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    Leeds defeat in pictures

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    Motherwell 1 – 2 Leeds Utd

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    Club to showcase anniversary kit

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    Important Information: Leeds Utd match

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    McCall keen on Leeds scalp

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    Craigan thanks ‘Well fans

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    Important Parking Information

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    McCall thrilled for Craigan

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    Partick Thistle win in pictures

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    Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle

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    Leeds defeat in pictures

    Pictures from the 2-1 defeat by Leeds Utd in a pre-season friendly match at Fir Park.

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

    [svgallery name=”leeds160711″]

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    Motherwell 1 – 2 Leeds Utd

    [tab:Match report]

    Alan Burrows at Fir Park

    Despite taking the lead midway through the first-half, Motherwell lost 2-1 to Leeds in an entertaining pre-season friendly at Fir Park.

    The Steelmen went ahead thanks to a wonderfully crafted Jamie Murphy goal; the former Scotland U21 star getting on the end of a terrific Chris Humphrey cross.

    Leeds stepped it up in the second-half and the introduction of Max Gradel proved to be a turning point. The wingers corner set-up fellow substitute Alex Bruce to slot home before combining with Ramón Núñez who scored the winner.

    Steven Hammell and Michael Higdon both passed late fitness tests and made the game, meaning ‘Well boss Stuart McCall opted for the same starting eleven that overcame Partick Thistle on Wednesday night.

    It was a surprisingly quiet opening twenty minutes with only Billy Paynter causing any problems for the home defence. The big striker headed wide after three minutes and over after fourteen but that was the sum total of the chances in the opening stages.

    The game did eventually burst to life midway through the first half and the visitors thought they had gone ahead when that man Paynter put the ball past Randolph after a great Adam Clayton cross from the left. Thankfully for the Steelmen, assistant referee Martin Cryans came to rescue, rightly flagging for offside.

    Two minutes later, Motherwell responded with a Hammell effort that almost put the hosts ahead. The full-back combined excellently with Nicky Law on the edge of the area before curling a left-footed effort off the outside of the post which was eventually cleared by the United defence.

    That action, along with a light rain shower, made the game slightly faster as both teams got their passing in.

    No team looked to be gaining the upper hand until referee Willie Collum handed the Elland Road club a golden opportunity to get their noses in front. Lloyd Sam broke into the area on the left flank and was tightly marked by both Hammell and Law. The winger hit the deck rather unconvincingly and much to the surprise of the Motherwell defence and many of the 4798 inside Fir Park, the referee pointed to the spot.

    Former ‘Well ace Ross McCormack stepped up and side-footed a low effort that was brilliantly saved by Randolph low to his left – the big Irishman’s first penalty save in a ‘Well shirt.

    Whether it was a sense of injustice or not, that chance seemed to spark the Fir Parkers to life and Tom Hateley almost put his side ahead with a curling free-kick from the edge of the box after Patrick Kisnorbo had fouled Michael Higdon.

    However, Motherwell wouldn’t be denied and took the lead a minute later with a goal right out the top drawer. Steve Jennings collected in the middle of the park before releasing Chris Humphrey clear down the right flank with a lovely reverse pass. The former Shrewsbury Town winger delivered a terrific ball across the face of goal where Jamie Murphy was on hand to slot home. A sensational sweeping move from the Fir Park side!

    Stuart McCall made a couple of substitutions at the interval with Ross Forbes and Jordan Halsman replacing Keith Lasley and Stevie Hammell.

    The changes didn’t had any adverse effect on the home side as Higdon almost headed home a Hateley corner after just two minutes. Shortly after, Murphy almost doubled his and Motherwell’s tally for the day with a brilliantly run; skinning three players only for his shot to be saved by the feet of Rachubka.

    Motherwell were sensing blood and only an excellent headed clearance from sub Alex Bruce kept it at 1-0 as Tom Hateley’s corner from the left was dropping straight in.

    Leeds, to their credit, upped their game and had a couple of efforts that almost brought them level. McCormack, keen to make up for his penalty miss; saw his shot deflected for a corner. The resulting kick from the quadrant was almost turned into his own net by Higdon but Randolph saved his blushes by tipping over.

