Pictures from the 3-0 defeat by St Johnstone in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.
Pictures from the 3-0 defeat by St Johnstone in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.
Alan Temple at Fir Park
A clinical display of finishing allied with a superb defensive performance secured St. Johnstone a 3-0 victory against an under-par Motherwell this afternoon.
The shut-out continues the visitors’ remarkable record of having not conceded a single goal away from McDiarmid Park this campaign.
Derek McInnes’ side claimed the lead after twenty minutes, with the unfortunate Tim Clancy slicing into his own net while trying to clear a Jamie Adams header.
Motherwell tried in vain to find a way past an organized St. Johnstone backline, with Peter Enckelman saving efforts from Nicky Law and Michael Higdon. Even the second half introduction of Omar Daley, who flashed a decent drive just wide, couldn’t lift the Steelmen.
And the Saints secured all three points with fifteen minutes left to play, as Francisco Sandaza rounded Darren Randolph following a slack Stevie Hammell pass across the face of goal; the former Valencia Mestalla striker calmly slotting past Craigan on the line.
Sandaza then facilitated a third goal, darting past Craigan into the box and firing in a low shot. Darren Randolph could only parry the ball as far as second half substitute Sean Higgins, who set up Liam Craig to fire into the roof of the net from ten yards.
New signing Daley had to be content with a place on the bench for the ‘Well after confirming his two-year deal during the week. Indeed, the only change to the side defeated 4-0 at Celtic Park last week was Chris Humphrey coming in for Shaun Hutchinson, who is expected to be out for at least a month with ankle damage.
Derek McInnes made two changes from the draw at St. Mirren seven days earlier, with Steven Anderson and Kevin Moon replacing David Robertson and David McCracken.
The previous time Motherwell tasted defeat against St. Johnstone at Fir Park it cost Jim Gannon his job, losing 3-1 to the Saints back in 2009, and the men in blue looked like they fancied a repeat performance as they set out with an adventurous 4-4-2, with two out and out strikers and advanced wide players.
The attacking outlook threatened the home side almost immediately when Cillian Sheridan picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and drove in a ferocious strike. Darren Randolph had to be on his toes to tip the ball over the bar.
Moments later Nicky Law fired in an almost identical reposte, surging forward and launching an effort on goal with his right-foot. Once again the keeper came out on top, this time with Peter Enckelman clutching the effort.
Law’s effort sparked the Steelmen into life, and only a super Frazer Wright block denied an on-target Michael Higdon shot after some terrific build-up from Chris Humphrey on the right flank.
Enckelman was tested again after a quarter of an hour as Tom Hateley curled in a dangerous free-kick which the Finnish keeper had to be alive to, and the former Villa man held the delivery well.
Yet, somewhat against the run of play, St. Johnstone opened the scoring after twenty minutes. Liam Craig swung in a deep free-kick which Dave MacKay won at the back-post. The Saints captain powered his header across the face of goal for Jamie Adams to nod towards goal, crossing the line via the left boot of Tim Clancy.
The visitors were proving typically stoic in defence, and could have actually doubled their lead fifteen minutes before the break. The excellent Dave MacKay advanced down the right and curled in a lovely cross from the byline, allowing Sandaza a fairly free header from eight yards, but the towering Spaniard headed over.
Chris Humphrey was a first-half bright spot for the men in claret and amber, who consistently gave Alan Maybury something to think about with some direct running.
And Humphrey created a decent chance for Steve Jennings as half-time approached. The Jamaican turned Maybury inside-out before cutting the ball back to Jennings, but his shot from 18 yards cleared the cross-bar.
Hateley also came close on the stroke of half-time, curling a free-kick inches over Enckleman’s cross-bar from the edge of the area.
The ‘Well seemed to emerge with a little more vitality in the second half, but it was the Perth side who created the first half-chance. Francisco Sandaza managed to shrug off a series of challenges in the Motherwell half before dragging his shot just wide from 25 yards.
