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    Bruised Lasley up for Pittodrie battle

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    McCall’s only focus is three points

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    Aberdeen Tickets & Travel

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    My worst ever

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    McCall hurt by painful lesson

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    Rangers defeat in pictures

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    Rangers 6 – 0 Motherwell

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    Motherwell U19s 1 – 2 Hamilton U19s

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    Rangers tickets on sale at Ibrox

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    Jones puts friendships on hold

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    Bruised Lasley up for Pittodrie battle

    Motherwell stalwart Keith Lasley is ready to play through the pain barrier for the Steelmen as ‘Well head north to face their old gaffer.

    Lasley was touch-and-go before kick-off at Ibrox but played the entire match, and turned in an exemplary performance in the middle of the park, despite the scoreline – with Stuart McCall, today, describing him as ‘the best Motherwell player on the pitch’.

    With the help of painkilling injections, the 31-year old is looking to turn in a similar performance – with a different outcome – at Pittodrie.

    “I’m still a bit sore, taking the odd painkiller but I managed to get through the game against Rangers,” Lasley said. “The adrenalin takes a little bit of pain away but I’m fit to play again. I wanted to play. I want to play every game.” 

    “We’re still positive despite the fact that we have had a rocky period. You can see how tight the SPL is. The team that has a consistent run is going to be the team that gets in the top six. We’re hoping to start that at Aberdeen.”

    The former Plymouth midfielder was full of praise for his former boss, Craig Brown. The 70-year old, now in charge of the Dons, was clearly a popular gaffer with the players and he is looking forward to seeing the former Scotland manager again.

    Although, he acknowledges that the pleasantries might not be so forthcoming from the Motherwell enclosure: “We know the fans will give them a nice reception, I’m sure,” Lasley smiled.

    “That’s part of the game but all we can take away from this game is three points and that’s what we will try to do. The fact Craig and Archie are there is irrelevant in that sense.

    “Before the game I’m sure there will be a few pleasantries between the players and Craig and Archie because they were popular – but when it comes to game time we are going there to beat them and they will be no different.

    “They are popular characters with the boys, got on well with everybody that was here. In the time they were here, they did well for the club. There are not too many people with bad things to say about them, they chose to move on and we’re going up tomorrow as Motherwell players to do the best for Motherwell.

    “Once the whistle goes, it doesn’t really matter who the Aberdeen manager is, we’re up there to try to get three points and push Motherwell back into the top six.”

  • Archive

    McCall’s only focus is three points

    Stuart McCall says the trip to Pittodrie is about regaining pride – not getting revenge on Craig Brown and Archie Knox.

    The veteran management duo, who steered the Steelmen to fifth place last year, left Motherwell towards the end of 2010 to take up the position as manager of Aberdeen.

    And with Nick Blackman also now plying his trade with the Dons, some are billing this clash as a potential powder-keg, but ‘Well boss McCall insists he is more concerned with bouncing back from the 6-0 defeat at Ibrox rather than who is in the opposition dugout.

    “It doesn’t matter to me that it’s Craig and Archie, although I have the utmost respect for both of them,” the 46-year old said bluntly.

    “It doesn’t matter to me that it’s Nick Blackman, it doesn’t matter that it’s Aberdeen. It just matters  that it’s a game – and a game early enough to get the disappointment of Saturday out of our system and put in a positive performance full of character and pride.”

    Despite a disappointing afternoon at Ibrox, McCall is still confident his charges can secure a top six berth this season.

    The former Bradford boss has not enjoyed much luck in terms of injuries since taking the reins at Fir Park and his wafer-thin squad is being stretched to the limits at the moment, as illustrated by his youthful, inexperienced line-up at the home of the champions.

    Yet, the manager knows – with such a tight SPL – that his side are just a couple of wins away from rocketing up the table. The next three games will be paramount to that hope.

    “Although the squad is limited in numbers, I feel we have the quality to go up to Aberdeen and get a positive result” he said, positively.

    “Regardless of who we are playing, it’s about us going and getting a positive result and putting in a performance we know the lads are capable of. We lost to St Johnstone to a really, really soft penalty; we lost against Kilmarnock after dominating the second half. I’ve seen enough in the way we’ve played to suggest that we can get results and get challenge for that sixth spot.
    “We’ve got to be looking to pick up a minimum of seven points from the next three games and there’s no reason why we can’t do that if we approach it in the right manner and play to the standard I know we are capable of. There are probably four or five sides fighting for sixth spot and I don’t think there is much between the sides.”

