All the goals from Somerset Park as Motherwell lose 4-0 to Second Division side Ayr United.
TV: Goals from Somerset ParkSaturday 14 July 2012
TV: McCall angered by poor showingSaturday 14 July 2012
‘Well boss Stuart McCall was left cursing individual errors as Motherwell slipped to a poor 4-0 defeat at the hands of Ayr United at Somerset Park this afternoon.
The Steelmen dominated the early exchanges and could have been as much as three or four ahead inside the first fifteen minutes but were punished by a ruthless Ayr front line.
But every home goal came littered with Motherwell errors which the Fir Park gaffer puts down to a very bad day at the office.
The former Scotland International midfielder now expects his players to bounce back quickly against Raith Rovers on Tuesday night.
“It was really poor and not what we were looking for,” McCall told MFC TV.
“We talked about the tempo of the game and maybe (it is) a slight excuse but the grass was a bit long and a bit sticky but we’ve lost four really poor goals.
“The first one we’ve let the cross come in too easily and not defended at the back post although Saunders has won the original ball and headed it against the boy. The second goal is just an individual error. The third is a free header from a corner and the fourth is from us being sloppy in possession as we were all day.
“I can’t remember so many individual mistakes in a game be it passing, control or crossing; we just didn’t look comfortable at all.
“Other than early on when Murphy has had two or three chances and a couple of half chances, I don’t think their keeper has had anything to do and that was most disappointing.”
Ayr Utd 4 – 0 MotherwellSaturday 14 July 2012
Motherwell’s preparation for the new season got off to a dissapointing start as they fell to a 4-0 defeat against Ayr United at Somerset Park.
Ross Robertson opened the scoring before Michael Moffat doubled the hosts’ lead, there was further misery after the break as Martyn Campbell headed home on 50 minutes and David Sinclair’s curling effort left Lee Hollis helpless with 20 minutes remaining.
Stuart McCall handed a starting berth to trialist Simon Ramsden, the former Bradford City man partnering Jonathan Page at the heart of the Steelmen defence.
After enjoying the majority of the opening possession, Motherwell managed their first effort on goal when Jamie Murphy dragged an effort wide after Darren Brownlie had carelessly lost possession.
Murphy fired a shot into the side netting two minutes later, before passing up a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock.
Michael Higdon’s threaded pass left the former Scotland U21 International charging through on goal, however the ball held up on the dry surface and he lost his footing with just the keeper to beat.
The 22-year-old could have been forgiven for thinking it wasn’t going to be his day when he failed to convert his fourth chance of the opening 15 minutes – latching on to Steven Hammell’s superb long ball before failing to hit the target.
Tom Hateley struck wide from Higdon’s lay-off a minute before the hosts incredibly opened the scoring with their first chance of the match.
Anthony Marennghi’s floated cross found Robertson who looped a header beyond the despairing Darren Randolph. TV evidence may show it was Steven Saunders’ headed clearance that rebounded off the Ayr-man.
Things got worse for the visitors on 27 minutes when Chrs Humphrey’s poor back-pass was intercepted by Moffat and the striker had little problems slotting home from six-yards.
It was astonishing stuff with the Steelmen pretty much dominant in terms of possession and chances but two goals behind.
The majority of the remainder of the first-half was played out in the middle of the park – bringing to an end a disappointing first 45 minutes of pre-season for McCall’s men.
The Fir Park boss made two changes at the interval, Estonian Henrik Ojamaa replaced Higdon while Jamaican Omar Daley was introduced in place of Humphrey.
It was the hosts who created the first opportunity of the second half when Mark Shankland had an effort bravely blocked by Steven Saunders.
From the resulting corner Campbell met the ball with a diving header at the front post to stretch Ayr’s lead to three.
Ojamaa blazed over the bar as Motherwell tried to find a way back into the game and the substitute was unlucky to see his shot roll across the goal-line before being turned away for a corner ten minutes later.
With 25 minutes remaining McCall made SEVEN changes – Nicky Devlin, Euan Murray, Zaine Francis-Angol, Josh Watt, Steven Hetherington, Lee Hollis and Stuart Carswell all introduced.
It did little to change the pattern of the game however, Sinclair curled a superb effort beyond Hollis on 70 minutes to continue a miserable afternoon for the men in Claret and Amber.
