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    St Johnstone win in pictures

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    Motherwell 5 – 1 St Johnstone

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    St Johnstone programme preview

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    TV: Lasley glad to be back involved

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    TV: McCall wants a return to form

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    Last few hours to bid

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    Vote Higgy for Goal of the Season

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    Humphrey is March’s best player

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    Madden in charge for Saints clash

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    Work Club launches at Fir Park

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    St Johnstone win in pictures

    Pictures from the 5-1 win over St Johnstone in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.

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

    [svgallery name=”stjohnstone280412″]

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    Motherwell 5 – 1 St Johnstone

    [tab:Match report]

     Kris Jack at Fir Park

    Motherwell strengthened their grip on third spot with a fine 5-1 win over St Johnstone at Fir Park this afternoon.

    A Michael Higdon penalty was followed by a Nicky Law close range effort to put Motherwell 2-0 up at the break. The goals continued to flow as Jamie Murphy bagged a great volley, and substitute Henrik Ojamaa scored twice in the last 10 minutes to give ‘Well their biggest home league win of the season. 

    Chris Humphrey had a magnificent game, with his pace and width creating three of the five goals. The only blot on the copybook was the penalty Liam Craig scored after Shaun Hutchinson felled Marcus Haber in the box, to make it 3-1.

    Having seen Dundee United only manage a draw with Hearts earlier in the day, Stuart McCall and his men knew that a win would create a great five point cushion between United in the battle for third in the SPL.  St Johnstone were without top scorer Francisco Sandaza and Cillian Sheridan, while Dave MacKay sat the game out after picking up a last minute injury.

    ‘Well welcomed Keith Lasley back to the starting eleven after serving his suspension against Celtic. Omar Daley made way for Jamie Murphy in the home attack, and his selection almost paid instant dividends. 

    A ball out left form Law to Murphy allowed the former Scotland U21 striker time and space to cut in on the edge of the box, only to fizz a shot just wide of Alan Mannus left hand post.

    Steven Robertson and Derek Riordan both hit long range efforts on goal but Darren Randolph pulled off two comfortable saves to stave off the danger.

    The game was waiting for one of the sides to take the initiative, and when a lung bursting run by Chris Humphrey ended with the Jamaican being felled in the box by Anderson, Motherwell were given just that opportunity on 16 minutes.

    While the spot kick was soft, Michael Higdon made no mistake in picking up the ball and blasting the ball in to Mannus’ right hand corner, banishing memories of his miss against Rangers four weeks ago.

    The crowd was on its feet again only four minutes later, when more fantastic work by Humphrey set up Nicky Law for goal number two. Jody Morris found himself with the ball on his own byline, but failed to clear his lines as Humphrey harried him to eventually win the ball. One look up and a drilling cross along the six-yard line found Law sliding in to net his seventh goal of the campaign…

    Try as they might, St Johnstone could not muster a positive response, despite the best efforts of Derek Riordan. Usually so prolific against Motherwell, he was unable to grab his 100th SPL when he fired a free-kick narrowly wide of Randolph’s right-hand upright.

    The Steelmen could smell blood and could have gone further ahead had it not been for a plethora of chances in the box created by Law and Humphrey on either side.

    A neat interchange between Murphy and Law saw the ball float across the box evading everyone until Humphrey picked it up on the right. Instead of shooting, he chose to cross for Higdon but Saints got back to clear.

    The Jamaican then played a similar ball in from the right which eventually ended with Murphy volleying straight at Mannus. Steve Lomas men were at sixes and sevens at the back, and had to rely on Mannus saving a Higdon effort after good play on the right by Murphy, to keep the score down.

    Motherwell went in to the break two goals to the good and all but secured the win just after. Tom Hateley and Chris Humphrey combined to get in behind the St Johnstone defence. When Hateley stumbled it looked like the attack had faltered, but it merely created space for him to get up and fire a cross to the penalty spot where Jamie Murphy was on hand to smash a half-volley past the despairing dive of Mannus.

