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    Celtic 4 – 0 Motherwell

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    Celtic U19s 1 – 1 Motherwell U19s

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    Humphrey ready to welcome Daley

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    McCall hails Steelmen stars

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    McCall nets Manager of the Month

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    Celts game live on ESPN

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    Injury devastation for Devlin

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    Cash Converters POTM

  • Archive

    Hibs Cup prices confirmed

  • Archive

    Open Meeting a roaring success

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    Celtic 4 – 0 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Alan Temple at Celtic Park

    A James Forrest-inspired Celtic proved too good for Motherwell, as the Celts routed ‘Well 4-0 in a disappointing afternoon in Glasgow.

    The gifted youngster scored two goals and was a constant threat to the Steelmen defence with his direct running and incisive final ball during a comfortable victory.

    Additional strikes from Joe Ledley and Ki Sung-Yeung put some deserved gloss on the scoreline as Celtic’s plethora of expensive talent outclassed McCall’s in-form charges.

    Neil Lennon handed a debut to January signing Badr El Kaddouri, while fellow new arrival Mohamed Bangura took his place on the Hoops’ bench – part of an embarrassment of riches on the sideline including Kris Commons.

    While Celtic certainly boasted an array of stars, Stuart McCall’s side arrived in Glasgow ahead of the Celts, and with the ‘Well gaffer having just received Manager of the Month for July/August.

    Naturally McCall shied away from making too many changes from the backbone of the side which earned their gaffer that accolade after the Steelmen’s best ever start to a Scottish Premier League season.

    He made just one change from the win over Dunfermline two weeks previous; Shaun Hutchinson coming in for Chris Humphrey in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

    Despite having a plethora of players away on international duty over the recent break in the SPL Celtic started the brighter of the two sides, with some enterprising early passing and elusive wing play from the lively James Forrest.

    And with only ten minutes on the clock it was young Forrest who broke the deadlock. Some slick passing set Gary Hooper free on the right-hand channel of the penalty area, and the former Scunthorpe United man had the wherewithal to pick out Forrest for a tap-in at the back-post, leaving Darren Randolph with no chance.

    Despite the early setback and somewhat laboured first ten minutes, Motherwell responded reasonably well. Some lovely interplay between Nicky Law and Stevie Hammell set the left-back free in the box, and his ball across the face of goal found Michael Higdon, but the big striker couldn’t twist his body to get a shot on target.

    Some of the visitors’ passing was superb as the half progressed, with Hammell and Law looking particularly composed on the ball, ably assisted by the likes of Jennings and Lasley. Unfortunately, as was evident on a couple of occasions, the men in claret and amber were just lacking a final pass.

    Such incisiveness was not in short supply in the Celtic ranks, especially with Gary Hooper and James Forrest around, and the pair who linked to create the opener both had chances to double the advantage.

    Firstly, Gary Hooper hit the bar with a spectacular overhead-kick from a prohibitive angle, following a corner which Darren Randolph struggled gather coming through a melee of bodies. Hammell was forced to clear off the line with Ledley racing in to try and head the subsequent rebound home.

    That chance was immediately followed by Randolph once more being called into action, with Forrest jinking inside from the flank and smashing a powerful drive which the keeper saved with his legs.

    ‘Well’s hopes of keeping a fluid Celtic at bay weren’t helped as Shaun Hutchinson limped off, being replaced by Chris Humphrey, and the Hoops were indeed two-up ten minutes before the break.

    Despite a fairly evident foul on Steve Jennings by Gary Hooper in the build-up, play was allowed to continue and when the ball arrived at Anthony Stokes his through-pass was perfection for Joe Ledley. The surging Welshman could hardly miss, and slotted home from eight yards.

    Scotland international James Forrest was the undoubted star of the opening period, and he could have made it three on the stroke of half-time. Another mazy run – albeit under limited pressure – afforded him the chance to fire in a left-footed shot which had Darren Randolph rooted to the spot, only to trickle wide.

    Celtic’s start to the second period was equally lively, with Badr El Kaddouri and Anothony Stokes linking nicely down the left flank, causing particular problems for an increasingly under-the-cosh ‘Well backline.

    Indeed, it was remarkable to see no takers for a sumptuous ball across the face of goal just minutes into the second half; a ball which pleaded to be prodded home for three-nil.