  • Archive

    Aberdeen Tickets & Travel

    Motherwell make the long journey north to take on Craig Brown’s Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Tuesday.

    The Steelmen, hurting from the heavy 6-0 defeat at the hands of Rangers on Saturday, will be looking to pick up a win and three points that would move them above St Johnstone, Dundee Utd and Inverness CT into fifth place.

    Despite some injury problems of their own, the Dons will be the fresher of the two sides having had their game at St Johnstone postponed due to the heavy rain.

    Motherwell fans will be housed in the traditional P, Q and R sections of the South Stand with admission on the gate priced at:

    Adults: £22
    Concession: £16
    Juvenile: £9

    • Concessions are listed as Under 18s and Over 60s and full-time students with a valid matric card.
    • Juveniles are listed as 12 and under.
    • All tickets purchased for the previous match, which was postponed, will be honoured.
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact Elaine MacDonald at the club on 01698 338009 or email tickets@motherwellfc.co.uk.


    One Supporters Association coach will make their way to the match:


    The bus for Pittodrie will leave the Bentley Hotel at 3pm. Phone Jim on (01698) 299650 or e-mail Christopher on christopher_hutton@btinternet.com.


    BY CAR

    The stadium is located to the North of the city near the harbour and is well signposted for travelling fans.

    Head North on the A90 towards Aberdeen and then join the A956. Follow this road through the city and you will eventually come to the stadium on your right.

    If travelling from the West, follow the A96 into Aberdeen and turn left on to Machar Drive (A978) at the roundabout. Proceed along the A978 and then turn right on to King Street. The stadium will be clearly visible on the left.

    There is a large car park at the ground but this is for pass holders only. Street parking is available in the side streets around the stadium and on the esplanade along the sea front, which is on the other side of the golf course.

    BY BUS

    Several operators run buses to Aberdeen, departing every hour from Buchanan Station in Glasgow city centre.

    Further information and timetables are available online at www.citylink.co.uk.


    Aberdeen station may be a 25 to 30 minute walk from Pittodrie but travelling by train remains a popular and affordable way of getting to the Granite City.

    Upon leaving the station, turn left, walk across the bridge and then turn right on to Union Street. Walk down to the road end, where you will reach Castle Gate. Proceed through the Castle Gate and on to Park Street, which eventually becomes Golf Road. The stadium will be clearly visible on the left.

    Further information and timetables are available online at www.scotrail.co.uk.


  • Archive

    My worst ever

    Last week, circumstances meant I had to wait until the day after the match before I could email you. This week, it was deliberate on my part as I wanted to cool off first and foremost and, secondly, I wanted to watch the whole game again so I had a better understanding of just what happened so I could come and speak to the fans with a clear head.

    I would like thank the 200 or so ‘Well fans that made the trip along to Ibrox and apologise for the result. Losing by such a margin is not acceptable however I would say, without searching for excuses, there were mitigating circumstances.

    Take our defence for example –four of the back five were 21 and under and, for the most part, largely inexperienced. These lads are hurting right now as it would’ve been a shock to them, but at the same time, it is part and parcel of their learning and development.

    I would also say that we met a Rangers side who were at the top of their game. If you are to beat the Old Firm, either on your own patch or theirs, then we need to have the game of our lives and, at the same time, they need to have an off day. Unfortunately for us, neither happened.

    The game was also a good learner for me. As a manager, you are always learning things about yourself and your team. Yes, it was a harsh lesson yesterday, but the test is how everyone at the club reacts and that will be the test with Aberdeen, Hamilton and St Mirren in the next three matches.

    These are vital matches for us, particularly the double header at home. If we can take some positive results, then we are right back in the race for a top six spot; such is the nature of the SPL right now.

    I need you, the fans, to stick with us. I know you are hurting from yesterday’s result but I promise you right now, no one is hurting more than me. We have a young team who are learning their trade and we might have days, like at Ibrox, where there is collateral damage. But it’s a long term plan we have here – developing younger players, getting them fixed on deals that will aid their development and protect the club.

    Thanks again for your support and for those going to Pittodrie on Tuesday night, safe travelling.

    Forever Claret and Amber

    Stuart McCall

  • Archive

    McCall hurt by painful lesson

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall was gutted after watching his side crash to a 6-0 defeat at Ibrox this afternoon.

