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    TV: Saunders hoping for Spiders test

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    Scottish Cup 4th Round draw

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    New Sky Sports & ESPN TV Deal

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    Officials named for Utd clash

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    Over 25s Monday Night Football

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    TV: Aberdeen 1 – 2 Motherwell

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    TV: Daley thankful for debut strike

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    TV: McCall delighted with Dons win

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    Aberdeen win in pictures

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    Aberdeen 1 – 2 Motherwell

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    TV: Saunders hoping for Spiders test

    Steven Saunders is hoping for a clash with his former side as Motherwell were drawn against either Queen’s Park or Elgin City in the 4th Round of the Scottish Cup.

    Saunders came through the ranks with the Spiders before joining Motherwell in the summer of 2008.

    He has since gone on to play 72 times in Claret and Amber as well as representing Scotland at U19s, U21s and the full squad against the Faroe Islands at Pittodrie.

    Despite being months away from recovering from a terrible Achilles tendon tear, the 20-year old is keen to see his old side take on his current employers.

    “Obviously being the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, there were a number of tricky ties on offer so it’s good to be at Fir Park with the chance of a win,” he said.

    “In saying that, it would be a scalp for either of them so we’ll obviously have to guard against complacency and be at our very best to progress.

    “If I had to choose, obviously it would be great if it was my old side Queen’s Park got through and we played them. They still hold a special place in my heart but at the same time, it would be great to get one over of them.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN ON MFC TV-

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    Scottish Cup 4th Round draw

    Motherwell have been drawn against either Elgin or Queen’s Park in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

    The draw took place at Hamden this morning with World Champion boxer Ricky Burns pulling the teams.

    Matches are due to be played on the weekend of 7th and 8th of January 2012.

    More to follow…

    THE FULL DRAW:

    Ross County v Stenhousemuir
    Livingston v Ayr United or Montrose
    Raith Rovers v Morton
    Hearts v Auchinleck Talbot
    Cowdenbeath v Hibernian
    St Johnstone v Brechin City
    Stranraer or Forfar Athletic v Aberdeen
    Culter or Partick Thistle v Queen of the South
    Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic
    Falkirk v East Fife
    Motherwell v Elgin City or Queen’s Park
    Arbroath v Rangers
    Peterhead v Celtic
    Airdrie United v Dundee United
    Dundee v Kilmarnock
    St Mirren v Hamilton Academical

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    New Sky Sports & ESPN TV Deal

    The Scottish Premier League today announced a new five-year deal with Sky Sports and ESPN for the live rights to Clydesdale Bank Premier League games.

    The clubs agreed a deal on improved terms which will run from season 2012/13 to the end of season 2016/17.  

    Each broadcaster will continue to show 30 live games per season across the UK.

    Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive of the SPL, said: “Sky Sports and ESPN are two of the biggest names in sports broadcasting and the SPL has enjoyed an excellent relationship with both broadcasters over the course of the current contract, a period which has seen a 28% increase in viewing figures.

    “In the current economic climate, announcing an increase in value is excellent news for our clubs. We are very much looking forward to working with both broadcasters over the coming seasons to continue to raise the profile of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and provide fans with excellent coverage of their league.”

    Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “We’re delighted to agree this deal with the SPL and continue our partnership with Scottish football that began 20 years ago.  This long-term agreement means Sky Sports viewers can continue to enjoy coverage of 30 live matches a season, including each Old Firm head-to-head, across TV, mobile, online and tablet devices.”  

    Ross Hair, Managing Director, ESPN – Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “The Clydesdale Bank Premier League has been an important part of our schedule in these first two-and-a-half seasons of our local ESPN channel in the UK and Ireland.

    “Scottish football has performed well on ESPN as we work to build our brand locally and develop our long-term business. We are very proud of the coverage that we have delivered to fans and are very pleased that they have responded with great support and an increasing connection to ESPN on TV and across digital media. We are very excited to continue our coverage and pleased to extend a great partnership with the league.”

