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    Arbroath match off

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    ‘Well & Breathing Space renew partnership

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    TV: Highlights from Starks Park

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    TV: McCall satisfied with workout

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    Raith Rovers 1 – 1 Motherwell

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    TV: McCall looking for a reaction

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    Weatherseal continue sponsorship

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    TV: Goals from Somerset Park

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    TV: McCall angered by poor showing

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    Ayr Utd 4 – 0 Motherwell

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    Arbroath match off

    Tonight’s friendly match with Arbroath has postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

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    ‘Well & Breathing Space renew partnership

    Motherwell FC and Breathing Space are proud to announce the renewal of their partnership for the 2012-2013 season.

    Motherwell Manager Stuart McCall said: “We are delighted to have Breathing Space on board with us again this season. As a Community Club we want our fans and those living in Lanarkshire to look after their mental wellbeing – to be able to raise awareness of a free and confidential service like Breathing Space is very important to both the staff and the players.”

    Tony McLaren, Breathing Space National Coordinator commented: “We are looking forward to working with Motherwell FC again; it’s great to see the Breathing Space logo displayed on first team jerseys. We see this as an excellent opportunity to help football fans and players across Scotland improve their mental wellbeing.”

    “We have over 40 fully trained staff taking calls relating to a wide range of issues including relationship difficulties, loneliness and isolation, stress and bereavement. It’s important for people to open up when they are feeling down. People can be reluctant to say that they are depressed but calling us is an important first step.” said Tony.

    Breathing Space handles more than 6000 calls each month. Because many people suffering from low mood and depression feel particularly bad in the evenings, the lines are open from 6pm to 2am Monday to Thursday and 24 hours at the weekend (6pm on Friday to Monday 6am).

    The service also provides a British Sign Language (BSL) option for individuals who are Deaf and wish to communicate via webcam with a trained BSL advisor. For access to the BSL webcam service and for more information about Breathing Space visit www.breathingspacescoltand.co.uk.

    For emotional support, talk in confidence with trained advisors by calling 0800 83 85 87.

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    TV: Highlights from Starks Park

    Match highlights from Starks Park as Raith Rovers and Motherwell battle out a keenly-contested 1-1 draw.

    -CLICK HERE FOR MATCH HIGHLIGHTS EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV-

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    TV: McCall satisfied with workout

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall spoke of his satisfaction at the level of workout his players got in a battling 1-1 draw with Raith Rovers at Starks Park.

    The Steelmen took the lead midway through the second half when Jamie Murphy bundled home from close range.

    It stayed that way until the dying minutes when Paddy Clarke got on the end of a Jason Thomson cross to bullet home a leveller.

    Despite the disappointment at the late equaliser, McCall was pleased at getting most of his players a valuable ninety minutes.

    [pullquote]It was a good exercise, we wanted to win the match and losing the equaliser so late was disappointing but it was a goal Raith probably just about merited.[/pullquote]

    “There was some nice football but we were still guilty of being careless in possession at times,” he said.

    “Overall, the main aim was to get the majority of the lads the full ninety minutes and we managed that. Had it been a league match we would have been looking to see the game out but we wanted to maintain the pace as the last fifteen minutes is all about fitness.

    “Obviously we only made two substitutions, the two young lads coming on to replace Erwin and Watt, and that told with Rovers making a number and looking the fresher as the game drew to a conclusion.

    “It was a good exercise, we wanted to win the match and losing the equaliser so late was disappointing but it was a goal Raith probably just about merited.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ONLY ON MFC TV-

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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.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ON MFC TV-

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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.”

    Weatherseal

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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.

    -CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE GOALS-

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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.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ON MFC TV-

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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