    With the light drizzle turning into a full-on downpour, the away side continued to attack and Ramón Núñez and Robert Snodgress both went close, denied by excellent stops from ‘Well keeper Darren Randolph.

    The pressure finally told as the tourists drew level and, unfortunately for Randolph, the lashing rain had made the ball like a bar of soap. Max Gradel’s corner was spilled by the goalkeeper allowing fellow sub Alex Bruce to prod home from close range.

    Minutes later, the same player almost made it 2-1 Leeds with an excellent volley but he was foiled by an equally excellent save by Randolph, the Republic of Ireland International seeing it late but still somehow managing to get a good two hands to the ball, pushing it away to safety.

    Leeds had turned the screw big time and got themselves ahead eight minutes after Bruce had got them back on level terms. Núñez and Gradel combined on the edge of the area and the former beat the offside trap, just, before tucking beyond the helpless Randolph to send the 1,913 Leeds fans in the South Stand into raptures.

    Motherwell fought bravely to get back in the game and on the stroke of full-time, Chris Humphrey came within inches of levelling only for his shot to be blocked. Gary Smith couldn’t react quick enough to the rebound and the chance was gone.

    Despite the defeat, ‘Well boss Stuart McCall will be happy with the workout ahead of next Saturday’s SPL opener with Inverness Caley Thistle.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Graham Barnstaple at Fir Park

    Full time – 2-1 Leeds in what was a decent game, ‘Well fans showing some appreciation to their side who played well against a decent side.

    88mins – Two more changes – McHugh on for Murphy and Saunders on for Hateley.

    85mins – Young Jordan Halsman has not looked out place since coming on at half time. He has been solid in defence and linked well with midfield.

    75mins – GOAL 1-2, Gradel sets up Nunez who looked offside and he picks his spot behind Randolph – they have stepped it up this half.

    74mins – Higdon replaced by Gary Smith, Leeds have made nine subs!!

    68mins – GOAL 1-1, Gradel corner into six yard box was dropped by the otherwise impressive Randolph allowing Bruce to smash home from close range.

    58mins – Leeds attendance confirmed as 1913, decent turn out from both sets of fans for a pre-season game.

    58mins – Crowd announced as 4798, with almost half of them being Leeds fans.

    55mins – At the other end Darren Randolph finger tips a miscued Higdon header over the bar to save the striker’s blushes.

    51mins – Hateley’s in swinging corner was dropping in at the back post but Bruce got back to clear off the line.

    49mins – Great 50 yard solo run by Murphy sees his shot blocked by the keeper when clean through.

    45mins – Motherwell get the second 45 underway.

    Half Time – Four changes for Leeds at half time with Snodgrass, Bruce, Parker and Gradel coming on

    Half Time – Two half time changes for Well, Halsman and Forbes on for Hammell and Lasley

    Half time – Motherwell 1 Leeds United 0

    39mins – Jennings sent Humprhey clear on the right and he left White for dead before sending a cross into the corridor of uncertainty for Murphy. Brilliant stuff from Motherwell!

    39mins – GOOOOAAALLLL – What a move to set up Motherwell opener, which is finished by Jamie Murphy after a sweeping move down the right.

    36mins – Good news for us Randolph saves McCormack’s spot kick low to his left – first penalty save by Darren as a Motherwell player.

    35mins – Soft pen for Leeds, Lloyd Sam goes down under challenge from Hammelll and Law

    24mins – Hammell and Law combine in the box, and Hammell sees his shot from a tight angle bounce clear off the outside of the post.

    22mins – Leeds have the ball in the net with Paynter side footing in from close range but flag was rightly up for offside.

    14mins – Paynter comes close, this time he heads over a free kick from the right..

    3mins – Leeds almost open the scoring a cross from the right picks out Paynter at the back post but he side foots wide from a tight angle.

    Kick-Off – Game underway with Leeds kicking off and Well kicking towards the South Stand end…


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “I though we played some good stuff, the goal showed the quality we have in the side.

    “That is what we can do with the players we have in the side, if we can get the ball forward quickly not many can keep up with Chris Humphrey but Jamie Murphy did to get the ball in.

    “The goal was terrific but I was disappointed to lose the game. It was an entertaining match with some good performances, but with areas to work on.”

