Pictures from the 1-1 draw with Dundee in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
Pictures from the 1-1 draw with Dundee in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
Alan Burrows at Fir Park
Motherwell were held to a 1-1 draw by a dogged and determined Dundee at Fir Park this afternoon.
The hosts dominated for most of the ninety minutes, enjoying a massive 72% possession and 18 shots at goal, but were once again unable to turn their chances into goals.
In fact, it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play, Nicky Riley’s neat finish past Darren Randolph opening the scoring just before the half hour.
The Steelmen hit back before the interval, Henrik Ojamaa’s fierce low shot was turned away by Rab Douglas but Michael Higdon was on hand to slot home.
Motherwell huffed and puffed in the second half but were unable to break the Dundee resistance. The one time they did, and Higdon netted, ‘Well were thwarted by a flag from the assistant.
Both managers opted to keep the same starting eleven with ‘Well looking to bounce back from the 1-0 home defeat by Dundee Utd. Barry Smith’s men were looking to build on an excellent win over Hearts seven days ago.
It was a fairly lackluster opening twenty minutes with the only real moment of note coming when Steven Milne went down as he fired a shot from the edge of the Motherwell box but, despite the his protests to referee John Beaton, nothing was awarded.
‘Well started to take control of the match though and the visitors had Rab Douglas to thank after the veteran keeper turned away efforts from both Keith Lasley and Nicky Law
Jamie Murphy then curled a shot just past Douglas’s left-hand post, while Gary Irvine had to acrobatically clear a ‘Well header off his goal-line with an overhead kick after Simon Ramsden had got on the end of a Tom Hateley corner.
It was all Motherwell but it remained 0-0 despite another excellent Douglas save, this time turning a close-range Law strike over the bar.
Quite incredibly, Motherwell were made to pay for those missed chances when Dundee scored with one of their few ventures up the park. A neat passing move came to end with a sliding Tom Hateley block but Riley got the break of the ball, dribbled into the box and coolly slotted the ball into the far corner and in via the inside of the post.
The Steelmen looked to hit back though Michael Higdon could only flash a header wide after an excellent Hateley cross into the area. The former Reading right-back was at it again minutes later when another ball found Murphy inside the six-yard box but the former Scotland U21 hitman was unable to get a proper connection as he shinned it wide of Douglas’ post.
Seconds before the half-time interval, Motherwell eventually got the equaliser they deserved. Ojamaa’s fierce low shot across Douglas forced the former Celtic stopper to parry. Michael Higdon was there to tap in the rebound from six-yards for his eighth goal of the campaign.
The second half was almost a carbon-copy of the first, with Motherwell in control with Dundee content to sit deep and hit on the counter.
An over-hit Hateley free-kick from distance almost caught out Douglas but the keeper managed to get back on his line to tip over for a corner. Minutes later, defender Adam Cummins blasted a stinging drive but it flew harmlessly over and into the Cooper Stand.
Dundee were rarely forward but they almost got themselves in front again with eighteen minutes left on the clock but were thwarted by an excellent Randolph save, turning over Milne’s close-range acrobatic effort.
With four minutes to go, Motherwell thought they had finally got the illusive second when Higdon got on the end of a deflected Lasley drive but the goal was correctly flagged offside by assistant referee Alastair Mather.
Motherwell pushed and pushed but were let down by poor passes in key areas and were guilty of trying to force the ball. Substitute Bob McHugh was almost the hero again when he carved a great chance for himself in the dying seconds but with the curler into the far corner on, he got put it a yard or two wide of the post.
It was another frustrating afternoon of missed chances and opportunities for McCall’s men who will now travel north next weekend to take on Terry Butcher’s Inverness at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Fir Park
FT: Motherwell 1 – 1 Dundee. Another frustrating day at the office!
90mins: Awwww, so close from McHugh who fires just wide of the left hand post. That will probably be that!
90mins: 2 minutes added on. Few more required surely?
88mins: Irvine booked for a tackle from behind on Ojamaa.