    The Steelmen came up against a ruthless Rangers side who tucked away just about every chance they created during the ninety minutes.

    And looking back on his game plan, the former Bradford boss admitted a slow start cost his side dear.

    He said:  “We knew it was going to be tough and wanted to keep it tight for the first ten minutes, but we didn’t do that.

    “I thought after we went one nil down we weren’t at the races for ten minutes. But we battled back and, frustratingly, they scored just after our best spell of the game; Jones hitting the side netting and Sutton heading just over. You could sense at that time the crowd and the players were getting a bit anxious, but we got hit with a sucker punch and lost two goals in a short space of time.

    “Thereafter it was damage limitation. It was hugely disappointing but we had a lot of young boys in there; Page, Hutchinson and Gunning who probably won’t come against players like Jelavic, Diouf and Wiess when they are on that form.

    “When they are on the top of their game they are an excellent side, and today they were on the top of their game and we weren’t. It is now about how quickly we get over that, this is always a tough game regardless of the situation.

    “We now have to look to Aberdeen on Tuesday and back to back home games with Hamilton and St Mirren; it is results against these three that will shape our season, not the result today.”

    It was a harsh lesson for the young Steelmen side, with four of the back five 21 or under and the hosts, awash with International experience, punished any mistakes.

    McCall was keen to look to the positives though, pointing out that the younger players can often learn more from games like that than a victory.

    “I’ve said to Hutchinson not to beat himself up, the movement of Jelavic was fantastic; experienced defenders would struggle with that,” McCall sighed.

    “I’ll sit down individually with a couple of them and look at the goals; it’s a learning process and it is how you come back as a group and as individuals from a result like this.

    “It was a painful lesson but I doubt if we will come up against players on the top of their form like this too often in the future.

    “We went three at the back to try to combat Jelavic.  We saw at the semi final how he found space with just two centre backs. But even with the spare man he still managed to get in behind on occasions which was disappointing.”

  • Archive

    Rangers defeat in pictures

    Pictures from the 6-0 defeat by Rangers in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Ibrox.

    These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.

    [svgallery name=”rangers120211″]

  • Archive

    Rangers 6 – 0 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell crashed to a heavy 6-0 defeat as a rampant Rangers side ran riot at Ibrox this afternoon.

    A hat-trick from Nikica Jelavic as well as goals from Naismith, Healy and a Shaun Hutchinson own goal gave Water Smith’s men the convincing win.

    ‘Well battled hard but a more experienced and, at times, ruthless Rangers proved too much in the end in an afternoon to forget for the Fir Parkers.

    Stuart McCall made just one change from the side that disposed of Stranraer seven day ago. Steven Saunders dropped out with a hamstring injury, although he would’ve missed the game anyway through suspension, and was replaced by fellow youngster Jonathan Page.

    The home side almost made the perfect start inside the opening minute when the much-talked about El Hadji Diouf raced beyond the ‘Well defensive line after a wonderful through ball by Vladimir Weiss. However, Darren Randolph was quick off his line, forcing the Senegalese striker to prod the ball way wide.

    However, lessons weren’t learned and Rangers took the lead with their second attack. Weiss done well to work space on the left flank and his low, tantalising cross was slid home by Steven Naismith who was afforded the freedom of the six yard box.

    Rangers continued to dominate and Jelavic almost doubled their lead after getting on the end of another Weiss ball but his trundling effort rolled wide of the post with Randolph looking fairly comfortable.

    Slovak Weiss was again in the thick of things a few minutes later when he went over in the box. Despite howls from the home stands, referee Alan Muir waved away the protest.

    The Steelmen somewhat weathered the early storm and almost got themselves back in the game with two decent chances. The first fell to Northern Irishman Steve Jones who fired into the side net after some smart lead-up play and the second, from John Sutton, dropped just over the bar after a fantastic passing move in the build-up.

    However, as so often happens in football, with Motherwell slowly creeping their way back into the game, Rangers hit on the counter and doubled their lead. After winning the ball in the middle of the park with ‘Well on the attack, Rangers quickly sent Whittaker clear on the right flank. He, in turn, slid in Jelavic who had the simple task to tuck under Randolph for 2-0.

    It quickly turned from bad to worse for ‘Well when Rangers added a third two minutes later. Craigan’s foul on Bartley, which produced the first caution of the game, allowed Weiss to whip in a cross that was flicked into the net by Jelavic again. Disaster for Motherwell!

