Pictures from the 1-0 win over Hamilton Accies in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.
Pictures from the 1-0 win over Hamilton Accies in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.
Well, what can you say about today? I said at our weekly press conference on Thursday that the main aim of any derby match is to win and take the three points.
With that in mind, it is mission accomplished! If or when you watch the game back on BBC Alba you’ll see that we created a number of chances and only the performance of their goalkeeper, Thomas Cerny, has kept them in it. In truth, we should’ve been out of sight by the interval and because we weren’t, it was a little nervier that perhaps it had to be in the closing stages.
That being said, Darren Randolph has not really had anything to do. Speaking of Darren, I talked a few weeks ago about the keeper only having a couple of cleansheets left to equal John Ruddy’s record from last year. Well, I am delighted to say with this afternoon shutout, he now has fifteen, the same as last season; let’s hope he can break that record on Wednesday night against St Mirren?
Whilst we are on the subject of defending and keeping goals out, how good was big Shaun Hutchinson today? Hutch, alongside Stephen Craigan, was excellent and kept a tight rein on their only striker, which restricted Accies to just one shot on target the whole afternoon.
I opted to start with the same formation as Tuesday night which I think worked for the most part. It’s hard on the likes of Stevie Hammell and Chris Humphrey but today was the first time since I’ve arrived at the club that I’ve had a bit of a selection dilemma. It was always going to be a difficult game against Accies, the way they play is different to Aberdeen but credit to our lads, I think they managed to handle it and were the better team for most of the game.
Looking ahead to Wednesday, Steven Saunders and Steve Jones are getting ever closer to a return and will probably start training again this week. That means we could have another two bodies pushing for a first-team slot. It’s a problem, but any manager will tell you, it’s a great problem to have.
Just finally I want to say thank you to the supporters at Fir Park today. I thought the backing the team received was magnificent – even when things were getting a wee bit nervy and they were throwing everything into the area, we had chants and shouts encouraging the team and that really helps. I keep repeating that we’ve got a young team, who are learning, and the positive backing you are giving them will really help their development.
I want the players to repay you with good, honest, hard-working performances and I thought we got that today. I’ve been told in the past that Hamilton have maybe outfought Motherwell in recent derbies, well, when the going got tough this afternoon, I felt we dug in both on and off the park so well done to you all.
Keep it up on Wednesday night, maybe try and encourage a few of your friends and family to join you if you can, and hopefully we can pick up another three points and really put the pressure on Kilmarnock in 4th.
Forever Claret and Amber
A John Sutton penalty nine minutes from half-time gave Motherwell a deserved win against Hamilton Accies this afternoon.
In truth, it could – and perhaps should – have been more comfortable for the Steelmen but they found Accies keeper Tomáš Černý in sensational form, with the Czech keeper making terrific saves from Jamie Murphy, Francis Jeffers and Ross Forbes.
Accies rarely troubled Darren Randolph’s goal, their best chance falling to Mickael Antoine-Curier at the start of the second half but the Guadeloupian striker could only head way over.
The win cements Motherwell’s place in the top half with tricky home ties against St Mirren and Celtic coming up this week.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall opted to go with the same starting eleven that won at Pittodrie, but unlike Tuesday night’s game it was a slow start – as has unfortunately become the norm in these games.
It was Accies who sparked the game to light with a quick fire double chance ten or so minutes in. The first, from Flávio Paixão, was an audacious 45-yard lob that had Randolph scrambling back towards his line but the Irishman recovered in plenty to make the comfortable catch.
Two minutes later Jon Routledge got on the end of a decent Jim McAlister cross from the left but his header dropped just over the cross bar.
That seemed to spark the Steelmen to life and John Sutton came within inches of putting ‘Well ahead. Gavin Gunning got into a great position on the left flank and his lovely low ball across the face eluded the former St Mirren man by a matter of inches.
‘Well continued to attack as Hateley fired a free-kick just over and Jeffers had a low effort that forced Cerny into a catch. Gunning got in on the action too, getting on the end of a Hateley corner, but it bounced harmlessly wide of the post.
The Fir Park men continued to push and push and Francis Jeffers almost made it two goals in three days with another terrific header. Ross Forbes’ free-kick was put into a great area and the former Arsenal man peeled off his marker and turned the ball towards goal. But Černý was in great form and got down well to turn away with a terrific one-handed block.
