Pictures from the 4-0 defeat by Hibernian in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
Pictures from the 4-0 defeat by Hibernian in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
Kris Jack at Fir Park
Motherwell fell to a heavy 0-4 defeat to Hibernian in a game shrouded by controversial refereeing decisions.
A fine strike from David Wotherspoon had put the visitors ahead, before ‘Well had a perfectly good Steven Hammell goal disallowed.
The officials would baffle the home fans further, awarding three controversial penalties in the second half, two of which were converted by Leigh Griffiths for the Hibees, either side of Michael Higdon’s spot kicking hitting the bar.
Danny Handling finished the scoring deep in injury time to wrap up a win which puts Pat Fenlon’s side five points clear of the Steelmen, as a disappointing night in front of goal and equally disappointing officiating confined Stuart McCall’s side to a third successive scoreless defeat in the SPL.
The Motherwell manager was forced in to making one change from the side that fell to Hearts at Tynecastle last Sunday, with Henrik Ojamaa coming in to the attack in place of Shaun Hutchinson who hobbled off in Gorgie. Fraser Kerr moved in to centre back from right back, with Tom Hateley dropping back in to right side of defence.
Former ‘Well man Tim Clancy came in at right back for the Hibees in Pat Fenlon’s only change from his side’s loss to Ross County last time out.
The game started in quick-fire fashion as expected, with the Steelmen passing up the first opportunity to open the scoring. Neat interplay between Keith Lasley and Henrik Ojamaa resulted in the Estonian sending Jamie Murphy in on goal but Hibs keeper Ben Williams came to the aid of his defence to block at Murphy’s feet.
The visitors then had their best chance of the opening exchanges when defender Paul Hanlon rose highest at a corner but his header went wide. It didn’t go out of play however, and as Leigh Griffiths drilled the ball back across goal, Hanlon’s flick went just past the far post.
Griffiths then had an effort of his own after beating Kerr out on the left hand side; he cut to the edge of the box before dragging his shot wide of Randolph’s goal.
Motherwell replied with a ball over the top which sent Chris Humphrey in on goal, but as Williams advanced to the edge of his box, the Jamaican couldn’t quite poke the ball goalwards and the chance was gone.
Stevie Hammell then had an effort from distance blocked out for a corner, as the crowd sensed a goal was coming. It did eventually come on 28 minutes, but unfortunately for the hosts, it was for Hibernian, against the run of play.
Eoin Doyle found space on the left hand side before playing in Paul Cairney. The former Partick man turned Kerr brilliantly before laying it off for David Wotherspoon 20 yards out. The midfielder looked up and crashed an effort beyond the diving Darren Randolph to give Hibs the lead. It was a fine strike at an opportune time for the visitors, which gave McCall’s men something to respond to, to get back in to the game.
On 36 minutes, they thought they had found that response.
Humphrey jinked past Ryan McGivern to get to the by-line before standing up a cross to the back post. It was over Michael Higdon, but Stevie Hammell was behind to bullet a header downwards on target. As Williams dived to claw the ball out, the ‘Well players ran away in celebration, claiming the ball had crossed the line. However, neither referee Stevie O’Reilly nor his assistant was willing to give the goal.
Replays afterward suggested that the ball indeed had crossed the line, but in game time, the linesman had failed to spot it, incensing the home support. The hosts didn’t let it faze them though as the half came to a conclusion, as they got on with the game, to try and salvage a legitimate goal before the break.
Murphy had an effort from just outside the box which bounced over the dive of Williams, and wide of the goal, before Higdon fired over from the penalty spot, after Ojamaa had broken free on the left of the box.
The second period started as the first had, with both sides trading chances. Griffiths almost capitalised on a defensive blunder by Fraser Kerr but Randolph closed him down quickly preventing a clear sight at goal. Humphrey then cut in from the right on to his left foot, but drove a low shot in to the side netting, as ‘Well strived for a leveller.
Nicky Law and Keith Lasley then tried a clever training ground free kick routine at the edge of the box, but Law’s effort sailed just over the Hibs’ bar. Humphrey then should have levelled after Murphy cut to the by-line, past Clancy, to put a ball in to the corridor of uncertainty. The ball missed Ojamaa and Higdon, before landing at the feet of Humphrey but his shot flew high in the Davie Cooper Stand instead of the net.