    Leeds Utd boss Simon Grayson:

    Coming Soon…


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  • Archive

    Club to showcase anniversary kit

    As the club continues its 125th anniversary celebrations, the team will wear a traditional-styled kit complete with white shorts and claret and amber hooped socks against Leeds Utd.

    The club has, along with Puma and some special assistance from a lifelong ‘Well fan William Kay, designed a retro shirt in the classic Motherwell style.

    The shirt is made from modern heavy-knit polyester fabric and incorporates a replica of the first MFC script badge to be used on the Motherwell shirt.
    Using his design skills and knowledge of Motherwell kits through the ages, William has incorporated a little of the detail of our special anniversary whilst not detracting from the traditional script badge.

    The band on the Motherwell shirt is the most recognised feature on our shirts over the years and it was essential that we maintain that particular tradition.

    Another traditional feature is the player’s numbers. For one game only, special retro style claret numbers will be used and placed above the band on the back of the shirts in a style that will bring memories of the great 1950’s teams flooding back

    The shirt retails at £45 and is available to purchase in the ‘Well Shop and online at www.motherwelldirect.co.uk.

    Please note that the shirt is available in adult sizes only.

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    Important Information: Leeds Utd match

    Fans should note that the Davie Cooper Stand will not be open for tomorrow’s match with Leeds United at Fir Park.

    Motherwell fans are invited to sit in either the Phil O’Donnell Stand or the East Stand with Leeds Utd fans occupying the South Stand behind the goal.

    Any fan who has pre-purchased tickets for the Davie Cooper Stand can sit in either the Phil O’Donnell or East Stand depending on preference.

    Motherwell Football Club would like to apologise for inconvenience this may cause.

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    McCall keen on Leeds scalp

    Stuart McCall admits he can’t wait to come up against his boyhood heroes when Leeds United visit Fir Park tomorrow afternoon.

    McCall was born and brought up in the shadows of Elland Road and followed the club religiously as a youngster.

    But perhaps more importantly, the current Fir Park gaffer is excited about the test his players will face when they lock horns with one of the best and biggest sides England has to offer.

    “We’ve had a good pre-season in terms of games and training and we are really looking forward to the game now,” said McCall.

    [pullquote]Sometimes in pre-season you can go on tour or play smaller teams and win by nine or ten goals. Whilst that is great for the confidence of your strikers, the defence don’t get worked enough but that won’t be the case tomorrow I am sure.[/pullquote]

    “I understand one of their star players, the boy Becchio, has gone back down the road but that aside, they have a wealth of talent.

    “They’ve just signed the lad Michael Brown, who I played with at Sheffield United; Leigh Bromby is the same. Robert Snodgrass has done brilliantly for them and Ross McCormack needs no introduction at all. Max Gradel has been linked with Premiership clubs so there is plenty there, many with top level experience, to test us and we need that.

    “Although we’ve been very pleased with the quality of opposition in our pre-season games, there’s no doubt whatsoever that our defence and goalkeeper will get properly tested tomorrow. They’ve got players who can create and score; I am sure Darren will be worked, which you need.

    “Sometimes in pre-season you can go on tour or play smaller teams and win by nine or ten goals. Whilst that is great for the confidence of your strikers, the defence don’t get worked enough but that won’t be the case tomorrow I am sure.”

    McCall’s chequered career took him both north and south of the border and the 46-year old has had mixed fortunes against United.

    However, he admits the fondness he has for the opposition won’t get in the way as he searches for another positive result and performance to complete Motherwell’s pre-season which has already produced a 100%, three wins from three, record thus far.

    McCall continued: “I have a good few friends and family coming up from Leeds to watch the game.

    “My dad played with them and I supported them all through my youth, both home and away, and in my day they were a team filled with a lot of Scots like Billy Bremner, Joe Jordan and the Gray bothers. No doubt they’ll bring a big, healthy support which should make for a good game.

    “It’s funny; I didn’t have the greatest of records against them as a player until I joined Rangers. Prior to that, with Everton and Bradford, I don’t think I managed a single win.

    “When I returned to England with Sheffield United we played them one season when they were a league above us and we knocked them out of both Cup competitions and beat them home and away the following season after we were promoted so hopefully we can keep that good run going!”