McCall’s men finally managed to breach the excellent Saints defence minutes later, but Peter Enckelman was once again up to the challenge. The big stopper could only punch a Stevie Hammell cross as far as Chris Humphrey who, in turn, found Michael Higdon, but Enckelmen stooped to parry the subsequent shot wide.
It was Darren Randolph’s turn to be heroic as the action swung from end-to-end. Diminutive winger Chris Millar cut inside from the right before curling a beautifully arced effort towards Randolph’s top-right-hand corner. The big Irishman did wonderfully well to palm the effort away, before Jamie Adams headed the rebound over the bar.
It proved a temporary reprieve for Motherwell, as a slack goal effectively secured the points for St. Johnstone. Stevie Hammell attempted to find Stephen Craigan with a square-ball across the face of goal, allowing Sandaza to steal in and intercept. Darren Randolph attempted to rush out and win the ball, but the striker won the battle against the keeper, before bearing down on goal and rolling the ball past the retreating Craigan.
‘Well tried to force their way into the game, but it was to be the delirious Saints fans who would be celebrating another goal. Sandaza, a constant threat, skillfully beat Stephen Craigan as he burst into the box. His low drive was well saved by Randolph but Sean Higgins picked up the rebound and set up Liam Craig, who fired home to make it 3-0.
[tab:As it happened]
Kris Jack at Fir Park
Full Time – Motherwell 0 St Johnstone 3. Midweek Cup game against Hibs will hopefully bring the bouncebackability.
84 mins – GOAL!0-3 St Johnstone. Sandaza jinks in box, forces save from Randolph, ball worked to Craig who fires high in to net.
83 mins – Daley plays a 1-2 with Hammell on the left and hits a rasper from 20 yards that fizzes just wide.
81 mins – Higdon hits a first time shot from distance right down Enckelman’s throat.
75 mins – GOAL! 0-2 St Johnstone. Hammell’s backpass to Randolph is far too short and Sandaza capitalises. Bad day at the office for Motherwell.
58 mins – Millar travels with the ball before curling an effort to Randolph’s top corner. Palmed away by the keeper, rebound by Adams headed over.
53 mins – Hammell’s deep cross finds Enckelman flapping and Humphrey’s lay off to Higdon sees the big striker force a save and corner.
49 mins – Sandaza gets a shot in after a series of failed tackles. Fortunately he drags it wide.
44 mins – Millar brings down Hammell on edge of box. Hateley’s free-kick effort goes close but lands on the roof of the net.
36 mins – A typical Humphrey dance in to the box tees up Jennings, who blasts over from the edge of the box. Better from the home team.
27 mins – A great sliding block from MacKay prevents Higdon from bursting the net from 18 yards.
18 mins – GOAL! Craig’s free kick from left is headed back across goal by MacKay, Adams flicks it in off Clancy. Well 0 – Saints 1.
2 mins – Former Well loanee Cillian Sheridan forces Randolph to palm over from 20 yards. Early test for the Well No.1.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“I’m angry, more than anything. We warned the lads that football isn’t all about turning up and playing pretty patterns and we know what St. Johnstone would bring with their away record.”
“We lost every single battle on the pitch today. Take nothing away from St. Johnstone but we were very poor. We didn’t really create that much. We huffed and puffed with a couple of set pieces.”
“I’m really disappointed in every one of my players today. That’s the worst we’ve been. St. Johnstone don’t have the same international players that Rangers and Celtic have, but they just wanted it more – and I think the last time I said that was against St. Mirren nine or ten months ago.
St. Johnstone manager Derek McInnes:
“Motherwell have some very good players and we knew we would have to nullify them, and we’ve done that. We defended very diligently and kept some very good players quiet.”
“Our first goal gave us an element of control and that can put pressure on the home side, but I didn’t feel confident until the second goal went in.”
