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    Ojamaa wins January award

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    TV: Law sure on penalty claim

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    TV: Hammell reflects on stalemate

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    TV: McCall satisfied with a draw

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    St Mirren draw in pictures

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    St Mirren 0 – 0 Motherwell

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    Pick January’s best player!

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    TV: Lasley keen on the points

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    TV: McCall hopes to edge it

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    TV: Youths travel north

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    Ojamaa wins January award

    Estonian sharpshooter Henrik Ojamaa has scooped the Clydesdale Bank Young Player of the Month award for January.

    The former Derby County youngster has been sensational since his arrival at Fir Park, opening his Motherwell account against Queen’s Park then following it up with further goals against both Dunfermline and St Johnstone.

    The 20-year old has also pitched in with a four assists as well to cap an outstanding month.

    His form was rewarded with a contract extension which keeps him at Fir Park until 2014 and a call-up to the full Estonian squad for their international friendly with El Salvador in LA later this month.

    He told motherwellfc.co.uk, “I am honoured to win this award but I must also mention my team mates who have been excellent.

    “It has been an incredible start to my Motherwell career, I am loving life in Scotland, and hopefully I can continue to reward the fans with goals and assists.”


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    TV: Law sure on penalty claim

    Influential midfielder Nicky Law is adamant he should have had a first-half penalty after a coming together with Jim Goodwin.

    In the game’s only real moment of controversy, the former Bradford City and Rotherham man tumbled inside the area after clashing with the Saints captain.

    Referee Craig Charleston, handling his first ever SPL encounter, was right up with play and turned down the claims much to the frustration of the Englishman.

    [pullquote]I was going through on goal and if I hadn’t have been tripped up I would have got through and got a shot off so I was disappointed with that but it’s not given.[/pullquote]

    “I thought it was a definite penalty,” he said.

    “I was going through on goal and if I hadn’t have been tripped up I would have got through and got a shot off so I was disappointed with that but it’s not given and thankfully it’s not cost us the game.

    “A few of the lads said they saw it and heard it as well. There was a clash of boots and he just took my foot away at the last minute. It’s not been given and we just have to move on and accept that decision.”

    “That’s three tough games we’ve had against St Mirren now and they’ve always been good open attacking games.”


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    TV: Hammell reflects on stalemate

    Full-back Stevie Hammell reckons ‘Well could have bagged all three points had it not been for the brilliance of Craig Samson.

    Saints and ‘Well fought out a hard-fought draw for the second time this season and, similar to previous games, Saints had more of the ball and the Steelmen probably shaded the better of the chances.

    That was no more evident when Saints stopper Craig Samson produced two world-class saves to deny McCall’s men taking all three points; the first from a Higdon header and the second from an Ojamaa curler.

    [pullquote]I felt we were going to get a chance at the end; the keeper’s pulled off a great save at the end from Henrik.[/pullquote]

    And the former Scotland International admits he thought the latter was actually heading for the net.

    He said: “They’re a good team and we knew it would be a tough game. As a defender it’s good to get a clean sheet. I know they had a lot of the ball, but we restricted them to few chances.

    “Darren’s only had a few saves to make; the one that deflected off me that’s looped over him but apart from that it’s shots from outside the box.

    “They are a good possession side but I thought we were pretty comfortable at the back.

    “It was similar to the last time we played them here, with Tom scoring in the last minute. I felt we were going to get a chance at the end; the keeper’s pulled off a great save at the end from Henrik. With the chances we created, i thought we could have taken all three points.”


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    TV: McCall satisfied with a draw

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has conceded that he was happy with the point his side gained against St Mirren this afternoon.

    The scoreless, yet entertaining, draw, the tenth draw in twenty four SPL meeting between the pair, keeps the Steelmen in third position and extends their unbeaten run to five games.

    ‘Well had their fair share of chances but, at what is a typically tough ground to visit, the former Sheffield United stalwart was happy to settle for a share of the spoils.

