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    Allan appointed for Saints clash

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    Jennings angry at Parkhead showing

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    McCall vows to bounce back

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    Celtic defeat in pictures

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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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    Allan appointed for Saints clash

    Referee for this Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with St Johnstone will be the experienced Crawford Allan.

    It will be Crawford’s first ‘Well game of the current season but he will be a familiar face having taken charge of three matches last term.

    He was the man in the middle for the 4-0 win over Saturday’s opponents St Johnstone last November thanks to a hat-trick from Nick Blackman and a single John Sutton strike.

    Three months later he was back at Fir Park when a John Sutton penalty was enough to give ‘Well a 1-0 win over local rivals Hamilton Accies. Most recently, he handled the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock in May when Steve Jones’ opener was cancelled out by Willy Aubameyang.

    The season previous, 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 over Kilmarnock.

    Monthly later 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 ten 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 five and drawing four of the nine games in total. In those games, 25 players have seen yellow, eleven in Claret and Amber, whilst three have been sent for an early bath.

    Allan will be ably assisted by Tom Murphy and Michael Banks with Barry Cook on fourth official duties.

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    Jennings angry at Parkhead showing

    Kris Jack at Celtic Park

    Steve Jennings was left cursing a ‘sloppy’ Motherwell performance and an absent referee’s whistle as the Steelmen succumbed to a heavy 4-0 defeat at Celtic Park.

    Motherwell had a fair amount of possession, but could not convert some pretty patterns into clear opportunities – while Celtic were clinical and incisive at key moments in the game, although there appeared to be a strong case for the second goal to be chalked off.

    Jennings, who was taken off with ten minutes to go to give young Stuart Carswell a run out, felt that the size of the scoreline was not necessarily reflective of the game.

    “Heads go down if you give away easy goals,“ said the former Tranmere man. “But we played OK – although their goals killed the game”.

    Those ‘killer’ goals came from James Forrest, who bagged two, Ki Seung Yeung and Joe Ledley.

    Ledley’s strike which made the scoreline 2-0 was particularly infuriating for the midfield grafter, who appeared to be impeded by Gary Hooper, allowing the English striker to play a vital part in the goal.

    [pullquote]Heads go down if you give away easy goals but we played OK – although their goals killed the game.[/pullquote]

    Recalling the incident, a frustrated Jennings rued: “The ball got played in to Hooper and he’s stuck out his arm and caught me in the face.

    “I had the same kind of thing happen from him down south, and he knows how to do it well.

    “He definitely caught me on the chin and there’s not much more I could do. I definitely have to say it was a free kick, I’ve had a word with the physio after the game and he says that I’ve to see a Doctor about it if it is still hurting on Monday.”

    One other player who was in the wars was Shaun Hutchinson. Only just returning from a thigh injury, Hutchinson took a seemingly innocuous ankle knock early on.

    It forced the big defender off, to be replaced by Chris Humphrey, and Stuart McCall revealed after the game that Hutchinson would be leaving Parkhead on crutches, given that his ankle was “the size of a balloon”.

    “His ankle has blown right up straight away,” Jennings said of his injured colleague. “For him to have to go off because of it, we knew it must have been bad.”

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    McCall vows to bounce back

    Graham Barnstaple at Celtic Park

    Stuart McCall has backed his Motherwell players to bounce back after a miserable outing at Celtic Park on Saturday afternoon.

    The Steelmen were outclassed by an incisive Celtic display, with goals from Ki Sung-Yeung and Joe Ledley adding to a brace from undoubted man-of-the-match James Forrest.

    But McCall reckons his side has the capacity to recover for a vital run of three homes games on the trot, starting with the visit of St. Johnstone to Fir Park next week.

    “I said after the Rangers game a few weeks back it is about how we react to it,” the ‘Well boss challenged. “We now have three games at home and we need to be in a positive frame of mind, as I am sure the players will be when they come back to training on Monday.

    “When you are playing against the Old Firm, especially away from home, you need a combination of things to go in your favour if you want to win but we got none of those things today.

    [pullquote]We now have three games at home and we need to be in a positive frame of mind, as I am sure the players will be when they come back to training on Monday.[/pullquote]

    “You only have to look at their front six; they are all internationalists and we don’t have any International players. 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.

    “We are disappointed but we have to move on, you know anything you take from the Old Firm is a bonus.”

    As if the four-goal defeat wasn’t painful enough, Motherwell also had to content with a seemingly serious injury to Shaun Hutchinson.

    The big Geordie limped off in the first-half and looks to be a doubt for the upcoming run of fixtures – a major blow given the quality of the defender and the sparse numbers in the Steelmen squad.

    “He is on crutches and it looks as though he could be out long term as his ankle is up like a balloon,” The 47-year old rued. “But we’ll see how it looks on Monday. We can’t afford injuries to many players, but we will have to wait and see if it’s a crack or ligaments.”

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    Celtic defeat in pictures

    Pictures from the 4-0 defeat by Celtic in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Celtic Park.

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

    [svgallery name=”celtic100911″]

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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.


    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.”


    [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.

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    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).