    To be fair to the Fir Parkers, they regrouped again and almost pulled one back, but shots from Jones and Gavin Gunning were both blocked by a stubborn Rangers defence.

    Six minutes into the second half and ‘Well boss Stuart McCall switched things around by introducing Ross Forbes in place of Jonathan Page and bulking up the midfield.
    And the youngster almost made an instant impression when he fired a superb dipping shot at goal which forced Alan McGregor into an excellent one-handed block.

    The game slowed to walking pace and only burst back to life on the 70th minute when Fleck flicked a Whittaker cross towards goal, but Keith Lasley was close enough to make the important block. Darren Randolph matched that with an important block of his own two minutes later when he thwarted debutant David Healy with a smart low save.

    With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Rangers put the game beyond doubt when Shaun Hutchinson was the unfortunate man who turned the ball into his own net. Davis burst clear through the middle before feeding Fleck on the flank – his teasing low ball across the face was turned into the net by the Geordie youngster with Jelavic waiting to pounce behind him.

    However, the Croatian wouldn’t be denied his hat-trick when he smashed low under Randolph from just inside the area. With seven minutes left, Healy got amongst the scorers too when he got the break of the ball inside the box and drilled home under Randolph.

    That was the end of the goals in what was a sore day for the Steelmen. However, with Aberdeen, Hamilton and St Mirren coming up in the next ten days, Stuart McCall’s side will have little time to reflect on this afternoon’s heavy defeat.

    [tab:As it happened]

    PA at Ibrox Stadium

    90mins – The referee ends the match.

    89mins – John Fleck gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ross Forbes. Shaun Hutchinson restarts play with the free kick.

    88mins – Corner taken left-footed by Ross Forbes.

    87mins – Madjid Bougherra challenges Francis Jeffers unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ross Forbes shoots direct from the free kick, brilliant save by Allan McGregor.

    87mins – John Fleck takes a shot. Shaun Hutchinson gets a block in.

    85mins – Steven Whittaker takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

    83mins – John Fleck concedes a free kick for a foul on Tom Hateley. Direct free kick taken by Gavin Gunning.

    82mins – GOAL – David Healy: Rangers 6 – 0 Motherwell A goal is scored by David Healy from close in low into the middle of the goal. Rangers 6-0 Motherwell.

    81mins – Corner taken by Tom Hateley played to the near post.

    81mins – Ross Forbes takes a shot. Maurice Edu gets a block in.

    81mins – Chris Humphrey fouled by Sasa Papac, the ref awards a free kick. Ross Forbes takes the free kick.

    80mins – Madjid Bougherra challenges Stephen Craigan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

    78mins – Assist on the goal came from Sasa Papac.

    78mins – GOAL – Nikica Jelavic: Rangers 5 – 0 Motherwell Nikica Jelavic grabs a goal from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Rangers 5-0 Motherwell.

    78mins – Centre by John Fleck, clearance made by Steve Jennings.

    75mins – GOAL – Shaun Hutchinson: Rangers 4 – 0 Motherwell Shaun Hutchinson concedes an unfortunate own goal. Rangers 4-0 Motherwell.

    74mins – Unfair challenge on Maurice Edu by Gavin Gunning results in a free kick. The ball is delivered by Vladimir Weiss, Nikica Jelavic has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.

    74mins – Booking Gavin Gunning shown a yellow card.

    73mins – Substitution John Sutton leaves the field to be replaced by Francis Jeffers.

    72mins – Shot by David Weir from outside the box goes over the target.

    72mins – A cross is delivered by John Fleck.

    72mins – Vladimir Weiss decides to take the corner short.

    72mins – David Healy takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

    72mins – Keith Lasley challenges John Fleck unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Davis takes the direct free kick.

    71mins – The ball is sent over by David Healy.

    70mins – Foul by Ross Forbes on Vladimir Weiss, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Vladimir Weiss.

    70mins – A cross is delivered by Steven Whittaker, Jamie Murphy gets a block in.

    69mins – Substitution Kyle Bartley leaves the field to be replaced by Maurice Edu.

    69mins – Corner taken by Vladimir Weiss.

    68mins – Substitution Jamie Murphy replaces Steve Jones.

    68mins – Centre by Steven Whittaker, Steven Davis takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Craigan.

    66mins – The ball is sent over by Ross Forbes.

    65mins – The ball is crossed by Tom Hateley, Allan McGregor makes a save.

    64mins – Centre by Tom Hateley, David Weir manages to make a clearance.