    The returning Murphy could have had his second moments later when Wright misjudged a long ball, allowing the striker to go one on one with Mannus. However, the Saints keeper pulled of a great save low to his right; perhaps a lob would have found the net? It was a vital save as the Saints went up the park and got themselves back in to the game.

    Marcus Haber fell under a challenge from Shaun Hutchinson, and referee Madden had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Liam Craig stepped up and sent Randolph the wrong way to give Lomas’ men a lifeline.

    Despite keeping the momentum from their goal going the visitors never looked like adding to their lead, and again found themselves on the back foot. Higdon managed to work some space in the box from a neat passing move but had his shot well saved.

    As the game looked to peter out, Stuart McCall made a double substitution, bringing on Henrik Ojamaa and Stuart Carswell for Murphy and Jennings with 10 minutes remaining. No sooner had the Estonain took to the park, than he was on the score sheet.

    Yet another outstanding sprint down the East Stand side by Humphrey led to a square ball in to the feet of Ojamaa, who took a touch before finding the bottom corner. There were no pistols from the goalscorer on this occasion as he calmly acknowledged Humphrey’s efforts in celebrating his goal.

    With three minutes left, Ojamaa bagged his second of the game to add a five star flourish to the scoreline. Nicky Law flicked a neat overhead pass in to the path of the onrushing Ojamaa, who outpaced Alan Maybury before cutting in to the box, and striking a low shot which squirmed under Mannus.

    The fifth goal put a great seal on a great performance, which helped to consolidate third place in the SPL with just three games left to play.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FULL TIME:  An absolutely superb 5-1 victory! Did anyone see that coming?

    90mins: 2minutes left until you can all get your passports out.

    87mins: Getting a bit excited? Yes. It wasn’t the entire side but it they all count. Fantastic from Henrik.

    87mins: Midfield dogfight? Reverse psychology there! Ojamaa skins the entire St Johnstone side and his shot sneaks under Mannus.

    87mins: GOOOALLLLLLLLLLLLLL IT’S 5! STOP! Ojamma time again!

    86mins: Motherwell sub – Lasley off for Ross Forbes.

    83mins: Absolutely wonderful from Humphrey. His pace is phenomenal and takes him in behind the whole defence. He squares to Ojamaa who takes a touch before slotting home!

    83mins: Ohhh yes! It’s 4-1, Ojamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.


    80mins: No real chances worth commenting on recently. It’s going to be a midfield dogfight until the end now.

    79mins: Motherwell subs – Murphy departs for Henrik Ojamaa and Jennings comes off for Carswell

    75mins: St Johnstone sub: Keatings on for Craig

    74mins: St Johnstone enjoying some possession here although it hasn’t amounted to any chances as of yet.

    72mins: Nervous times as we look to tick down that clock.

    66mins: Davidson booked for leading with his arm going for a header.

    63mins: Two good chances there. Firstly Mannus denies Higdon from a close range shot and then denies Murphy from 20 yards out.

    58mins: GOAL- Liam Craig sends Randolph the wrong way 3-1

    58mins: Penalty for St Johnstone.

    54mins: A chance to kill it right there but Murphy’s deft lob isn’t strong enough to beat Mannus.

    54mins: Chance here for St Johnstone. Free kick right on the edge of the area……Craig tamely shoots straight at Randolph

    52mins: Hateley gets a low cross in which Jamie Murphy meets on the volley and fires it past Mannus!


    49mins: which is over-hit and comes to nothing.

    49mins: Steady start to the half. Humphrey winning a corner which Hateley swings in…..

    45mins: Second half underway!

    HALF TIME: And there goes the half-time whistle. It’s Motherwell 2-0 St Johnstone and it’s a well deserved lead!

    45mins: 1 minute added on.

    40mins: Approaching half-time and, so far we’re well in control. Law and Humphrey’s pace is causing St J’s defence so much problems.

