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    Motherwell U19s 1 – 2 Hearts U19s

  • Archive

    Craigan expecting a tough shift

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    McCall previews St Mirren clash

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    Silver away kit goes on sale

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    St Mirren Tickets & Travel

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    Saunders suffers Achilles injury

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    Youths kick-off this weekend

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    Gordon Marshall makes Fir Park return

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    ’Well youths help retain Children’s title

  • Archive

    Murphy remains cool despite rumours

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    Motherwell U19s 1 – 2 Hearts U19s

    Motherwell Under 19s crashed to a dissapointing 2-1 home defeat to Hearts at Bathgate’s Creamery Park this morning.

    The visitors took the lead after just thirteen minutes when Billy King drilled home from close range after good build-up play from David Smith on the left flank.

    Motherwell drew level with eleven minutes left of the first half when Keiran McGachie headed home a Nicky Devlin cross. However, Gordon Young’s men couldn’t hold to half-time as King grabbed his and Hearts’ second of the match with a bouncing free-kick from the edge of the area.

    Motherwell battled away in the second and could, and perhaps should, have drawn level when McGachie pounced on a rebounded shot but slipped at the vital moment, trunding an effort wide when a goal looked certain.

    There were several new faces in the Motherwell squad for the new season. Former Spurs defender Zane Francis-Angol lined up at full-back along with Nicky Devlin, a summer recruit from Dumbarton, taking his place on the opposite side. Englishman Steve Hetherington made his U19s debut in the middle of the park and promotee’s from the Under 17’s Darren Brownlie and Adam Ashgar took their place in the starting eleven.

    Hearts finished runners-up to Celtic in last season’s Clydesdale Bank Under 19s league and they started the match looking as if they were keen to go one better this time around.

    A foul by Brownlie on Jason Holt allowed the visitors a shot at goal after just six minutes. Right-back Fraser Mullens would take the kick but his effort flew harmlessly over the bar.

    Hearts continued to attack and had the ball in the net two minutes later when Mullens’ cross from the right was headed home by Smith inside the six yard. However, the referee had already stopped the game and the goal wouldn’t count.

    Ryan Stewart posted further warning of Hearts’ intent with a shot from the edge of the box that zipped just over the bar before the visitors took the lead.

    Striker Smith did well on the right flank to dance round two challenges, work space and cut-back for the waiting King. He somehow managed to squirm away from Euan Murray inside the area before drilling a low right-footed shot through Willie Muir and into the net.

    Hearts immediately went in search of a second and a Dale O’Hara free-kick from the left touchline fell fortuitously at the feet of Chris Tobin but his half-volley from about ten yards spun harmlessly wide of Muir’s post.

    It took the Steelmen thirty minutes to really get going and they finally made Hearts work at the back with a well-worked move. McGachie won the ball on the half-way line and immediately sent Josh Watt scampering down the right flank. Watt, called into the Scotland U19s squad, thundered past O’Hara before delivering a terrific ball across the face of goal that just evaded Lee Erwin inside the six yard box.

    That seemed to give Young’s men a much-needed confidence boost and they drew level four minutes later thanks to a good header from Keiran McGachie. Devlin and Watt combined on the right allowing the former to deliver a tantalising cross into the area that was met by the Stenny-born striker. His header hit the base of the post before spinning into the net for his first of the season.

    Hearts battled back and almost got themselves back in front when Calum Patterson met a Mullens corner from the right but his header dropped the wrong side of Muir’s right hand upright.

    However, it was a warning shot across the bow that ‘Well failed to heed as the Jambos did eventually get back ahead on the stroke of half-time and it was that man King again who would grab the goal.

    25-yards out, King stroke a low free-kick that bounced cruelly just in front of Muir before squirming into the net. It was a difficult one for the young stopper to deal with and a cruel blow for the Steelmen just seconds before the interval.

    There were no changes at the break as Hearts started the second much as they finished the first. Jason Holt almost grabbed their third just three minutes in when he worked space for himself inside the Motherwell penalty area but his low shot was well stopped by Muir low to his right hand post.

    However, Motherwell would pass up a great chance after 51 minutes when McGachie ran out of luck at the vital time. Hetherington started the move, teeing it up for Erwin on the edge of the area. The former Scotland U17 striker unleashed a stinging effort that forced Jack Hamilton to parry. The ball screwed out for the former Hearts youngster but he wouldn’t punish his former side; slipping at the vital second, his shot went harmlessly wide of the post with a grounded Hamilton relieved to watch it bounce past.

