopefully we can work with everyone to bring an exciting and bright future for Motherwell Football Club.”
The aim of the Supporters Advisory Committee is to enhance the experiences of all who choose to associate with Motherwell Football Club. We will advance frequent, clearer communication due to our unique position between board and fans, endeavour to improve the matchday experience and further increase club revenues through innovative means.[/onlymembers]
Youths face KillieThursday 03 February 2011
Fresh for their 2-0 win against St Mirren last week, the U19s will be looking to make it two wins in a row when they face Kilmarnock tomorrow.
[onlymembers]Young’s men are seven points behind leaders Rangers at the midway point of the season, and a win over the Ayrshire men could push the Steelmen as high as joint second.
Killie suffered a cruel 3-2 defeat at the hands of Aberdeen last weekend and will be keen to bounce back when the teams meet tomorrow afternoon at New Broomfield, Airdrie.
Motherwell U19s vs Kilmarnock U19s
New Broomfield, Airdrie
Stranraer Tickets and TravelThursday 03 February 2011
Stuart McCall’s Motherwell travel south to take on Stranraer in the Scottish Cup 5th Round this Saturday desperate to get back to winning ways.
The ‘Well have been on the end of some miserable luck in the last week, playing superbly well in places but coming away with little reward.
The Stair Park men are riding high near the top of the Third Division and will pose a significant threat to the Steelmen.
Tickets will be available both from the Fir Park Ticket Office and from a booth at Stair Park with admission prices as follows:
- Concessions are listed as Over 65s, teenagers aged between 13 and 16 and disabled fans in the wheelchair accessible area.
- Juveniles are listed as aged 12 and under.
- Fans who require wheelchair access should contact Elaine MacDonald at the club on 01698 338009 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three Supporters Association coaches will make their way to the match:
Central Branch: The bus for Stranraer will leave the Bentley Hotel at 11am. Phone Jim on (01698) 299650 or e-mail Christopher on email@example.com.
Wishaw Branch: Leaving Kenilworth Avenue Wishaw at 10.30 am. Costs £10 to non-members. Contact Anne on 01698 470601 for info.
Bellshill Branch: Leaving Carousel Bar Bellshill at 8.50am, Holytown Monument at 8.55am, Fir Park 9.00am. Call Brian on 01698 747644 after 6pm.
Officials appointed for Cup clashThursday 03 February 2011
Referee for Saturday’s Scottish Cup Fifth Round clash with Stranraer is the experienced Charlie Richmond.
It’ll be the first time Charlie, regarded as one of Scotland’s top officials, will have handled a Motherwell game this campaign following what appears to be a hiatus from SPL action.
[onlymembers]He has been a fourth official on a couple of occasions but you have to go back to February of last year to find the last time Charlie took charge of a ‘Well game. That was at the home of local rivals Hamilton Accies, when ‘Well were held to a largely uninspiring 0-0 draw by Billy Reid’s men.
Previous to that, but in the same season, he oversaw another 0-0 draw some seventeen days previous to that Accies game when Motherwell and Falkirk drew a blank. The only real point of note from an otherwise uneventful game was the red card shown to Giles Coke for serious foul play.
His only other game last campaign was the exciting 2-3 home defeat by Celtic in December as Jim Gannon’s tenure as manager was nearing an end. A very youthful Motherwell side found it tough going against the Parkhead club but still managed to cause a scare only to lose to a piece of brilliance from the now departed Marc-Antoine Fortune.
Not surprisingly, given the infrequency of the meetings between the side, Saturday will be the first time Charlie has handled a Stranraer versus Motherwell tie.
His overall record whilst taking charge of ‘Well games is a bit of a mixed bag. In the eleven seasons he has been officiating at the top level, Charlie has taken charge of 26 Motherwell games. The Steelmen have won six, drawn six and lost fourteen.
28 goals have been scored whilst 24 have been conceded. 96 players have been cautioned, 49 shown to a player wearing Claret and Amber whilst two have been ordered off; the aforementioned Giles Coke versus Falkirk and Filipe Morais in a game against Hibs back in October 2007.