It was a chance that the Steelmen would rue, as referee O’Reilly took centre stage, awarding three highly questionable penalty kicks in a sixteen minute spell, as the game was turned on its head.
Firstly, Griffiths got the better of Kerr at the edge of the box, and while running away from goal, Randolph stood his ground to usher the ball out of play. However, as both players leaned in to one another and fell to the ground, O’Reilly, at least 30 yards behind the incident, adjudged that the Irish keeper had fouled the Hibs striker, awarding the penalty and booking the goalie.
Griffiths coolly blasted the ball right in to the bottom left corner to double his side’s lead, as the home fans booed the referee’s decision. On 70 minutes though, O’Reilly looked to have given Motherwell a lifeline, when James McPake clambered over the back of Michael Higdon in the box to give away a penalty. It was a challenge that the Hibs skipper had got away with all night against Higdon, but on this occasion, it was deemed illegal.
Higdon himself placed the ball, only to blast his kick from 12 yards off the top of the bar, maintaining the visitors’ two goal advantage. It would get worse for ‘Well just minutes later, when the referee awarded the third penalty of the night.
Wotherspoon came in from the right and as he approached the box, Stevie Hammell slid in to win the ball a yard outside the penalty area. The Hibs’ man’s momentum led to him falling inside the box, and to the amazement of most in the ground, O’Reilly pointed to the spot again. As the hosts protested, Griffiths collected the ball and blasted home the penalty to make it 0-3.
The match was delayed shortly after as Mr O’Reilly exited the game through injury, to be replaced by Iain Brines and as the game ticked in to the seventh minute of time added on for the delay, Hibs’ sub Danny Handling tapped in a fourth, after Wotherspoon had weaved his way through the home defence.
By that time though, the game had already been put to bed as a competition due to missed chances from the hosts and a somewhat frustrating performance from the officials.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Fir Park
FULL TIME: Motherwell 0-4 Hibernian.
90mins: GOAL; Handling heaps on more misery as Hibs go 4-0 up.
90mins: Hibs sub: Cairney off for Handling.
89mins: Strange strange night. Fans streaming out the exits as we hit the 89th minute.
86mins: Hibs sub: Giffiths off for Stevenson.
85mins: Motherwell sub: Law off for Carswell.
83mins: Griffiths jinks into the box and tests Randolph from a narrow angle. Corner to Hibs which comes to nothing.
82mins: Game back underway.
78mins: Slight delay to the action….the ref is being subbed off. Take from that what you will….
77mins: Motherwell sub- Higdon off for McHugh.
72mins: Griffiths scores the pen. 3-0 Hibs
72mins: Now it’s a penalty for Hibs!
71mins: MISSED PENALTY: Higdon blazes over the bar from the spot.
70mins: McPake climbing all over Higon and ref correctly give the pen.
68mins: Good spell of pressure from Motherwell as they look for a way back into this. Penalty looked soft to say the least.
66mins: Motherwell and Hibs subs: Daley on for Ojamaa and Clancy off for Maybury.
62mins: GOAL, Griffiths coverts penalty.
Penalty for Hibs!
60mins: Surely a goal is coming! Murphy got to the byline and swung it low across goal. No takers!
56mins: Free-kick in a dangerous position for Motherwell. Free-kick is well worked but Law’s effort is just a fraction over the bar.
50mins: Thought that was a goal! Humphrey did well down the right and cut in on his left foot. Drilled into the side-netting.
47mins: Decent first chance of the half for Hibs. Griffiths only had to pull the trigger from 10 yards but ball wouldn’t sit up for him.
45mins: Players back out for the second half. Come on Motherwell!
HT: Terrible decision from the linesman denied ‘Well a certain goal but can’t dwell on that. Need to use that injustice to spur us on.
HALF-TIME: Motherwell 0 -1 Hibernian
39mins: Should have been the equalizer. Ojamaa skins Clancy and tee’s up Higdon. Blazes over from 12 yards.
37mins: Booking for Cairney for a tackle from behind.
