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    Celtic 1 – 0 Motherwell

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    Celtic tickets still available

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    Hibs U19s win in pictures

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    TV: Youths see off Hibs

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    TV: McCall keen to have a go

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    Ojamaa named ‘Player of the Round’

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    Clancy and Lasley banned

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    Hibs Hospitality Pictures

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    Cash Converters opens in the town

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    TV: The goals from Fir Park

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    Celtic 1 – 0 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    twitter Kris Jack at Celtic Park

    A well-marshalled Motherwell side fell to a solitary second half strike from Gary Hooper, going down 1-0 to Celtic at Parkhead. 

    Hooper’s strike on the hour meant Motherwell’s recent run of four wins in a row was ended as Celtic continued there mammoth twenty game winning run.

    However, It was a very decent performance by ‘Well, and they were unfortunate to lose to the only clean cut chance their hosts had.

    Stuart McCall made one change from the team that triumphed over Hibernian in midweek, with KEITH LASLEY retaining his place after suspension, OMAR DALEY dropping back to the bench. The manager’s faith in TIM CLANCY remained, as the Irishman kept his place in defence, with STEPHEN CRAIGAN once more a defensive sub.

    Neil Lennon changed half of his team from their win over Dunfermline on Wednesday, with Samaras, Rogne, Forrest, Wanyama and Matthews all restored to their starting line-up.  Scott Brown missed out through injury, while Anthony Stokes and Emilio Izaguirre started on the bench.

    Motherwell set their stall out, stifling Celtic in the opening exchanges, and looking to burst forward when they were able. However, the first real opportunity fell the hosts’ way, when Gary Hooper opted to play a ball across the six yard line, when a shot would have been the better option. The ball was intended for Georgios Samaras, but it flew past the Greek and TOM HATELEY cleared.

    Samaras was then almost played in on DARREN RANDOLPH from Ledley’s lobbed ball, but the big keeper was alert to get there first.

    Motherwell had some good spells of possession, without really testing Forster, with HENRIK OJAMAA constantly barracking Rogne and Wilson with his persistent running. Scotland call up Charlie Mulgrew should have tested Randolph from inside the box, but his shot was deflected past by Clancy.

    Randolph was then called in to action when Samaras took the ball off Mulgrew’s foot and had a dig from the edge of the box. The ball bounced up in front of the goalie, who spilled the shot, but was alert enough to make a fine save from Hooper on the rebound.

    Attacking chances were sparse for Motherwell and they were given a good opportunity to work Forster when JAMIE MURPHY was fouled on the right wing. Hateley’s ball in found NICKY LAW at the back edge of the box, but as much as the possession and passing drew the Celtic defence out, there was no room for anyone to get a shot away.

    As the half petered out SHAUN HUTCHINSON and Hateley picked up bookings for sliding challenges at the edge of the Motherwell box, with Hutchinson’s ruling him out of the home game versus Aberdeen in a few weeks. From the Hateley foul, Randolph made a great punching save from Ki’s whipped effort.

    The second half started in much the same vein as the first half was played, with the Steelmen working hard to squeeze Celtic out and looking to cause problems going forward. James Forrest, who was very impressive in the same fixture earlier in the season, made some great room on the right hand side to play in Hooper, but the prolific striker shot well wide of the away goal. Samaras then lobbed a tame shot over Randolph’s bar form six yards after Adam Matthews had played him in.

    With Hateley and Hutchinson booked in the first half for late challenges, MICHAEL HIGDON and  Lasley were lucky to escape the same fate with crunching tackles on Mulgrew and Wanyama on the half way line. Wanyama made way for Anthony Stokes after 60 minutes, and his arrival was followed by the match winning goal. A throw in by Matthews was won in the box by Samaras, who knocked the ball in to Gary Hooper’s path, and the unmarked striker made no mistake form eight yards. It was the only concentration lapse the Motherwell defence had all game, and was ultimately the one that cost them a point.

    To prove this even further, Clancy, Hutchinson and Randolph all made great blocks, clearances and saves to prevent Celtic stretching their lead, with a fingertip stop by the Irish goalkepper to deny Forrest the pick of the bunch.

    Ojamaa was subbed for Daley, who tried to use his pace to breach the Celtic backline, but was unable to conjour up an equaliser. Instead, Celtic ran the game out with their one goal lead to record a twentieth consecutive win in the SPL.

    Motherwell now go to East End Park in their next outing against Dunfermline, looking to bounce back from today’s unlucky defeat.

    [tab:As it happened]

    twitter Alan Burrows at Celtic Park

    92mins – Full Time!

    90mins – Two minutes of time added on – One last chance perhaps?

    87mins – Low shot from Mulgrew is comfortable for Randolph. Big GK batters his kick out off Clancy but ‘Well survive.

    74mins – Omar Daley on for the booked Ojamaa. Sensible management from McCall. Not quite worked for the wee man today.

    73mins – Another half decent chance for Motherwell. Jennings picks up not far from the home box. Drags a low shot well wide though.