Charlie will be ably assisted by Stephen Mitchell and Tommy Johnston with John McKendrick on fourth official duties.[/onlymembers]
Smash and grabWednesday 02 February 2011
Good evening folks, or should I say good morning as I type this in the early hours after getting back to my flat in Glasgow.
What a hugely frustrating night that was for everyone. Despite the wind and rain making things extremely difficult, I thought Motherwell played some decent stuff tonight. Particularly second half, we hemmed Kilmarnock in and created a number of good chances. The problem is, and it has been consistent since my arrival at the club, we are not taking enough.
Look, I know how much we need a striker. I can’t tell you how hard I tried to get someone in before the Transfer Deadline on Monday. I went down so many different avenues and hit so many brick walls; it was unbelievably frustrating.
However, that search isn’t dead and I continue to look for someone who can compete with Jamie Murphy, John Sutton, Esteban Casagolda, Robert McHugh and Gary Smith for a spot up top. We have some options open to us, in terms of guys without a club, so we’ll see where that takes us.
However, the positives are that we are playing decent football and creating chances. If I was writing this email and we had been outplayed by Kilmarnock then I am not too sure what I could’ve scribbled that would have cut the mustard with you. But I believe we’re on the right track.
The core of the squad is good. We have good young players coming through and making an impact on the team. We are still in a reasonably good position to fight it out for top six with so many teams bunched together; a run of four or five good results and we’re probably back toughing it out with Kilmarnock for fourth. Not only that, we have a vital Scottish Cup game to look forward to this weekend against Stranraer.
Your support for me since I arrived at Fir Park has been magnificent and I thank you for it. Hopefully as many of you as possible can make it down to the south west coast and cheer the lads on this Saturday. A win and we’re in the Quarter Finals and, with so many SPL teams either out, or potentially going out, then who knows what might happen.
Keep supporting us, keep persuading you friends and family to come along and together we’ll make a better Motherwell.
Forever Claret and Amber,
McCall stunned by narrow defeatWednesday 02 February 2011
Stuart McCall was at a loss to explain how his Motherwell side managed to succumb to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Kilmarnock.
The Steelmen had a host of clear chances, with Steve Jennings, Jamie Murphy and Stevie Saunders all forcing marvellous saves from the impeccable Cammy Bell.
Stevie Hammell also struck the crossbar with a free-kick in a match which was ultimately decided by a David Silva header nine minutes from time.
“It’s such a sore one to take,” McCall groaned after the match. “I thought Sunday was bad, but this is really painful.
“We’ve had two one-on-one chances, we’ve hit the bar, there’s been balls flying across the box; we’ve given our all. The football, given the conditions, was excellent and the desire of the lads was superb.
“But the bottom line is we’ve lost – and that’s a sore one to take. Anyone who was at that game will know we didn’t deserve to lose it; a draw would have been harsh on us, given the balance of play.”
In a match which was filled with missed opportunities and rotten luck, it was morbidly predictable that Killie’s match-winning goal would have a slice of misfortune about it.
Stevie Hammell was toiling with a groin strain – and was about to be replaced – as a through-ball was slipped beyond the ‘Well stalwart, and Tim Clancy was allowed the freedom of the flank to pick out Silva at the back post.
“Unfortunately Hammell’s done his hamstring,” the ‘Well gaffer confirmed. “We’ve not been able to get him off in time, and the goal comes down that side.
“The ball then drops between two of our younger defenders. We could, perhaps, have defended it better, but all-in-all we should have won the match and are just missing a killer instinct.”
After a hugely disappointing evening Motherwell must look to take the positives, according to the defeated boss – starting with a banana-skin trip to Stranraer in the Scottish Cup on Saturday.
The 46-year old continued: “It would be worse if we were playing badly and getting beat deservedly. At least I can take lots of good points from the game tonight. We had some terrific individual performances from a lot of players.
“It’s a hugely disappointed dressing room in there, but if we are producing performances like that then I guarantee results will turn.”