Motherwell’s pressure finally paid off though when John Sutton put his side ahead from the penalty spot. Keith Lasley’s inconspicuous ball towards Sutton on the edge of the box didn’t look as it would cause many problems in the Accies defence but, as 27-year-old striker Suton turned, Martin Canning had both arms around him and wrestled him to the floor. Referee Crawford Allan was on hand and pointed to the spot. Sutton dusted himself down and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner for his ninth goal of the season.
‘Well sensed blood and Murphy almost doubled the advantage with a stinging low drive that Černý expertly saved again. If that save was good, his next stop was incredible. A free-kick on the edge of the box looked in Ross Forbes territory, and the midfielder duly delivered a fearsome strike that the Czech stopper somehow turned away with one hand.
That proved to be the last action of the first half, with the ‘Well players going into the dressing room probably wondering how they were only one head.
Incredibly, with the second period not even a minute old, Accies should’ve got back in the game. McAlister’s cross from the left found Antoine-Courier inside the area, the French-born striker got away from Craigan but could only head the ball over the bar once again.
The game slowed to a scrap even though Billy Reid changed things up, introducing Ali Crawford and Gary McDonald in place of new signings Carrington and Chambers.
Indeed, the second half was a virtual non-event until the closing stages when Accies threw everything in search of a leveller – with ‘Well content to pick them off on the break.
Jamie Murphy had a chance to kill things off when he was the benefactor of some excellent build-up play for Sutton and substitute Chris Humphrey. However, his low shot was again well held by the Accies keeper.
The same player went even closer three minutes later, meeting a terrific Tom Hateley cross with a neat header but it dropped just the wrong side of the post.
Further chances came and went for Humphrey, who made a lung-busting 60-yard spring before smashing over the bar, and John Sutton, who controlled a neat effort just a yard or so over the bar with Cerny at full stretch.
Accies could only muster a couple of long balls into the box but never really looked like getting the equaliser, despite some nervous faces amongst the ‘Well support.
[tab:As it happened]
Graham Barnstaple at Fir Park
Full time – 1-0 to the Well, first back to back League wins since the start of November against ICT and St. Johnstone
90mins – Only two minutes being added on
90mins – Hammell breaks from defence, passses to Murphy who sets up Sutton who bends a shot just over.
86mins – Humphrey bursts down right, and his 50 yard run sees him cut inside Skelton before firing a left foot shot over
84mins – Great chance for Murphy as he steers a header wide from 10 yards from a Humphrey cross
80mins – Cerny smothers Murphy shot after fine work from Humphrey and Sutton
72mins – Humphrey cross headed into arms of Cerny by Sutton
69mins – Double sub for Well – Hammell and Humphrey on for Forbes and Jeffers
64mins – Lasley booked for a late tackle, and crowd announced as 4407
61mins – Paixao shown yellow for a late tackle on Craigan, the Accies man is then taken off to be replaced by Hasselbaink
54mins – Double sub for Accies, McDonald and Crawford on for Carrington and Chambers
47mins – Accies should be level as McAlister sends a free header over from a Routledge cross
Half time – 1-0 and it’s thoroughly deserved, let’s hope we can keep it up in the second half
43mins – Stunning save by Cerny from a Forbes free kick 20 yards out, keeper is keeping them in it at the moment
40mins – BBC reporting “trouble” after the goal, all I saw was an over exuberant celebration from the East Stand – nothing to write home about
38mins – Cerny forced to scramble to save from a Murphy shot from the edge of the box
36mins – Sutton slots in as cool as you like with Cerny going the wrong way, his 9th of the season, and our first v Accies this season
35mins – Canning hauls Sutton over in the box and pen awarded to be taken by Sutton
30mins – Our best chance, Forbes free kick sees Jeffers run off Elebert but Cerny saves header well at full stretch
27mins – Hateley corner finds Gunning but his header falls harmlessly wide of the post.
22mins – Half way through the first half and so far it is typical Lanarkshire derby fare – and that is not a good thing
17mins – McLaughlin has just achieved the rare feat of sending the ball on to the roof of the Main Stand!!!
12mins – Gunning gallops down left and fires in a great cross but Sutton on the slide can’t connect
10mins – First real half chance as Routlege heads over a McAlister cross for the Accies, ball loops on to the roof of the net
6mins – Only thing to note so far is Skelton’s man marking of Murphy, it’s so tight they only need one jersey!
