Extended highlights from the Under 20s’ 2-1 win over Dundee at Dens Park as goals from Craig Moore and Stuart Carswell hand ‘Well three points.
-WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS ONLY ON MFC TV-
(No Audio Summary)
Extended highlights from the Under 20s’ 2-1 win over Dundee at Dens Park as goals from Craig Moore and Stuart Carswell hand ‘Well three points.
-WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS ONLY ON MFC TV-
(No Audio Summary)
Under 20s boss Jonatan Johansson was delighted with his side after they ran out comfortable winners at Dens Park despite being reduced to ten men.
The Fir Parkers created a bucket load of chances and were in a commanding lead thanks to goals from Craig Moore and Stuart Carswell.
Even although Lee Hollis conceded a penalty, which was scored by former ‘Well midfielder Kevin McBride, and sent packing meaning defender Jonathan Page played the last quarter between the sticks, Motherwell comfortable held out for their first win of the 2012/13 campaign.
Johansson was delighted with the way his side went about their business and hopes it will be a launch pad his side needs for the rest of the campaign.
[pullquote]It could have been two, three or even four in the first twenty minutes but in the end we were quite comfortable.[/pullquote]
He told MFC TV: “We’re happy with the three points and to get started in terms of collecting league points.
“We had a really good team out and for most of the game we played really well. I don’t think the scoreline reflects the game but in the end, considering all the things that happened, maybe we should have been more clinical to get a cushion.
“The attitude was there and the pressing was there. Moore took his goal well and Dale got into great positions and was unlucky not to score. It could have been two, three or even four in the first twenty minutes but in the end we were quite comfortable.”
Motherwell Under 20s picked up their first three points of the season following a 2-1 win over Dundee at a rain-soaked, windswept Dens Park.
In truth, ‘Well dominated for the majority of the ninety minutes and the margin of victory could and should have been much more empathic.
Ironically, it was the Steelmen who had to shut-up shop in the closing stages of the match after a dubious penalty and red card forced ‘Well to play the last fifteen minutes with ten-men and defender Jonathan Page in goals.
Jonatan Johansson’s had the luxury of a much more experienced side than two week ago at St Mirren Park.
There was some unfortunate drama before the game even kicked-off when striker Lee Erwin pulled up during the warm-up with what looked like a knee injury. He was treated on the field before being carried to the dressing rooms; his late replacement was Dale Shirkie who would partner Craig Moore in attack.
And it was Moore who would set Motherwell on their way with a goal inside the opening two minutes.
The striker got on the end of a neat Ramsden ball into the channel. He did very well to wrestle his marker off the ball before cutting inside and blasting a low left-footed shot into the far corner; his third of the season.
That was a taste of things to come as Motherwell dominated the opening twenty-five minutes and created enough changes to win three football matches.
Shirkie in particular was getting himself into great positions and fired both wide and over as the Steelmen continued their onslaught. He had another that looked net-bound but for a great sliding block by Thomson. All this and there still hadn’t been ten minutes on the clock.
The home goal was leading a charmed life and the woodwork came to the rescue for Alex Baird as Page came within an inch of doubling Motherwell’s advantage. Hetherington’s curling corner found the big English defender but his piercing header cannoned back of the crossbar before being hooked clear.
Shirkie had yet another chance shortly after but his stinging close-range volley was expertly saved by Baird. The rebound fell to Josh Watt who wasted no time whipping in a cross but Moore could only turn a flicked header over the bar.
Jamaican International Omar Daley then brought out another decent save from young Baird with a low shot before Watt had a great effort fizz inches wide of the post after some tenacious wing play.
It took Dundee thirty minutes to even get the ball close to Hollis’ goal but the best they could muster was a daisy-cutter from former ‘Well midfielder Kevin McBride. It was more than comfortable for the ‘Well goalkeeper.
Just before the interval, Motherwell should have been given the chance to double their lead but were denied what looked like a stonewall penalty kick. Daley’s trickery was again at the heart of the visiting attack and one run in particular was crudely halted by Dundee substitute Reid. Not only did it look like an obvious foul, the sound of the boots clashing could be heard above the howling Dundee wind. Daley’s bemused expression told its own story.
Johansson’s message at the interval would certainly have been to continue some of the excellent play on display during the first forty-five. His message certainly resonated as ‘Well doubled their lead inside sixty seconds of the restart.
Moore and Daley combined on the flank before the latter rolled the ball to the supporting Stuart Carswell who had taken up a great spot on the edge of the area. His fizzing low drive zipped past Baird into the net to put the Fir Parkers well on their way to the first three points of the campaign.
Page, Francis-Angol and Daley all had half-chances to increase the lead further before the hour but none would find the back of the net.
The second half was petering out with ‘Well creating another couple of chances before a controversial call from the match official turned the game on its head.