    Chances for the visitors were at a premium – efforts from Tom Hateley and Steve Jennings from distance the only things giving the Celts keeper much to think about.

    And, with around twenty minutes left to play Ki Sung-Yeung put any optimistic thoughts of a burgeoning comeback to bed with a strike from distance. The South Korean picked the ball up outside the box and lashed a cracking effort past the despairing Randolph, via a slight knick on the way.

    Celtic’s resources were highlighted as they brought Kris Commons and Mohamed Bangura off the bench, and it certainly didn’t interrupt the flow of the side, with James Forrest narrowly failing to covert a terrific ball across the face of goal.

    Kayal was next to threaten, flashing a shot a matter of inches wide as Randolph’s goal came under increasing, interminable pressure.

    And the inevitable fourth goal came, with the superb Forrest firing past the ‘Well keeper from inside the box with some help from a deflection off the unfortunate Tim Clancy.

    Alan Muir’s final whistle was something of a blessed relief for a Motherwell side that struggled to cope with an admittedly on-form Celtic attack, and the Steelmen will now look to regroup for three eminently more winnable home games in seven days, starting with the visit of St. Johnstone to Fir Park a week today.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Kris Jack at Celtic Park

    Full Time – Celtic 4-0 Motherwell. Motherwell played well in spells but lacked the quality of Celtic. Back to winning ways next week.

    88 Mins – Higdon almost pulls one back with a glancing header from a Hateley corner. Celtic pretty much seeing game out now though.

    74 Mins – GOAL! 4-0 to the home side. Fast break finds the impressive Forrest running at Clancy and the youngster’s shot deflects over the onrushing Randolph.

    68 Mins – GOAL! Ki makes it 3-0 to Celtic. The South Korean with almost an identi-kit goal to the one in the Cup Final, although it perhaps took a knick on the way through.

    63 Mins – Jennings has a dig from distance which sails well over following Hateley’s whipped corner. Steelmen having decent spell of posession.

    51 Mins – Mulgrew and Ki combine from a corner, with Mulgrew flashing a cross right across the face of goal. It was begging to be coverted. Let-off for the Steelmen.

    48 Mins – Clancy and Randolph almost gift Celtic a 3rd, when the defenders pass-back evades the big keeper. Thankfully it drifts wide of the post.

    45 Mins – Forrest almost makes it 3-0. His direct running is causing problems and a dart goalward sees a 20 yard shot fizz narrowly wide.

    34 Mins – GOAL! Again, neat play on the edge of the box sees the ball fall to Ledley who strokes home. Although Jennings looked to take an arm to the face from Hooper in the build-up.

    20 Mins – Hooper sits the bar with an overhead kick after Randolph failed to collect a corner kick, struggling to find a way through the melee.

    10 Mins – GOAL! 1-0 to Celtic through James Forres. Slick play between Celtic’s front 3 picks out Forrest rushing in to the box and he slides his shot under Randolph.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “We said before the game we would need to defend well and frustrate them for long periods if we could. We lost a goal after only eight minutes, thereafter we had some reasonable football.

    “When it was 2-0 at half time we said the next goal was the crucial one, and again we had instances in the game without looking like scoring and then Ki smashed one in from 30 yards.

    “I’m disappointed but its now about how we bounce back ahead of three games coming up.”

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon:

    “It was an excellent win, the best we’ve played this season. I thought we were dynamic at times.

    “I am delighted with the manner of the performance, the result and the four goals. That was more like us from last year.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”68″]

  • Archive

    Celtic U19s 1 – 1 Motherwell U19s

    Motherwell U19s came from behind to earn a thoroughly deserved 1-1 draw with Celtic at Lennoxtown this morning.

    Gordon Young’s men turned in an excellent display against last season’s Champions and may have left Celtic’s training ground feeling slightly aggrieved at not talking all three points.

    Celtic went ahead with about fifteen minutes of the first half gone when Filip Twardzik converted a cross from the left, dispatching from a few yards out.

    Motherwell always looked dangerous and threatened on more than one occasion before Keiran MacDonald brought his side level with a thundering drive from about twenty-five yards.

    The second half followed a similar pattern, with both teams creating but ‘Well perhaps shading it overall. However, there would be no further scoring with both sides having to be content with a point.