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    Officials named for Utd clash

    Referee for Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Dundee Utd is the experienced Iain Brines.

    Iain will be handling his second Motherwell match of the campaign; he was in charge for the 1-0 win over St Mirren back in August when a last-minute Tom Hateley free-kick gave the Steelmen all three points.

    He will be a familiar face to ‘Well fans over the years, none more so than last season where he handled six Motherwell matches, more than any other official.

    He was the man in the middle for the games against St Johnstone in early September, St Mirren at Fir Park one month later, Rangers on Boxing Day, Saturday’s opponents Dundee Utd at Tannadice in January, Inverness in the Highlands last March and the Scottish Cup Semi Final against St Johnstone.

    A Nick Blackman wonder strike and an own-goal from Kevin Rutkiewicz was enough to earn the Steelmen all three points in Perth and late goals from Tom Hateley and Jamie Murphy gave ‘Well a 3-1 against Danny Lennon’s men.

    Managerless ‘Well were thumped by Rangers despite John Sutton’s goal early in the second half. A Kenny Miller double along with goals from Vladmir Weiss and a Steven Saunders own goal gave Rangers a comfortable 4-1 win.

    United were comfortable 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Johnny Russell and David Goodwillie and Inverness ran out 3-0 winners courtesy of goals from Sutherland, Foran and MacDonald – arguable the worst performance of the season.

    Prior to that Saints game three months ago, his most recent appointment was that fantastic day at Hampden when Craigan, Murphy and Sutton booked ‘Well a spot in the Final.

    To his credit, Brines was excellent in all six matches with the games at McDiarmid Park and the Caledonian Stadium passing off without a single caution; a rarity in modern football.

    The 44-year-old, who has been a top-flight official for a decade and amongst FIFA’s elite group for five years, has already handled SPL games at Easter Road, Ibrox, St Mirren Park, Pittodrie, East End Park and Rugby Park.

    His overall record in charge of the Steelmen is a bit of a mix bag. Of the 30 games he has taken charge of, Motherwell have won eleven, draw four and lost fifteen.

    In those games, 106 players have seen yellow, 48 of which in claret and amber, while three have been sent for an early bath.

    Iain will be assisted by Gary Cheyne and David Watt with John Beaton on fourth official duties.

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    Over 25s Monday Night Football

    Enjoy watching footy at the weekend? Fancy a kick about? Why not get involved in our new over 25s Monday Night Football project at Fir Park.

    The programme, that will take place on the Astroturf facility behind the East Stand, will concentrate more on the fun aspect rather than the toils and spoils of competitive football.

    Whilst building your fitness levels, our emphasis will be more on style and skill so you can express yourself in a fun, friendly and relaxed way.

    So, if you are over 25 and looking to take part in our fun football evening, then get involved for just £3 per week.

    • 10 week block booking
    • Starts Monday 5th December 2011 – 9 – 10pm

    You can book online at www.motherwellsoccerschools.com or by phoning 01698 239926.

  • Archive

    TV: Aberdeen 1 – 2 Motherwell

    All the goals from Pittodrie as Motherwell continue their incredible away run with a 2-1 victory over Craig Brown’s men.

    -CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE GOALS FROM THE MATCH ON MFC TV-

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    TV: Daley thankful for debut strike

    Jamaican International Omar Daley was delighted to net his first goal for the club against Aberdeen this afternoon.

    The 30-year old was playing as a second striker, partnering Michael Higdon in attack, and got his name amongst the scorers with a brilliant second-half strike.

    And the former Bradford winger gave thanks to a higher power when interviewed by MFC TV after the match.

    “I am delighted and I have to give God thanks; I have got to give the big man praise.

    “When the gaffer told me I was going to play striker; I was never going to turn down the opportunity to start my first match.

    “I told myself, when I get a chance, I am going to shoot and thankfully it has gone in.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH OMAR ONLY ON MFC TV-

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    TV: McCall delighted with Dons win

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall was absolutely delighted with his side who turned in another gritty away day performance to take all three points at Pittodrie.