1mins – Motherwell kick off shooting towards the South Stand end, filled with the usual travelling Accies support
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“We said in the week that we would take a one nil from that type of game a derby produces. Our record against them this season hasn’t been great, I think overall their keeper has pulled off some excellent saves and ours has had nothing to do.
“On chances and possession it was merited and hard earned win.
“It was what I thought the game would be, they came here with three centre backs and man marked Jamie Murphy, it is hard to break down but we had some decent passing moves. The bottom line is a victory, we played far better against Kilmarnock and got nothing, the three points were crucial.”
Hamilton manager Billy Reid:
“I was disappointed with the penalty decision, I think it was soft. I think it happens all the time in the box.
“There was minimal contact, I think Sutton has thrown himself to the ground and I think the referee has been conned.”
Motherwell twice came from behind to rescue a point against Aberdeen at Bathgate this afternoon.
Aberdeen went ahead at the start of the second half; Dominco Gibson tucking home from close range. ‘Well hit back through Josh Watt but were pinned back again when Joe Shaughnessy looped a header over Tom Bradley.
However, with fifteen minutes left on the clock, super sub Keiran McGachie pounced to level things up and claim a point for his side.
It was a fairly even start to the game with both teams looking to make a positive early impression. The visitors had one or two half chances, but nothing that would overly trouble Tom Bradley in the home goal.
The first real chance of the game came on the thirteenth minute mark. A well-worked short corner on the right eventually found Steve Howarth inside the area but his intelligent near post flick ended just over the bar with the keeper grounded.
Shortly after, the same player raced clear of the Aberdeen defence, after a lovely through ball by McKinnon, but dragged his shot just wide of the post.
‘Well were starting to get the upper hand and a super move involving McKinnon, Halsman, Griffin and Howarth was almost completed when Keiran McDonald wrestled space inside the area but his low shot was deflected just the wrong side of the post as the Dons survived again.
The visitors began to creep their way back into the game and Tom Bradley had to look smart to keep out a deflected shot from Jamie Masson that the Dons had come close from a testing free-kick on the right flank.
With eight minutes left of the first half, Aberdeen had the ball in the net with a bizarre own goal, Stephen O’Neill’s ball across the face met by Griffin whose clearance cannoned off Ewan Murray into the net. Thankfully the assistant referee had his flag up for a goal kick as the ball had already crossed the line before the initial cross.
Neale Cooper’s side continued to push for the opener and Masson was denied again when his shot, from a Gibson cutback, was headed clear by Murray when it looked to be heading into the far corner of the net. And, on the stroke of half-time, Jordon Brown got in on the action but his back post header drifted harmlessly wide of the post.
The second half was devoid of some of the quality play in the first-half but was far more exciting as a game.
Evident when Aberdeen took the lead just seven minutes in. A cross from the right flank was touched away by Bradley, allowing O’Neill to collect. He got past Halsman before cutting the ball back for Gibson who was left with the simplest of tasks, tucking home from almost underneath the crossbar.
Motherwell hit back eight minutes later with an equaliser of some quality. Ross McKinnon collected the ball on the half way line and put ‘Well on the attack with a terrific ball out towards Josh Watt who was lurking on the right flank. The little winger twisted and turned, leaving Clark Robertson on the ground before smashing home a terrific left footed shot high into the top left hand corner.
Incredibly, within sixty seconds, Motherwell had the ball at the edge of the Dons area but Howarth’s attempted block was crowded out by a host of diving defenders.
Another seven minutes past and, unbelievably, Aberdeen somehow got themselves back ahead. A corner kick from the right was knocked away by McGachie only for the unmarked Shaughnessy to loop a header over Bradley and into the net.
Gordon Young’s men again chipped away looking for a leveller and found it courtesy of substitute Keiran McGachie. Steve Howarth was fouled on the edge of the area by Conor Devaney, allowing Ross McKinnon to have a dig at goal. The left-sider struck a stinging love drive that was parried by Lukasik, allowing the former Stenny man to pounce and he nodded home his second goal in successive weeks.
With fifteen minutes left, and the game finely poised, both teams pushed for what would be the winner. McGachie brought out the best in Lukasik with a decent low shot that was saved and Josh Watt came close to grabbing his second when he got on the end of a Chris Connor cross from the right but his header bounced just the wrong side of the post.
Connor himself had a late shot fly just over the bar on the stroke of full-time but neither side could add to their two goal haul and the game finished, probably deservedly, all square.
