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    Motherwell 1 – 2 Aberdeen

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    Free stickers with your programme

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    TV: Hateley’s up for the Cup

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    TV: Erwin double sinks Dunfermline

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    TV: McCall expecting tight encounter

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    TV: Ask Keith Lasley

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    TV: Society sign up a roaring success

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    Pick February’s best player

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    Officials named for Dons clash

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    Well Society “Sign Up” Evening

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    Motherwell 1 – 2 Aberdeen

    [tab:Match report]

    twitter Andy Ross at Fir Park

    Motherwell suffered quarter-final heartache in the William Hill Scottish Cup after losing out 2-1 to Aberdeen at Fir Park.

    Rory Fallon netted a first-half double to leave the hosts with a mountain to climb after the break.

    The task facing the Steelmen was increased when Keith Lasley was shown a straight red-card after a sliding tackle on Fraser Fyvie.

    Nicky Law scored with 11 minutes remaining to restore hope for the hosts, but the Aberdeen survived some late Motherwell pressure to claim their place in the last four.

    Motherwell demonstrated an early attacking threat and Nicky Law’s effort in the opening minute was deflected away for a corner by Andrew Considine.

    The visitors responded at the other end but Scott Vernon was unable to control Considine’s knock-down, despite the ball clearly rolling out of play off the Dons man, referee Craig Thomson awarded Aberdeen a corner and the decision proved to be crucial.

    Considine headed Fraser Fyvie’s corner back across goal and Rory Fallon bulleted a header beyond Darren Randolph.

    The opener seemed to give the visiting side a real belief and Vernon should have doubled their lead when he shot just wide from 12-yards after combining with Fallon.

    Randolph was forced into an excellent stop from Rory McCardle a minute later as ‘Well struggled to find their stride. Tim Clancy headed over from Steven Hammell’s corner as the hosts began to show signs of recovering from their early disappointment.

    Tom Hateley fired a free-kick against the Aberdeen wall as Motherwell continue to probe for an equaliser and they were presented with a fantastic opportunity four minutes later.

    Clark Robertson hauled down Michael Higdon inside the area and Craig Thomson wasted little time in pointing to the spot.

    The Englishman stepped up to take the resulting kick but was denied by a fantastic save by Jason Brown, much to the delight of the large Aberdeen support behind the goal.

    Stuart McCall was forced into a first half switch when Shaun Hutchinson, who had suffered a nasty looking head-knock was replaced by Jonathan Page.

    Jack’s involvement in the match was also short-lived and he was withdrawn for Chris Clark just two minutes later. Stuart McCall’s men were dealt a major blow just four minutes before the interval when he blazed home from Clark’s precise cross.
    A miserable 45 minutes was completed as McCall was sent to the stand following a confrontation with Thomson on the half-time whistle.

    The second half began with the Steelmen well aware that an early goal would be crucial in finding a way back into the match but it was Aberdeen who almost put the game out of sight three minutes after the restart.

    Megginson fizzed an effort on goal after connecting with Clark’s cross and only a brilliant Randolph save using his feet denied the visitors their third goal of the game. Motherwell responded immediately and Henrik Ojamaa’s low cross caused havoc amongst the Aberdeen defence.

    Nicky Law had a header comfortably held by Brown and Murphy failed to trouble the keeper with a tame effort from the edge of the box as the hosts struggled to find a cutting-edge in front of goal.

    Chris Humphrey replaced Murphy as ‘Well tried to find an attacking spark and the winger almost connected with Law’s cross within a minute of his introduction.

    The task facing the home side was made even greater when Keith Lasley was shown a straight red for a sliding challenge on Fraser Fyvie on 68 minutes.

    The young midfielder was stretchered off following the incident and replaced by Youl Mawene.

    With the clock ticking down Motherwell finally grabbed the goal they badly needed to kick-start their comeback. Humphrey’s cross slipped under Brown and Law was on hand to slide the ball into the empty net.

    Clark fired a shot straight at Randolph as the visitors looked to restore their two goal advantage.

    Law’s goal seemed to spark the Fir Park crowd into life and the players responded. Hateley’s corner caused all sorts of problems for the Dons defence and despite numerous deflections and miss-cued clearances Motherwell remained behind.

    As Motherwell threw men forward, Craig Brown’s side looked to hit on the counter attack.Kari Arnason stung the palms of Randolph with a fizzing drive and then Fallon should have done better after finding himself bearing down on the ‘Well goal.

    Five minutes of injury-time ensured a thrilling end to what was a pulsating cup tie.

    Clancy was denied by a fantastic bit of goalkeeping by Brown and Motherwell keeper Randolph raced forward for Hateley’s last minute corner.