    The game hit a bit of a lull as both teams traded possession without creating much in the way of chances. That was interrupted twenty-five minutes into the half when King fancied a hat-trick but was denied when his shot from distance was comfortably saved by Muir in the home goal.

    Hearts continued to look the more likely to add to the lead and Holt flashed another shot which Muir had to watch fizz past his post.

    On the stroke of full-time, Muir in the Motherwell goal pulled off two terrific saves to keep the scoreline respectable. The first, from substitute Dale Carrick, was an excellent two-handed stop when the striker raced through on goal. The other was from a late Mullens free-kick with the young keeper was more than a match, pushing away the low bouncing effort with the rebound hooked into touch.

    The game ended shortly after with Hearts running out deserved winners on chances created. ‘Well return to action next weekend when they face a trip to Kilwinning to face Kilmarnock.

    Motherwell: Muir, Fancis-Angol (Lynch – 70mins), Murray, Brownlie, Devlin, MacDonald, Ashgar (Leitch – 80mins), Hetherington, Watt (Green – 73mins), McGachie, Erwin

    Subs Not Used: Stewart, McLean, Moore

    Goals: McGachie (34mins)

    Hearts: Hamilton, Mullens, O’Hara, Patterson, McKay, Kane, Stewart (Carrick – 85mins), Tobin, Smith, Holt,B.King

    Subs Not Used: Carswell, Scott, A.King, Thomson, Nicholson

    Goals: King (13, 45)

  • Archive

    Craigan expecting a tough shift

    Skipper Stephen Craigan expects an entertaining encounter tomorrow as Motherwell travel to face the side he reckons is the most improved in the country.

    Following the signing of attacking talents such as Gary Teale, Paul McGowan, Nigel Hasselbaink and Steven Thompson, the Buddies have flew out of the traps this season, displaying a passing fluidity which was perhaps absent for much of last season’s campaign.

    The improvement in the Paisley side comes as no surprise to Craigan, who expects a serious threat to the Steelmen’s unbeaten start.

    “You could say that, after three games, St.Mirren have been the most improved side in Scotland,” he praised. “With the quality of player they’ve brought in – the calibre – I think it was obvious that they would be much better than last season.

    “Danny (Lennon) has got the players in that he wanted to and has St Mirren playing the way he wants them to, and it’s going to be a good game – two unbeaten sides.

    “I think it (‘Well’s place at the top of the league) can be a little bit deceptive in the early stages. We’ve had a reasonable start and that was always our aim; it gets us points on the boards and covers you in case you have any little dips along the way. We now must focus on carrying on that early form.”

    [pullquote]You could say that, after three games, St.Mirren have been the most improved side in Scotland.[/pullquote]

    As the ‘Well skipper – and fellow part of a watertight defence – Craigan had some positive words for young Steven Saunders, who looks to be out for between six and nine months with a ruptured achilles tendon.

    The former Northern Ireland stalwart is aware of the serious nature of the injury, but has backed his young team-mate to fight back with aplomb.

    “As soon as I found out Stevie’s injury occurred I was in contact,” 34-year old recalled. “I think it will be a few days before he’s back in here but he’ll get plenty of support.

    “It’s actually been a horrific week for the whole of Scottish football; there’s been some really serious injuries. It’s strange because these guys [Severin, McGregor, Izaguirre, Saunders] are at peak fitness.

    “But Steve has got age and fitness on his side and I’m sure that will be a big benefit coming back from a serious injury.”

  • Archive

    McCall previews St Mirren clash

    Stuart McCall admits he is delighted with the start made by his Motherwell side, but insists there’s still work to do as The Steelmen look to improve on a successful campaign last year.

    ‘Well sit atop the Scottish Premier League with two wins and one draw from the first three fixtures of the season; moreover, the watertight Motherwell defence is yet to be breached this season.

    Yet, despite a blistering start to the campaign McCall is all too aware of the threat posed by a St Mirren side who have also enjoyed a positive start to the season, having made some high profile signings this summer.

    “It’s great to get a positive start,” McCall praised. “It’s pleasing to be undefeated, but the main thing is those two wins we’ve got on the board. People will talk about the clean sheets, and while we’ve been lucky at times I think in the main we’ve defended well.