32mins: Ball looked at least a yard over the line!
32mins: Controversy! Hammell has a goalbound header cleared off the line. Was it over?
26mins: GOAL!…Wotherspoon opens the scoring with a stunning strike from 20 yards.
……clips it back across goal. Headed clear by McPake as a goal looked inevitable.
20mins: Ohhhhhh, glorious opportunity. Ball was pining about the box but just wouldn’t fall kindly. Eventually comes to Humphrey who…
16mins: Griffiths goes too close for comfort! He beat Kerr on the wing and darted into the box. His shot from 15yards was just past.
11mins: Higdon given a telling off by the ref. Looked like a 50/50 ball…both players commited to the challenge.
8mins: Safety first for Kerr as he hooks clear to give Hibs a corner….Hanlon’s back heel goes inches wide! A let off.
5mins: Great chance! Ojamaa lays off the onrushing Murphy who shoots on the angle from 8 yards. Williams saves with his feet.
1min: Griffiths and Doyle kick off The Steelmen v The Hibees #COYW
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“Everything that could’ve gone against us tonight certainly did. Key decisions have cost us tonight but also the lack of ability to take chances.
“I can’t believe we’ve played 90 minutes and not scored with the decent opportunities we’ve had.
“First half, I thought we played well enough and created lots of chances. Obviously, we know now that the ball was a yard-and-a-half over the line. We didn’t get it and sometimes games are decided on things like that. In the second half we came out and with the Leigh Griffiths penalty, running away from goal, I haven’t seen it again to be honest.
“They go 2-0 up and we get a penalty. We miss it and they go up the park and Hammell’s challenge is probably a foot outside the box; even if it is a free-kick. So, everything that could go against us did do.
“Key decisions have cost us but also the lack of ability to take chances. We’ve played some great stuff and put balls across the box and had opportunities.
“It was a decent end-to-end game and I can’t believe we’ve played 90 minutes and not scored with the decent opportunities we’ve had.”
Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon:
“According to some of our players, some of the decisions may have gone for us.
“But I’m delighted for the players. I haven’t seen it yet [the Hammell header]. It looked like a good save from our point of view, but we should be talking about our first goal as well because it was fantastic.
“There was some good football in the game as well. I know, obviously, there will be talk about what went on with some of the decisions but there was good football from both sides too.
“Leigh is a handful up front and he’s that type of player who can play with somebody but he can also play on his own.”
Motherwell return to Fir Park tonight to take on Hibernian in the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League.
Motherwell: Randolph, Hammell, Law, Hateley, Humphrey, Ojamaa, Higdon, Murphy, Lasley, Ramsden, Kerr
‘Well Subs: Hollis, McHugh, Daley, Carswell, Francis-Angol, Hetherington, Cummins
Hibernian: Williams, Clancy, McGivern, Hanlon, McPake, Claros, Griffiths, Doyle, Cairney, Wotherspoon, Taiwo
Hibs Subs: Murdoch, Stevenson, Maybury, Handing, Stanton, Kuqi, Harris
Tickets are still available on the gate at Fir Park. Admission is priced at:
ADULTS: £22 / £18
CONCESSIONS: £15 / £14
JUVENILE: £12 / £9
FAMILY: £28 / £24
PAYMENT OPTIONS: You can either pay cash at the turnstiles or, if you prefer, via credit or debit card at the Fir Park Ticket Office. Please note there is a 2.5% surcharge on any credit card purchase.
There are no anticipated travel problems between Edinburgh and Motherwell and the area in and around Fir Park is fairly clear.
There is bright sunshine forecast until around dinner time. It will cloud over and will feel cold so wrap up. Temperature highs in Motherwell will be around 2 degrees Celsius (36 Fahrenheit).
FOLLOW THE MATCH:
Motherwell Media will bring you all the action from Fir Park. Graham Barnstaple and Kris Jack will call every kick off the ball live on MFC TV.
The second edition of Motherwell’s free newspaper, Fir Park News, will be available after tonight’s match with Hibernian.
The free 12-page paper, designed at keeping fans up to date with some of the forthcoming events and news that stories that perhaps doesn’t always get proper coverage, will be dished out at the turnstiles as fans exit the stadium.
