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    Motherwell 0 – 0 Dundee Utd

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    Latest eBay auctions listed now

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    Dundee United programme preview

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    TV: McCall expects improved United

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    U19s game with Inverness postponed

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    ‘Well help kids get safety message

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    TV: Young opts for youth

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    TV: Law keen to extend good form

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    TV: Craigan expects tough Arabs test

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    Craigan at the ‘Craig

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    Motherwell 0 – 0 Dundee Utd

    [tab:Match report]

    twitter Kris Jack at Fir Park

    Motherwell remain in third place in the SPL after drawing a blank against Dundee United at Fir Park.

    Neither side could break the deadlock, in a game which was dictated by the swirling wind and rain which engulfed the stadium.

    Michael Higdon and Omar Daley had the best chances for Motherwell, while Jon Daly and John Rankin could have won it for Dundee United. However it wasn’t to be and a draw was perhaps a fair result.

    Having gone so many games without changing his starting XI, Stuart McCall made a second consecutive rotational change, leaving Jamie Murphy on the bench, in favour of Chris Humphrey, in order to keep the game winning pairing of Michael Higdon and Omar Daley from last week’s victory in Aberdeen. Stephen Hughes had to make do with a place on the bench, on his return to Fir Park.

    Peter Houston’s Dundee United side, fresh from a win over Hearts in their last outing, were looking to avenge the 3-1 defeat ‘Well inflicted upon them earlier in the season. Jon Daly took his usual dangerous place up front, with former Steelman Gavin Gunning returning to Fir Park in Tangerine instead of Claret and Amber.

    The opening period of the game didn’t produce much in the way of free flowing football as the conditions played havoc with both teams passing and movement. Jon Daly headed wide from a Johnny Russell cross before Michael Higdon’s turn and shot from the edge of the box up the other end had Pernis scrambling to push it wide.

    Mackay-Steven was fortunate not to be booked for a challenge from behind on Shaun Hutchinson, after the big defender had got the better of a tussle with the United wide man. Shortly later, he shot straight at Darren Randolph after being played in by Gavin Gunning.

    Dundee United earned two quick-fire corners, the second creating a glorious chance for Motherwell to take the lead. Flood’s cleared cross found its way to an unmarked Chris Humphrey, who strode from halfway in to the opposition box. His cross failed to land on Daley’s head, with Lasley volleying well over when the ball landed at his feet.

    Michael Higdon thought he had given ‘Well the lead when he poked the ball in from about an inch out, but the ball had gone out off Daley’s back before Humphrey’s cross found the striker via the post.

    At the Cooper end, Randolph had to look lively to palm away a point blank Daly volley inside the box. He then had to repeat the action when a slip by Hutchinson allowed the United skipper the same chance. The first half had not quite been end to end, but both sides created chances to have gone in at the break with the lead.

    As the second half got underway, Motherwell were using the wind to their advantage and won an early corner. Hammell’s inswinger found the head of Hutchinson, but Pernis got his full body behind it to keep it out. Down the other end, Willo Flood pinged a free kick in to the Well box, which was cleared to John Rankin, but the former Hibs man’s effort was straight at Randolph.

    The game had opened up as both teams upped the tempo in search of an opener. United were looking dangerous on their few forward forays, but pressure from the ‘Well midfield mainly kept them hemmed in.

    Jamie Murphy entered the fray for Chris Humphrey, as well looked to bolster their attack in the final 15 minutes. A wind assisted throw form Randolph almost played the former Scotland U21 star in, but Dixon got back to knock the ball out. Dalle Valle came on for Mackay-Steven and with his first touch, he almost set up Jon Daly, but a magnificent sliding challenge from Jennings thwarted him just as he was about to pull the trigger.

    Jonathan Page replaced Shaun Hutchinson with eight minutes to go, as a draw seemed likely. John Rankin could have altered that with three minutes remaining when Dalle Valle’s slide rule pass played in Flood, but Rankin couldn’t put the former Celtic and Middlesbrough man’s ball on target.