    “It’s an old cliché but we will look ahead to the next game. The past is the past and we will take the confidence of previous performances and look ahead.

    “St Mirren have brought in some good attacking talent; Thompson, Teale and young Paul McGowan.

    “We know the dangers that lie ahead because St Mirren have started very well. I was at Tannadice last week to see them play a great 45 minutes there. The boy Hasselbaink got sent off and that changed the game – but they still fought hard to get a point.”

    [pullquote]St Mirren have brought in some good attacking talent; Thompson, Teale and young Paul McGowan. We know the dangers that lie ahead because St Mirren have started very well.[/pullquote]

    While this season has been superb for The Steelmen on the pitch, there has been a major setback on the injury front, after Stevie Saunders ruptured his Achilles tendon while on international duty with Scotland Under 21’s.

    It is a serious setback for the gifted youngster especially given that Saunders impressed massively on his first start for Motherwell this season against Hearts last week.

    “He’s had his operation now,” McCall confirmed solemnly. “It was a ruptured Achilles tendon and will keep him out for six to nine months – it was just unlucky as there was nobody near him. It’s unfortunate, but he’s young and he’s healthy and we hope he’ll come back even stronger than before.

    “We wish him all the best. He’ll be back in soon and we’ll have a little chat with him and hopefully keep his spirits up.

    “Speaking from experience – I was out for eleven months with my knee when I was at Rangers – it can be a lonely time working away in the gym and not being able to do what you really want; go out and play football. But he’s a positive lad who will get on with his rehab and I think he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”

    The horrible injury to the young Scotland international has further exacerbated ‘Well’s need for a defender. The Steelmen gaffer had previously stated his need for defensive re-enforcements – and the search is now more ‘urgent’.  

    The ‘Well gaffer continued: “We were looking to bring in a defender as it was, but now I feel we need to bring in a centre-back who can play at right-back.

    “We have to be looking at bringing in a defender now. That was the case before Steven’s injury but has been made more urgent after his injury.”

  • Archive

    Silver away kit goes on sale

    Motherwell’s new silver away kit will goes on sale today (Friday 12th August) from the ‘Well Shop at Fir Park.

    The response to the new kit, the first time Motherwell have ever played in silver, has been excellent with interest and pre-orders very encouraging indeed.

    The Club Shop will be open from 9am and will stay open until 5pm.

    Pre-ordered kits have been posted and will be with UK customers today.

  • Archive

    St Mirren Tickets & Travel

    Motherwell travel to Paisley this Saturday to face one of the SPL’s other form teams, St Mirren, hoping to build on the positive start to the season.

    Both sides have looked impressive early on with neither side having tasted defeat. However, with both missing key players (Hasselbaink and McGregor for Saints and Lasley and Saunders for ‘Well), it’s a difficult one to predict.

    Tickets for the match are currently on sale from the Fir Park Ticket Office with prices set at the following:

    ADULTS:    £20
    CONCESSIONS:                                                    £10
    • Concessions are listed as OAPs and Under 16s.
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact John McCaskie on 01555 870122 or email sharon.mccaskie@sky.com.



    The bus for Paisley will leave the Bentley Hotel at 1.45pm. Phone Jim on (01698) 299650 or e-mail Christopher on christopher_hutton@btinternet.com.


    The Wishaw bus to St Mirren Park will leave at 1.30pm. To book seats please call Anne on 01698 470601 or email andrew.sim48@btinternet.com.


    The St Mirren bus will pick up at the Fir Park Club, Motherwell at 12.45pm, then Holytown War Monument at 12.55pm and finally the Carousel Bar, Bellshill at 1pm. To book seats, contact Brian Worton on 07763 061821.


    The bus will leave Jack Daniels Bar, Motherwell, at 1.45pm. To book seats, contact the bar on 01698 268777.


    By car

    The stadium is located close to Glasgow Airport and is easily accessible from the M8 motorway.

    Exit the M8 at Junction 29 and take the first left at the roundabout on to the A726 towards Paisley. Turn right at the traffic lights on to Clark Street and then left on to Greenhill Road. The stadium will be clearly visible ahead.

    There is a large car park at the ground but this is for pass holders only. Street parking is available on the side streets around the stadium though.

    By bus

    Several operators run buses which will take you within a five to 10 minute walk of the ground, including First service 9.

    Further information and timetables are available online at www.firstgroup.com/glasgow.