    63mins – Madjid Bougherra gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Sutton. Free kick taken by Shaun Hutchinson.

    63mins – Substitution David Healy is brought on as a substitute for El-Hadji Diouf.

    61mins – Ross Forbes challenges El-Hadji Diouf unfairly and gives away a free kick. Madjid Bougherra takes the direct free kick.

    61mins – Booking Ross Forbes is shown a yellow card.

    60mins – Corner taken by Tom Hateley from the left by-line to the near post, save by Allan McGregor.

    58mins – Unfair challenge on Vladimir Weiss by Ross Forbes results in a free kick. Vladimir Weiss takes the direct free kick.

    57mins – Unfair challenge on John Fleck by Gavin Gunning results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Vladimir Weiss.

    57mins – Booking Madjid Bougherra receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

    57mins – John Fleck takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.

    56mins – Corner taken right-footed by Tom Hateley from the left by-line, clearance made by Madjid Bougherra.

    55mins – Ross Forbes takes a shot. Brilliant save by Allan McGregor.

    52mins – Sasa Papac crosses the ball.

    51mins – Substitution Ross Forbes is brought on as a substitute for Jonathan Page.

    51mins – Centre by Madjid Bougherra, clearance made by Stephen Craigan.

    50mins – Sasa Papac sends in a cross, blocked by Stephen Craigan.

    48mins – Steve Jennings gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Whittaker. Direct free kick taken by Madjid Bougherra.

    47mins – A cross is delivered by Nikica Jelavic, John Fleck produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

    46mins – El-Hadji Diouf fouled by Steve Jennings, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Madjid Bougherra.

    45mins – The referee gets the second half underway.

    45mins – The referee blows for half time.

    45mins – Tom Hateley concedes a free kick for a foul on Vladimir Weiss. Vladimir Weiss delivers the ball from the free kick left footed from left wing, Darren Randolph makes a save.

    44mins – John Fleck produces a cross, Shot from inside the six-yard box by Nikica Jelavic goes wide right of the target.

    41mins – Substitution John Fleck is brought on as a substitute for Steven Naismith.

    41mins – Vladimir Weiss crosses the ball.

    40mins – The ball is crossed by Steve Jones, Sasa Papac manages to make a clearance.

    40mins – A cross is delivered by Steve Jones, clearance by Steven Whittaker.

    39mins – Steve Jones takes a shot. Blocked by Madjid Bougherra.

    38mins – Inswinging corner taken by Tom Hateley from the left by-line, clearance made by Kyle Bartley.

    37mins – Free kick awarded for a foul by David Weir on Chris Humphrey. Free kick crossed right-footed by Tom Hateley from right channel, clearance made by Madjid Bougherra.

    36mins – Stephen Craigan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kyle Bartley. Assist on the goal came from Vladimir Weiss.

    36mins – GOAL – Nikica Jelavic: Rangers 3 – 0 Motherwell Nikica Jelavic fires in a goal from close range to the top right corner of the goal. Rangers 3-0 Motherwell.

    35mins – Booking The referee books Stephen Craigan for unsporting behaviour.

    33mins – Steven Whittaker provided the assist for the goal.

    33mins – GOAL – Nikica Jelavic: Rangers 2 – 0 Motherwell Nikica Jelavic finds the net with a goal from inside the area low into the middle of the goal. Rangers 2-0 Motherwell.

    32mins – The ball is sent over by Gavin Gunning, Header from deep inside the area by John Sutton goes over the bar.

    31mins – Steve Jones has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the goal.

    31mins – Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Humphrey by Nikica Jelavic. Tom Hateley crosses the ball in from the free kick.

    30mins – Steven Whittaker concedes a free kick for a foul on Steve Jones. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Tom Hateley from left wing, David Weir manages to make a clearance.

    30mins – Gavin Gunning crosses the ball, blocked by Steven Naismith.

    27mins – The ball is crossed by El-Hadji Diouf, Shaun Hutchinson makes a clearance.

    25mins – Tom Hateley concedes a free kick for a foul on Vladimir Weiss. Sasa Papac restarts play with the free kick.

    25mins – A cross is delivered by Chris Humphrey, blocked by Sasa Papac.

    25mins – Chris Humphrey delivers the ball, Sasa Papac gets a block in.

    22mins – Vladimir Weiss takes a shot. Jonathan Page gets a block in.

    21mins – Foul by Jonathan Page on Nikica Jelavic, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by El-Hadji Diouf.