    Two minutes later, he once more, tested Randolph with a dipping drive from distance.

    It was to be the last real effort of the game, as the match finished all square. The draw keeps the Steelmen in third place, but sees them fall five points behind Celtic in the quest for second place.

    [tab:As it happened]

    twitter Kris Jack at Fir Park

    90mins – Three mins added on time: Carswell on for Lasley.

    87mins – Steve Jennings gets the sponsors Man of The Match award. He, Law and Lasley have bossed the midfield again today.

    83mins – Hateley’s whipped cross is gathered on the line by Pernis. Will we see a winner?

    82mins – Page on for Hutchinson. Nicky Law volleys off defender after good Lasley cross, corner amounts to nothing.

    76mins– United Sub: Dalle Valle on, Mackay-Steven off.

    74mins – Jamie Murphy on, Chris Humphrey off.

    73mins – A Mackay Steven run in to the box is eventually headed back to Randolph by Craigan.

    70mins– Hateley sends Daley sprinting down the left, he beats his man, but his cross is too close to Dusan Pernis.

    67mins – Hateley’s near post corner is headed out, 2nd corner sails just over Daley’s head at back post.

    66mins – Hammell free kick finds Hutchinson, whose header is palmed out by Pernis, ball rebounds off Kenneth for corner.

    Attendance: 4487, as always cheers for coming folks!

    63mins – Hutchinson booked for foul on Mackay-Steven.

    61mins – Daley lays off For Higdon at edge of the box, but they get in one anothers way.

    60mins – Dundee United sub: Russell off, Dillon on

    52mins – Flood free kick from east Stand side cleared, Rankin works space, shoots straight at Randolph

    51mins– chances for Law and Hutchisnon have seen Well dominate proceedings. Well have wind behind them and it shows.

    45mins – Second half underway

    Half Time – Motherwell 0 Dundee United 0 : Both sides have battled with the elements and had chances, but no goals as yet.

    43mins – Humphrey hot foots it to the bye-line, but his cross is cut out and cleared.

    40mins – 2-0 Queen’s Park, looks like Hampden is coming to Fir Park…

    39mins – Randolph forced in to 2 diving saves from Daly to keep game level, makes a 3rd, clawing Kenneth’s header out from under bar.

    35mins – Well have ball in net, but disallowed for either offside or the ball being out of play. Higdon poked it in on line. No goal.

    31mins – Well break through Humphrey, run delayed, crosses for Daley, falls for Lasley who blasts high in to South Stand.

    30mins – United corner. Flood drives ball to Kenneth, Mackay-Steven jinks past 2 Well men for another corner.

    26mins – Nicky Law cuts in form the left and opts to pass rather than shoot, Omar Daley goes down under Kenneth challenge, Brines says no.

    21mins– Omar Daley wins a foul, as his trickery leads to him being the meat in a United sandwich. Free kick taken short, Well win corner.

    20mins – Queen’s Park currently 1-0 up on Elgin as they compete for a crack at The Well in the next round of the Scottish Cup…

    10mins – The Well fans choose the 10th minute to ring out a chorus of “One Phil O’Donnell”.

    9mins – A Higdon turn and shot on the edge of the box has Pernis scrambling to palm the ball wide. Good effort from Higgy.

    9mins – Mackay-Steven drives wide form 18 yards but is penalised for hand ball.

    7mins – Paul Dixon throws a throw in straight out the park. No doubt the conditions are to blame…

    3mins – Daly flashes a header wide from Johnny Russell’s cross.Never troubling Randolph.

    1min – The wind and rain are driving in to the Well players faces in the first half, glad I’m in the stands.