    77mins – Ojamaa has Motherwell’s first shot on target. Law slips him through but low near post is comfortable for Forster in the home goal.

    71mins – Forrest goes on the run, his low shot is brilliantly saved by Randolph for a corner….

    70mins – Henrik carded for going down in the box. Referee was right up with play and correct.

    61mins – First chance for Humph to run down the wing. Puts in a decent ball. No takers at the near post though… Celtic counter though

    60mins – Great block from Hutchy to prevent number two. Corner. ‘Well bring in Humphrey for Murphy before it is taken…

    58mins – Celtic brought on Stokes for Wanyama just before that goal too. Signal isn’t great…

    GOAL Celtic! Long throw bounces off Samaras into the path of Hooper. He blasts home from close range. 🙁

    55mins – First ten or so minutes of the second have matched the first-half. Celtic having most of the ball, Motherwell compact!

    48mins – Attendance today is 46,408. 329 in the away end!

    46mins – Second half gets started…

    45mins – Half Time – 0 – 0. Similar second half please!

    45mins – Hateley booked for a foul outside the box. Ki’s curling shot is turned away by Randolph and ‘Well get it clear…

    44mins – Half chance for Matthews there. Free-kick on the right, ball loops over Jenno. Header is right at Randolph who gathers.

    43mins – Motherwell are being penned in a little. Celtic are having loads of possession but the Steelmen looking stubborn.

    38mins – From the free-kick, Ki has a shot deflected just wide… Corner!

    38mins – Hutchinson booked and he can have no complaints. That’ll be him suspended for the Aberdeen game (along with Clancy)

    35mins – First real bit of attacking play from the Steelmen. Couple of balls into the area but can’t get anything from it….

    30mins – Samaras seemed to have the ball for an age inside the box there. Motherwell eventually bundle it out for a corner

    24mins – Motherwell holding tight at the minute. Home side look dangerous on the attack though. ‘Well trying to counter…

    18mins – Mulgrew fires wide before Randolph is forced into an excellent double save. Celtic turning the screw a bit now…

    16mins – Squeaky bum time in the Well defence. Ball ping-balls about for a few seconds before Mulgrew drives it just wide of the post. Phew!

    15mins – Celtic are passing the ball well in the final third but Motherwell are defending in numbers and pressing the ball…

    12mins – Henrik is taking it tough at the moment. Been smashed three times already – albeit only one of them illegally.

    12mins – Samaras has a wee half chance but Randolph is off his line quickly to smother.

    11mins – Hooper gets behind the Well defense. Drags a shot cum cross across the box but Hateley hooks clear! Phew

    8mins – Well have been doing okay thus far. Lots of the ball not really causing the home side many problems…

    1min – Match gets underway…


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “It makes a change from talking about a 4-0 defeat which I have done the last two times.

    “I am proud of the players, the biggest disappointment is the goal we lost. We switched off at a long throw-in and to be fair to Tim Clancy he came in and held his hands up, he lost Hooper in the flight of the ball.

    “We had a right go at them in the last 25 minutes but we didn’t test their keeper enough.”

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon:

    “It was a great performance and a great result, another three points and another clean sheet.

    “We were in the ascendancy and at 1-0 it is always a little bit tense but I don’t remember my goalkeeper having to make a save. ”


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    Celtic tickets still available

    Tickets for Saturday’s clash at Celtic Park will be available to buy tomorrow morning from the Club Shop in the Cooper Stand.

    The shop will sell the tickets (strictly cash only) between 10am and 1pm.

    Please note that no tickets will be on sale to away fans at Celtic Park at any time

  • Archive

    Hibs U19s win in pictures

    Pictures from the 3-0 win over Hibernian U19s in the Clydesdale Bank Under 19s League at Bathgate Thistle’s Creamery Park.

    [svgallery name=”hibsu19s240212″]

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    TV: Youths see off Hibs

    Motherwell U19s kept up their terrific run of form by smashing three past third-placed Hibs this afternoon.

    Since returning from their mid-season training camp, the youths have disposed of Dundee United, Inverness and St Johnstone, scoring fourteen goals.

    High-flying Hibs were looking to keep tabs with Celtic and city rivals Hearts but were quickly pegged back when Lee Erwin netted after a super flowing move.

    Steve Hetherington cut the visitors open with a terrific diagonal pass that allowed Zaine Francis-Angol to collect on the left flank. He raced towards the box before squaring it to Erwin who slammed high into an unguarded net.

    Motherwell scored again six minutes after the interval and, once again, the assist came from Francis-Angol and, once again, the goal came from Lee Erwin.

    A ball over the top by the former Spurs full-back didn’t look overly threatening but when the Hibs ‘keeper Paul Grant rushed off his line and mistimed an attempted headed clearance, it allowed the Scotland U18s hitman to casually roll the ball into an empty net.