    The Aberdeen defence scrambled the ball clear and Peter Pawlett’s 40-yard strike somehow crept wide of the gaping goal.
    It was to be the last chance of a thrilling afternoon at Fir Park and ‘Well fans will now hope to extract revenge on Brown’s men when they visit Fir Park next Saturday.

    [tab:As it happened]



    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “Everyone makes mistakes,” said McCall “I thought Craig, once the ball came in, would make it right.

    “But as Craig says you can’t just make up fouls, but it happens week in, week out, you watch it on telly. I felt a sense of injustice, but I could tell it affected the players for 10 or 15 minutes.

    “I’m hugely disappointed that they stopped me doing my job in the second half.”

    Aberdeen manager Craig Brown:

    “Both goals were excellent. They were saying it wasn’t a corner (which led to the first goal), but even if it’s not a corner you’ve still got to defend it better.

    “His second goal was exceptional.”


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    Free stickers with your programme

    Pick up a programme at tomorrow’s Scottish Cup Quarter Final with Aberdeen and claim a fabulous Panini starter pack.

    What else can you expect? Manager Stuart McCall talks about overcoming a tough Aberdeen side and drawing on experiences of last season’s Cup exploits.

    The cover interview is with striker Bob McHugh. The youngster talks about first-team opportunities, coming up against some familiar faces, achieving a Cup dream and explains the truth behind ‘those’ chants…

    There is a special 10-page section dedicated to our visitors. Not only is there a rundown of the current squad and a review of the season so far, we get the views of Don Grant Hay, Peter Elder looks back at one of the more memorable matches between the sides and former ‘Well favourite Mark Reynolds takes part in our Q&A.

    And that’s not all. As well as match reports from both the Celtic Park and East End Park, regular features such as On This Day and Graham Barnstaple’s column where he looks back at the BBC’s “expose” on the state of Scottish Football.

    Wait, there’s more! We take a look back at 1981/02 in our Golden Years feature and there’s an in-depth statistical look at referee, Craig Thomson. We have the latest from The Ticket Office, the ‘Well Society and the Commercial Department and the latest stats, facts and figures for the 2011/2012 campaign.

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

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    TV: Hateley’s up for the Cup

    Defender Tom Hateley can’t wait for tomorrow’s Cup clash with Aberdeen and expects a noisy and atmospheric Fir Park.

    The teams will square off for only the second time ever in the last eight of the Scottish Cup – The Steelmen winning the first 37 years ago at Pittodrie.

    And Hateley, an ever-present this campaign, hopes the Steelmen can see off an Aberdeen side on a super run of form having not lost since Christmas Eve last year.

    “The last few times we have played them has been quite tight,” he said.

    “They are on a good run at the moment and not conceding too much which doesn’t surprise me with Craig and Archie in charge. They tend to make their teams strong defensively so the onus is on us, they’ll be tough to beat.

    “It’s sure to be busy on Sunday though – Fir Park will be rocking and make no mistake about it, we’ll be up for it. We’re looking forward to it and if we play the way we can, then hopefully we’ll get a positive result.”


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    TV: Erwin double sinks Dunfermline

    Motherwell U19s maintained their excellent run of form when they came back from a goal behind to beat Dunfermline 2-1 this afternoon.

    The Pars went ahead on the half hour mark when Euan Murray was adjudged to have pulled down forward Blair Henderson inside the area.

    Referee Stuart Macauley pointed to the spot, Ross Millen tucked it away low into the bottom right hand corner was Ross Stewart going the wrong way.

    Motherwell had a couple of claims turned down before eventually drawing level with a penalty of their own. Keiran McGachie was crudely felled by the goalkeeper Steven Mayne and the referee, who had a good view, rightly awarded the spot kick.

    Lee Erwin stepped up and confidently smashed the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

    The Steelmen battled away in search of a winner and eventually got it and, incredibly, it was yet another penalty. A Nicky Devlin throw to Erwin allowed the big striker to hold it up. When trying to protect the ball, he was bundled to the floor by Jordan Brown with the referee pointing to the spot for a third time.

    Erwin dusted himself down and coolly sent the ball into the opposite corner despite the Pars’ keeper guessing the right way.

    There were no further goals, or penalties for that matter, as Gordon Young’s side held on for their fifth win in six games.

    Motherwell: Stewart, Devlin, Cummins, E.Murray, Francis-Angol, Asghar (Green – 78mins), Leitch (Moore -56mins), Hetherington, Watt (MacDonald – 71mins), McGachie, Erwin

    Subs Not Used: R.Murray, Brownlie, Lynch

    .TV Gordon Young’s Reaction

    .TV Adam Cummins’ Reaction

    .TV Match Highlights

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    TV: McCall expecting tight encounter

    Well boss Stuart McCall says he expects another closely fought encounter against Aberdeen on Sunday.