“Motherwell have caused us problems in the past and I have high regard for what Stuart is doing at the club, so I’m delighted to get a result here.”
Alan Temple at the Creamery Park
A deflected Steve Hetherington strike was enough to secure all three points for Motherwell, as Gordon Young’s charges outclassed a dogged Inverness side at Creamery Park.
Despite the deceptively close score-line, the hosts dominated the vast majority of the encounter and could – perhaps should – have racked up a more comfortable victory.
Hetherington’s goal, after twenty minutes, was just rewards for a lively opening by the home side and, more specifically, a terrific individual display from the U19s captain, who was in imperious form while patrolling the midfield.
Craig Moore was denied in the first half by an excellent Edward Baldy save, while the industrious Keiran McGachie also came close a couple of times. Lee Erwin also curled a shot just wide as the young Steelmen utterly controlled the play.
Yet the Highlanders could have left Bathgate having stolen a point, as Liam Polwarth curled a speculative effort inches over Willie Muir’s cross-bar in the dying minutes of the encounter.
After an impressive 1-1 draw with league champions Celtic last Saturday, Gordon Young made just one change to his starting line-up, with Josh Watt dropping out to be replaced by Lee Erwin. The addition of a striker in place of a midfielder allowed ‘Well to set up with an expansive 4-3-3 against the Caley Jags.
The attacking change certainly had the desired effect, as Motherwell controlled the tempo and created chances from the start of an entertaining affair. After just two minutes Craig Moore had fired a warning shot across the visitors’ bow, scrambling an effort just wide after a nice delivery from Hetherington.
Moore was then denied by Edward Baldy; the Caley keeper making the first good save of a busy afternoon at Creamery Park. The 17-year old Steelmen striker raced onto a hopeful through-ball, capatalising on some lax defending from Caley, and tried to slot his effort past the keeper, but Baldy was quick off his line and smothered well.
The only real threat to the Motherwell backline in the early stages was the direct running of Kyle Whyte. The lively left-winger showed admirable willingness to run at the ‘Well right-back Darren Brownlie, and lashed a shot over the bar after fifteen minutes – the first real half-chance for Duncan Shearer’s side.
The deserved, and inevitable, opener came after twenty minutes, and it displayed the creativity and imagination which has become synonymous with Gordon Young’s successful regime.
A clever short corner allowed Hetherington to manufacture some space on the edge of the area as everyone was sucked into the penalty area, and the ‘Well skipper proceeded to smash a left-footed drive towards goal. The sweetly struck effort looked to be goal-bound, but a deflection off the unfortunate Martain Laing ensured Baldy had absolutely no chance as the ball soared into the top corner.
Calum Dingwall blazed a couple of efforts off target as the half progressed and Caley struggled to find a foothold, but it should have been Motherwell who extended their lead.
On the stroke of half-time Hetherington surged forward and, with nobody closing him down, unleashed a ferocious left-footed drive. Despite a despairing dive, Baldy was nowhere near it and could only look on in relief as the ball rattled the post.
The half-time interval saw the heavens open in Bathgate, something which, combined with a slightly rutted pitch, wasn’t overly conducive to the Motherwell kids’ style of football but, to their credit, ‘Well continued to play some lovely passive football and really should have put the game to bed in the second period.
Herman Mboa Makonga was first to threaten as, ten minutes into the second half as he headed into the arms of Baldy from inside the area after some beautifully crafted build up play between Keiran McDonald and Zaine Francis-Angol.
The Motherwell front three of Erwin, Moore and McGachie were keeping the Inverness backline on their toes, and the latter came close to making it two-nil on the hour mark. The bustling striker received a pass from Moore and, after a sharp turn, caressed a decent effort just wide of the post from twenty yards.
Erwin was the next of ‘Well’s promising attacking trio to threaten, curling a left-footed shot inches wide of the post after some excellent work by McGachie, who dispossessed left-back Tom Smith.