Dundee striker Boyle raced through on goal but he was halted by what looked like a well-timed interception by Hollis in the away goal. The referee took a dim view, pointing to the spot and sending the former Airdrie stopper for an early bath.
It looked a very harsh decision indeed. Motherwell had already made a trio of substitutions so it was left to defender Jonathan Page to take the gloves and play out the last seventeen minutes between the sticks.
His first job was to pick the ball out the net as Kevin McBride smashed home the resulting spot kick.
You may be forgiven for expecting the last quarter of the match to be a backs to the wall exercise for what was now a young Steelmen side after the introductions of Jack Leitch, Paul McCafferty and Adam Asghar from the substitutes bench.
In actual fact, ‘Well remained in control; Page a virtual spectator aside from dealing with a handful of pass-backs with the back four marshalled by Euan Murray constantly barking instructions.
Indeed, it was Motherwell who almost extended their advantage with a few minutes left on the clock but Hetherington’s low strike was well saved by Baird.
It was the last piece of noteworthy action in a very competent and professional performance from Motherwell, a win that lifts them off bottom spot in the table. They are back in action this Sunday against East Fire in the SFA Youth Cup before Lanarkshire derby at Fir Park next Tuesday.
Motherwell: Hollis, Ramsden (Asghar – 65), Francis-Angol (Leitch – 65), Carswell, Murray, Page, Watt, Hetherington, Shirkie, Moore, Daley (McCafferty – 65)
Subs Not Used: Green, Johnstone
Sent Off: Hollis (73)
Goals: Moore (2), Carswell (46)
The Board of Motherwell Football Club today (Monday) issued the following brief statement ahead of Wednesday’s match with Rangers.
“The Board, players, staff and fans at Motherwell FC are united behind making the club successful and a positive force for improvement in the Scottish game.
“This week we are excited to be playing a Scottish Communities League Cup fixture against Rangers as both clubs build for the future. All of our focus should be on the field of play and we look forward to what promises to being a great game.
“We are pleased to note both the CEO and Board of Rangers recently said they would welcome our staff and fans and we will extend the same courtesy to all clubs ourselves as we seek to create a welcoming family club.
“The past is done; we now can only influence the future. We are now totally focused on what happens on the field this week. More generally we want to put all our energies into building on the hard work we have done over the last few years to make our club a sustainable success.”
Despite goals from Higdon, Hutchinson and Law, Motherwell were pegged back and had to settle for a 3-3 draw at Pittodrie.
Despite losing two goals in the last ten minutes that would ultimately deny the Steelmen all three points against Aberdeen, ‘Well boss Stuart McCall was remaining upbeat.
Although going behind to an early Gavin Rae goal, the Fir Parkers roared into a commanding 3-1 lead courtesy of goals from Higdon, Hutchinson and Law.
The visitors looked good for all three points after dominating for the majority of the afternoon but a 83rd minute header from sub Niall McGinn and a 93rd minute leveller from Josh Magennis meant they were forced to settle for just the one.
Aside from frustration at losing what looked like an insurmountable lead, McCall was keen to focus on the positives from what was a very decent outing for ‘Well.
[pullquote]I’m really pleased with the performance although naturally it was bittersweet with the result in the end. It is two points thrown away but there are a lot of positives to take from the game.[/pullquote]
He told MFC TV: “I am hugely disappointed to lose two goals in the manner we did so late in the game but a lot of our football was terrific today at times.
“We’re coming to a place where although they’ve not scored at home, they have not conceded either and we have controlled large parts of the football match. It would have been a travesty if we had came in at half-time one down.
“I’m really pleased with the performance although naturally it was bittersweet with the result in the end. It is two points thrown away but there are a lot of positives to take from the game.
“We should have been talking about a terrific victory coming up here and scoring three goals but it wasn’t to be.”
Pictures from the 3-3 draw with Aberdeen in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Pittodrie.
These action shots and more are available to buy online at motherwellpics.com.
Andy Ross at Pittodrie
Josh Magennis’ last-gasp equaliser ensured Motherwell had to settle for a 3-3 draw against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Michael Higdon slid in a leveller three minutes before half-time to cancel out Gavin Rae’s early opener and Shaun Hutchinson rose to head home Tom Hateley’s corner three minutes after the break.
With eight minutes remaining Nicky Law prodded home at the back-post to seemingly clinch all three points but Aberdeen came roaring back.
Niall McGinn met Ryan Fraser’s cross to set up a tense finish and Magennis converted Andrew Considine’s shot in the dying seconds meaning Motherwell left the Granite City with just a point despite dominating proceedings for much of the game.
Stuart McCall made one change to the side that recorded a 2-1 victory over Dundee at Dens Park last Saturday – Henrik Ojamaa replacing Jamie Murphy.