    Full report and reaction to follow…

    Motherwell: Muir, Brownlie, Cummins, Murray, Francis-Angol, Hetherington, Watt, Mboa Mekongo, Moore, MacDonald, McGachie

    Subs: Stewart, Erwin, Lynch, Leitch, Green

  • Archive

    Humphrey ready to welcome Daley

    Chris Humphrey has admitted he can’t wait to join up with future international team-mate Omar Daley at Motherwell.

    ‘Well’s wing wizard has declared his intention to turn out for Jamaica in future internationals, and once the paperwork clears Humphrey and Daley will be in action together for the Reggie Boyz.

    And Humphrey admits he is excited to hook up with a player who already boasts over 60 caps and an international career spanning a decade.

    “There are still a few complications with it; we are still waiting to hear back from a few people before I can get started with it.” Humphrey revealed, regarding his international future.

    “It’s not quite as easy and straight forward a process as I thought it was going to be in all honesty, it’s all a bit complicated but it looks as if it is almost sorted.

    “Obviously if Omar Daley comes in then that will help because he’s very experienced at that level.”

    [pullquote]It’s not quite as easy and straight forward a process as I thought it was going to be in all honesty, it’s all a bit complicated but it looks as if it is almost sorted.[/pullquote]

    Problematic paperwork of his own has ensure Daley will not face Celtic on Saturday, but Humphrey and co. will make the trip to Celtic Park in high spirits after a splendid opening month of the season.

    The Steelmen sit second in the SPL, ahead of Celtic, having only lost one game so far this campaign – a record which saw Stuart McCall handed Clydesdale Bank Manager of the Month.

    The 23-year old praised: “It’s a good place to go and play though, the atmosphere is what any footballer would want to play in front of and hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves.

    “Don’t get me wrong, you always try and perform against every team you come up against but there is that little bit of extra spice when you come up against either half of the Old Firm.”

    On his boss’ award, the former Shrewsbury Town man said: “It’s great news and it shows just how well we have been doing and how well we have started. I am very pleased for him that he has picked up his award.”

  • Archive

    McCall hails Steelmen stars

    Stuart McCall has hailed his players and backroom staff after being awarded Clydesdale Bank Manager of the Month for August.

    The award comes after the former Scotland International led the Steelmen to second place in the SPL, with just one defeat in six matches.

    And a typically modest McCall was keen to see as much of the praise as possible shifted toward the players who have turned the gaffer’s instructions into the ‘Well’s best league start since 1977.

    “If anyone wins manager of the month, it’s mainly because the team has been the team of the month,” lauded the Motherwell boss.

    “As much as Kenny and I – and all the backroom staff – work ever so hard, it’s the lads who have won it and it’s great to accept.

    “There are highs and lows in football and you have got to enjoy the highs like today. But you have just got to continue working hard and improve individually and collectively.

    “We’ve had setbacks, we have had some poor performances and fierce defeats since I’ve been here, but it’s the way they have bounced back that has been impressive.

    “We’ve managed to do that more often than not and had some big, big performances as well.”

    [pullquote]As much as Kenny and I – and all the backroom staff – work ever so hard, it’s the lads who have won it and it’s great to accept.[/pullquote]

    The former Everton and Rangers midfielder will now be hoping to buck the trend of the ‘Manager of the Month Curse’ in the most spectacular fashion – with a win at Celtic Park.

    But, as much as today’s award adds to a prevailing sense of momentum and confidence at Fir Park, McCall admits that the trip down the M74 will be as tough as ever for the boys in claret and amber.

    He continued: “As much as I’m an optimist, I’m a realist. We are under no illusions how tough this will be. Celtic are an excellent side.

    “A good Dundee United team went there and Peter [Houston], their manager, was quite happy with their performance even though they lost five goals. That can happen when you go to the Old Firm away from home.

    “Away from home you always have it in the back of your mind that if you lose an early goal it could be a long day.

    “But I’ve got belief in the players and we’ve got to be as competitive as we can. We’ll make it as difficult as we can but also carry an attacking threat, so that when we get up the park we can create chances and hopefully take them.”

    McCall also confirmed that prospective new signing Omar Daley will not be involved on Saturday.

    As the manager previously warned, the deal is something of a tangle of red tape, but the Steelmen boss does expect the player to be registered in the coming days, having already put pen to paper.

    And he expects the flying winger to be an exciting addition: “Omar Daley has actually signed but we are just waiting for the final bit of paperwork.