    32mins: Agonisingly close from Higdon there. His toe-poked effort travels in slow motion and trickles just past Mannus’ post.

    28mins: The Steelmen peppering the goals there. Lasley, Humphrey and then Murphy with attempts within 30 seconds.

    22mins: The drum is out and the chants of “Keith!” coming from the east stand as Las worms his way into the box but over-runs it out of play

    21mins: Riordan goes close with a 25 yard free-kick. Just over.

    19mins: Hunphrey’s pace gets him to the goal line and his low cross is met 4 yards out by the sliding Nicky Law!

    19mins: GOALLLLL! Nicky law!

    15mins: GOAL! Higdon slams the ball home 1-0

    15mins: It’s a penalty for Motherwell!

    12mins: Up the other end, Murphy tries his luck from 25 yards. Well past the post though.

    11mins: Great save from Randolph! The big man gets down to his left brilliantly to tip Riordan’s shot past the post.

    10mins: Nice one-two between Riordan and Robertson see’s the latter volley straight at Randolph.

    5mins: A roar erupts around Fir Park as Murphy’s shot curls towards goal. Just past unfortunately!

    4mins: Another half chance…this time Davidson drives from 30 yards only to see his shot fly well over.

    1min: Half chance for St Johnstone. Craig crosses in deep and Randolph’s attempted punch looks a little uncertain. No real danger though.

    1min: And St Johnstone kick off at a sunny but cold Fir Park.


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “There were a lot of pleasing factors. To score five goals is terrific at any level but against a normally resolute St Johnstone, it was pleasing.

    “I’d have settled for a 1-0 but we did say we wanted to come out and show the quality we’ve got. In patches, we did that. We defended quite well when we had to.

    “We finished the job in style. It’s nice to get all your forwards scoring goals and in confident mood for what we’ll need; a big push in the last three games.

    “I thought some of our football was excellent and we took the goals really well.

    “It’s no good us looking at other results if we can’t make our own performances count and that was the key for the lads, to go out and get the three points and they did it in style.”

    St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas:

    “In my opinion it wasn’t a penalty but Bobby is in no way to blame for our 5-1 defeat.

    “It was simply not good enough in defence, midfield and up front.

    “We started well but we just had nothing after that.”


    [poll id=”100″]

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    St Johnstone programme preview

    St Johnstone visit Fir Park in yet another crucial Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash tomorrow and if you are coming to the match, don’t forget to pick up a matchday programme.

    What’s inside? Well, manager Stuart McCall talks about the last few weeks in how he hopes the Steelmen can get back to winning ways against Steve Lomas’ men.

    The cover interview is with young defender Jonathan Page. The former Portsmouth player speaks exclusively about his aspirations to net a regular starting berth, the exciting end to the season and the importance of today’s meeting with St Johnstone.

    There is a special 11-page section dedicated to our visitors, St Johnstone. Not only is there a rundown of the club and boss Steve Lomas, there is review of their excellent season and we get the views of exiled Saintee Ian Slater. Peter Elder looks back at one of the more memorable matches between the sides and midfielder Liam Craig takes the questions in our Q&A.

    And that’s not all. As well as match reports from last week’s match with Celtic, regular features such as On This Day with Graham Barnstaple, Gavin McCafferty in From the Press Box return and the Fanatics series continues with Joe McKelvie remembering the best and worst of his time supporting the Steelmen.

    There’s a special treat this week when we catch up with former striker Scott McDonald who talks to Kris Jack about his memories of Fir Park and how he is playing an equally huge game this weekend.

    But wait, there’s more! We take a look back at the 1999/200 season in our Golden Years feature and there’s an in-depth statistical look at referee Bobby Madden. We have the latest from The Ticket Office and the Commercial Department and the latest stats, facts and figures for the 2011/2012 campaign.

    The programme is available for £3 and is currently 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: Lasley glad to be back involved

    Veteran midfielder Keith Lasley admits he has had a frustrating few weeks watching from the sidelines.

