Pictures from the 2-0 win over Stranraer in the Scottish Cup 5th Round at Stair Park.
These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.
Pictures from the 2-0 win over Stranraer in the Scottish Cup 5th Round at Stair Park.
These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.
Goals from Steve Jones and John Sutton helped ‘Well to a comfortable 2-0 win over Stranraer at Stair Park this afternoon.
The Third Division side battled bravely throughout the match, giving a good account of themselves, but rarely troubled Darren Randolph in the visiting goal.
Motherwell eventually took the lead when Steve Jones got on the end of a Steven Saunders cross to poke home from inside the six yard box.
The Steelmen had to wait until the 83rd minute to confirm their place in the Quarter Final draw when John Sutton managed to slide home a low Chris Humphrey cross from the right.
Stuart McCall made three changes to the side that somehow lost to Kilmarnock during the week. John Sutton and Tom Hateley both returned to the side after starting on the bench on Wednesday night. There was also a first-start for new signing Gavin Gunning who lined up at left back. Esteban Casagolda and Jamie Murphy had to be content with a place on the bench, whilst Stevie Hammell missed out with a hamstring injury.
Motherwell started the game in a positive fashion but were dealt a blow as early as the third minute when Keith Lasley was grounded with what looked like a nasty rib injury. The influential midfielder managed another thirty minutes but eventually had to come off and was replaced by Jamie Murphy.
Before the change, both teams exchanged half chances. Motherwell were the first to threaten when Gunning, Jones and Sutton all combined on the edge of the area to allow the experienced Northern Irish winger to get a shot in, however, it was comfortable enough for David Mitchell in the home goal. Tom Hateley had a couple of free-kicks, both comfortably saved by the Stranraer number one.
Stranraer weathered the early ‘Well pressure and, as the half wore on, fought their way back into the game with a couple of efforts from distance. Steven Noble and Danny Mitchell both blasted over, neither effort really causing Darren Randolph any problems.
The arrival of Murphy just after the half hour gave ‘Well an added spark and the former Scotland U21 hitman immediately won a corner. Hateley’s kick from the quadrant found skipper Stephen Craigan inside the area but his header dropped just over.
Two minutes later, Murphy was again the creator when he teed up Steven Saunders, who blasted a thirty-yard effort narrowly over the bar.
As half-time approached, Motherwell turned the screw and eventually took the lead thanks to the industrious Steve Jones. Scotland International Steven Saunders delivered an excellent ball towards the back post and, after dropping kindly for the 34-year-old, the on-loan Walsall winger poked home, despite the best efforts of Grant Gallagher on the line.
Stranraer came out the traps in the second half and managed their one and only shot on target just after the interval. Nicholls picked up deep inside the box, but his deflected effort was comfortably stopped by Randolph.
Steve Jones was keen to build on his first goal for the club and had a couple of efforts, but couldn’t add to his earlier strike despite some excellent marauding runs.
Jamie Murphy’s pace was also causing problems in the home defence and, after getting on the end of a direct ball from Steven Saunders, almost doubled ‘Well’s advantage but was thwarted by the feet of Mitchell who got down well to block.
Jones shot wide and Murphy had another effort fly over as McCall’s men searched for that elusive second goal. John Sutton almost provided it with fourteen minutes left on the clock when he got on the end of a terrific Hateley pass but, just as he was about to pull the trigger, Gallagher got across to block with a terrific tackle.
Tom Hateley fired a free-kick straight at Mitchell and it looked as if Motherwell would struggle to get that killer second goal. However, with seven minutes left to play, John Sutton popped up to secure the Fir Parkers place in the Quarter Final draw.
Jonathan Page, on for the injured Steven Saunders, started the move with a neat pass to Chris Humphrey who was in acres of space on the right flank. The Jamaican quickly hit the box before sending over a tantalising low ball that was begging to be tucked away. Former St Mirren striker Sutton was in no mood to pass up the opportunity, and he was on hand to tuck home his eighth goal of the current campaign.
That goal knocked the stuffing out of the Third Division side and ‘Well could’ve, and should’ve, added some gloss to the win. Sutton again got on the end of a Humphrey cross, but his downwards header was well saved by Mitchell. Two minutes later, debutant Gavin Gunning almost got his name amongst the goals with another good run and shot, but his effort spun way wide and the Irishman will have to wait a bit longer for his first goal.
Referee Charlie Richmond soon brought the game to an end with Motherwell comfortably in the next round. Stranraer battled hard and, at times, looked like a plucky side but the Claret and Amber men were never really in any danger and with better decision making in the final third, could’ve won by a more handsome margin.