86mins: Higdon has the ball in the net but is judged to have been offside! Interesting to see that one back.
85mins: Dundee sub: Baird comes on for Milne
82mins: Time running out for a winning goal.
79mins: Motherwell subs: Double change with Daley and McHugh coming on for Murphy and Humphrey.
75mins: Chance! Decent effort from Murphy from a narrow angle. Douglas beats clear.
72mins: Great reaction save from Randolph! Overhead kick from Milne was deflected by Ramsden. Randolph tips over.
70mins: Dundee sub, Riley off for Conroy
67mins: Lockwood yellow carded for wiping out Humphrey.
65mins: Ojamaa inches away from latching onto Higdon’s flick-on. Frustrating stuff for the Estonian who has put in a great shift.
63mins: Cummins see’s a chance for some glory from 35 yards. Decent effort, although off target.
59mins: Hateley almost fools Douglas with a 40 yard free-kick. Was probably a cross but almost crept in under the bar. Corner Motherwell.
56mins: Motherwell Sub: Hammell off for Francis-Angol
51mins: The Steelmen are camped in the Dundee half so far. Just not quite finding that final breakthrough.
46mins: Teams back out. Hopefully ‘Well can take some inspiration from finally getting that goal. Second half underway…
HT: Motherwell 1-1 Dundee. A timely equaliser from Higdon cancels out Riley’s opener.
45mins: It’s big Higgy! Ojamaa does terrifically to fire of a shot which Douglas is equal to. Can only palm out to the Scouser who fires home for his eighth of the season!
45mins: GOOOOAALLLL MOTHERWELL!
43mins: Lockwood lining up a free-kick from 30 yards….well saved by Randolph low to his left!
41mins: Superb chance for the equaliser! Hateley curls the ball in and it evades everyone but Murphy who throws a foot at it. Just past post
34mins: Ojamaa going in search of the equaliser. Does well to get past Lockwood but his shot is straight at Douglas.
28mins: Fair to say that was against the run of play.
28mins: GOAL – Dundee open the scoring! Riley with a fine left footed finish past Randolph. 0-1
26mins: Another shot on target for ‘Well. Law again from 20 yards, held by Douglas as he dived to his left.
19mins: Murphy goes close now. Trademark run and cut-in, his right footed shot drifts just past the post.
18mins: Great chance for Law! Ojamaa with the trickery, Higdon with the lay-off, Douglas the tip over the bar from his15 yard shot.
17mins: Lasley stings Douglas’ hands with a 20 yarder. He spills it but gathers at second attempt.
15mins: Milne and his Dundee team mates claiming for a penalty there! The striker hit the deck under Cummins after getting his shot off.
13mins: Humphrey wins ‘Well a corner…. Hammell swings it into the area but Cummins is ruled to have fouled his man. Free-kick Dundee.
10mins: Higgy shoots from 20 yards with his left foot. More of a pass to Douglas though as he gathers with ease.
6mins: Hateley with a Murphy style run into the box there! beat a few men but was well dispossessed as he went to cross.
2mins: First chance of the game goes to Dundee. Steven Milne with the effort from 20 yards. Tamely past the post.
1min: Law and Lasley kick the game off. #COYW
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“Our main problem at home at the moment is getting the first goal. We had opportunities to get the first goal, we didn’t and they put us on the back foot.
“Obviously, we were pleased to get our goal right on half-time. And, for all the ball we had second half, we created bits and bobs but not enough.
“Overall, we’ve had loads of the possession of the ball but we’ve not played as well as we have done in previous games and got beat. We could’ve ended up nicking it. We weren’t at our best.
“We’re always disappointed at home not to win the games and I felt as much as we had a lot of the ball and created chances, you’ve got to give credit to Dundee. They worked ever so hard.
“It’s just not going for us at the moment. There’s nothing individual you can put your finger on, just the fact that other teams are all very evenly matched and we’ve no divine right as Motherwell to go our and expect to win games. We’ve got to work hard and take the chances when they come along.”