    He said: “First half they started better than us. We didn’t start great which is unlike us. I thought we were a little bit sloppy on occassion but thereafter, you saw both sides, we were 4-4-2 and they were 4-4-2, both got good attacking players; we attacked, they attacked, we attacked.

    “I thought we showed we were a good side second-half and, being greedy, I thought we could have nicked it.

    [pullquote]I thought we showed we were a good side second-half and, being greedy, I thought we could have nicked it.[/pullquote]

    “Samson’s made two really good saves, Hutchy’s had a great chance from a corner, Tom’s free kick has just gone wide, Chris has hit the bar with a cross; but all in all, it’s no disgrace to come here and get a point. They’re a good footballing side and both teams put on a good show in front of a great support from the Motherwell fans.

    “It would have been nice to reward them with a last minute goal but we’ll settle for the point”


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    St Mirren draw in pictures

    Pictures from the 0-0 draw with St Mirren in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at St Mirren Park.

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

    [svgallery name=”stmirren110212″]

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    St Mirren 0 – 0 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    twitter Kris Jack at St Mirren Park

    Motherwell and St Mirren shared the spoils in an entertaining, but ultimately goalless, match at New St Mirren Park.

    Despite the Buddies’ dominance in the first half, they could not breach Darren Randolph’s goal, while two great saves from Craig Sampson prevented the Well from snatching an away win.

    Tim Clancy kept his place in the Motherwell defence despite Stephen Craigan being available for selection after his two-game suspension. Stuart McCall stuck with the same side that put six goals past Morton in the Scottish Cup, while Danny Lennon reinstated Dougie Imrie to his attacking line, after the Saints Scottish Cup draw with Ross County.

    And It was former Accie Imrie who had the first effort on goal after only 30 seconds when he spotted Randolph off his line. However, the execution wasn’t as good as the idea, and his shot from 40-yards was easily collected by the Irish goalkeeper.

    St Mirren could have taken the lead a short while later, when McGowan played in Thompson at the edge of the box, but he was blocked out by Clancy. Imrie latched on to the rebound and found his effort saved at the front post by Randolph.

    The scrappy nature of the game didn’t suit Motherwell’s play of recent weeks, which limited the Fir Parkers attempts on goal. Henrik Ojamaa tried on a number of occasions to feed Nicky Law and Jamie Murphy, but the break of the ball wasn’t kind to the young Estonian.

    Saints’ transfer window signing Imrie was involved yet again when he burst down the right and played in Gary Teale at the touchline. The former Scotland and Wigan winger cut back for Steven Thompson, but his effort bounced up in to Randolph’s hands from six yards. ‘Well were being pinned back by their hosts, and were lucky not to concede midway through the first half, when Graeme Carey strode on to a loose ball in the middle of the park, but his effort from 20 yards whistled just past the post.

    There was then some consternation in the box when Randolph looked to be fouled as he attempted to catch a McGowan cross, but as he was dumped to the ground with no foul called, Carey should have done better with an open goal in front of him. Instead, Shaun Hutchinson made a timely block to keep the game at 0-0. Steven Thompson then saw a header cleared off the line by Steve Jennings as the Motherwell goal continued to live a charmed life.

    Randolph was called in to action once more to make a great one handed save, when Gary Teale was allowed space at the edge of the box to shoot. His strike was deflected off Stevie Hammell on its route to goal, but Randolph managed to adjust his feet and stretch to see the ball over the bar.

    There was a big shout for a Motherwell penalty, after neat play between Murphy and Ojamaa sent Law bursting in to the box. Just as he was about to shoot, his heels looked to be clipped, as he slid along the box on his knees. However, Mr Charleston waved play on and the chance of a somewhat undeserved lead had gone.

    Motherwell had managed to survive the first half without conceding and without creating any chances, but they came out for the second half with a much more positive attitude, and could have taken the lead almost immediately after the restart.

    A Hateley corner after Murphy had earned the set piece was met by the leaping Hutchinson, but he failed to hit the target with his free header. The Well’s best chance of the game came a few moments later when Ojamaa’s trickery on the left made space for him to cross an inch perfect ball on to Michael Higdon’s head. The big striker’s powerful header looked destined for the top corner, but an outstanding outstretched arm from Craig Sampson which kept the ball out.