[tab:As it happened]
Alan Burrows at Stair Park
Full Time – Stranraer 0 – 2 Motherwell (Jones, Sutton)
90mins – Two minutes of time added on here at Stair Park.
87mins – Last sub of the afternoon for the Steelmen. Esteban Casagolda is on for scorer John Sutton.
86mins – Motherwell almost make it three. Humphrey flights a ball towards the back post for John Sutton but his downward header is saved.
83mins – GOOOOOALLLL Motherwell – John Sutton – Page plays in Humphrey on the right flank and his low ball is slid in at the near post by John Sutton… Happy Days!
81mins – Couple of shots from distance from the home die but Randolph watches both go wide!
80mins – Jonathan Page is on for Steven Saunders. Think the youngster has taken a knock…
78mins – Hateley free-kick from the edge of the area is too straight and comfortable for Mitchell…
76mins – Great move from Motherwell. Hateley dinks a lovely ball over for Sutton but he’s tackled just before he pulls the trigger…
72mins – Hateley free-kick on the edge of the box drops a foot or so over the bar. Mitchell was scrambling but it was always going over…
70mins – Two shots – Murphy and Jones – neither trouble Mitchell in the home goal. ‘Well need another to secure this I think…
66mins – Another long bursting run from Jones. With better options either side, the winger shots harmlessly wide.
64mins – Murphy gets in behind the Stranraer defence but his low shot is well saved by the feet of Mitchell.
59mins – Fairly even stuff here at Stair Park. Still 1-0 to ‘Well though!
53mins – Low shot from Jones drops wide of the post. He follows that with another bursting run and shot that sails over.
47mins – Stranraer start the second half with a couple of shots. One deflected wide and the other from Nicholl is saved by Randolph.
46mins – Motherwell get the second half underway…
Half Time – Both teams are out for the start of the second half. ‘Well to kick-off!
Half Time – Stranraer 0 – 1 Motherwell. ‘Well have made hard work – very similar 1st half to the last time we were down here in 2003…
45+2mins – GOOOOALLLL Motherwell! Steve Jones! Cross from the right finds its way to Steve Jones via Sutton. The N. Irishman pokes home despite best efforts of D.Gallagher on the line.
45mins – Right on half time, Hateley swings a free-kick into the area for Murphy to head over!
43mins – ‘Well forcing a couple of corners and have a few wee sniffs in and around goal but Mitchell still not forced into a save.
39mins – Hateley corner finds Sutton at the back post but his shot is blocked by Gallacher for another corner…
34mins – Shot from distance from Steven Saunders goes a foot or so over the bar. No danger for GK David Mitchell.
32mins – Craigan header over from a corner is closest ‘Well have come in a while. Poor stuff… Still 0-0 here at Stair Park.
31mins – Motherwell sub – Jamie Murphy is coming on for Keith Lasley. Jones is going to LM whilst Murphy goes right up top…
27mins – Shot just wide by Malcolm as Stranraer crank up the pressure. ‘Well have had a pair of bookings too – Gunning and Hutchinson,
21mins – Stranraer fire their first real shot at Randolph. Noble fires over and, a minute later, David Mitchell does likewise.
8mins – Neat move involving Gunning, Sutton and Jones sees the latter flash a low shot at goal which is comfortable for David Mitchell…
4mins – Actually, somehow, he’s come back on. He looks in some distress though. Subbies are warming up!
3mins – Keith Lasley is down injured for ‘Well… He looks in trouble! Indeed, he’s having to come off!
1mins – Stranraer to kick-off!
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“We knew it was going to be a tricky tie, I said before the game the most important thing is to get through. We would liked to have better and made it easier for ourselves, but all credit to Stranraer the stuck at it and made it difficult for us at times.
“I thing getting the first goal was the key, if we had gone behind it would have been a really difficult today. The bottom line is we are through to the next round and that’s what we came here to do. We have played better in the last two games and got nothing, the main thing is we are in the draw tomorrow.
“The downside is a couple of injuries, Lasley looks as though he might have cracked a couple of ribs, we hope they are only badly bruised and not cracked. Then Steven Saunders had to come off with a hamstring towards the end.
“The players need a break, we have given them a few days off as we have no midweek game and hopefully they can re-charge their batteries. Then we look forward to going to Ibrox next Saturday.”
Stranraer manager Keith Knox:
Live twitter updates from Stair Park as Motherwell take on Stranraer in the Scottish Cup Fifth Round.
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.”
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]
‘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 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]
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
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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]