Motherwell: Bradley, Griffin, Halsman, Murray, Sloan, McKinnon, Watt, McDonald (Connor – 75mins), Carswell, Howarth, Erwin (McGachie – 59mins)
Ross Forbes hopes that an excellent midfield display against Aberdeen in midweek will herald a return to form – and regular first-team action.
The gifted young technician struggled to hold down a place in the starting line-up under the previous management regime and has been a flitting performer for Stuart McCall in recent weeks.
But, against Aberdeen in midweek, the 21-year old looked back to the form which saw him talked up as one of the hottest young properties in Scottish football in 2009, scoring five goals in ten matches form midfield under Jim Gannon.
“It’s a fresh start for everyone and I’ll do my best to impress everyone at the club, and if I do well enough then I’ll stay in the team,” Forbes, who excelled on the left of a midfield diamond against the Dons, said.
“It’s good to be back in the team and to bounce back with a 6-0 defeat with a great win up in Aberdeen is really pleasing – especially considered how well we played on the night.
“The gaffer was a top player in the same position as me and I’ll be trying to take as much as possible from him and really learn the game more.”
Forbes must hope that his accomplished display up north is enough to claim a place in the starting eleven on Saturday afternoon.
Hamilton are the visitors to Fir Park for a Lanarkshire showdown, and the former Dumbarton loan-star admits that he is desperate to be involved in a game which he acknowledges has an extra edge.
Ross continued: “We’ll take massive amounts of confidence from the win on Tuesday. Aberdeen is such a hard place to go and it was important to get the result with the derby coming up at the weekend.
“There’s an extra edge to these games and we will be going all-out to claim all three points. But we know that we will have to play very well to achieve that.
“We have to take the game seriously; we have lost and drew with Hamilton this season and it’s up to us to prove a point – you can’t look at the form, it means nothing for a derby game.”
The club’s official eBay store is full of claret and amber goodies you won’t find anywhere else!
From signed merchandise to hospitality packages and money can’t buy experiences, fans have the chance to get their hands on some exclusive Motherwell memorabilia.
Previous auctions have included match-worn shirts, signed footballs, programmes, tickets, and even sponsor rights. Right now, we have Steve Jennings and John Sutton’s Co-operative Insurance Cup Semi Final shirts, 1991 10th Anniversary Programme, Breidablik Home and Away programmes and a money-can’t-buy Restaurant Review with top ‘Well fan Tam Cowan.
CLICK HERE to browse everything at our official eBay store.
The club also run charity auctions from time to time where all proceeds go towards one of the many local charities we support.
If you wish to donate an item please contact us on 01698 333 333 or email email@example.com.
Standard eBay terms and conditions apply to any purchases made on eBay. All items subject are to availability. Happy bidding!
Join us this midweek and enjoy the St Mirren game in style with one of our fantastic hospitality packages.
Available from just £35 to Season Ticket Holders, a Season Ticket Family of four can book from just £110 (2 adults & 2 kids).
Match Day Host, Stevie Kirk will meet and greet you at the door before showing you to your table. Expect a visit from First Team players and of course matchday photographer who will be on-hand to snap your lasting momento of your day.
Meet your heroes of the past as MFC welcome our Former Players Club this weekend to join us in the Centenary for Stevie’s pre-match banter and fun and don’t forget to visit Motherwell Legend Dougie Arnott at the Bar!
Stuart McCall expects Saturday’s Lanarkshire derby to be a lively spectacle after making his ‘Well bow in a tame affair at New Douglas Park.
A 0-0 draw with Hamilton, low on quality and incident, represented McCall’s first match in charge of the Steelmen, but the Motherwell boss expects much better this weekend after witnessing the passion of his troops in midweek.
“I thought, in my first game in charge, it was quite mild really, but it was a poor match,” the former Bradford boss acknowledged.
“I expect something fiercer at home. I looked at the boys in the dressing room on Tuesday and saw the desire they have, and they took that out on to the pitch. We need to show the same again.
“In a derby match you can expect it to be frenetic and we need to be up for the fight, that’s for sure.”
The ‘Well boss was quick to laugh off any suggestions that his side may take Accies lightly.
Billy Reid’s charges lie rooted to the bottom of the SPL and look likely to be entrenched in a relegation battle for the rest of the season, but their form against Motherwell has been excellent.
“There will be no chance of us underestimating them – we’ve played them twice this season and still haven’t scored against them,” McCall vehemently insisted.
“It’ll be a battle; a scrap. But we’ll do our best and hopefully get the result – which is the most important thing. They are fighting for their lives and we know it will be tough.”