    The busy Ojamaa was then played in by Murphy, but his centred cross was cleared to safety. Keith Lasley was then unlucky to see an effort from the edge of the box headed over as Motherwell looked to get a foothold on the game.

    The majority of the game was being played in the middle of the park, with a drop in goalmouth action compared to the first. Thompson almost snatched a goal when he latched on to a first time cross form Imrie on the left, but his attempt was way off target.

    Motherwell then had three chances in quick succession to leave Paisley with a win.  Ojamaa almost conjured up a winner out of nothing. After seeming to be blocked out at the edge of the St Mirren box, the tricky striker created enough space to curl an effort round his marker, which was beaten out expertly by the diving Sampson.

    Chris Humphrey, who had replaced Jamie Murphy, then hit the bar with a shot-cum-cross, with Sampson beaten.

    Amid those chances, Clancy picked up a booking for taking out Hasselbaink, who had come on for Carey.

    The Dutch forward almost carved out a winner for the Buddies, when his mazy run ended with a ball to McGowan, but the former Celtic man’s wayward shot almost went out for a throw in, despite Thompson’s attempt to keep it in play.

    As much as both teams huffed and puffed, neither could find a goal, as the game ended 0-0. Other results went Motherwell’s way and keeps McCall’s men six points clear of Hearts, who visit Fir Park next week.

    [tab:As it happened]

    twitter Alan Burrows at St Mirren Park

    FT: St Mirren 0 – 0 Motherwell

    90mins – Chris Humphrey hits the bar… Randolph puts him in down the flank. Cross-cum-shot hits the bar and drops out.

    89mins – Goodwin then fires a shot over the bar. Nervy stuff here at St Mirren Park.

    89mins – Incredible stuff. Hasslebaink weaves his way through. Square ball is sliced by McGowan and Motherwell scramble it clear.

    88mins – Super shot from Ojamaa almost catches out Samson but the shot is brilliantly saved by the Saints GK

    87mins – First sub of the day – Hasselbaink is on for Carey. The wee man has quality – let’s hope he doesn’t show it.

    84mins – Corner from Hateley finds Hutchinson inside the six-yard box. Header (or was it shoulder) goes inches wide. Grrrrr

    82mins – Carey sets up a free-kick. Looks dangerous but his effort ends up in the old Love Street – miles over!

    81mins – Higdon booked for a ‘forward’s tackle’ there. Big man can have no complaints…

    77mins – Game is evenly poised at the moment. Saints perhaps look the more threatening in attack – particularly on the counter.

    70mins – St Mirren break with Imrie down the right. His low ball across is dealt with excellently by Tim Clancy. Still 0-0 at the moment!

    67mins -Hateley booked for a poor challenge on McGowan. Fair play to the Saints man though – he got right back up.

    65mins – Jennings booked for dissent. Ref has lost it a bit. Tackles flying in all over the place! Game stretched….

    61mins – There has been some utterly strange calls in this game but the offside against Higdon takes the cake. 2 yards on at least!

    57mins – Hateley has the opportunity for an effort at goal from one of those Goodwin fouls. Shot goes wide though with Samson not troubled.

    56mins – Two quick-fire fouls by the already-booked Jim Goodwin. Midfielder is skating on thin ice.

    54mins – Down the other end Saints, via Carey, screws a shot high, wide and not so handsome! Better start for ‘Well this half…

    53mins – Corner breaks to Las – his fizzing shot is deflected over for another corner. Ref bails Saints out though – FK for the home team.

    52mins – Lovely bit of skill from Ojamaa on the far touchline – SKINS his marker. Eventually leads to a cross that is hooked away by Saints

    50mins – GREAT SAVE Samson! Ojamaa puts in a super cross for Higgy. Striker gets the header in, wonderful save from the Saints GK!