    “He is flying back into the country but not in time to be involved. He was over playing for Jamaica against Colombia in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday and had to go back to Jamaica to sort all his paperwork out.

    “He is more known as a wide player. He has great pace and good feet. I played him down the middle at Bradford at times – he doesn’t have the greatest of goal-scoring records but he is always a threat because of his pace and ability.”

  • Archive

    McCall nets Manager of the Month

    Motherwell Manager Stuart McCall has been named the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Manager of the Month for July / August.

    McCall has guided the side to second in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League following wins against Inverness CT, Hearts, St Mirren and Dunfermline in what has been an exciting start to the season. 

    ‘Well were in sensational form on the opening day recording a 3-0 win over Inverness CT which was followed up with a hard fought draw at Kilmarnock and impressive 1-0 back to back wins over Hearts and a confident St Mirren side.

    Despite suffering defeat to Rangers, McCall made sure his players responded in the correct manner and they rounded off the month with a fantastic display in a 4-2 win over Dunfermline. 

    It was McCall’s emphasis on attacking football whilst maintaining positive results that led the panel to pick him as their Clydesdale Bank Premier League Manager of the Month.

    A panel of Scottish football experts chose the award winners from a shortlist which included the top three fans’ nominations from Clydesdale Bank’s football website, www.cbfootball.co.uk.

  • Archive

    Celts game live on ESPN

    Motherwell’s match against Celtic, scheduled for early November, has been moved to accommodate live television coverage.

    The game, originally scheduled to take place at Fir Park on Saturday November 5th (3pm), will now take place on Sunday November 6th (12 noon kick-off).

    >> REVISED FIXTURE LIST

  • Archive

    Injury devastation for Devlin

    Young full-back Nicky Devlin will sit out most of the season after sustaining a cruciate ligament injury in training this week.

    The former Dumbarton starlet has been a shining success for the Under 19s this season and already had one eye on breaking into the first-team.

    However, his progress has ground to a halt with the news that he’ll probably miss most of the 2011-2012 campaign.

    Speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk, Devlin said, “There’s never a good time to pick up an injury like this but it couldn’t have came at a worse time.

    [pullquote]I got the news yesterday that I am likely to be out for the majority of the season – certainly six months at the very least.[/pullquote]

    “I was really settling in to the club and was starting to enjoy my football and I think Gordon Young and the coaching staff were happy with how I was progressing.

    “I thought, at first, that it was a nothing injury, that I would be back quite quickly. However, I got the news yesterday that I am likely to be out for the majority of the season – certainly six months at the very least. Anything before that would be a bonus.”

    Devlin will now join fellow right-back Steven Saunders on the long road to rehabilitation and admits that he is thankful for small mercies having someone else to work with on the many days at the gymnasium.

    “If there is any bonus in the timing it is that (Steven) Saunders is going through a similar type of rehab to me and we can push each other on.

    “I just need to work hard in the gym and use the time working on other aspects that will hopefully make me a better, stronger player when I return. Hopefully I am back as soon as possible!”

  • Archive

    Cash Converters POTM

    There’s still time to vote in the Cash Converters Player of the Month competition and you could be chosen at random from all entries received and congratulate our star man in person.

    Every month this season, Cash Converters will be giving you the opportunity to present your Motherwell Player of the Month with a trophy, and now is your chance to vote for who you think deserves to receive August’s award.

    It’s been an excellent month for the Steelmen who sit joint top of the Scottish Premier League table – has the mercurial Jamie Murphy caught your eye?

    Or what about new signing Nicky Law; the former Rotherham man has been at the heart of everything good. Big Michael Higdon has already bagged three goals and Tom Hateley is not far behind with two belters.

    Skipper Stephen Craigan has made his best start to the season in years and Stevie Hammell is back to some of the form that won him International recognition.

    No matter who it is, all you need to do is vote for which ‘Well player you think has been the stand-out performer for August and, if you are correct, you could be chosen at random from all entries received, to congratulate our star man in person.

    To cast your vote, simply visit our Motherwell Facebook page, ‘Up the Well’ or by CLICKING HERE.

    The link will also give you the opportunity to enter the draw to take part in the next Convert for Cash, which will be taking place on September 24th, when Aberdeen visit Fir Park.

    For the August Player of the Month – VOTE HERE.

    CC

  • Archive

    Hibs Cup prices confirmed

    Prices for the Scottish Communities League Cup clash with Hibernian on Tuesday 20th September can now be confirmed.