    By train

    Paisley St James station is served by trains from Glasgow and is just a short walk away from the ground.

    Upon leaving the station, turn left on to Greenhill Road and the stadium will be clearly visible ahead.

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



  • Archive

    Saunders suffers Achilles injury

    Scotland International Steven Saunders looks likely to miss the rest of the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon today.

    The 20-year old was playing for the Scotland U21s against Norway at St Mirren Park when he collapsed in a heap after just three minutes.

    He was rushed off the park and straight to hospital where a scan has revealed a rupture that will require immediate surgery.

    It is a massive blow for the Steelmen with the young defender making his first appearance of the campaign last Sunday against Hearts.

    [pullquote]I’ll come back bigger and stronger next season and my recovery starts as soon as I have my operation tomorrow[/pullquote]

    Despite his season coming to a premature end before it has properly begun, Saunders was remaining upbeat when he spoke exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk.

    “Obviously I am gutted about what has happened but I just need to get on with it now,” he said.

    “I am upbeat about things; I won’t let this beat me. I’ll come back bigger and stronger next season and my recovery starts as soon as I have my operation tomorrow.”

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall added, “My heart goes out to him and his family – his mum and dad were at the game. It was innocuous, there was no-one near him. I thought he had just gone over on his ankle.

    “The worst-case scenario is nine months. I know injuries are part of the game, but it was really sickening to see that. I spoke to him in the dressing-room afterwards. It will be a long haul back, but he is a great kid and he will get his head down and focus.

    “I said to him, if you can get back in, hopefully you can help us get to another Scottish Cup final. That put a smile on his face, but it’s difficult times for him at the moment.”

  • Archive

    Youths kick-off this weekend

    Motherwell U19s kick-off their 2011/2012 campaign with a home match against Hearts at Bathgate this Saturday.

    The youths have enjoyed a productive pre-season with recent wins over Blackburn Rovers and Luncarty Juniors proving the perfect foil for Saturday’s opener.

    Hearts enjoyed an excellent season last year; only pipped to the title on the penultimate weekend of the season at the expense of eventual Champions Celtic.

    Head of Youth Development Gordon Young said ahead of the match at the weekend, “We are really looking forward to getting into the season as the boys have trained very well over the last five weeks.

    “We’ve had some excellent friendly matches in preparation for the big kick-off and it’s now time for action. We will do our very best over the course of the campaign whilst never losing focus of our ultimate aim which is providing quality players ready for the first-team.”

    The match will kick-off at 11am at Bathgate’s Creamery Park.



  • Archive

    Gordon Marshall makes Fir Park return

    Motherwell FC can confirm that Gordon Marshall has returned to the club to take up the role of goalkeeping coach.

    Marshall had an excellent two years at Fir Park as a player between 2003 and 2005 – enjoying notable success reaching the top-six twice in succession, the 2005 CIS Cup Final and a starring performance in ‘Skippy Sunday’ in the same year.

    The 47-year old former Scotland International will replace Stuart Kerr who has left the club for family reasons.

    Marshall, speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk said, “I am delighted to be back as I enjoyed such a happy time here as a player.

    “I am also getting to work with one of the best ‘keepers in the country in Darren Randolph so it’s an exciting time.

    [pullquote]I am delighted to be back as I enjoyed such a happy time here as a player.[/pullquote]

    “The club has changed quite a bit since I left, but very much for the better. I like to think I played a part in that process eight years ago. We had just come out of administration under Terry Butcher and managed two great seasons; getting to a Cup Final.

    “’Well have been on an upward trail since and has enjoyed some terrific success. I am hoping that I can once again add to that – passing on some of the knowledge I have gained over my career, particularly to the young up-and-coming goalkeepers at the club.”

    Motherwell Football Club would like to sincerely thank Stuart Kerr for all his hard work whilst at Fir Park and wish him every success in his future career.

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    ’Well youths help retain Children’s title

    Five boys from Motherwell’s U17s played their part as Lanarkshire’s boys’ team won the football competition at the 2011 International Children’s Games.

    ’Well 15-year-olds Mark McRoberts, Danny McNulty, Scott Stevenson, David Ferguson and Dominic Thomas joined Dylan McGuigan, Josh Taplin and Daryl Bulloch from Hamilton Accies to form the Lanarkshire boys’ team.