Smith’s afternoon then got worse as he perpetrated a woeful back-pass, allowing Erwin to steal in and round the keeper, but the 17-year old’s effort from an acute angle was cleared off the line.
With five minutes still to play Motherwell could have finally put the game to bed as Craig Moore ran clear on goal but his shot from just inside the box was save by the onrushing Baldy – the Caley keeper proving to be one of the few lads in blue and red to emerge from the encounter with their reputation enhanced.
Yet, remarkably Inverness Caledonian Thistle, having been cut open several times and lucky to only be a goal down, could have headed north with a point.
As injury-time approached Liam Polwarth received the ball on the edge of the box and unleashed a lovely curling effort. The ball went inches over the bar, with Willie Muir beaten. It proved to be the closest the visitors would come as Motherwell saw the game out for a deserved win.
Motherwell: Muir, Fancis-Angol, Cummins, Murray, Brownlie, Hetherington, Mboa Mekongo, MacDonald, Erwin, Moore, McGachie (Leitch – 75mins)
Subs Not Used: Stewart, Ashgar, Green, Lynch
Omar Daley has expressed his delight at teaming up with Stuart McCall once more, after completing his move to Motherwell this week.
Daley has previously stated that he’s played some of his best football under the current ‘Well gaffer, and the Jamaican winger is hoping that continues as the former Bradford City duo team up in North Lanarkshire.
“I’ve known Stuart from our time in Bradford, and he always gave me confidence,” The 30-year old confided. “I played some very good football there and always did my best so I want to come here and do that again.
[pullquote]I like the style of football the manager tries to play, and the way Motherwell pass the ball, so I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing with my new team-mates[/pullquote]
“His man-management skills are very good, he knows how to deal with the players – and he is honest.”
“I like the style of football the manager tries to play, and the way Motherwell pass the ball, so I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing with my new team-mates.”
The former Bradford and Preston North End player is in line to face St. Johnstone after finally completing what proved to be a convoluted move to Scotland.
A deal was agreed in principle a couple of weeks ago, but due to issues with his work permit and visas – exacerbated due to the player’s international involvement – he missed out on last week’s trip to Celtic Park.
Daley admits that it is a relief to have the move done and dusted, having signed a two-year deal.
“It was a long process,” the 65-times capped speed-merchant bemoaned. “But I’m here now, everything is signed, and I can’t wait to get on the field.
“It could have been done quicker but I had to go to leave the country and play a friendly match against Colombia, and that sort of set things back a bit.
“I’ve come out of a tournament with Jamaica and played in a friendly too so I have plenty of games under my belt and I’m ready to go.”
Stuart McCall has admitted he is excited by the prospect of unleashing new signing Omar Daley upon the SPL.
The ‘Well gaffer, who also managed Daley at Bradford City, has described the Jamaican winger a potential ‘match winner’ for the Steelmen, with all the pace and incisiveness that you would expect from a dangerous winger.
The 65-times capped Daley could feature against St. Johnstone this weekend after a summer spent playing for Jamaica in the Gold Cup and, thus, keeping fitness levels high – and McCall expects an impact from his new Reggae Boyz star when he does make his Fir Park bow.
[pullquote]He gives us good pace and he has matured as a player – I’m looking forward to him exciting the crowds.[/pullquote]
“The great thing about Omar is that his fitness levels are good,” the ‘Well boss praised. “He’s been away through the summer with Jamaica and played a few games and trained hard, so he gives us another option this weekend.
“He’ll certainly be in the squad. I’m not sure whether he will start or be on the bench but I’m sure he will get some involvement.
“He gives us good pace and he has matured as a player – I’m looking forward to him exciting the crowds. When I was at Bradford he had some spells of form where I’d think he could easily play in The Championship.
“Like all wingers he can be inconsistent and infuriating – but he can be a match winner for us.”
Daley’s first task in claret and amber, should he feature, will be to help facilitate a win over St. Johnstone this weekend.