The opening stages saw both teams struggling to retain possession but the hosts were to open the scoring with their first opportunity of the match.
Fraser and Stephen Hughes linked from a short corner and the former ‘Well midfielder fed Jonny Hayes to flight a pin-point delivery for Rae to head beyond Darren Randolph.
Law shot just over then wide of the target as Motherwell looked to find a way back into the match and after grabbing an early the Dons looked quite content to sit deep and soak up the pressure.
Jamie Langfield made his first save of the opening 25 minutes when he gathered Ojamaa’s low shot at the second attempt.
Langfield in the home goal was enjoying a comfortable start to his afternoon despite Motherwell enjoying the majority of the possession and Higdon’s low shot 10 minutes before the break did little to increase his workload.
Magennis blazed a shot harmlessly over the crossbar before the visitors grabbed a deserved equaliser.
Steven Hammell’s free-kick wasn’t dealt with by the Aberdeen defence and Kerr’s prodded effort was only parried by Langfield, allowing Higdon to slide home his seventh goal of the season.
After the boost of scoring just before the break Motherwell made a dream start to the second half as Hutchinson rose under little pressure to bullet a header beyond Langfield.
Stuart McCall’s men were clearly in the mood to put the game beyond the reach of their hosts and Ojamaa fired just wide and then stung the palms of the keeper two minutes later.
Having found themselves on the back-foot for much of the game, Aberdeen had to find an attacking spark and Fraser ended a direct run with a shot just wide of the right-hand post.
Craig Brown introduced Isaac Osbourne and McGinn in place of Scott Vernon and Rae on 63 minutes in an attempt to add some spark in the Dons midfield.
It was Motherwell who continued to look the more likely of the two sides though and only Considine’s brave block prevented Chris Humphrey from troubling Langfield with a fizzing right-footed effort.
McCall made his first change of the afternoon when he introduced Murphy in place of Ojamaa and Brown made his final change as Cameron Smith came on for Ryan Jack.
The game looked to be have been put out of sight on 82 minutes when Kerr nodded on Hateley’s corner and Law prodded the ball home at the back-post.
The Aberdeen fans headed for the exit’s but their side were to find themselves right back in the game two minutes later.
Fraser’s excellent delivery was met by McGinn who headed home to set up a nervous finish.
It looked like Motherwell had weathered the late Aberdeen pressure until a poorly defended free-kick in the final minute of injury-time was eventually turned in by Megennis.
It was a tough one to take for McCall’s men who had been the better side for the majority of the match, however the Claret and Amber faithful can be consoled by the fact that their side still sit top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League one point clear of Hibs.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Pittodrie
FULL TIME: Aberdeen 3 – 3 Motherwell.
GOAL. Magennis equalises for Aberdeen – Cannot believe it!
90mins: 3 minutes added on.
87mins: Hammell booked for foul on Hayes. Dangerous position for free-kick. Cummins and Lasley combine to clear the danger.
85mins: GOAL: Aberdeen pull one back through McGinn to set-up a nervy finish.
83mins: Nicky Law makes it 3 after he taps in from Hateley’s corner.
81mins: Aberdeen sub: Jack off for Smith.
80mins: Motherwell sub- Ojamaa makes way for Murphy.
78mins: That looked like a decent shout for a penalty there. Law and Ojamaa played a one-two and as he broke he looked to have shirt pulled
76mins: And straight up the other end Law wins a corner…which Langfield does well to punch clear under pressure from Hutchinson.
75mins: McGinn wins a free-kick in a dangerous position. Randolph gets across his goal and makes the save.
68mins: Free-kick to Motherwell in Hateley territory. Bent over the wall and bar. Still 2-1 to ‘Well.
66mins: Humphrey gets past Considine but can’t quite find the angle to get a shot away quickly. When he does shoot, it’s saved by Langfield.
64mins: Aberdeen subs: Rae off for Osbourne and Vernon off for McGinn
62mins: Rae goes in search of his second as he ghosts into the box unnoticed and meets Hayes cross but heads wide.
57mins: Game is so open now. ‘Well go straight up the other end and Lasley is unlucky with a 20 yard curler which goes just over.
55mins: Fraser has Randolph sprawling across his goals with a great curled effort from 20 yards. Just past.
52mins: Motherwell flying out the traps in this half! Ojamaa and Hateley both testing Langfield, from close range as they search for a third,
50mins: Ojamaa strikes the outside of the post from 18 yards.
48mins: Hutchinson sends the Steelmen in front at Pittodrie with a front post header from a corner.
48mins: Corner to Motherwell……GOOOAAALLLL
45mins: Second half underway. Having some 3g/internet issues here. Apologies.
HALF TIME: Aberdeen 1 – 1 Motherwell
45mins: 1 minute added on.
41mins: Look out for the debut of his celebration “The Carsy” later tonight on MFCTV.