    During the six games they played, the team scored an astonishing 69 goals, conceding just two, and racking up scorelines of 10-0, 26-0, 5-0, 17-1, 7-0 and 4-1 against, respectively, Rave na koroskem (Slovenia), Sialkot (Pakistan) and Medias (Romania), Tralee (Ireland) in the quarter-finals, Sentilj-Ruse (Slovenia) in the semis and Sparta (Greece) in the final.

    Lanarkshire hosted the 2011 International Children’s Games, with the boys and girls football events – sponsored by construction and property development company CCG – being held at Hamilton Palace Sports Grounds.

    [pullquote]We had several really good performances – a lot of teams were quite defensive against us because they knew of the quality we had going forward.[/pullquote]

    The Lanarkshire girls team played superbly over the three days of the competition to take the silver medal, but the boys went one step further to become gold medallists and retain the title won by Lanarkshire last year in Bahrain.

    Team Lanarkshire boys’ football coach Willie McNab said: “It’s a tremendous achievement – the boys deserve everything they got.

    “The team bonded really well and improved us as a unit as a result, and I think they have all become really friendly with one another.

    “We didn’t put a lot of pressure on the boys and I think in the end their personalities have shone through on the pitch. We had several really good performances – a lot of teams were quite defensive against us because they knew of the quality we had going forward.

    “That meant the boys had to be quite patient and bide their time, which they did particularly well and got rewarded for it in the end.”

    Willie also spoke in glowing terms of the Games as a whole. He said: “The Games have been wonderful. From the opening ceremony to the staff and volunteers, the accommodation, the transportation… Everything has been first-class. It’s also amazing the way the pitches were today – how the groundstaff got them playable was nothing short of a miracle.

    “This is my first time being involved with the ICG and it’s been superb.”

    ’Well youth Dominic Thomas added: “I am delighted we have won – it’s what we set out to do three months ago when the team came together. We’ve achieved our goal so what more could you ask for?

    “I scored 14 goals in the tournament and they were all good goals so I’m really happy. All the games we have won we have done so by a convincing scoreline so it’s been a great team performance.

    “Our team spirit is great and has grown during the last three months and we are all the best of pals now.

    “The Games have been absolutely brilliant. If I could give anyone advice it would be if you get asked to go to the ICG throw yourself at it. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

  • Archive

    Murphy remains cool despite rumours

    Jamie Murphy has insisted that he is in no hurry to leave Motherwell after yet another splendid individual display kicked the rumour mill into top gear.

    Several scouts were present at Fir Park at the weekend – including several from the Barclay’s Premier League – to watch the young striker slot home the winning goal against Hearts.

    And although Stuart McCall has yet to receive any bids for his 21-year old star, the talent scouts are likely to take rave reviews back to their managers.

    In typically measured style, Murphy is keeping calm and says he will consider his future if any bids come in.

    [pullquote]I have grown up in Glasgow with all my family and friends and I love playing football at Motherwell.[/pullquote]

    A decision process that he says will include asking advice from some of his colleagues who have made similar moves – not always with dream results.

    “I try not to focus on it too much,” Murphy said. “I try to let other people do that and until someone comes in with a bid I can’t do anything but play my best for Motherwell.

    “I have grown up in Glasgow with all my family and friends and I love playing football at Motherwell.

    “There are players in the dressing room at the moment who have moved down south, like Hammell and Lasley, and they would be good to go for good advice if a bid does come in. I am not even thinking about it until something actually happens.”

    The former Scotland under-21 international is clearly reluctant to invite any bids for him as he knuckles down for another successful season at Fir Park – and he is equally defensive regarding any bids for his team-mates.

    He continued: “All the boys are great and there is a great team spirit. I have been here for ten years and grown up with a lot of the boys and they are some of my best friends, and if we can keep the group together it will be good.”

    The likes of Murphy, Humphrey and Jennings are the ones attracting the plaudits and the envious glances from other clubs, Motherwell’s all-time European top scorer was quick to praise the ‘Well backline.

    In a blistering start to the season Motherwell sit atop the SPL, and have yet to concede a single goal – no mean feat from three outings.

    “They were excellent again; Craigan and Saunders did brilliant,” he effused. “Tom Hateley and Steven Hammell were excellent at full back, and then Darren Randolph behind them. With a defence like that you are not going to lose many goals.

    “As long as we are in the top six and can finish as high as possible, it has obviously been a great start to the season. If we win next week we can hopefully stay in the top six for the rest of the season.”