The confidence was flowing through the United side and David Sinclair shot over before a wonderful piece of individual skill from Moffat almost resulted in a fifth for the home side.
Daley struck the wall with a free-kick in the dying stages of the match but it would be as close as the visitors would come to a consolation.
McCall’s men will now look to bounce back quickly when they travel to Starks Park for a friendly encounter against Raith Rovers.
Motherwell: Randolph, Saunders, Hammell, Page, Ramsden, Lasley, Hateley, Law, Humphrey, Higdon, Murphy
Subs: Hollis, Murray, Francis-Angol, Devlin, Carswell, Hetherington, Watt, Daley, Ojamaa, Erwin
TV: McCall glad to get back to footballFriday 13 July 2012
Stuart McCall is glad to be back to talking about football as Motherwell prepare to travel to Ayr United for the first pre-season game of the new campaign.
Off-field matters have unfortunately completed dominated Scottish Football in the last few months much to the annoyance of the Fir Park boss.
But with football back on the agenda tomorrow with the visit to Somerset Park, McCall can’t wait to get started again.
[pullquote]All the players are looking forward to getting some football under their belts.[/pullquote]
“I’m looking forward to the game and so are the lads,” he said.
“We’ve been back over two weeks now and I was disappointed the game on Monday was cancelled but we’ve managed to get some dry games and training has been good and sharp.
“All the players are looking forward to getting some football under their belts.
“I’ve seen Ayr a couple of times since last year but I’m not too concerned about what other sides do, I’m just looking for a good work-out.
“Three or four of the lads will have a half and the majority of them will get an hour. We’ve got to kick on now as we’re a game light and then some of the younger boys will get the last half hour. We’ll all get a bit of football. We need to be careful though as as much as they need 90 minutes of football, you can’t just throw them into 90 minute scenarios.
“We’ll mix and match a little bit and we’re looking forward to the lads showing what they’ve been showing in training. They’ve been really sharp and I’ve been pleased with the way they’ve been working.”
Goal hero McBride passes awayThursday 12 July 2012
The club are today saddened to learn of the death of former striker Joe McBride, who passed away late last night after a short battle with illness.
Joe had already had a bit of a nomadic career before joining the Steelmen in 1962 for just £8,000; a CV boasting the likes of Kilmarnock, Wolves, Luton Town and Partick Thistle despite being just 24 years of age.
But it was in the Claret and Amber of Motherwell that his goalscoring exploits really came to the fore.
He made his debut in a goalless draw with Dundee United in November and netted his first goal in a 4-3 defeat at Dunfermline.
In his first season at Fir Park, he had scored eleven goals, the very next he hit the back of the net nineteen times.
He was a deadly finisher who was forged a reputation as one Britain’s most talented strikers. He famously helped the club land the 1965 Summer Cup by scoring against every side the club met.
That prompted legendary boss Jock Stein to prize him away to Celtic Park in 1965; Joe’s Motherwell stats read an incredible 51 goals in just 88 league appearances. His departure was noted by the board of the time as ‘sad as it was inevitable’ – a testament to his supreme quality.
He went on to have a glittering spell at Parkhead, cementing himself in the folklore of the Glasgow club after playing a part in the European Cup success in 1967, although injury ruled him out of the final itself, and a fearsome goal scoring rate.
He also latterly played for Hibernian, Dunfermline and Clyde before retiring in 1972.
Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said, “We were saddened to hear of Joe’s death early this morning.
“Although Joe will probably be remembered by most in the Scotland football world for his time with Celtic, Motherwell fans who had the pleasure of seeing him blossom will always hold him in high regard.
“We take a great sense of pride in his achievements whilst he was at Fir Park and how players of his quality graced our club in what was a golden era in terms of quality of football and the Summer Cup in 1965.”
Everyone at Motherwell Football Club would like express our deepest condolences to Joe’s family and friends at this sad time.
Lasley honoured with Captain’s roleWednesday 11 July 2012
Keith Lasley has today spoken of his pride at being officially named as Motherwell FC’s new club captain.
And the veteran midfielder, the Motherwell fans Player of the Year the past two seasons, hopes he can emulate some of the successful captains of yesteryear when he starts of his tenure this Saturday at Somerset Park.
“It’s an honour for me,” he told motherwellfc.co.uk
“I filled in a few times last season when Crags (Stephen Craigan) was injured and I certainly enjoyed that role.