    49mins – Corner from Hammell on the right. Hutchinson meets it but heads over. Think that might be our first effort at goal? :-s

    46mins – Another foul, about the 456,707th of the afternoon, against Higdon when it looked nothing in it. Sigh!

    45mins – Motherwell to kick-off – Las and Ojamaa will get us underway!

    HT: Motherwell are back our early – Hopefully the gaffer has had some words of wisdom and the lads are fired up.

    HT: General view amongst the press box is that ‘Well are lucky to be on level terms. Hard to disagree. Hopefully we can “sucker punch”!

    HT: St Mirren 0 – 0 Motherwell

    42mins – Imrie booked for a late challenge on Hutchinson. The striker has been buzzing about as usual but a wee bit tasty there.

    38mins – BIG penalty claim there. Law goes down in the area. Saints fans are not happy but I thought it was a pen. He was going in on goal.

    34mins – Another long range shot from McGowan flashes wide of Randolph’s post. ‘Well living dangerously at the moment…

    31mins – More fussy stuff from the referee. Higdon for ‘Well and Thompson for Saints are being pulled up for every challenge.

    30mins – Resulting corner is flicked wide by Thompson. Saints should be ahead by now truth be told. Hopefully we can capitalise.

    29mins – Run and shot from Teale takes a deflection off Hammell – Terrific save from Randolph to turn it over,

    26mins – Motherwell look to counter themselves – Law in down the flank but his cross is poor and Samson gathers easily…

    23mins – Sorry, that should have read Carey! ‘Well holding on here…

    23mins – Offt, that was close. McGowan drags a shot inches wide of the post. Saints have had much the better of things so far I am afraid.

    23mins – Play hammering from end-to-end – Thompson almost opens the scoring. Clancy blocks – Motherwell counter but Samson beats Higdon.

    20mins – Both teams are battling hard but the referee is being a wee bit fussy for both teams.

    13mins – Jim Goodwin is the first booking of the afternoon – handball whilst on the ground.

    11mins – Free-kick for ‘Well. Bent in by Hateley – Hutchinson and Samson go for it and the ref blows up. Strange call there – not much in it

    9mins – Saints have dominated the first ten minutes – ‘Well are under the cosh but defending well so far.

    8mins – Imrie goes down under pressure from Hutchinson – looked soft. Saints will whip the ball into the box.

    5mins – Good ball across the face for Hammell has ‘Well in the Saints final third for the first time. Home defence hook it away though.

    4mins – Hopeful ball into the area from Thompson drifts out for a goal kick. Another example of the hosts getting in behind though.

    3mins – Another long range shot from McGowan but it goes well wide – no danger for Randolph but Saints look in the mood.

    2mins – Saints break 5 against 3. Clancy gets in a great block before Randolph turns found for a corner. Not a great start from ‘Well!

    1min – Saints kick-off – early shot from Imrie from distance is comfortable enough for Randolph.

    Teams are out – C’MONNNNN YEEEEEE WELLLLLLLLL!!!! Fans in fine voice behind the goal. Must be approx 850/900 (ish) there!


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “It wasn’t a case of reading the riot act at half time. We were sloppy for the first 15 minutes and I felt we could improve.

    “We did that in the second half and I was really pleased with the display.

    “The save Samson pulled off from Higdon was terrific. He also saved one from Henrik Ojamaa, while Shaun Hutchinson should have scored with a header from a corner.

    “For a 0-0, it was a really good game. We pushed for the winner in the second half but I thought it was a fair result.

    “We go out to win every game and we were still trying to do that in injury time, but I’m not disappointed with the draw. It’s a good point.”

    St Mirren manager Danny Lennon:

    “We came out of the traps well. We put Motherwell under pressure and could have been a bit more ruthless in front of goal.

    “Motherwell are a good side and caused a lot of problems in the second half, but we showed a great sense of character. We showed determination and an unbreakable mentality. Last season, those games slipped away from us, so it was pleasing to take something.

    “I’m satisfied at the performance. We managed to grind out a result in the second half and could maybe even have stolen it. There are five teams battling for the last top-six position and we feel we are making progress.

