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    Raith Rovers 1 – 1 Motherwell

  • Archive

    TV: McCall looking for a reaction

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    Weatherseal continue sponsorship

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    TV: Goals from Somerset Park

  • Archive

    TV: McCall angered by poor showing

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    Ayr Utd 4 – 0 Motherwell

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    TV: McCall glad to get back to football

  • Archive

    Goal hero McBride passes away

  • Archive

    Lasley honoured with Captain’s role

  • Archive

    Summer School: Places still available

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    Raith Rovers 1 – 1 Motherwell

    A late header from substitute Patrick Clarke denied Motherwell their first win of the pre season, as Raith Rovers claimed a draw at Stark’s Park.

    Jamie Murphy had given the Steelmen the lead after 66 minutes, in a game which saw a much more coherent and competent performance than the 4-0 defeat to Ayr the previous Saturday. 

    Like the trip to Ayrshire, Stuart McCall’s men could have had the game sewn up in the first half, but instead, it was Raith who were left to rue a last minute chance of a winner, when Clarke hit the post when he should have scored.

    Stuart McCall’s side travelled to the kingdom of Fife to take on a Raith Rovers side well into their pre season programme. Games against Ross County and Hearts had seen Grant Murray’s men draw with the Staggies and go down to a 3-0 defeat in Laurie Ellis testimonial. ‘Well were looking to bounce back from defeat as well, having lost 4-0 to a more clinical Ayr at Somerset Park.

    With a bounce game against Arbroath lined up for the Wednesday, Tuesday’s game saw the Fir Parkers line-up without Chris Humphrey, Henrik Ojamaa, Tom Hateley and Nicky Law, with youngsters Lee Erwin, Josh Watt and Steven Hetherington earning a starting berth. The away bench was full of more under 20s, with the rest who featured in Saturday kept for the Arbroath tie.

    The home side started the sprightliest, with some neat passing and balls in to the channels, testing Page and Ramsden in the defence.

    With a chance to show what they could do, the three youngsters in Well’s starting line-up proved to be the most effective in the first half, with Hetherington the first to test Laidlaw with a low effort from thirty-yards.

    Murphy then cut in from the right to have a shot on goal, but a sliding block by Murray prevented it from driving goalwards. Down the other end and Allan Graham tested Randolph with a fizzing free kick from the edge of the box, which the Irish International did well to tip over for a corner.

    The closest either side came to a goal arose when a lovely ball in from the right from Hetherington evaded all in the middle to land at the feet of Josh Watt. However, the tricky winger’s volley was in to the ground, and the effort spun up and off the post, before Laidlaw grabbed it.

    Hetherington was proving to be a thorn in Raith’s side and he was unlucky to see a goal bound effort deflected over as Motherwell exerted some pressure.

    A succession of corners were defended competently by the First Division side, before they broke up the park and won a free kick when Saunders fouled Graham. While Walker’s kick had power, it lacked pace, allowing Randolph to comfortably save.

    Lee Erwin then had a free kick of his own saved by Laidlaw, drilling the ball low between the wall from twenty yards. The big forward then brought out a fantastic reaction stop from the opposing goalie; Murphy coasted past Thomson and rasped across in to the six yard box. Erwin reacted first, but his toe poke was blocked out by Laidlaw, to keep the game goalless.

    Moments later, Watt should then have produced better when he ghosted in to the box, but his effort was high and wide.

    With half-time approaching, ‘Well came within an inch of taking the lead. Michael Higdon, who had won his fair share of flicks, finally caught a glimpse of goal but his strike from 25-yards had the sting taken out of it by a deflection. However, the ball spun awkwardly and struck the base of the post, having completely wrong-footed the keeper.

    The second half began much like the first with Raith making the initial inroads, but Page and Ramsden did well to make sure nothing came of their attacks.

    Murphy, keen to make amends for missing a handful of chances on Saturday, was looking to get on the score sheet and was unlucky to see his goalbound looking shot touched over by the thigh of boss Murray. From the resulting corner kick, Higdon headed wide from Hetherington’s delivery.

    McCall opted to mix things up as Erwin and Watt made way for Craig Moore and Ewan Murray, and the bustling of Moore led to the opener for Motherwell.