“I’m now really looking forward to taking it on in a more regular basis this year and hopefully I can fulfil that to the best of my ability.
“I suppose the Captain is seen as the figurehead of the dressing room both on and off the park. There have been some great skippers in the past at this club and hopefully I can try and emulate them.”
Summer School: Places still availableWednesday 11 July 2012
Motherwell Football Club is proud to launch our Summer Soccer School for boys and girls aged between five and fifteen.
Following on a fantastic season for the first-team which saw us qualify for the preliminary rounds of the UEFA Champions League summer is here again.
During the summer holidays, the club will again be holding a Summer Soccer School aimed at young people, boys and girls, between the ages of 5 and 15 at the newly upgraded Fir Park AstroTurf behind the Stadium.
As usual, we will be providing a fun programme that will have something for everybody with a wide range of football activities from dribbling, passing and shooting through to penalty competitions, and small sided games.
We are passionate about improving the skills of all our players and our experienced Motherwell Soccer School Coaches will help young players take themselves to the next level.
All our coaches are also accredited with the Scottish Football Association and should the weather prove a bit wet we can move activities through to our indoor gym, and other locations around the ground.
The Summer School will run from July 2nd through until August 10th starting at 9am and finishing at 3pm.
Prices are £45 for the full week; £10.00 a day; and £5.00 for a morning or afternoon session.
For more information and to book please call us on 01698 239 926 or you can book online at www.motherwellsoccerschools.com.
TV: McCall frustrated at cancellationMonday 09 July 2012
‘Well boss Stuart McCall cut a frustrated figure after learning tonight’s match with Rapid Bucharest would have to be cancelled due to adverse weather.
The Steelmen were to take on Romanians Rapid București at the Grangemouth Stadium near Falkirk but the pitch there was unable to cope with the recent deluge or rain.
The game will be rescheduled for tomorrow behind closed doors and fans can get their ticket money back, but McCall couldn’t hide his disappointment.
[pullquote]Even at Dalziel, we wouldn’t have got a full pitch otherwise we’d just have had a bounce game there amongst ourselves.[/pullquote]
He said: “We were hoping that with the game being called off on Saturday (Rapid București versus Livingston) that the park had been in a good enough state to carry on but unfortunately not.
“We’ve got a little back-up plan and will actually play them again tomorrow behind closed doors but it is disappointing the game is off tonight.
“The lads will be disappointed I’m sure but at least we’ve managed to get it on tomorrow.
“Even at Dalziel, we wouldn’t have got a full pitch otherwise we’d just have had a bounce game there amongst ourselves. Hopefully it will stay dry tonight and the lads will get at least 45 minutes under their belt tomorrow.”
Rapid game called offMonday 09 July 2012
Tonight’s pre-season friendly with Rapid București has been called off due to a waterlogged pitch at the Grangemouth Stadium.
An incredible amount of rain has fallen on Central Scotland in recent weeks and despite the best efforts of the groundstaff at the stadium, the pitch was deemed unplayable at 3pm today by a local referee.
Anyone who has purchased a ticket for the match can claim a refund at the Fir Park Ticket Office at their earliest convenience.
TV: Lasley up for Rapid testSunday 08 July 2012
Keith Lasley expects a baptism of fire against Romanian heavyweights Rapid București in the first pre-season match of the new campaign.
The Steelmen get their preparations underway against high-quality opposition who have already made short work of Greenock Morton and Stenhousemuir in previous matches.
It will be the fifth time in five years the Steelmen have matched up against Romanian opposition, having previously faced Dinamo București, Steaua București, CFR Cluj and the now defunct Unirea Urziceni.
And the veteran midfielder is under no illusions just how big a test against a side with over fifteen international players in their squad.
[pullquote]In my experience, teams from Romanian are normally very talented and technically very good.[/pullquote]
He said: “It’s sure to be a stiff test – the key will be the style of football we are likely to face.
“There is no doubt that it’s a different style and a different pace; we’ve found that over the last few years in Europe. In my experience, teams from Romanian are normally very talented and technically very good.
“We are looking forward to it though, being our first match. We have put in a lot of running and fitness work over the last ten days so it will be good to get some time on the ball.
“Coming up against a team of this calibre will hopefully stand us in good stead going in to the Champions League game at the end of the month.”