    KO: The teams emerge in to the tempestuous Saturday afternoon wind and rain, shake hands and get ready for kick off.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “If it had been cancelled at one o’clock I would have been delighted. It was just what I expected. You can play in rain, the pitch is in great nick, but when you get wind over so many miles an hour it just makes it a lottery.

    “It can’t have been great for the punters and it certainly wasn’t great for the players. If we had come in and had won 4-0 I would have said the same. I wasn’t looking forward to the game to start with.

    “Sometimes you can end up with an exciting game just through mistakes. We certainly haven’t entertained the punters and that’s not the fault of the players.

    “It’s easier for us to sit in the stand but when you’re down there, one minute the ball will carry on, then it will swirl, the next minute it will stop. You lose a little bit of confidence on the ball because things aren’t going right. There were some decent passages of play but not enough to merit what it costs to get in.”

    Dundee Utd manager Peter Houston:

    “We’re asking people to travel from Dundee and leave their homes in Motherwell and pay good money in a time when football is desperate to get as many punters through the door, we’re asking them to watch football in that.

    “We had two teams who worked their socks off and tried their hardest, not to play football, because when it came near our box I told our boys to get rid of it and let a mistake happen at the other end.

    “But should we be sitting down with the powers-that-be and discussing summer football? Years ago I wasn’t an advocate of summer football but I look at the Irish league from March to November, and the weather for the past two seasons, the snow.

    “I’m not for a winter break – I would rather change the season similar to what the Irish do. You are going to play in the summer where people might see a better game than we’ve seen today. We’re asking people to pay a lot of money and the entertainment value, let’s be honest, was fairly rank.

    “The wind is the biggest problem. Players love playing in the rain when the surface is slick but as soon as it becomes as windy as that, it’s not conducive to any type of football.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”78″]

  • Archive

    Latest eBay auctions listed now

    There are some fantastic and unique lots currently up for action on the clubs’ own eBay store.

    The club’s official eBay store is full of claret and amber goodies you won’t find anywhere else!

    From signed merchandise to hospitality packages and money can’t buy experiences, fans have the chance to get their hands on some exclusive Motherwell memorabilia?

    Previous auctions have included match-worn shirts, signed footballs, programmes, tickets, and even sponsor rights. Right now, we have four 2010/11 training kits (Nick Blackman, Angelis Charalambous, Steve Jones and Jonathan Page), 3 signed European jerseys issued for the match versus Breidablik (Darren Randolph, Shaun Hutchinson and Steven Hammell and three incredible items, signed match worn boots previously belonging to Gavin Gunning, a 2010/11 Scottish Cup Final ‘Blood shirt’ and a Cup Final warm-up and tracksuit top.

    CLICK HERE to browse everything at our official eBay store.

    The club also run charity auctions from time to time where all proceeds go towards one of the many local charities we support.

    If you wish to donate an item please contact us on 01698 333333 or email bid@motherwellfc.co.uk.

    Standard eBay terms and conditions apply to any purchases.

  • Archive

    Dundee United programme preview

    ‘Well host Dundee Utd tomorrow and if you are coming to the match, don’t forget to pick up a matchday programme.

    With a new editorial team and a new producer in Curtis Sport, the 64-page magazine has been a hit with fans in our nine home games and this edition should be another not to miss.

    What’s inside? Well, manager Stuart McCall talks about the difficulties of facing Dundee United, his desire to improve on performances at Fir Park and the aims for the up-coming weeks and months.

    Skipper Stephen Craigan gives an excellent topical view of Scottish football and examines recent highs and lows in the SPL from a players’ point of view and there is a superb interview with midfield maestro Steve Jennings. Andy Ross caught up with the Scouser, discussing matching the exploits on the road in North Lanarkshire, his decision to stay at Motherwell last summer and catching up with an old pal…

    There is a special 12-page section dedicated to our visitors, Dundee Utd. Not only is there a rundown of the current squad and a review of the season so far, we get the views of Arab Evan Rattray and Peter Elder remembers a 4-2 win against theTerrors from 2004.