    The 32-year old has been forced to miss three of the last six SPL games after his ordering off against the Dons in the Scottish Cup then going over the disciplinary point’s threshold following a harsh booking at home to Rangers.

    The former Plymouth man is now back available to resume his partnership with Steve Jennings and is hoping to kick things off with a win tomorrow.

    “The last few weeks have been frustrating,” he admitted. “I’ve been missing out every other week it feels like and it’s been disappointing but I’m just looking forward to being back involved in what is a big game on Saturday.

    “One positive is that you get time to recharge and there is nothing better for getting you back up for getting out there than having to sit there and watch a game because it is a frustrating thing as any player will probably tell you. Hopefully this week I can be back in the mix and get an opportunity to get back out there.

    [pullquote]I’ve been missing out every other week it feels like and it’s been disappointing but I’m just looking forward to being back involved in what is a big game on Saturday.[/pullquote]

    “We’ve had strange results against St Johnstone this season with the 3-0 results at each other’s grounds and the 3-2 game here.

    “There has certainly been a lot of goals in the games so we’ll maybe look forward to that which will be good for the fans. St Johnstone have proven themselves to be a good team and they’ll be coming here thinking if they can get a result they can put themselves right back in the mix for third.

    “That will be their mindset but ours will be to try and get as many points on the board as possible and Saturday will be our first chance to do that.”


    Season Tickets

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    TV: McCall wants a return to form

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has urged his side to rediscover some of the form that has taken them to within four games of third place.

    The Steelmen are in a four-way tussle with Dundee United, Hearts and tomorrow’s opponents, St Johnstone for what is likely to be a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League qualifiers.

    ‘Well have only taken one point from the last four matches and face and excellent Saints side but still with a three-point cushion over nearest rivals United.

    Peter Houston’s men take on Hearts in Saturday’s early kick-off but the former Scotland midfielder is calling for his men to focus only on playing some of the football that has won them many plaudits this term.

    He said: “It’s going to be a tense, nervy, edgy  final four games for every club that are fighting to be as high up the league as they can but I want the boys to bring the quality out tomorrow.

    “We’ve got good players, we’ve talked all week about the way we want to go out and play the game and that’s what we aim to do.

    “One thing St Johnstone have got is that they are a real hard working group. If you’ve got good senior pros in your dressing room you’ve got a good chance of having a good side out there and St Johnstone have certainly got that. Sandaza is out but I’m sure they’ve got other players desperate to come in and take his role.

    “We’ve just got to go out and as an individual, be the best you can be. Don’t be tense and nervous, just go out and produce what you’ve produced all season and we’re confident that will be enough to get us the points that we need.”


    Season Tickets

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    Last few hours to bid

    There are only a few hours left for you to bid on the fantastic ‘Matchday Experience’ set for early May.

    The club and its partners have run various events in the past allowing fans and clients to play on the hallowed Fir Park turf, but none have ever been the true matchday experience quite like this.

    You have this one opportunity to bid for this incredible event; for one day you will feel and be treated like a first-team player.


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    Vote Higgy for Goal of the Season

    Skysports.com users are giving you the chance to vote for the official PFA Scotland Goal of the Season winner.

    Throughout the season, their panel of experts have been pulling together the best goals from the SPL and beyond to produce this shortlist of 12 classic strikes.

    You can make your selection by voting in our poll to the right of the page and how can anyone look past Higgy’s overhead-kick against Hibs!

    The vote closes on Thursday May 3 and the winner will be presented with an award at a special ceremony to be held in Glasgow at The Hilton Hotel on Sunday May 6.

    So to vote for Motherwell’s top scorer – CLICK HERE.

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    Humphrey is March’s best player

    The Cash Converters Player of the Month for March is flying winger Chris Humphrey.

    Chris returned to the starting line-up after a scintillating substitute performance at East End Park and since then, he has turned in some terrific displays.

    ‘Well fan Joe McKelvie won the privilege of presenting the trophy by voting for Chris at Cash Converter’s SPL page.