    20mins – The ball is sent over by El-Hadji Diouf, clearance by Stephen Craigan.

    19mins – The ball is swung over by El-Hadji Diouf, save made by Darren Randolph.

    18mins – Vladimir Weiss takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by John Sutton.

    18mins – Madjid Bougherra sends in a cross, clearance by John Sutton.

    17mins – Short corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf from the right by-line.

    17mins – Kyle Bartley crosses the ball, clearance made by Jonathan Page.

    14mins – The ball is swung over by Gavin Gunning, Kyle Bartley gets a block in.

    14mins – Foul by Steven Whittaker on Steve Jones, free kick awarded. Gavin Gunning takes the free kick.

    13mins – Close range shot by Nikica Jelavic misses to the left of the target.

    12mins – Steven Davis takes a shot. Blocked by Tom Hateley.

    11mins – Foul by Jonathan Page on El-Hadji Diouf, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Vladimir Weiss from right channel.

    10mins – The ball is crossed by Tom Hateley, Sasa Papac makes a clearance.

    8mins – Gavin Gunning fouled by Kyle Bartley, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

    4mins – The assist for the goal came from Vladimir Weiss.

    4mins – GOAL – Steven Naismith: Rangers 1 – 0 Motherwell Steven Naismith scores a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rangers 1-0 Motherwell.

    4mins – The ball is crossed by Steve Jones, save by Allan McGregor.

    3mins – Outswinging corner taken right-footed by El-Hadji Diouf, Header by Kyle Bartley from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.

    1min – Shot by El-Hadji Diouf from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.

    1min – Shaun Hutchinson produces a cross, clearance made by Madjid Bougherra.

    1min – Foul by Steven Naismith on John Sutton, free kick awarded. Stephen Craigan takes the free kick.

    1min – The referee gets the match started.


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “We’ve got to regroup and regroup quickly and go to a more important game, if you like, at Aberdeen. We struggled to shape up a side until this morning with the injuries we had.

    “We didn’t want to concede an early goal to a side who, if they get an early goal, they have players who can destroy you and that’s what happened.

    “I did feel, after the first five to 10 minutes, we did start getting back into the game.

    “Steve Jones had a chance and hit the side-netting and Chris Sutton’s headed inches over with a terrific move and, at that stage, the crowd were getting a bit tense and anxious and we were beginning to put some passes together and then we got hit with a sucker punch.

    “Then we lose another straight after from a free-kick.”

    Rangers manager Walter Smith:

    “We’ve three new players in. We have to give them a chance to play, integrate them into the team. They’ve been working hard to get up to speed and we are delighted with them.

    “We played very well today. It was only a couple of weeks ago that Motherwell made it very difficult for us in the semi-final of the Co-operative Insurance Cup.

    “We managed to get a goal early on, which settled us down. Then after 20 minutes Motherwell had their best spell of the game, at the end of which we scored with a break-away. I’m delighted with the win.”


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  • Archive

    Motherwell U19s 1 – 2 Hamilton U19s

    A Euan Lindsay double gave Hamilton Accies all three points in a keenly contested Lanarkshire derby this afternoon.

    The New Douglas Park men grabbed the vital first just before the interval and doubled their advantage twelve minutes from time.

    However, a spirited Motherwell continued to battle and were rewarded when substitute Keiran McGachie bulleted home a close range header.

    It wasn’t enough though as Accies held on for the three points which puts them just two behind ‘Well in the Under 19s table, albeit having played a game more.

    Accies started the game on the front foot and maintained that for the majority of the first half. However, Steve Howarth would register the first shot of the game after just two minutes when he took advantage of some decent hold up play by Lee Erwin but the former Clyde man dragged his shot from the edge of the area a good few yards wide of Kennedy’s left hand post.

    Five minutes later, the same player had another decent chance when he raced on to a lovely Keiran McDonald through ball but his low effort was saved by the feet of the Accies goalkeeper.

    It certainly wasn’t one way traffic at that stage though as the visitors had chances of their own. Euan Lindsay flicked a header from the penalty spot bouncing wide of the post and Pittman really should’ve put his side ahead when he collected a weak clearance but could only drag his low shot wide of the post.

    Both sides traded half chances from distance, Lindsay again for Accies and Josh Watt for ‘Well, but nothing that would trouble either goalkeeper.