    The Fir Park boss admits to having one or two injury doubts himself on the eve of the match.

    The Steelmen have came through the last few weeks relatively unscathed until Wednesday night’s clash with Partick Thistle left a few nursing some bumps and bruises.

    “There are a couple of little doubts; Michael Higdon is feeling his thigh and Stevie Hammell took a bang on the knee the other night,” the manager admitted.

    “As much as we’d like them to get another game in before next Saturday, we won’t risk them if there’s any danger. We can work them harder next week if need be.

    “That might give a chance for a couple of the younger boys to come in and experience playing against a really good side in front of what probably will be a healthy attendance.”

  • Archive

    Craigan thanks ‘Well fans

    Motherwell legend Stephen Craigan has thanked the fans who made his testimonial against Partick Thistle such a special occasion.

    Well over 2000 fans turned up to honour ‘Well’s most capped player; a stalwart who has played over 300 games in the claret-and-amber of Motherwell and over 100 games for Thistle.

    And they saw Craigan grab the only goal of the encounter, dispatching a penalty after Jamie Murphy was hauled down – the goal-shy centre-back wheeling away in celebration after just two minutes; a unique sight for both Motherwell and Jags fans alike.

    [pullquote]I always wanted this game to be against the only other club I’ve played for here and it was great to get such a reception from the fans.[/pullquote]

    The night ended, fittingly, with the 34-year old being subbed off to a rapturous standing ovation.

    “I am really grateful for all the people who turned up tonight, it made it a great occasion for me,” said a moved Craigan. “I always wanted this game to be against the only other club I’ve played for here and it was great to get such a reception from the fans.

    “We know the Thistle fans travel in good numbers and it was great to see so many of them here.

    “People will think that’s the biggest fix in football [the penalty award] but was a definite penalty. I still had to be persuaded to take it and I didn’t make up my mind where I was going to put it until I hit the ball, which isn’t a good ploy. Fortunately, it went in and that was a real relief for me.”
    The defender insisted there was never any danger that he wouldn’t sign on for another season, as Stuart McCall enjoys his first full campaign at the Fir Park helm.

    Some fans were worried at the time it took for a deal to materialise, but the man McCall described as ‘inspirational’ is visibly delighted to have signed on for another year.

    He continued: “As the season goes along with no offer you do start to worry but I spoke with the manager after the cup final back here at Fir Park over a drink and it was obvious he wanted me to stay.

    “From then I wasn’t hard to deal with, particularly after being here for so long it would have been hard to move elsewhere. I enjoy coming to work here and I get on with the people I work with why would I move anywhere else.

     “Contracts are hard to come by these days and I am glad to be playing for another season at least. At the moment I am planning to take things a season at time and see how my fitness and desire is. Sometimes its only when you get back into pre-season that the buzz returns and you get that feeling for the game again.”

    ‘Well’s captain was coy on what his future will hold, clearly choosing to focus on further successes with the Steelmen.

    The Northern Ireland defender made several appearances on TV towards the end of last season, appearing as comfortable on the BBC and ESPN as he did marshalling the ‘Well backline. While Craigan admits that he enjoyed the change of scenery, he still has no concrete plans for his future beyond Motherwell – whether it’s in the media or in coaching.

    “They are both things I enjoy doing but at the moment I am concentrating on playing.” Craigan insisted.

    “I enjoy helping the young players along during a game, although I am not sure it would always be so enjoyable when you are coaching for a living!”

  • Archive

    Important Parking Information

    In recent seasons it has become common practice for supporters to park their cars on the grassed area opposite Motherwell South Parish Church, bordering Findlay Street and Adele Street.

    As a result of complaints from local residents and other members of the public, North Lanarkshire Council, after consultation with Strathclyde Police, have erected trip rails around the existing ash car parks thereby preventing access to the grassed area.

    Strathclyde Police has asked the club to point out to supporters that anyone parking on the grassed area runs the risk of having their car towed away and/or being charged and reported to the Procurator Fiscal. Please park responsibly taking care not to obstruct driveways.