    A goal in either half from Michael Higdon and Omar Daley handed the Lanarkshire side the win, Motherwell’s seventh away success in nine games on the road this term.

    And McCall praised his side after recording a fourth successive win over Craig Brown’s side.

    “It was a gritty, determined performance from the boys,” the former Scotland International said.

    “Down the spine of the team, Craigan, Jennings and Higdon, epitomised everything we did that was good. When we went 2-1, there was a real determination to see the game out. The number of blocks in and around the eighteen yard box was superb.”

    -CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH STUART ON MFC TV-

  • Archive

    Aberdeen win in pictures

    Pictures from the 2-1 win over Aberdeen in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Pittodrie Stadium.

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

    [svgallery name=”aberdeen191111″]

  • Archive

    Aberdeen 1 – 2 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    twitter Kris Jack at Pittodrie

    Omar Daley’s 53rd minute strike continued Motherwell’s stunning form away from home, as they defeated Aberdeen 2-1 to stay in the hunt at the top of the table.

    Michael Higdon netted an early header, only to be cancelled out by Scott Vernon’s counter a few minutes later. Daley’s first goal for the club at the start of the second half was enough to secure yet another win for Stuart McCall’s men over former gaffer Craig Brown’s Dons.

    Motherwell travelled to the Granite City in hope of bouncing back from the home defeat to Celtic on their last outing. When the teams met at Fir Park earlier in the season, ‘Well ran out 1-0 winners thanks to Bob McHugh’s late strike.

    There would be no place for McHugh at Pittodrie as his freak ankle injury kept him out of the squad. Shaun Hutchinson came in at centre back to replace the suspended Tim Clancy, while Omar Daley was given his first start in place of compatriot Chris Humphrey. Stephen Hughes, who returned to the club this week, made the trip north, but did not make the squad.

    Aberdeen’s last game versus St Johnstone was postponed, so this was the first time they had kicked a ball in anger since their 2-1 defeat to Rangers at the end of October. Kari Arnason and Rory Fallon were Craig Brown’s only changes from that starting eleen, with Chalali and Scott Vernon stepping in.

    Brown’s programme notes were very complementary to his former employers in the build up to what was an important game for both teams. A home win, would put the hosts three points clear of bottom club Inverness in the relegation battle, while a win for Stuart McCall’s men would go some way to helping the Well cement their intent for third place.

    And Motherwell made the best possible start when they drew first blood after only five minutes. Law was needlessly fouled by McCardle on the left flank and from Tom Hateley’s set piece delivery, Micahel Higdon flashed a header beyond Gonzalez from close range. It was the Scouse striker’s 6th league goal of the season and second in as many games, giving Motherwell the ideal start to the match.

    Scott Vernon had a chance to respond straight away for the Dons, but he was crowded out in the box. His pass back to Ricky Foster allowed the Aberdeen skipper a shot, but he blasted high over. The ‘Well defence failed to heed that warning as Aberdeen drew level. Vernon headed home unmarked from Foster’s 10th minute cross, to the audible delight of the home support.

    Soon after, a Foster corner was cleared only as far as the edge of the box, but Milsom’s fresh air swipe killed any momentum Aberdeen were building. Soon after, a stretching clearance by Hutchinson prevented Chalali from getting a shot in. The hosts were pressing their visitors back in their own half and were controlling the midfield. Chris Clark was next to let fly, but his shot after cutting in past Steve Jennings, flew well over.

    Motherwell enjoyed a hefty amount of possession, with some pin point passing, but little in the way of penetration. When they gave the ball up, Fraser Fyvie was given a sight of goal from a throw in. However the young forward’s first time shot was tame and trickled past the post.  Aberdeen were getting the break of the ball more than their visitors as the midfield battle was being won by the men in red.