    A good surge forward from the youngster led to a corner, which was arrowed towards the goalkeeper by Hetherington’s whipped left foot. With the goalie flapping, Higdon poked the ball back in to the middle, where Murphy bundled the ball home from all of a yard. It was a lead that Motherwell just about deserved, but did not stop Raith from trying to get back in to it.

    Patrick Clarke came on for Greg Spence for the home team and immediately set his stall out, stinging the palms of Randolph from distance. He then struck a marvelous volley after Graham’s flick on allowed him space, but again Randolph was equal to the task. Soon after, he managed to find the home fans instead of the away goal, when put through by Walker.

    After numerous chances, Raith looked the fresher of the two sides and they eventually got level when Sub Clark finished an excellent move with a bullet header from about seven yards out.

    As the game ran in to its final minute, the substitute could have won it for the home side when he found himself with all of the time in the world on the penalty spot. With just about the whole goal to aim at, he struck the junction of bar and post, when the net looked easier to ripple.

    It was to prove the last action of an otherwise entertaining ninety minutes. It was a much improved effort from McCall’s men in Kirkcaldy, and while not being the win that many would have wanted, it was a decent workout and a good showcase for the young emerging talent at Fir Park, with 1-1 a fair result.

    Motherwell: Randolph, Saunders, Hammell, Ramsden, Higdon, Murphy, Lasley, Page, Hetherington, Erwin (Moore), Watt (Murray)

    Subs Not Used: Stewart, Leitch, Asghar, Green

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    TV: McCall looking for a reaction

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has challenged his players to put Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Somerset Park behind them when they face Raith Rovers and Arbroath this midweek.

    The Steelmen’s pre-season got off to a poor start at the hands of the plucky Second Division side who capitalised in numerous mistakes to win comfortably.

    Now McCall has urged his squad to bounce back and show what they’re capable of when they travel to the east coast on both Tuesday and Wednesday night.

    [pullquote]We are two weeks away from one of the biggest matches in this clubs’ history; shirts are there to be grabbed.[/pullquote]

    “The players have got to pick themselves up,” he insisted. “We are two weeks away from one of the biggest matches in this clubs’ history; shirts are there to be grabbed.”

    “Both in training and in matches, the lads have got to take their chance. I never saw Saturday (4-0 defeat to Ayr) coming to be honest. To lose four goals against any team is bad enough but it was the manner in which we lost them which was very sloppy.

    “To not score with the chances we created and the attacking players we have at our disposal isn’t good enough. We’ve got to be looking to do better in that area.

    “We need to go out and drastically improve this week as we start to get closer and closer to the big kick-off at the end of the month.”


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    Weatherseal continue sponsorship

    Weatherseal Home Improvements Ltd today announced their continued backing for Scotland’s premier league clubs in the season ahead.

    After an unsettled summer during which extremely difficult decisions have been taken, Weatherseal will continue to offer complete support to the twelve clubs, including newly promoted Dundee.

    Weatherseal managing director Tony Reilly said: “We have met the majority of  clubs since our partnership was revealed in June  and have been warmly welcomed.

    “Clubs have been hugely receptive to our ideas and enthusiastic about how we can support them – right across the country.

    “We’ve been inspired by the way in which clubs are embracing challenge and planning for the future.

    “I said when we launched this partnership that we wanted to support the clubs at the heart of the communities and nothing we’ve seen during this summer has changed our thinking.”


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    TV: Goals from Somerset Park

    All the goals from Somerset Park as Motherwell lose 4-0 to Second Division side Ayr United.


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    TV: McCall angered by poor showing

    ‘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.”


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    Ayr Utd 4 – 0 Motherwell

    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

  • Archive

    TV: McCall glad to get back to football

    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.”


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    Goal hero McBride passes away

    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.

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    Lasley honoured with Captain’s role

    Keith Lasley has today spoken of his pride at being officially named as Motherwell FC’s new club captain.

    Lasley, 32, follows in the footsteps of the legendary Stephen Craigan who opted to retire at the conclusion of last season.

    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.”

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    Summer School: Places still available

    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.