Over 10,000 copies of the newspaper will also be available at a number of local outlets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda across both North and South Lanarkshire.
Another top-notch edition of the 68-page Steelmen Matchday Magazine returns against Hibs tomorrow night (Friday).
Editor Andy Ross and the team from Curtis Sport / BlueChilli Design have produced another quality publication jam-packed full of content.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall and Captain Keith Lasley both return with the regular columns. The manager talks the recent run of form and what he expects from Hibs, and Keith Lasley chats about trying to improve recent results against a good Hibs side.
Andy Ross caught up with on-loan Birmingham City defender Fraser Kerr for the feature interview. The Scotland U21 International talks openly about his time at Fir Park so far, what it was like leaving in the first place for the big lights of Birmingham and his aspirations both present and future.
And that’s not where the features stop!
There is a 12-page section dedicated to our visitors, Pat Fenlon’s Hibernian.
Kris Jack goes through four players to watch from opponents, as we as a player-by-player breakdown of their squad.
Hibees midfielder Tom Taiwo is the man in the spotlight in our opposition Q&A and fan Andrew Jeffrey gives his view on how the Easter Road club is progressing.
The features and big names keep coming…
In our Interview Alumni section, Graeme McCarry caught up with former Steelman and Hibs defender and now talented BBC Pundit, Craig Paterson who recalls fondly his time with both clubs, the crowning achievement being the 1991 Scottish Cup success.
The Press Association’s Gavin McCafferty returns with his ‘From the Press Box’ feature and reviews the state of our game after the disappointing International defeats at the hands of both Wales and Belgium.
Press & Media Manager Alan Burrows adds his thoughts in ‘The Last Word’ near the back of the publication and looks at how “Friday Night Football” could really work in Scottish Football.
Bob McHugh is the latest to give his top five’s in the iPlayer feature and Stuart Carswell tells us his ‘First and Last’.
Graham Barnstaple’s Cult Heroes this week focuses on Lukas Jutkiewicz who will never be forgotten at Fir Park for a certain goal against Hibs that will live long in the memory.
But wait, there’s more! We take a look back at last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Tynecastle, 10 tough questions in our Quiz, the latest news section as well as an in-depth statistical look at referee Stevie O’Reilly. We have the latest from The Ticket Office and the Commercial Department and the latest stats, facts and figures for the already busy 2012/2013 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.
You can also order back editions or take a season-long subscription to the magazine by visiting the website of our publishers – Curtis-Sports – http://www.curtis-sport.com/
Motherwell Football Club moved one step closer to fan ownership last night with the appointment of the first four board members of the ‘Well Society.
The inaugural meeting was held in South Dalziel Studios, just yards from Fir Park, and was well attended by members.
After a lively opening Q&A between the Motherwell FC Board and the audience, the formal vote took place with members putting a single cross beside the name of the person they felt best suited to taking on this important role. Members were in receipt of statements from all 21 candidates and together they made for an impressive list.
Votes cast were added to the postal/email votes already received and were counted and independently verified.
In the meantime, the crowd were able to pose questions to the manager, Stuart McCall along with players Nicky Law, Michael Higdon, Simon Ramsden, Henrik Ojamaa, Jamie Murphy and Omar Daley.
The management team and players departed after some lively and humorous chat and the results of the vote were announced. The unanimous decision was to appoint Tom Feeley, Sandy Kilpatrick, Graham Barnstaple and Brian McCafferty as the first board of the ‘Well Society.
There was a further Q&A between the audience and the Motherwell FC Board before a vote of thanks and closure.
Speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, Tom Feeley said: “We have a chance of a lifetime here as supporters to have a real say in how our club operates on a day to day basis. I am honoured to be involved and am excited by the challenges that lie ahead.”
Sandy Kilpatrick added: “There is a big job in front of us. We will be looking for all of the members, present and future, to help us make this a success.”
Graham Barnstaple commented: “It is a real privilege for me as a lifelong Motherwell supporter to be involved. A lot of work lies ahead but I am ready for any challenge. We can all make a real success of this!