    Motherwell ended the fixture as a contest with a third with about fifteen minutes left to play. Substitutes Jack Leith and Craig Moore combined in the middle of the park to play in Josh Watt down the right flank. Cutting in, the winger’s shot was palmed away by Grant only for Moore to slide the ball home.

    Both sides had opportunities to add to the scoring but it finished 3-0 as the Steelmen continued their excellent form, moving above Rangers into fourth after the Murray Park side lost away to Aberdeen. Young’s men are now hot on the heels of today’s opponents, trailing by four points with a game in hand.

    Motherwell: Stewart, Devlin (Cummins -65mins) , Francis-Angol, Murray, Brownlie, Mboa-Mekongo (Leitch – 73mins), Hetherington, Asghar, Watt, McGachie (Moore – 66mins), Erwin

    >> Updated U19s League Table

    >> Pictures from the match

    >> TV – Match Highlights

    >> TV – Gordon Young’s Reaction

    >> TV – Goalkeeper Ross Stewart and goalscorer Lee Erwin’s Reaction

  • Archive

    TV: McCall keen to have a go

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall is hopeful his side can cause Celtic problems when the teams clash at Celtic Park tomorrow.

    Neil Lennon’s side are on an astonishing run of form and have won every SPL game since beating Motherwell at Fir Park back in early November.

    And McCall admits performances against the Old Firm are perhaps his biggest frustration when reviewing his fourteen months in charge of the club.

    “It’s a big tester but these are the days you play football for,” said the former Scotland International.

    “Since I’ve been here against Celtic and Rangers away from home it’s not been good enough, and we’ve tried every formation going.

    “We’ve just not performed well enough on the day. Going to Celtic is difficult anytime but the way they are playing, the size of their squad, it’s naturally going to be a tough ask.

    “But we’re in a run of form and we’ll have a look at how we approach the game and have a look at how we can hopefully hurt Celtic.  Because in all the games we’ve played against them I don’t think we have given them too many problems defensively and we’ll maybe look at trying to do that a little bit more.”

    “There might be some schools of thought for damage limitation but, in the position we are, we have got to look to cause them problems.”


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    Ojamaa named ‘Player of the Round’

    Henrik Ojamaa continued his sensational start to life in Scotland by collecting the William Hill Scottish Cup ‘Player of the Fifth Round’ award.

    The Estonian’s mantlepiece is already getting crowded with the Clydesdale Bank Young Player of the Month and the Cash Converters MFC Player of the Month gong for his performances in January.

    The 20-year old scored in the 6-0 win over Morton and has netted five goals in nine matches and has played a major role in Motherwell’s resurgance in form.

    Stuart McCall’s men are unbeaten in seven matches ahead of tomorrow’s visit to Celtic Park, where victory would take them level on points with Rangers.

    Ojamaa has also helped his team-mates embark on a goalscoring spree – he did not score in a 4-3 win over Hibernian on Tuesday but won two penalties and hit the bar from 20 yards before Michael Higdon scored with an overhead kick.

    The Estonian has increasingly combined his incessant running and eye for goal with some sublime tricks and turns and he feels the confidence of his team-mates, manager and fans has allowed him to flourish.

    [pullquote]The fans have been amazing too. It has really helped that everyone is really welcoming and especially the way the manager wants us to play.[/pullquote]

    The 20-year-old said: “Things are coming together and I’ve got the confidence to try different things now, and they seem to come off at times.

    “I’ve been fairly confident in my ability over the last couple of years when it’s not been going as successful as it could have or I have not played so many games. But I’m really pleased with the way things are going.

    “There is a great atmosphere in the changing room, we feel we can give anyone a game. It helps when the manager believes in you and my confidence is high, but it is throughout the team.

    “The fans have been amazing too. It has really helped that everyone is really welcoming and especially the way the manager wants us to play.

    “Sometimes you go to a new place and there is competition for places and the players make it harder for you, but here everyone has been amazing to me and I really appreciate it.”

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  • Archive

    Clancy and Lasley banned

    Defender Tim Clancy and midfielder Keith Lasley both face time on the sidelines after picking up suspensions.

    Lasley will serve the second of his two-match ban against Dunfermline next weekend, although he will be available selection against Celtic this weekend.

    Former Killie defender Clancy has reached six cautions and will now miss the Aberdeen match on Saturday 17th March.

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    Hibs Hospitality Pictures

    Did you enjoy last night’s game from our Hospitality suites? Were you in the Cooper after the match? Check out our fantastic hospitality pictures on motherwellpics.com.


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    Cash Converters opens in the town

    Cash Converters, proud sponsors of the Steelmen, have opened up their brand new store right here in Motherwell.

    Come on down to 42 Brandon Parade South and check out the in store offers and promotions.

    The management and playing staff are due to appear in store shortly – watch out for that announcement soon.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    The Cash Converters Team
    Proud sponsors of Motherwell FC

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    TV: The goals from Fir Park

    All the goals from Fir Park as Jamie Murphy and a Michael Higdon hat-trick was enough to give the Steelmen all three points against Hibs at Fir Park.


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