Pictures from this afternoon’s 2-2 draw with Hearts U19s at Riccarton in the Clydesdale Bank U19s League.
Pictures from this afternoon’s 2-2 draw with Hearts U19s at Riccarton in the Clydesdale Bank U19s League.
Keiran McGachie scored late on for the second match running to claim a point for the Steelmen in a 2-2 draw with title-chasing Hearts.
The big striker was on target last Friday when the youths again came from behind to take all three points against Dundee United and he was at it again today.
Hearts had earlier taken the lead when Kevin McHattie smashed his side in front after a well-worked free-kick. The defender, who has played in Hearts’ first-team, collected after a neat one-two and finished with his left foot low across Ross Stewart after just thirteen minutes.
It stayed that way until the 54th minute when the Steelmen drew level and it was a super solo goal from Josh Watt. The winger collected on the half-way line and, after beating three players, struck a low shot which squirmed past the goalkeeper at the near post with the aid of a slight deflection.
Both teams traded further chances but it was the home side, desperate for a win to cement their place at the top of the table, who got their noses back in front. Capitalising on a quickly taken free-kick, the home side broke on the counter and when the ball was eventually slid across the box, the trialist midfielder was unmarked to slot home from close range.
It looked as if the hosts were going to hold out for the victory but former Jambo McGachie would prove to be a thorn in the side of his boyhood heroes. A crude trip on substitute Craig Moore allowed Motherwell the chance to flood the box from a dead ball. Euan Murray rose well at the back post to meet Stevie Hetherington looping ball and when he nodded it back across goal, McGachie was there to head home.
That goal came on the 88th minute yet, incredibly, a further seven minutes passed before the referee blew for full-time. Before he did, Euan Murray, Lee Erwin and McGachie all had half-chances to nick it but couldn’t and the match ended all square.
Motherwell: Stewart, Devlin, Cummins, E. Murray, Francis-Angol, Asghar, Hetherington, Mboa Mekongo (MacDonald – 70mins), Watt (Moore – 75mins), Erwin, McGachie
Subs Not Used: R. Murray, Lynch, Brownlie, Green, Leitch
.TV – Gordon Young’s Reaction
.TV – Adam Asghar’s Reaction
.TV – Match Highlights
Kilmarnock have slashed admission prices ahead of this weekend’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Rugby Park.
Admission on the gate will now be:
Gordon Young has set his players a ‘Semi Final’ challenge when they take on Hearts in the penultimate game of the U19s season.
The Steelmen have just two matches left to complete their 2011/2012 programme, with title challengers Hearts the opponents tomorrow.
Young disputes any notion that Motherwell have nothing to play for and insists his side will be fully motivated when they take on the league-leaders tomorrow.
“We’ve had our team meeting and my message to the lads is ‘keep it going’,” he said.
“If you take out a 40-minute blip against Celtic, I’ve not got a whole lot to complain about over the last five or six months.
“We’ve still got everything to play for; every time they pull on a Motherwell jersey they’ve got to impress people because it is their future at stake. After the Celtic game, I adopted a different principle and that was we had three matches left – a quarter-final against Dundee United, a semi-final against Hearts and a final against Rangers.
“The emphasis will be on playing well and, hopefully, winning the match.”
The match will take place at Hearts’ Training Ground (Riccarton) with a 12noon kick-off.
The Cash Converters Player of the Month for February is our top scorer Michael Higdon.
Michael has been in fantastic form having scored a fabulous hat trick in the 4-3 win over Hibernian in the SPL. He has also been instrumental in Motherwell rising up to 2nd in the league on equal points with Rangers.
‘Well fan, Paul McWatt, won the privilege of presenting the trophy by voting for Michael at Cash Converter’s SPL page.
For your chance to present the March award, all you need to do is vote for which Motherwell player you think has been our stand-out performer over the last four weeks, and, if you are correct, you could be chosen from all entries received to congratulate our star man in person.
To cast your vote, go to Cash Converters SPL page or CLICK HERE.
Referee for this Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Kilmarnock will be the experienced Crawford Allan.
It will be Crawford’s fifth ‘Well game of the current season; his first was the instantly forgettable 3-0 home defeat at the hands of St Johnstone in September. T
The second was the 3-2 win in Inverness a month later, goals coming from Shaun Hutchinson, Keith Lasley and Tom Hateley handing McCall’s men all three points. Next was the disappointing 2-0 defeat at Tynecastle against an on-form Hearts on Christmas Eve and the most recent was the 1-0 defeat at Celtic Park at the tail end of February.
He’ll no doubt be a familiar face to Fir Park fans, having handled three games last season too.