    And that’s not all. As well as match reports from both the Celtic and Aberdeen matches, regular features such as The Travelling Fan with Yir Elder, On This Day with Graham Barnstaple and we also look at Stephen Craigan at the Tesco Bank Football Challenge and a further look at the Scottish Cup draw.

    Wait, there’s more! Andy Meek is the latest to take part in our ‘FANATICS’ series. We have the latest from the Under 19s, The Ticket Office, the Commercial Department and the latest stats, facts and figures for the 2011/2012 campaign.

    The programme is available for £3 and is currently on sale from the Club Shop and Jack Daniels as well as the usual sellers located in and around the ground pre-match.

  • Archive

    TV: McCall expects improved United

    Stuart McCall has told MFC TV he expects an extremely tough test against a much-improved Dundee United tomorrow.

    The Arabs went through a transitional summer, losing quality players such as David Goodwillie, Prince Bauben, Morgaro Gomis and Craig Conway. That made for a somewhat inconsistent start to the season as Peter Houston set about rebuilding his side.

    However, in recent weeks, they look back to their best with their attacking players getting goals and the defence, led by former ‘Well loanee Gavin Gunning, proving much more assured and stubborn.

    “This is a Dundee United side much improved in recent weeks,” McCall said.

    “I was at their last away game at Ibrox and although they lost the game, they were unlucky not to win, never mind pick up a point. Actually, since Houstie was getting that ridiculous criticism a month or so ago, with rumours in the paper of him leaving United, they’ve had a great win against Dunfermline, an excellent performance at Ibrox and a really solid win over Hearts.

    “They will come to Fir Park today full of spirit I am sure of that.

    “But we have to be on the hunt for all three points, there’s no doubt about that. I said after the Aberdeen game, when people asked me about Rangers dropping points that we’re looking to consolidate where we are and identify teams who could challenge for that spot. Dundee united come in to that category, so three points today are desirable to keep them further behind us.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV-

  • Archive

    U19s game with Inverness postponed

    Motherwell’s U19s match away to Inverness has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

    Heavy overnight rain all across Scotland has made conditions at the Highland Football Academy very difficult and the match was called off just after 9am this morning.

    No date has, as yet, been scheduled for the rearranged fixture.

    The U19s are back in action this coming Tuesday when they face another away trip, this time to Hibs’ training camp. Kick-off is at 1pm.

  • Archive

    ‘Well help kids get safety message

    An interactive website highlighting internet safety to children has been developed by Motherwell Football Club and North Lanarkshire Council.

    The site features an animated boy who takes children through five golden rules to stay safe on-line, as well as advice and tips on other web activities including social networking, chat rooms and cyber bullying.

    Motherwell FC developed the web site as part of their Community Programme in partnership with the council’s child protection team.

    Stevie Kirk, former MFC player and now Business Development Manager with the club’s Community Trust, features on the web site.

    “We’ll be taking the internet safety message out to all primary schools in North Lanarkshire as part of our community programme,” Stevie explained. “We hope that through kids’ interest in football, we can help promote the importance of staying safe on-line.

    [pullquote]We hope that through kids’ interest in football, we can help promote the importance of staying safe on-line.[/pullquote]

    “Chat rooms, gaming and social networking sites are now so popular with children of all ages and there can be dangers out there if children aren’t careful in how they use the technology. Our web site gives practical tips on protecting yourself, like using a nickname, never arranging to meet people they have ‘spoken’ to on-line and not giving out personal details.”

    Speaking at the launch of the web site, Gavin Whitefield, Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Council, said internet safety was a key priority for the council’s Child Protection Committee.

    He said: “With mobiles, laptops and electronic games all giving children instant access to the internet, parents and professionals are concerned about their safety on-line. This has been reflected in the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2010 which identifies online safety as part of the safeguarding agenda for all child protection committees.