41mins: Kerr tried to prod it home from close range but Langfield managed to clear but only to Higgy who slid home.
41mins: GOOOAAAALLLLLL – Higdon with an equaliser after the ball seemed to bounce around the box for an eternity.
36mins: Hateley shoots from a corner but his effort can only find the side netting.
31mins: Another counter from ‘Well. This time it ends with Higdon trying his luck with a left footed effort. Langfield saves with ease.
28mins: Motherwell counter attack and Ojamaa slides in Humphrey. He’s 20 yards out and tries his luck with a shot which sails well over.
27mins: Hutchinson booked for a foul on Fraser.
24mins: Ojamaa can count himself unlucky there… He did well to break clear of Rae and his shot on the turn troubled Langfield at near post.
20mins: Corner to Motherwell….Kerr meets it at the front post but heads over.
18mins: Kerr booked for a wild challenge on Fraser.
16mins: Law goes close again. This time he tries to curl the ball into the far corner but shoots just past,
15mins: Humphrey wins a free-kick in a dangerous position out wide. Hateley’s delivery was brilliant but Anderson rises highest to head clear
7mins: ALMOST an equaliser from Law! Great link up play with Ojamaa creates some space in the box. Fires marginally over.
5mins: GOAL: Rae opens the scoring after he nods home from a quickly taken corner,
1min: Breakaway from Hayes see’s his attempted cross land safely in Randolph’s hands.
1min: Just started…Higdon wins the first foul of the day, Just inside the Dons half.
1min: Hughes and Hayes kick-off.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“There’s no doom or gloom as we have come up to Pittodrie, scored three goals and drew against a strong Aberdeen side.
“We know what we are aiming for this season and what we are after so we will move on, but we will take a lot of positives from the game.
“I’m really pleased with how we went about our business but I’m disappointed to lose the two late goals in the manner we did.
“We should have run the clock down better. Would we have taken the point before we came up? Possibly but we always come to win games.
“I will analyse the game and will look at what we should have done better defensively, but I was really encouraged with some of the stuff we played going forward.”
Aberdeen manager Craig Brown:
“Anyone can finish near the top and Motherwell are deservedly where they are. They are the best team we’ve played this season and they proved that today.
“Motherwell were the better team and we were fortunate to get a home draw.
“At least we’ve scored. There was a monkey on our back there saying you can’t score at home, but we’ve scored three today and could have scored more.
“But, in previous matches against Ross County, Hearts and St Mirren, we were dominant in all three games and had more chances than we had today.”
Estonian International Henrik Ojamaa says he will settle for setting up goals as opposed to scoring if it means ‘Well take all three points.
The six-time capped striker has yet to find the back of the net this campaign but is racking up the assists, including being the man for Motherwell’s equaliser at Pittodrie.
Looking ahead to the Steelmen’s trip north to play Aberdeen at Pittodrie, the 20-year old former Derby County player is all too aware of the responsibilities of the attacking players in what is sure to be a tightly fought encounter.
[pullquote]There is more to my game than just goals. It gives me great satisfaction to do what I did last week and go past a player and set someone up for a goal.[/pullquote]
“It will be a tough game and defensively they are one of the best in the league,” he said.
“Space in the attacking third will be very hard to come by so it’s a challenge for us attacking players to be very clinical and be technically spot on.
“There is more to my game than just goals. It gives me great satisfaction to do what I did last week and go past a player and set someone up for a goal.
“It’s the bigger part of my game and hopefully I can repeat that on Sunday at Pittodrie.”
Two days ahead of the teams meeting at Pittodrie, ‘Well boss Stuart McCall says he expects Aberdeen to be amongst the challengers come the end of the campaign.
The Dons are managed by ex ‘Well duo Craig Brown and Archie Knox and have added well in the summer, giving the squad a strong look and feel.
McCall is sure that will turn but is hopeful his side can replicate some of the excellent form which has seen the Steelmen take seven points from nine on the road already.
[pullquote]I’m sure Craig and Archie, without wanting to put pressure on their own squad, will be hoping and expecting a push for that second place.[/pullquote]
He told the media at his weekly press conference: “Aberdeen’s performances this season have been excellent and they’ve probably not go the results they have merited, especially at home where they have had three nil-nil’s which is unusual.
“They are strong defensively and have added well to the squad. I’m sure Craig and Archie, without wanting to put pressure on their own squad, will be hoping and expecting a push for that second place.
“I think with the players they brought in last Christmas and in the summer, like Anderson, Rae, Hughes and Naismith, they’ve added a lot of experience. McGinn and Hayes have added a bit of fair up front too.
“They have a really strong squad so no doubt it will be the toughest test of the season so far.
“We’ve been up to Aberdeen in the last two seasons and won the games playing a different shape than we normally do so we’ll have to have a look at that.”