He was the man in the middle for the 4-0 win over St Johnstone last November thanks to a hat-trick from Nick Blackman and a single John Sutton strike.
Three months later he was back at Fir Park when a John Sutton penalty was enough to give ‘Well a 1-0 win over local rivals Hamilton Accies. He also handled the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock in May when Steve Jones’ opener was cancelled out by Willy Aubameyang.
The season previous, he was the man in the middle for the 3-1 success early in Jim Gannon’s reign when John Sutton, Ross Forbes and Shaun Hutchinson gave the ‘Well all three points over Kilmarnock.
A month later he officiated the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen when Gary McDonald, who would later be ordered off, cancelled out a Lukas Jutkiewicz opener.
Tragically, Allan took charge of the ‘Well game on the 29th December 2007, forever etched in history as the date when Phil O’Donnell tragically passed away in the 5-3 victory over Dundee United.
Phil’s death had a profound effect on the whistler, a Grade 1 official for eleven seasons, but he won heartfelt praise for the way he handled what was an extremely difficult situation and his sensitive approach is and was appreciated by everyone at Motherwell Football Club.
In another twist of fate, Allan is only one of two referees to have ever taken charge of a Motherwell away game at Fir Park as the Steelmen faced hosts Gretna during the 2007/2008 campaign.
His record in charge of the ‘Well is a fairly decent one, with the Fir Parkers winning six, drawing four and losing three (the aforementioned defeats by St Johnstone, Hearts and Celtic this season) of the twelve games in total. In those games, 35 players have seen yellow, 19 in Claret and Amber, whilst three have been sent for an early bath.
Allan will be ably assisted by David Watt and John Gilmour with Brian Winter on fourth official duties.
Were you in one of our Hospitality suites on Saturday at the Aberdeen? Or maybe you were in the Cooper after the match? If so, check out our pictures on motherwellpics.com.
Our match sponsors Clearwater enjoyed their afternoon in the Joe Wark Lounge and the Centenary and Millennium Suites were extremely busy. Our South Stand boxes were also buzzing with activity, the brilliant result on the park helped.
Stevie Hammell and Jonathan Page were on hand to collect their Man of the Match and Young Man of the Match awards respectively. Shaun Hutchinson was the man in the Cooper Suite and motherwellpics was there to capture the action.
Goals from Fir Park as Stevie Hammell’s thirty-yard thunderbolt was enough to give Motherwell all three points in the chase for a European place.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall spoke of just how big today’s win over Aberdeen was in the fight for a European spot.
A single Stevie Hammell strike midway through the first-half separated the sides and drew Motherwell level on points with second-place Rangers.
It was a remarkable result given Motherwell had their fifth and sixth choice centre backs lining up at the heart of the Steelmen back four; Jonathan Page and debutant Adam Cummins both turning in superb performances.
“It was a massive three points,” McCall beamed.
“I was just saying to the boys after the game that I don’t think I’ve been as exhausted as that during a game. It was crucial that we got the three points today.
“Would we have taken a point before the match? Maybe, if I’m honest, particularly if you look at the inexperience that we had in the team without four recognised central defenders.
“I thought in the first half we were the far better side and it was a great goal by Stevie Hammell but they got the impetus in the second half when Steve Jennings went off, and it ended up him being off for about ten minutes with his head knock, which gave them a foothold in the game.
“But throughout it, Darren Randolph has made one terrific save but other than that we had the most chances and deserved the victory. To get a clean sheet was terrific and to restrict them to very little, I thought to a man there were some outstanding performances.”
Stevie Hammell spoke of his delighted at scoring the winning goal in today’s narrow win over Aberdeen.
The 30-year old full-back, playing his 419th game in Claret and Amber, smashed home an unstoppable 30-yard strike after just 23 minutes.
It was enough to win the match but Hammell’s influence was felt throughout the match.
The former Scotland International was also responsible for guiding his two young defensive partners, Jonathan Page and debutant Adam Cummins, through the match with both turning in excellent performances.
“I’m delighted with the strike,” he told MFC.tv.
“It just opened up for me and as soon as I hit it, I knew it was in. It was a great feeling to score but also to get the three points as it was a big win for us. It was one of those ones that you don’t even feel when you’ve struck it and you know you’ve caught it sweet.
“I have to say young Page and Cummins were awesome with Carswell in front of him as well. Usually you find one of them comes in at a time but having to come in today; I thought the two of them were awesome.
“It was a big ask for them as Aberdeen are a big physical team and you know what you’re going to get from them. It’s was an absolute honour to captain the side but because you have the armband, you feel an extra bit of responsibility and you’ve got to talk to the boys.
“But I thought the way that they played was like veterans themselves. They were excellent and you wouldn’t know it was Cummins first game.”