Dundee manager Barry Smith:
“I’m delighted to come to Fir Park and take a point. If they keep putting in performances like we have the past two weeks then we’ll give ourselves every chance of getting ourselves up the league.”
“We got the goal. The one disappointing thing is not seeing that through but credit to the players, they came out and gave a great performance in the second half, where they’ve fought for everything and I think we thoroughly deserved a point.
“I’m pleased with the overall performance. It’s [about] trying to breed confidence with them and recognising that they can compete at this level.”
Nicky Law insists confidence in the Fir Park dressing room remains high despite Wednesday’s disappointing defeat by Dundee United.
The Steelmen won comfortably in Perth before turning in a competent showing against Peter Houston’s side but despite a plethora of chances, were unable to get their noses in front.
In the end the match was settled by Johnny Russell header eight minutes from time.
However, the 24-year old former Sheffield United and Bradford midfielder is adamant there is still a positive vibe running through the players and hopes fortunes will change against Barry Smith’s side tomorrow.
[pullquote]The boys’ heads are still up and hopefully our luck will turn a bit when we play here at Fir Park tomorrow against Dundee.[/pullquote]
“We are all very keen to get back to winning ways,” he said.
“After picking up all three points last Saturday against St Johnstone, we were hoping to making it two from two against United on Wednesday night but it was a disappointing result in the end for us.
“We have watched the game back and I think it’s fair to say we played pretty well. We created plenty of chances and did just about everything but score. We just need to be more clinical and put our chances away; something which we have struggled with a bit lately.
“Even matches where we’ve lost you could probably look through them and identify moments where we could and should have scored. But the boys’ heads are still up and hopefully our luck will turn a bit when we play here at Fir Park tomorrow against Dundee.”
Assistant boss Kenny Black has called for his players to bounce back from midweek disappointment against Dundee Utd when their city rivals Dundee visit Fir Park tomorrow.
Despite playing well and creating numerous chances, the Fir Parkers crashed to a late Johnny Russell goal which denied the Steelmen third place in the Scottish Premier League.
Barry Smith’s men travel to Lanarkshire on the back of an excellent win over Hearts and looking to put pressure on the teams above them.
[pullquote]It’s good to get another game in so quickly and hopefully we can redress the balance from Wednesday night.[/pullquote]
Black told the gathered press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference: “Over the last couple of weeks it shows you how far Motherwell has came in the past two or three years (in terms of expectations).
“We’ve had a few indifferent results shall we say and thought we had got back on track last week at St Johnstone but although we turned in a decent performance, we lost to Dundee United which I thought was very unfortunate.
“It’s good to get another game in so quickly and hopefully we can redress the balance from Wednesday night.
“The goals tally at home in the last three games is not through a lack of belief from the players. We’re creating chances and we’d be much more concerned if we weren’t.
“I’m sure all our attackers will be desperate to get scoring and get us back up the table and hopefully we can do that, starting tomorrow.”
Another jam-packed edition of the 68-page Steelmen Matchday Magazine returns against Dundee this weekend.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall and Captain Keith Lasley both return with the regular columns. Both talk about the frustrations of a midweek loss to Dundee United and the hope of bouncing back at Fir Park against Barry Smith’s men.
The feature interview is with midfielder Stuart Carswell. The youngster chats about life at Fir Park and his battle to try and secure a regular spot in the starting eleven.
But that’s not where the features stop!
There is a 13-page section dedicated to our visitors, Dundee.
Kris Jack goes through four players to watch from opponents, as we as a player-by-player breakdown of their squad.
Dark Blues midfielder, and former ‘Well stalwart, Kevin McBride is the man in the spotlight in our opposition Q&A. We also have a scout report from Dundee’s last SPL match when they ran out 1-0 winners against Hearts last week.
The features and big names keep coming…
In our Interview Alumni section, Graeme McGarry caught up with former Steelman and Dees hitman Jim Hamilton who recalls ‘that’ goal against Celtic and his successful two years at Fir Park.