    “That was our 11th clean sheet of the season, which is more than double what we got last year.”


    [poll id=”89″]

  • Archive

    Pick January’s best player!

    It is time for you to decide who you think deserves to win the Cash Converters Player of the Month for January.

    Every month this season, sponsors Cash Converters will give you the opportunity to present the Motherwell Player of the Month with a trophy.

    All you need to do is vote for which ‘Well player you think has been the stand-out performer for January and you could be chosen at random from all entries received, to congratulate our star man in person at Fir Park!

    Nicky Law received the Player of the Month award for August, Keith Lasley picked up the gong for both September and October and our very own scouser Steve Jennings collected November and December’s.

    Who do you think deserves it this month?

    To cast your vote, simply visit our Cash Converters SPL Facebook page or by CLICKING HERE.

    The link will also give you the opportunity to enter the draw to take part in the next Convert for Cash challenge, and the chance to win a whole host of other prizes.

    For the January Player of the Month – VOTE HERE.

  • Archive

    TV: Lasley keen on the points

    Midfielder Keith Lasley has reiterated the need to collect points against “top six rivals” as ‘Well prepare to take on St Mirren in Paisley tomorrow.

    There is an epic battle to qualify for the top half of the table as the SPL nears its split, with Saints fighting it out with everyone from Motherwell in third, to Inverness in ninth.

    And veteran Lasley, who has played over 275 times in Claret and Amber, knows all too well the importance of putting points on the board the expense of your rivals.

    [pullquote]The closer we get to the league split, the more important results become, particularly against teams who are fighting hard to get in there too.[/pullquote]

    He said: “It has been well documented how well St Mirren have played this year and going to St Mirren Park is going to be a difficult task for us.

    “But we’ve come off the back of three of four good results and will go there full of confidence and looking for a result.

    “The closer we get to the league split, the more important results become, particularly against teams who are fighting hard to get in there too. Saints fall into that category so it’s a massive game.”


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    TV: McCall hopes to edge it

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall expects another tight game against a talented St Mirren side tomorrow afternoon.

    Both teams have a reputation for trying to play good football and the previous to encounters between the teams have been easy on the eye.

    The Steelmen edged it at St Mirren Park last August, Tom Hateley curling in a last minute free-kick, and former Scotland stalwart McCall would take a repeat tomorrow.

    [pullquote]There is virtually nothing between the teams and I am sure if both sides play like that can, it will make for yet another game worth watching.[/pullquote]

    “The two games we have had against them this season have both been tight, good footballing affairs,” he said.

    “We won their last time and we probably just about deserved it even although the goal came with virtually the last kick of the ball. I remember them having loads of possession but us having some excellent chances and Craig Samson showed just what a good ‘keeper he is with some terrific saves.

    “Then the game here at Fir Park was really good too. Saints went with a different shape and it caused us problems, making for a decent spectacle for the fans. There is virtually nothing between the teams and I am sure if both sides play like that can, it will make for yet another game worth watching.”


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    TV: Youths travel north

    Motherwell U19s make the long journey north tomorrow to face Inverness in the rearranged U19s clash from last November.

    The original tie was called off as the team were well on their way to the Highlands but despite recent inclement weather, the tie is likely to get the go ahead with the back-up of a synthetic pitch.

    Gordon Young will be desperate for the game to go ahead. After some excellent results in Turkey, the young Steelmen overcame Dundee United away but were forced to kick their heels last weekend as the clash with league-leaders Hearts was twice postponed.

    Young told MFC TV: “Psychologically, I didn’t want the boys training this week knowing there was a chance the game could be postponed.

    “So I’ve spoken to my opposite number at Inverness and if the game requires played on astro-turf in order to get it on, then we would very much consent to that. They think the same so I could come in at the start of the week and tell the players that we definitely had a game to look forward to this Friday – even if it’s in a car park somewhere!

    “In terms of the squad, Lee Erwin picked up a knock at a recent reserve match, Keiran MacDonald is still out long-term injured and Michael Lynch is still struggling.”


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