    “We have worked closely with Motherwell FC on various issues, including the Choose Life suicide prevention campaign. So when we approached them about our on-line safety work, they immediately offered their support. It is a great opportunity to use football to get these important messages across to children and parents and I would like to thank the Club for its support.”

    Take the MFC Internet Safety Course to learn more.

  • Archive

    TV: Young opts for youth

    Gordon Young has told MFC TV he intends to take one of the youngest ever squads on the long journey north to Inverness tomorrow.

    The Under 19s have been severely hampered by injury, illness and player promotion in recent weeks, making for inconsistent results and performances.

    However Young, Motherwell’s Head of Youth Development, choose to focus on the positives as many youngsters, still capable of turning out for the U17s, will have their chance to shine.

    “I wish the stats were readily available to hand as I reckon this will probably be one of the youngest squads we will have fielded in the SPL U19s league,” Yound said.

    “That’s a combination of a few things but it’s a fantastic opportunity for others. I am really excited about the match. Off the top of my head, I think we’ve have five 16-year olds, six 17-year olds and the rest made up of second years.

    “These lads have trained really well and deserve their shot. Obviously things have been somewhat forced but no matter the situation, these are the chances that don’t come around all that often and the platform is there for these boys to step up to the plate and make a claim for a regular berth.”

    -WATCH GORDON’S INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV-

  • Archive

    TV: Law keen to extend good form

    Midfielder Nicky Law reckons putting further distance between ‘Well and the chasing pack is vital as the SPL heads into the busy festive period.

    The former Sheffield United and Rotherham midfielder has enjoyed a sensational start to his Motherwell career, and is one of one the early season success stories for the Steelmen.

    However, the Englishman is under no illusions about the size of the task that face the Fir Park side.

    Although McCall’s men have managed to open up a nine-point gap on nearest challenges St Johnstone and St Mirren, Law admits that the priority at the minute is to extend that by as many points as possible, as quickly as possible.

    [pullquote]Dundee United will be one of the sides who will be looking above as opposed to below so the further we can pull ahead of them the better.[/pullquote]

    “At the minute we’re taking everything one game at a time and not looking too far ahead of ourselves or getting too carried away,” the 23-year old said.

    “Our aim is to try and create as much of a buffer as possible. We know, at some point, or at least you would assume, that we won’t always be winning games and we might hit a sticky patch. If that does happen, then there’s a nice gap to fall back on. It’s about taking advantage of things when it is going right.

    “Dundee United will be one of the sides who will be looking above as opposed to below so the further we can pull ahead of them the better.”

    -WATCH NICKY’S FULL INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV-

  • Archive

    TV: Craigan expects tough Arabs test

    ‘Well skipper Stephen Craigan today admitted he expects a rejuvenated Dundee United to pose a significant threat at Fir Park this Saturday.

    Peter Houston’s men have only lost once in their last five matches, and that was at Ibrox, and picked up an excellent three points against Hearts last Saturday.

    And 54-times capped Craigan, speaking as the Tesco Bank Football Challenge Festival in the Ravenscraig Sports Facility, knows ‘Well are in for a tough encounter.

    “If Peter can get his best eleven on the pitch, and he has just added Robbie Nielsen to the squad, then they are a threat to anyone,” he said.

    “They have improved, there is no about that, and there is no doubt they were in a false position. We have to guard against that and improve our own home form and that’s what we are looking to do.

    “Even when you look at the last game at Tannadice, we won 3-1 but got the goals at the right times in the game.

    “We scored just before half-time which knocked the stuffing out of them a little bit but there’s no doubt it will be a tough ninety minutes for us this weekend.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ONLY ON MFC TV-

  • Archive

    Craigan at the ‘Craig

    Photos from the Ravenscraig’s Regional Sports Facility Children as Stephen Craigan meets local primary school kids at the Tesco Bank Football Challenge Festival.

    [svgallery name=”craiganatthecraig”]