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.
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.
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]
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.”
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!
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.
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.”
‘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.”
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.”
Scouse star Steve Jennings talks Nandos, Cougars and getting dressed in Tim Henman’s bin… #askjenno
A group of North Lanarkshire young people are on the road to success after completing the Get into Sport and Leisure programme with The Prince’s Trust Scotland and Motherwell FC.
The twelve young people spent six weeks at Motherwell Football Club training and developing skills relating to sport and leisure as well as achieving a series of recognised accreditation. Eight young people have secured employment with the club and a further four are receiving continued work experience.
The young people received an excellent introduction to a career in the sport and leisure industry, covering all aspects from sports coaching and grounds keeping to hospitality and administration. The young people have also achieved a range of qualifications including Scottish Football Association Coaching Badges 1, 2 and 3, EqualSkills IT certificate, First Aid certificate, Community Sports Leader Award and participated in anti-sectarianism workshops.
In addition, the young people received valuable work experience with Motherwell Football Club, covering a range of business areas as well as coaching in local community sport centres.
The young people recently marked their achievements with a celebration event at the club for family and friends, where Motherwell Football Club’s Chief Executive Leeann Dempster and SPL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster addressed the guests.
Heather Gray, Director of The Prince’s Trust Scotland also attended the event and commented: “I am delighted the first Get into Sport and Leisure programme delivered in North Lanarkshire has been such a success. The combination of practical experience and industry qualifications has clearly given the young people a chance to excel and a real opportunity to get on the career ladder.
“There has never been a more pressing need to provide sustainable learning and development opportunities to young people. By working in partnership with Motherwell Football Club and the North Lanarkshire More Choices more Chances Partnership Group and pooling our knowledge and expertise, we are giving young people the best chance possible for a positive future.”
[pullquote]Motherwell Football Club through our Community Trust is committed to using the power of football and in particular the community focus of the club to fundamentally change the lives of people for the better.[/pullquote]
Jane Liddell, Head of Education Quality and Development at North Lanarkshire Council added: “We are delighted that Scotland’s first Get Into Sport and Leisure programme took place here in North Lanarkshire and had such positive outcomes for our young people. We are employing a range of strategies to ensure that at a time when youth unemployment is at an all time high, young people in North Lanarkshire receive the best guidance, training, support and opportunities to access the jobs that do exist. Our partnership with Motherwell FC and The Prince’s Trust has gone from strength to strength and the outstanding success of this programme is testament to that.”
Leeann Dempster, Chief Executive of Motherwell Football Club further added, “Motherwell Football Club through our Community Trust is committed to using the power of football and in particular the community focus of the club to fundamentally change the lives of people for the better.
“We have been delighted to work with The Prince’s Trust and the young people on Get into Sport and Leisure and we are really pleased to offer them employment opportunities with the Community Trust, many of them as community officers where they will be working across a range of health and wellbeing, and coaching initiatives.”
The Get into Sport and Leisure programme was supported by the North Lanarkshire Partnership, the Wood Family Trust and the European Social Fund.
Fans are reminded that tickets for this Saturday’s match with St Mirren at St Mirren Park are available from the ticket office.
Tickets are priced at:
The bus for Paisley will leave the Bentley Hotel at 1.30pm. Phone Jim on (01698) 299650 or e-mail Christopher on email@example.com.
The Wishaw bus to St Mirren Park will leave at 1.15pm. To book seats please call Anne on 01698 384050/07878 062 614 or Andy on 07575 238 023 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BELLSHILL & DISTRICT BRANCH
The St Mirren bus will pick up at the Fir Park Club, Motherwell at 1.00pm, then Holytown War Monument at 1.10pm and finally the Carousel Bar, Bellshill at 1.20pm. To book seats, contact Brian Worton on 07763 061821.
The stadium is located close to Glasgow Airport and is easily accessible from the M8 motorway.
Exit the M8 at Junction 29 and take the first left at the roundabout on to the A726 towards Paisley. Turn right at the traffic lights on to Clark Street and then left on to Greenhill Road. The stadium will be clearly visible ahead.
There is a large car park at the ground but this is for pass holders only. Street parking is available on the side streets around the stadium though.
Several operators run buses which will take you within a five to 10 minute walk of the ground, including First service 9.
Further information and timetables are available online at www.firstgroup.com/glasgow.
Paisley St James station is served by trains from Glasgow and is just a short walk away from the ground.
Upon leaving the station, turn left on to Greenhill Road and the stadium will be clearly visible ahead.
Further information and timetables are available online at www.scotrail.co.uk.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall admitted he was pleased to have been handed another home draw in this year’s Scottish Cup.
The Steelmen have faced both Queen’s Park and Morton in previous rounds, and former boss Billy Davies picked out another home encounter, this time against either Aberdeen or Morton.
And McCall admitted that having home advantage and avoiding the SPL league-leaders was his main priorities.
“If I am honest, my hope was to avoid Celtic and get a home draw,” he admitted.
“Listen, in the Quarter Finals, any game is going to be difficult and watching the highlights of the Queen of the South vs Aberdeen game, it looked a fairly even game.
“Queen’s hit them on the break and Aberdeen scored from a set-piece; they are a big, big side. We had a really tough game against them here and Craig has improved them in recent weeks. Gus (McPherson) actually gave us a DVD of their (Queen of the South) recent match with Morton so we’ve still got that in the locker – I don’t think we’ll be sending that back just yet!”