    For your chance to present the April 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.

    Cash Converters

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    Madden in charge for Saints clash

    Referee for Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with St Johnstone at Fir Park will be Bobby Madden.

    It will be only be Bobby’s second ever Motherwell game. His first came back in January of this season as the Steelmen slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Inverness; Grégory Tadé grabbing the game’s only goal.

    The 33-year old has been fourth official on a number of occasions, including Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup last month and the Semi Final with St Johnstone at Hampden last April.

    The whistler has taken charge of games in all four domestic divisions this campaign and both Cup competitions, the most notable being Celtic’s 2-1 win over Dunfermline and Rangers’ victory over Inverness by the same scoreline.

    His most recent SPL appointment came at the start of April as Hibs took all three points against Inverness in the Highlands, winning 3-2.

    Madden himself was at the centre of controversy at the turn of the year when he was forced to cancel a game between Dunfermline and Kilmarnock at East End Park due to thick fog. Unfortunately, at kick-off, the worst had cleared and he was on the end of some severe, and, it has to be said, over-the-top criticism from some quarters when it was an extremely difficult and unpredictable call.

    He was also in charge for the entertaining UEFA U21 Qualifying clash between Albania and Moldova in Korçë back in September. The home side won 4-2 with the Moldovans reduced to ten men courtesy of a late red card to midfielder Mihail Platica.

    He has also refereed a fixture in the UEFA Champions League when he was appointed to the First Round Qualifier between Birkirkara FC and FC Santa Colomo in July of 2010.

    His domestic card count record is encouraging too. Of the 27 matches he has handled this term; only 74 cautions have been dished out (2.5 per match) with only two ordered off.

    Bobby will be ably assisted by Brian McGarry and Gary Sweeney with Calum Murray on fourth official duties.

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    Work Club launches at Fir Park

    Motherwell FC Community Trust is looking to make a real difference to unemployment in the area through the setting up of a Work Club in partnership with Job Centre Plus which will meet in the Learning Centre in the Davie Cooper on Saturday mornings at 10am.

    The aim of the Work Club is to make use of local resources and knowledge to allow people to work together to offer addition support. The Work Club will also offer unemployed people a place to meet and exchange skills, opportunities, make contacts, share experiences, and receive support to help them back in work.

    At Fir Park, people attending the Work Club regularly will have a fantastic view of the Stadium from the Learning Centre and will qualify for free tickets for SPL games outwith the Old Firm.

    Charlie Bennett, General Manager of Motherwell FC Community Trust said: “We are very pleased to working in partnership with Job Centre Plus over this initiative. Recently we have been involved in a number of employability programmes including the Future Jobs Fund, Get into Sport and Leisure and the Community Jobs Fund which have all been a great success”

    The Work Club will deliver an innovative programme over a 12 week period which will cover:

    Your Career
    Identify areas of interest using online tests, Sign Posting to websites with further information on specific career choices etc

    Curriculum Vitae Workshops
    What is a CV? How to prepare a CV? CV Application Packs, Good CV’s/Bad CV’s, Tailoring CV’s to certain posts etc

    Skills & Qualities
    Identifying personal skills and qualities, matching skills and qualities with vacancies

    Goal Settings
    What are goals? What are Long/Short term goals, Why is goal setting important? How to set and monitor goals.

    This workshop will help people to identify any barriers into employment and look at ways of overcoming these barriers.

    Job Search
    Where should you be looking? Website Information, website directories, keyword searches etc

    Job Applications
    Good practice, supporting statements, reference information, personal information, disclosure etc

    Supporting Statements
    How to prepare a supporting statement for particular vacancies

    Interview Techniques
    Preparation for interviews, types of interviews, interview questions, good interview/bad interview

    Types of communication: Eye Contact, Speech, Body Language, Listening

    For more information on the Work Club or any of our other programmes please contact us at community@motherwellfc.co.uk or by calling us on 01698 239 926