    However, as the half wore on, the visitors began to get the upper hand. There were howls of protest from the Accies bench when Roxburgh was denied by an excellent low save from Bradley on the edge of his box. The accusation was that the Welshman handled outside his area but video evidence backed up the referee’s call to wave play on.

    However, four minutes before the break, the Hoops took the lead. Good play down the left flank was rewarded when winger Roxburgh cut the ball back for Lindsay on the edge of the area. The midfielder produced an excellent curling finish high into the top right hand corner leaving ‘Well keeper Bradley with no chance.

    Just before the interval, ‘Well almost took advantage of some sloppy play in the Accies defence when Howarth raced through and although his shot beat the goalkeeper, it was rescued by McGlinchey although it looked to be rolling wide in any case.

    A half-time chat by Gordon Young appeared to make some difference as ‘Well came out the traps in the second half with a little bit more spring in their step.

    A decent header from Erwin forced Kennedy to tip round and the same player raced through, after a lovely one-two with Howarth on the half-way line, but his dinked effort dropped agonisingly wide of the post when it looked to be bouncing in.

    You had a feeling then that Erwin’s chance was the big one and it proved to be the case as Accies eventually doubled their lead.

    Another flowing move, this time down the right, ended when Pittman curled a shot off the underside of the crossbar from twenty yards. It fell fortuitously at the feet of Lindsay who tapped home his, and Hamilton’s, second of the afternoon with just twelve minutes left on the clock.

    To Gordon Young’s credit, he introduced strikers Craig Moore and Keiran McGachie and went with three up front in search of goals and he was rewarded when the latter of the two gave Motherwell hope with two minutes left to play.

    A cross from the left found another substitute, Chris Connor, who produced an excellent header well saved by Kennedy. The resulting corner was met by the former Stenhousemuir man and he bulleted home from a few yards out.

    Frustratingly for ‘Well, Accies held their nerve and played the remaining few minutes deep in the Motherwell corners.

    Motherwell: Bradley, Brown, Sloan, Murray, McKinnon, Watt, Carswell, Halsman (Connor 75mins), MacDonald (McGachie 82mins), Erwin (Moore 79mins), Howarth

    Subs Not Used: Muir, Griffin, McLean, Ashgar

  • Archive

    Rangers tickets on sale at Ibrox

    Fans who still want to go to the game at Ibrox should note that tickets will be on sale from the Ibrox Ticket Office tomorrow (Saturday).

    Open from 10.30am until 2.30pm – tickets are priced at:

    Adults: £24
    Concessions: £12

    • Concessions are listed as Under 16s and Over 65s
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact Elaine MacDonald at the club on 01698 338009 or email tickets@motherwellfc.co.uk.
  • Archive

    Jones puts friendships on hold

    It will be something of an old pal’s act at Ibrox as Steve Jones aims to topple Rangers tomorrow.

    The 29-times capped winger has always held aspirations of turning out at Ibrox, and will get that chance if selected at the weekend.

    [onlymembers]And it is quite likely that he will have some friendly compatriots to keep him company at the home of the Scottish Premier League champions.

    “David (Healy) and Steve (Davis) are good friends from the Northern Ireland setup, and I got a few texts before coming to Motherwell wishing me all the best,” the 34-year old said with a smile

    “It was good to see some of those lads at Hampden and hopefully I’ll see them again at Ibrox.”

    “As a kid I’ve always wanted to play at Ibrox so hopefully I will get the chance. It’s been a dream of mine since watching the atmosphere at Old Firm matches. Playing in big arenas enhances you as a player, so I hope to perform well at the weekend.

    “We know what a tough match it will be, but as a professional these are the matches that you always want to be involved in.

    “Last time we played Rangers I thought we were going to go on and win the match when we got it back to 1-1. But they, as Rangers do, went up and grabbed a goal to hit us for six.”

    Jones has impressed massively in his short spell in claret and amber. The former Burnley and Bradford wide-man has played five times for the Steelmen since joining in January, and has displayed promising trickery, acceleration and end product.

    A first goal for ‘Well wasn’t long in arriving, either, with a strike to open the scoring against Stranraer last week. It is patently clear that Jones has enjoyed his start to life in North Lanarkshire.

    “I’m settling in really well, the lads are all good and, of course, it helps that I know the gaffer from my days at Bradford,” Jones said.

    “I’ve really enjoyed my time so far and it’s great to come up here and play some football. Hopefully I’ll keep doing well and we get some wins on the board for Motherwell.”[/onlymembers]