    A push on  Milsom by Hateley gave Foster a chance to whip another ball in from the left touchline, but his cross was deflected wide by his own man.

    Another free kick from the left, this time from Fyvie, caused consternation in the ‘Well box, but poor touches from both sides managed to prevent a goal scoring opportunity.

    Despite taking an early lead, Motherwell’s first half showing was reminiscent in parts, of their display against Inverness, which eventually earned a win. Despite having good spells of possession, the fluidity of other matches was not present. An improvement was needed in the second half.

    They certainly delivered, coming out of the traps quicker in the second half and looked more comfortable going forward. A Hateley corner was cleared early on, while Law’s trickery on the left almost created a half chance. Yet, it was Aberdeen who almost took the lead, when McCardle’s cross was headed goalward by Vernon. This time though his header smacked the bar.

    Motherwell’s response was to go up the park and take the lead for the second time. Omar Daley collected the ball on the edge of the box from Jamie Murphy’s neat pass, worked some space for himself and blasted a low shot past the diving Gonzalez from 16 yards; the Jamiacan’s first goal for the club on his first start.

    Aberdeen were obviously not as enthralled with his strike, as Daley was scythed down on the left by Milsom. Referee Calum Murray deemed it fair, much to the chagrin of the Motherwell bench.

    Darren Randolph was called in to action when a rasping drive from Fyvie forced the Republic of Ireland stopper in to a diving two handed save.

    Stuart McCall introduced Chris Humphrey in place of goal hero Daley and a great run from the Jamiacan winger was halted when he was upended on the edge of the box by Foster, having roasted the Don’s skipper. Motherwell looked hopefully at referee Calum Murray for a penalty but a free-kick was all that was forthcoming from the match official.

    Craig Brown threw on veteran striker Darren Mackie and his first involvement was to get in behind Hammell, but his low cross was easily cut out by Hutchinson and cleared. Down the other end, a fast break by Motherwell found Humphrey galloping in to the box, but his cut back for Keith Lasley was just behind the free scoring midfielder. They regrouped to play a great 1-2, but Humphrey’s cross from the bye line hit the side netting.

    Aberdeen tried to throw everything at Motherwell in injury time, but the Steelmen held on to record another three points on the road. Despite an uncharacteristically lacklustre first half, Omar Daley’s second half strike earned Motherwell a glorious 2-1 win in Aberdeen, keeping the Fir Parkers joint second in the SPL.

    [tab:As it happened]

    twitter Alan Burrows at Pittodrie

    FT: Aberdeen 1 – 2 Motherwell! YYYAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

    90mins – 3 minutes left to play… For God sake, where did he get that from. C’mon ‘Well – please hold on.

    87mins – Mackie on for Dons. Oh no…. 🙁

    82mins – Dons throw on another big player – Magennis on to add more threat to the home high ball. It’s like Bert Paton’s Dunfermline!

    81mins – Ball is getting battered from one end to the other. Nine to go, can Motherwell hold. For my sake if anything, pleasssee! 😉

    77mins – Dons throwing everything they can at Motherwell – we’ve dropped a little deep. Gonna hate these last 10mins… 🙁

    72mins – Shot from distance by Osbourne (I think) goes way over the bar again. Down the other end, Humphrey’s ball in the box almost pays of

    70mins – Motherwell make the sub – Goal scorer Omar Daley comes off and is replaced by Chris Humphrey.

    69mins– Must be my MFC style Mancini scarf in the Press Box. On the park, Dons pushing for leveller. Well holding out for the moment.

    68mins – I am getting pelters from the home fans. Stewards… Help! lol

    61mins – Pawlett on for McArdle as Dons go looking for a second equaliser of the match.

    61mins – I know I probably sound biased, but we’re not getting much in the way of calls from the referee today. Dons on the attack!

    59mins – Shot from Chalali forces Randolph into the save. Good game now – tempers are getting het up too!

    56mins – Terrible, terrible tackle on Omar Daley and it’s not even a foul. That’s a joke call from the referee I am afraid!