Brian McCafferty said: “I’d like to thank all the Motherwell fans who voted for me. I’m very proud to have been selected for the ‘Well Society board.
“I’m looking forward to contributing to the Society’s goals and working with my fellow members and Motherwell supporters to drive forward this exciting new era in the club’s history.”
For more information on the ‘Well Society, including information on how to join, please visit https://www.motherwellfc.co.uk/the-club/the-well-society/ or contact Alison Wallace on 01698 333333.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall expects another classic encounter when Motherwell face Hibs at Fir Park tomorrow night.
When the Steelmen meet the Hibees, goals usually follow. Indeed, the last eight meetings between the two teams have produced an astonishing 36 goals.
The last 0-0 draw between the two teams was almost seventeen years ago when Scott Howie made his debut between the sticks at Fir Park.
All the ingredients are there for another exciting affair under the floodlights and McCall hopes for an entertaining encounter that hopefully ends in three points for the hosts.
[pullquote]I’m looking forward to it and we are looking to get back on a winning run if we can.[/pullquote]
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“We’ve had some great encounters here against in Hibs in the last few seasons. Obviously everyone will remember the six-each game and last season with big Michael Higdon’s hat-trick.
“Even the two each cup game was a terrific game of football. I’m looking forward to it and we are looking to get back on a winning run if we can.
“We’ve got a run of games now at home and we’ve got to look to take a couple of wins. Every game is difficult and tight and I’m sure Friday will be no different. We want a big performance for our supporters but a result is also vital.”
‘Well skipper Keith Lasley hopes Motherwell can prove doubters wrong and return to winning ways when Hibs visit Fir Park on Friday.
The Steelmen have not enjoyed the best run of results recently which has led to some questioning the squad’s ability to replicate last year’s success.
However Lasley, who is enjoying his thirteenth season in the Fir Park first-team, reckons the players still have what it takes to battling at the right end of the table.
[pullquote]We’ve not been playing that badly and it’s just a case of trying to get that win and if we get it, it can put us right back on track.[/pullquote]
He told the gathered press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference: “I think people have been waiting for our bubble to burst for a while now but in the last few years we’ve managed to get a level of consistency which has probably surprised a lot of people.
“We just keep working hard. Last season we had a spell of a few poor results but managed to bounce back and that is what we’re looking to do again.
“We’ve not been playing that badly and it’s just a case of trying to get that win and if we get it, it can put us right back on track and all of a sudden you are going into the next game with a lot of confidence.
“Friday is a home game and a chance for us to get back out in front of our own fans and hopefully get that win that would get us going again.”
Motherwell FC players are kicking off the moustache month of madness by showing their support for global charity Movember.
The football team sponsored by Cash Converters will replace their usual match shirt with a ‘Tash Converters’ shirt to help raise awareness of the national fundraising drive during November.
Players, including Keith Lasley and Michael Higdon have also committed to growing facial hair to support the worthy cause, which sees more than 9,500 men die from prostate and testicular cancer across the UK every year.
Footy fans will catch a glimpse of the new logo when Motherwell meet Hibernian on Friday 26 October at 7.45pm live on ESPN.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall said: “We are absolutely delighted to get right behind our principal sponsors Cash Converters in backing this worthwhile cause.
“We all have a bit of a laugh and a joke by wearing and growing the moustaches but the message behind it is to raise awareness of these terrible illnesses. I would encourage everyone to dig deep to help raise as much money as possible as every penny is crucial in the battle against cancer.”
David Patrick, chief executive of Cash Converters UK, said: “We are so pleased Motherwell FC are showing their support in a spectacular fashion. It is an honour to have their backing and all helps to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer, while raising much needed funds. We are pleased our logo and the support from both football teams will be seen by tens of thousands of people live on TV.
“Tash Converters is a bit of fun, but comes with a very serious message. We hope the fans will all follow suit and grow a moustache and get donating for this great cause.”
For more information on the Tash Converters activities planned during November, or to join in the fundraising drive visit www.tashconverters.co.uk
Extended highlights from Pittodrie as Motherwell Under 20s crashed to a miserable 5-1 defeat at the hands of Aberdeen.
-WATCH EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV-
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