  • Archive

    McCall thrilled for Craigan

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall couldn’t his delight for Stephen Craigan after the defender scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over Partick Thistle this evening.

    The Motherwell Captain was being honoured by the club and the fans for his 14-year service at Fir Park and made a dream start; slotting home from the penalty spot after Scott Fox had hauled Jamie Murphy to the ground inside the first few minutes.

    McCall joked that he was shouting at players to follow it in but was thrilled that the veteran capped his own night with the one and only goal.

    [pullquote]We did create chances; their keeper made a couple of good saves, we hit the bar and had an effort cleared off the line. If it had been a League game we would have been a bit frustrated we hadn’t closed the game out earlier.[/pullquote]

    He quipped: “He only decided where to put the ball when he ran up to take the kick, and when I saw that I was telling the rest to follow it in!”

    “No, seriously, it was a good work out for the boys. the only down side was we could have scored more goals, and Michael Higdon had to come off with a slight knock.

    “We did create chances; their keeper made a couple of good saves, we hit the bar and had an effort cleared off the line. If it had been a League game we would have been a bit frustrated we hadn’t closed the game out earlier.

    “On the plus side, Darren Radolph got 90 minutes, although he made his only save in the last minute, and Steven Jennings got 70 odd minutes under his belt.”

    McCall played a full-strength side against the Jags as ‘Well prepare to take on another Thistle, from Inverness, in the SPL opener in ten days time.

    The former Sheffield United and Everton player hinted before the match that he would go with a strong side and give them all as long as possible.

    He explained, “I was saying to the players and the staff that I always felt when I was playing that it took three games to get underway, but that was when you had a long pre-season of six weeks.

    “We are only going to have three and a half weeks before the first game so we have to get as many of them games as possible.”

  • Archive

    Partick Thistle win in pictures

    Pictures from the 1-0 win over Partick Thistle at Fir Park in Stephen Craigan’s Testimonial match.

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

    [svgallery name=”partickthistle130711″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle

    [tab:Match report]

    Alan Burrows at Fir Park

    Stephen Craigan scored the only goal of the game as Motherwell ran out 1-0 winners over Partick Thistle in the skipper’s testimonial.

    The Northern Irish International netted from the spot after Jamie Murphy had been pulled down in the box by Thistle keeper Scott Fox.

    And it was a night of emotion for the 34-year old with 2000 plus supporters turning out to honour his fourteen years at Fir Park.

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall made two changes from the side that swept away Dumbarton last Saturday. Darren Randolph and Steve Jennings both returned from knocks to play their first match in pre-season at the expense of Lee Hollis and Ross Forbes.

    Thistle included two former ‘Well players in their starting eleven. Willie Kinniburgh was at the heart of the Jags’ back four whilst Martin Grehan was instructed to spearhead the attack.

    As far as scripts go – it was impossible to write it any better as the man of the night Craigan put his team ahead in the opening minute. A lovely Stevie Hammell through ball sent Murphy on the chase one-on-one with Thistle keeper Fox. The former Scotland U21 starlet got there first and was crudely grounded; referee Alan Muir pointed to the spot. An almost hesitant Craigan stepped up and duly converted with some aplomb.

    Motherwell continued on the front foot when Higdon had two half decent chances to double the home advantage and, at the same time, net his first goal in Claret and Amber. The first, a bending shot following good Humphrey build-up, went just over and the second, a header from a Hateley corner, was well saved by Thistle keeper Fox.

    Fellow new signing Nicky Law was also getting in the thick of the action and, similar to Higdon, had two decent efforts of his own to get amongst the goals. A headed effort at the back post was followed by a terrific jinking run and shot that was brilliantly turned over by Fox to keep the score at 1-0.

    It only looked like a matter of time before the Steelmen would double their advantage and that would’ve been the case had it not been for a brilliant block by William Kinniburgh. Jamie Murphy was the man with the effort, his low shot beating the keeper only for the defender to scoop the ball away from under the crossbar.

    That seemed to give the visitors some belief and they knocked the ball about with a degree of confidence in the remaining fifteen minutes of the first-half. Martin Grehan, had the Jags’ first chance at goal when he met a teasing ball from the left, but his header dropped harmlessly wide.