Press & Media Manager Alan Burrows adds his thoughts in ‘The Last Word’ near the back of the publication and looks just how close this SPL is shaping up to be.
Simon Ramsden is the latest to give his top five’s in the iPlayer feature and skipper Keith Lasley tells us his ‘First and Last’.
Graham Barnstaple’s Cult Heroes this week focuses on Albert Kidd who is perhaps more fondly remembered by our opponents after a certain goal in 1986.
But wait, there’s more! We take a look back at last Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat by Dundee Utd, 10 tough questions in our Quiz, the latest news section as well as an in-depth statistical look at referee John Beaton.
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 will commemorate Remembrance Day by wearing special poppy shirts against Dundee on Saturday.
The Steelmen have a close relationship with the Armed Forces and in particular The Royal Regiment of Scotland (both 1 & 2 SCOTS) who receive 30 season tickets for soldiers in Scotland and four season tickets for each of the soldier’s families.
This weekend, members of the 1 & 2 SCOTS, who have only recently returned from duty in Afghanistan, will lead the team onto the park and form part of the minutes silence to pay respect to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
They will also parade around the pitch at half-time and are sure to get a warm welcome from both sets of supporters.
Referee for this Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash between Motherwell and Dundee is John Beaton.
It will be John’s first ever Motherwell FC appointment although he has been fourth official on a number of occasions.
It has been a busy season so far for the FIFA official. He has handled three Scottish Premier League matches – St Johnstone vs Aberdeen, Ross County vs Kilmarnock and Celtic 2-0 home win over today’s opponents.
John has also handed numerous games in the Scottish Football League, including Rangers’ 2-0 home win over Queen’s Park and Hamilton Accies’ 1-1 draw with Falkirk at New Douglas Park.
He was also the man in the middle for the Ramsden’s Cup clash between Morton and Albion Rovers at Cappielow. Perhaps the most unusual fixture was the Europa League qualifier between Swedes IF Elfsborg Boras and Floriana FC of Malta. The home side had little problems, running out 8-0 winners including a 21-minute hat-trick from Niklas Hult.
John also handled a couple of Dundee games last season too – their 1-0 home defeat by Morton last December and the 1-1 draw with Queen’s Park in April, both at Dens Park.
Thankfully, the whistler is known for keeping his cards in his pocket with just 35 bookings and 2 dismissals handed out in the ten games he has taken this campaign.
He will be ably assisted by Alan Mulvanny and Alastair Mather with Iain Brines, who was the man in the middle the last time the teams met at Dens, designated for fourth official duties. Referee Observer will be John Young with SPL delegate Tommy McLean.
Extended highlights from Fir Park as a late Johnny Russell header gives Peter Houston’s men all three points.
-WATCH EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS ONLY ON MFC TV-
(Audio Summary from Gordon Duncan)
‘Well boss Stuart McCall was left shell-shocked after a late Dundee United denied the Steelmen a deserved share of the spoils.
The hosts passed up a series of chances and Henrik Ojamaa twice hit the woodwork in a frustrating evening at Fir Park.
But McCall was far from negative about his side but was visibly disappointed to have come away with no points.
[pullquote]We were unlucky tonight. To be on the end of a defeat is unlucky and anyone who saw this game and thought otherwise is not watching the same game.[/pullquote]
“We’ll play a lot worse than that and win games,” he bemoaned.
“I thought in the first half we were the better side and in the second half they had a little period of being on top for ten or fifteen minutes.
“However, a lot of their chances came from set-plays. It was too good teams out there tonight but it’s really sore to take that we’ve not put the ball into the back of the net.
“We’ve hit the woodwork twice and Murph has had a great chance early on where the ‘keeper has made a great save. It’s hard to criticise anyone out there because I thought they all put in a good shift.
“We were unlucky tonight. To be on the end of a defeat is unlucky and anyone who saw this game and thought otherwise is not watching the same game.”
Pictures from the 1-0 defeat by Dundee Utd in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.