The Saints currently sit in eighth spot in the SPL but, remarkably, have yet to concede a single goal away from McDiarmid Park this season.
Naturally McCall is wary of the threat posed by the Perth side and their prodigious backline as the Steelmen to bounce back from last week’s defeat at Parkhead.
“We know St. Johnstone will defend well and be very difficult to break down,” the former Rangers and Everton midfielder. “They’ve added strikers as well now, so just because we’ve got three home games starting with St. Johnstone doesn’t mean we just need to turn up to win the games.
“But if you take the two games versus the Old Firm out of the picture we are delighted with our start. We now need to respond to last week’s defeat, kick on, and keep the momentum going.
“We look to beat everyone, especially in our home games – we have that belief – so that aim is no different this weekend.”
Shaun Hutchinson will definitely miss the visit of Derek McInnes’ side with an ankle injury, after limping off in the first half of the defeat against Celtic.
Despite an initially pessimistic prognosis, McCall hopes the big defender will be back in a month.
“We’d be delighted if he’s back after the next international break,” the 47-year old admitted. “That’s a bonus when you consider how serious it looked when it was swelled up after the match.
“He’s a big, brave lad and he’s a quick healer, so we hope it’s a case of weeks rather than months.”
Motherwell Football Club’s junior cheerleading team, the ‘Well’s Belles, are now recruiting for the 2011/12 season.
Working with our partners, the aim is to develop the initiative over the forty weeks and keeping the first group of youths together, delivering a level two to the course and at the same time taking on another group.
This would offer a rolling programme over forty weeks for all the groups and would keep a high level of interest in the project.
The numbers of youngsters being offered the opportunity to do something positive and disciplined would lead to less anti-social problems with young people standing around on street corners and causing annoyance to the public and the community.
Community programmes are often flush with initiatives that are perhaps inadvertently aimed at young boys but through the award-winning ‘Step Up’ programme, the club have targeted females aged between 12-17 years of age.
With the recent addition of a senior squad, there is now an opportunity for the girls taking part to progress through a development structure.
The girls will train on a weekly basis and also perform at Motherwell FCs home games over the course of the season. The club assists the girls to feel a part of the community by being associated with the local senior football team in the area.
Progress is monitored during the programme throughout the year and develops accordingly. There is a heavy emphasis on the promotion of a healthy life-style by providing dance instruction and cheer-leading activities.
The programme will run every Tuesday from 6pm-8pm in the Davie Cooper Suite at Fir Park, starting from Tuesday 27th September.
For more information or to become involved in the initiative contact Graeme McArthur via email at email@example.com or call 01698 239926.
After the initial Open Meeting ten days ago, the club have received notes of interest in the ‘Well Society from all corners of the globe.
Calum Benson from the Republic of Ireland was one of the first to signal his intent and was quickly followed by Phil Andrews, all the way from Melbourne, Australia.
Speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, Phil said, “The formation of the ‘Well Society is a fantastic initiative and one which cements the club into its community, wherever we are in the world.
“I have been in Melbourne now for sixteen years now but I am a lifelong ‘Well fan. All my family are still in Wishaw and when we visit every couple of years I drag my partner and daughter along to the games, though the 0-0 draw at Hamilton in the freezing weather last New Year nearly put an end to that forever!”
Further interest from down under came from Charlie Greenhill, another expatriate living in Oz, who quipped, “There is a saying in Australia about the country but it can be equally applied equally to the Well: ‘You can take the boy out of Motherwell but you can’t take Motherwell out of the boy.’”
Emails of interest have also arrived from the Middle East, North America and Eastern Europe as well as a massive response locally both in and around the Lanarkshire area and beyond.
Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said, “The feedback and interest we have had from Motherwell fans has been absolutely terrific and, in almost 100% of the cases, very positive and supportive.