    Stuart McCall replaced Michael Higdon during the interval with young Bob McHugh and the striker, who would’ve spent time on loan at Firhill last year but for a nasty wrist injury, had the first chance of the second period when he headed over a Hateley cross. Minutes later, Humphrey came close again with a blazing shot after some lovely jinking lead up play.

    Thistle knocked the ball about nicely without creating too much in the way of problems for Darren Randolph or the ‘Well rearguard. Down the other end, Fox had to look smart to save a testing Tom Hateley effort; the former Celtic youngster grabbing at the second attempt.

    Things got slightly sloppy as match headed into the final stages, substitutions from both sides interrupting the flow. That lull was interrupted by a moment of brilliance from Jamie Murphy though as the youngster bent a terrific curling effort from the edge of the box off the of the bar and out.

    Two minutes later, another moment of quality, this time from Nicky Law, set up Murphy who could only head over on the stretch from six-yards out.

    It took Thistle until the 88th minute to force Randolph, who had been a spectator for the majority of the match, into action. A driving run by substitute Thomas Stewart almost brought its rewards but his low bouncing effort from the edge of the ‘D’ was well held by the Republic of Ireland international.

    It was to prove the last action in an otherwise entertaining ninety minutes.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Graham Barnstaple at Fir Park

    Full time – 1-0 ‘Well, highlight Criagan’s penalty to win the game!

    90mins – Stephen Craigan replaced by Saunders, and he leaves the field to a standing ovation from all fans.

    81mins – Almost two nil, a Murphy bending shot from 18 yards crashes clear off the cross bar.

    77mins – Two changes for ‘Well, Humphrey and Jennings off, Forbes and Lawless on.

    76mins – Thistle make three more changes, and another player coming on has no number – it’s getting silly!

    75mins – Willie Kinniburgh cleans out Humphrey at the edge of the box, a yellow in any other game but not tonight.

    72mins – Just before change McHugh’s header from Hateley’s cross had the goal keeper scrambling to save at the 2nd attempt.

    70mins – Strange sub for Thistle, Balatoni goes off, someone with no number comes on! He is a trialist not listed on our team sheet apparently.

    69mins – Crowd just announced as 2122….

    65mins – Double sub for Thistle – Grehan and Cairney off and Stewart and Bannigan on.

    50mins – Humphrey cross from the right headed just over by McHugh, then Humprhey cuts in off right and fires left foot shot over.

    45mins – Teams back out, ready to get 2nd half underway, with McHugh on for Higdon.

    Half time – 1-0 Well, Thistle started to look slightly better as half ended but Well dominated for long spells and could be further ahead.

    33mins – Thistle create their first chance with Martin Grehan heading wide from about 10 yards out.

    29mins – Law sends Murphy through with a brilliant pass, he rounds the keeper but Kinniburgh clears off the line.

    22mins – Nicky Law ghosts in off left leaving three in his wake, but his deflected shot is brilliantly tipped over by keeper Scott Fox.

    19mins – A great Hateley cross to the back post is headed just wide at the back post by Nicky Law.

    10mins – Higdon’s downward header goes straight at keeper from a Hateley corner, inches either way it would have been in.

    6mins – great passing move down right sees Hateley release Higdon but he can only bend his shot over.

    2mins – GOOOALLLL – 1-0 ‘Well. Crags takes and coolly strokes the ball into the bottom right hand corner with the keeper going the right way.

    2min – Murphy pulled down by keeper Fox for a penalty in only the second minute – only one man to take it!!

    Kick Off – Game underway with Thistle kicking off and we are shooting towards the South Stand.


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “It was a good work out for the boys, the only down side was we could have scored more goals, and Michael Higdon had to come off with a slight knock.

    “On the plus side, Darren Radolph got 90 minutes, although he made his only save in the last minute, and Steven Jennings got 70 odd minutes under his belt.”

    Partick Thistle boss Jackie McNamara:

    “It was a good test for us against a good side. I think they proved that last season when they reached the Scottish Cup Final that they are a good team. Fitness wise I was very pleased with what I saw.

    “There are a few things though that we need to work at, especially offensively. Going forward last night I felt that we were too predictable and that is something that will be working to improve upon. Overall though, there were good things to take from the game.


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