    The Steelmen have managed to have the upper hand in recent fixtures, although every game has been tight; won by the odd goal.

    And with a William Hill Scottish Cup Semi Final place up for grabs, McCall is certain it will be another intense battle.

    “It’s a massive game and I am sure both sets of supporters will be well up for the match, as will the supporters,” he said.

    “Last season both clubs got to Semi Finals of both domestic Cup competitions, thankfully we managed to go one better in the Scottish Cup although never done ourselves justice in the Final.

    “There will be a big crowd here, it’ll be a tight game similar to every game we’ve played against Aberdeen since I’ve been here and hopefully we’ll have a similar result to those matches.”


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    TV: Ask Keith Lasley

    ‘Housewives Favourite’ Keith Lasley talks Swingball success, Readybrek and the protected species that is a strawberry blonde mullet.


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    TV: Society sign up a roaring success

    Motherwell fans came out in force this evening and gave the strongest backing yet for the ‘Well Society.

    Over 120 new members joined the Motherwell revolution, putting the society almost £40,000 closer to the initial £250,000 target.

    Steelmen (and woman, of course) of all different age groups were there to meet Stuart McCall and his players, share stories, enjoy a drink and pick away at the buffet.

    Speaking after it, board member Andrew Wilson said, “Since the ‘Well Society was first muted, the overwhelming reaction from Motherwell fans has been one of support and no little pride.

    “Tonight is another example of that. (It was) way ahead of expectations; we started the night a little over half way towards our initial target and we have made great strides tonight to achieving that.”


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    Pick February’s best player

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

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

    After our very own Estonian Sharpshooter Henrik Ojamaa continued his excellent run of form in winning both the SPL young player of the month and the Cash Converters Player of the Month for January, can he possibly make it back-to-back awards?

    Or maybe Jamie Murphy’s four goals will tip the award in his favour? Could Michael Higdon’s hat-trick and sensational overhead kick against Hibs see the 14-goal hitman collect the award? What about Darren Randolph? Four clean sheets in the last six games is incredibly impressive…

    There are plenty of other options too but 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 including tickets and amazing giveaways

    For the February Player of the Month – VOTE HERE.

    Cash Converters

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    Officials named for Dons clash

    Craig Thomson is the man in charge for Sunday’s Sky live William Hill Scottish Cup Quarter Final clash with Aberdeen at Fir Park.

    39-year old Thomson, considered to be one of the best officials on the FIFA list, will be handling his third Motherwell game of the current season. His previous two were also live on television as Rangers ran out 3-0 winners back in mid-August and the 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock back in October.

    Craig will be a familiar face to Fir Park fans having been a top-flight official for a decade and taking charge of three league matches last season.

    Thomson was the man in the middle for the SPL opener against Hibs when goals from John Sutton and Jamie Murphy wasn’t enough for the victory as Hibs ran out 3-2 winners thanks to goals from Antony Stokes, Paul Hanlon and Liam Miller.

    His next appointment was the 1-0 home defeat by Hamilton Accies in the Lanarkshire derby. Then Accies striker Nigel Hasselbaink separated the sides with a 15th minute curler from the edge of the box.

    He also took charge of the 0-0 draw with Hearts last April when an unfamiliar ‘Well side did well to take a point at Tynecastle.

    His record in charge of the Steelmen is mixed with nine wins, fifteen defeats and eight draws from 32 matches.

    Not included in that list was the 2007/08 Scottish Cup fourth round replay win against Hearts at Fir Park, when he replaced the injured Stuart Dougal midway through the second-half.

    In those games, Motherwell have scored 39 and conceded 43. 114 players have gone into the book, 56 were wearing claret and amber, while four players, including Stephen Craigan, have been dismissed. The skipper saw red in the 2-0 Scottish Cup defeat to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park six years ago.

    Thomson will be ably assisted by Derek Rose and Alasdair Ross with Bobby Madden on fourth official duties.

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    Well Society “Sign Up” Evening

    [portfolio_slideshow timeout=5000 nav=false exclude=”7057, 7142″]

    If you haven’t joined the ‘Well Society yet, this Tuesday (6th March 2012) is the perfect opportunity.

    The club will host a special ‘Sign Up’ Evening in the Centenary Suite between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.

    This informal drop in, complete with finger buffet and a fully stocked pay bar, will allow you to ask any questions you may have regarding the Society to the people that matter – the board.

    What’s more, the management team and players will also attend. Why not bring along your MFC memorabilia for signing and your camera for a couple of snaps? Chat to Stuart McCall and the lads about what an excellent season we are having.

    Moreover, this is the perfect time for you to join our revolution – a once in a lifetime chance for the fans to not only have an influence in the club, but eventually run it.

    For further information on the Well Society, including membership forms, CLICK HERE or phone Alison Wallace on 01698 333333.

    Well Society