“We truly believe we are doing something groundbreaking, certainly in SPL terms. We have the drive to become Scotland’s biggest family and community club and with each register of interest we receive via email, it takes us one step closer to our goal.”
If you would like to register your interest or just know more about the ‘Well Society, check out the online presence here on motherwellfc.co.uk – CLICK HERE.
You can also follow the ‘Well Society on Twitter – CLICK HERE.
And don’t forget – for fans who want to quiz the board on any issues surrounding the future plans for the club – the second Open Meeting for supporters will be held this Saturday, 11am in the Cooper Suite at Fir Park.
Instead of your usual ‘away game day out’ with friends, why not have your day out at Fir Park?
Get together with a group of fellow Well fans and kick-off your match day as Match Sponsors in the exclusive Joe Wark Lounge!
It’s a fantastic way to support the club and meet Motherwell legends from the past and present. Match Sponsorship packages are available from only £2500+vat for a party of 20 guests.
With visits from first team players as well as club legends it’s a great way to celebrate a special occasion AND we’ll have a photographer on-hand to record the highlights of your day…
Enjoy a 4 course meal in the exclusive Joe Wark Lounge with a complimentary bar pre and post match.
You and your guests will each receive a corporate gift, complimentary match day programme and team sheets before making your way to your centre stand seats adjacent to the Directors’ Box.
Half-time tea will be served in the Joe Wark Lounge where you’ll return at full time to make your MFC Man of the Match choice. Your Man of the Match will join you post match for the presentations and our match day photographer will be on-hand to capture all the highlights of your day.
You will also receive a PA announcement during the warm-up, again at half-time with another just before the final whistle when we’ll announce your MOTM choice.
For more information on Fans Match Sponsorship please contact 01698 338008 or email (including your contact telephone number) firstname.lastname@example.org.
Motherwell have this afternoon completed the signing of Jamaican International winger Omar Daley on a two-year contract.
The former Reading, Preston and Bradford City winger, 30, rejoins his former boss Stuart McCall after spending almost four years together at Valley Parade.
Daley has had a busy summer, starring for the Reggae Boyz in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scoring a wonder goal against Greneda in a 4-0 win. Most recently, he completed his 65th cap when Jamaica met Columbia in Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium last Tuesday.
He has spent the last few weeks on trial at Fir Park, taking in a number of bounce games. His performances tempted ‘Well boss McCall to offer him a deal and, after weeks of battling through red tape, his clearance finally came through this afternoon.
Speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk, Daley said, “I am delighted to be here and I have to thank the manager, Stuart McCall, for showing faith in me.
[pullquote]It’s like a big family here and I just can’t wait to get started and get to know the fans.[/pullquote]
“I played the best football of my career under the gaffer at Bradford and I am grateful to be linking up with him for a second time.
“I have been in for a few weeks now and the standard is very high and the players are very professional. The lads have been very good to me; I feel very comfortable at this club. It’s like a big family here and I just can’t wait to get started and get to know the fans.
“My confidence is high at the minute; I’ve had a good summer with my country at the Gold Cup so I’ll give it my all in training this week, try and impress the coaching staff, and hopefully I will be involved in the match this Saturday.”
The second public meeting of the ‘Well Society will be held this coming Saturday (17th September) in the Cooper Suite at Fir Park.
The first meeting took place last Monday, as 300 ‘Well fans packed the Alona Hotel to quiz the board on their plans for the club.
For fans that couldn’t make the previous meeting or for those who did but wish further information, the second debate will be held at 11am this coming Saturday before the St Johnstone game.
Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said, “We were absolutely delighted with how it went last Monday night; we’ve had so many positive comments.
“We were always planning a number of open meetings so fans that missed out, but still want to be involved with the Well Society, have the same opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions.
“As fans would be travelling to Fir Park for the St Johnstone game, we felt it an ideal opportunity to once again open the floor to everyone.”
For more information about the Well Society, CLICK HERE