    This match will be pay-at-the-gate with admission as follows:

    ADULTS:   £15  
    CONCESSIONS:                                  £10
    JUVENILES:   £5
    • Prices are for all four stands (Phil O’Donnell, Davie Cooper, East and South (Away) Stand.
    • Season Tickets are valid for this match using the “Domestic Cup Tie” voucher near the middle of the book.
    • Concessions are listed as Over 60s and Full Time Students with a valid matriculation card.
    • Juveniles aer listed as Under 16.
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact John McCaskie on 01555 870122 or email sharon.mccaskie@sky.com.
  • Archive

    Open Meeting a roaring success

    300 fans attended the Alona Hotel last night as the Board of Motherwell FC outlined their plans for the future of the club.

    The top-table panel, consisting of board members Derek Weir, Bill Dickie, Leeann Dempster, Andrew Wilson, Jim McMahon and John Swinburne were joined by ‘Well skipper Stephen Craigan.

    The evening, compered by Andrew, kicked off with a general welcome and an outlined the clubs’ objective of becoming a unique fan-run club.

    Derek Weir gave a short presentation about the legal side of the new Well Society, detailing some of the stresses, strains and pains of the last few months as the club constructed the Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) with lawyers and still await approval from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

    [pullquote]There are too many negatives around Scottish football at this time, but together, the club and fans, have a real chance to do something incredibly positive and secure the future for this club for our children and our children’s children.[/pullquote]

    Jim McMahon, a board member since 2001, then outlined some of the financial aspects of how the Society will work and operate. Jim also outlined the share transfer plans with approximately 45% of Mr Boyle’s holdings being transferred to the IPS upon completion with the remaining 55% migrated when the society is fully functioning and ready to take on majority control of the football club.

    Jim also talked at length about his hope of raising capital somewhere in the region of £1.5 million, although no actual membership target has been set, to act as a buffer in temporary cash flow situations.

    Leeann Dempster, Chief Executive, then spoke in-depth about how the board had come to their current proposals and a breakdown of the various memberships that will be on offer when all plans and proposals are confirmed. Several levels are available, starting at £300 for the ‘Steel’ Membership with the ability to spread payments interest free, all the way through to the premium “1886” Membership, aimed at successful business’ and individuals,  with a mouth-watering array of benefits.

    Leeann was also keen to stress the one member, one vote philosophy no matter the financial commitment and hoped the Society would be fully up and running, with the ability to take membership fees by November or December.

    Finally, Stephen Craigan gave an account of what the fans and the club mean to the players and how the stronger involvement of supporters through the Society would benefit the club, even on the pitch. The 54-times capped Northern Irish International recalled some of his days with the club and memorable occasions whilst wearing Claret and Amber and encouraged everyone to get on board.

    He also revealed that former hero James McFadden has agreed to become involved as the first member and that he, along with his 20-month old daughter, would become member two and three.

    Bill Dickie, Vice-Chairman, and John Swinburne both gave short address’ giving their backing to the Society. Mr Swinburne, in particular, gave a rousing speech about his long and illustrious life watching Motherwell and encouraged everyone to follow in his footsteps when he first received shares some 40-years ago.

    Following the formalities, the floor was open to ask questions in a Question Time style Q&A. A mixture of clarifications, ideas and encouragement; over thirty questions, varying from the financial model, timelines, a family option and others were all discussed at length.

    The evening ended with a vote of thanks and a promise of more meetings and consultation with fans as the fine-tuning before the proper launch continues.

    Afterwards, Leeann Dempster told motherwellfc.co.uk, “We are all delighted with the turnout and the overwhelming positivity and feedback we received from supporters.

    “We have unanimous board support for this exciting venture. Many clubs turn to their fans at a time of weakness, of financial difficulty. We are approaching fans now at a time of strength – on and off the park.

    “Together we can ensure a great football for Motherwell FC. I have consistently said over the past two years that our ultimate aim is to become the best run family-friendly, community club in Scotland and tonight was a massive step in that direction. This is a historic opportunity for the club and its supporters to really make a mark for the future.

    “There are too many negatives around Scottish football at this time, but together, the club and fans, have a real chance to do something incredibly positive and secure the future for this club for our children and our children’s children. Perhaps even point the way forward for the whole of Scottish football.”