The Motherwell gaffer was typically focused ahead of a massive Lanarkshire derby this weekend but, as he addressed the assembled press, he did take a moment to revel in a superb midweek victory at Pittodrie.
Despite conceding and early goal – which would have been a death knell to weaker sides on a run of one win in twelve league matches – the Steelmen fought back to earn a deserved victory thanks to goals from Jamie Murphy and new striking star Franny Jeffers.
It was a win which propelled the men in claret and amber back up in to fifth place in the SPL.
“It was a massive result for a number of reasons,” a delighted McCall said. “We needed a result on the back of our defeat at Ibrox and then for us to go a goal down in two minutes was a big blow – but the lads showed great character.
“The manner of the result really pleased me. I watched the game back the other night, before the Arsenal-Barcelona match, and I thought we were superb…then I watched those sides; we still have a way to go!
“We played some terrific football, especially in the first half, and we thoroughly merited our victory. We’ll now look to kick on from that on Saturday, and look forward to three home games on the bounce.”
Looking ahead, there looks to be some good news on the injury front, as McCall’s battered, thin squad gradually gets back to fitness.
It’s been something of a nightmare for the former Scotland midfielder since his arrival, with the likes of Saunders, Hammell, Lasley, Jones, Craigan and Murphy all suffering injuries at one time or another.
But there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel ahead of Accies’ visit, in terms of injury recoveries and the promising form of a new arrival.
“We were only ever going to get an hour out of Franny (Jeffers) but, even apart from his goal, his movement and team ethic was superb,” the 46-year old praised. “He was unlucky not to get on the score-sheet more than once.
“When a striker comes to a club he wants to get off the mark as quickly as possible so I’m delighted for Franny.
“Hammy (Steven Hammell) is available now and we left Humphrey out at Pittodrie – he could come back in. This is the first time I’ve had a bit of a selection headache since I’ve been here, and that is what you want.
“We still have a couple of people out but it is certainly clearing.”
Referee for this Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Hamilton Accies at Fir Park is Crawford Allan.
It will be 43-year-old Allan’s seventh SPL game of the current campaign, having previously taken charge of Hibernian’s 1-1 draw with Inverness CT in September, Hamilton’s 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock two weeks later, St Mirren’s 2-1 win over Aberdeen, Hearts’ 2-0 win at New St Mirren Park and, most recently, the Jambo’s 1-0 success at home to St Johnstone last month.
It will, of course, be his second Motherwell game of the current campaign after previously taking charge of the 4-0 destruction of St Johnstone in November of last year. He is also no stranger to the Steelmen or Fir Park having overseen two games here last season too.
He was the man in the middle for the 3-1 success early in Jim Gannon’s reign when John Sutton, Ross Forbes and Shaun Hutchinson gave the ‘Well all three points.
Some three months later, and almost a year ago from tonight, he officiated the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen when Gary McDonald, who would later be ordered off, cancelled out a Lukas Jutkiewicz opener.
Tragically, Allan took charge of the ‘Well game on the 29th December 2007, forever etched in history as the date when Phil O’Donnell tragically passed away in the 5-3 victory over Dundee United.
Phil’s death had a profound effect on the whistler, a Grade 1 official for nine seasons, but he won heartfelt praise for the way he handled what was an extremely difficult situation and his sensitive approach is and was appreciated by everyone at Motherwell Football Club.
In another twist of fate, Allan is only one of two referees to have ever refereed a Motherwell away game at Fir Park as the Steelmen faced hosts Gretna during the 2007/2008 campaign.
His record in charge of the ‘Well is a fairly decent one, with the Fir Parkers winning four and drawing three of the seven games in total. In those games, 23 players have seen yellow, nine in Claret and Amber, whilst three have been sent for an early bath.
Allan will be ably assisted by Brian Templeton and Ross Haswell with Steve Conroy on fourth official duties.
Motherwell U19s will look to get back to winning ways when the face Aberdeen at Bathgate tomorrow.
Young’s men have lost two from the last three, going down to Kilmarnock and Hamilton, and need to pick up all three points to consolidate their position near the top of the table.
A win for the Fir Parkers could, depending on goal difference swing, put them above the Dons and into fourth, still with a game in hand.
The Reds were demolished 3-0 on their own patch by Celtic in their last match, two weeks ago, so it’s all to play for.
The match will take place at the Creamery Park, Bathgate with kick-off at 1pm.