    52mins – Ball over the top has the Jamaican in. He takes a touch, beats one and drills home from the edge of the box. 2-1 Motherwell. Get in!

    52mins – GOOOOALLL OMAR!!!

    50mins – Motherwell doing okay at the start. Having most of the ball but not able to create in the final third as yet. Dons defending well.

    45mins – Teams are out for the second half – Motherwell to kick-off. No changes! C’Mon ‘Welllll!

    HT: Aberdeen 1-1 Motherwell

    37mins – Another soft FK award I think. Dons crowd on the far side influencing things I think. ‘Well clear up though.

    36mins – Motherwell play into trouble with a short kick-out and Hateley giving away a free-kick. Looked VERY soft award right enough…

    35mins – Scrappy stuff from both teams at the moment. Ball is taking a doing!

    31mins – Motherwell can’t get strikers Daley and Higdon close enough to each other. Gap is allowing Dons to mop up.

    28mins – Great punch from Randolph to clear though. Dons throw 30 yards from goal. Lands at Milsom, low shot bounces way wide.

    27mins – Motherwell play keep ball for about 5mins without Dons touching it. Comes to nothing though and quick counter yields a corner.

    21mins – Long range shot from Chris Clark goes a few yards over Randolph’s bar. Lots of Ooooohhhhhhs, but it was never going in. Thankfully!

    20mins – On the park, still 1-1 with the Dons on top at the moment. ‘Well having to defend hard at the moment. C’mon Steelmen!

    19mins – Stream of Motherwell fans getting carted out I am afraid. Chrous of boos from all stands accompany it to. Shame!

    17mins – Well players chase referee Murray after what looked like an obvious foul on Hutchinson in the middle of the park. Not given, corner

    16mins – Police look to be getting involved with the band of ‘Well fans over in the South Stand. Usual really… 🙁

    13mins – My prediction before the match was 1-1. Although that’s correct just now, there’s deffo more goals in this game for sure.

    10mins – GOAL Aberdeen! Vernon. Poor goal from Motherwell to lose. Ball from the left goes over Craigan’s head. Venon heads home thro DR.

    8mins – Aberdeen look to hit back quickly. Seeing alot of the ball but eventually get into final third, Forster fires WAAY over the bar!

    6mins – Free kick on the left by Hateley. Whipped in towards Higdon who flicks it home from close range. Amazing start!

    6mins – GOOOALLLLLLLLL!!!! HIGDON!!!

    3mins – Stuff start to the match. Dons looking to get in behind the ‘Well defence with the all silver Steelmen trying to get it down!

    1min – Aberdeen kick-off and start with a thumping long ball. Looks like that’s how they will play – back to front.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Aberdeen manager Craig Brown:

    “It was an even game. I’m still waiting to see our goalkeeper make a save, against a very good team. They are third in the league and didn’t involve David Gonzalez at all in the game.

    “They had two shots and two goals. I’m not exaggerating when I say that; there was hardly a cross to cut out either.

    “By the same token we didn’t have too many threats on Darren Randolph but we’re not third in the league, we’re down at the bottom. So there is no evidence of a gap between the two teams. We conceded two soft goals and that cost us.

    “We didn’t do enough.”

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “I looked at the game last year and it was the first time we played the diamond, and probably the only time until today. We tried to get Murphy in behind and Omar’s pace is vital when we try to play that way.

    “We weren’t really happy at half-time, I don’t think we got Nicky Law on the ball enough, or Omar or Murph. We had a lot of possession in the first half but we didn’t do an awful lot with it. We didn’t get in behind them enough until Murphy’s ball to Omar, and it was good skill and a great finish.”

    “I thought second half we were a little bit better, but it was a gritty, tight win. When we went 2-1 ahead, we had a lot of blocks on the edge of the box and the desire from the lads to keep them out was very good. It was a strong, disciplined performance, but we can play better.” 

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

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