Pictures from the 2-1 defeat by Aberdeen in the William Hill Scottish Cup 4th Round at Fir Park.
Pictures from the 2-1 defeat by Aberdeen in the William Hill Scottish Cup 4th Round at Fir Park.
Kris Jack at the Fir Park
Rory Fallon returned to haunt ‘Well in the Scottish Cup for the second season running as his second half opener set Aberdeen on their way to the fifth round, with a 2-1 win at Fir Park.
Joe Shaughnessy struck to double the visitor’s lead, as Aberdeen stifled all that the ‘Well could throw at them for the rest of the game.
A late, late penalty from Michael Higdon gave the Steelmen hope, but it proved too little too late for the hosts as they crashed out of the Scottish Cup.
There were two changes to the Motherwell starting lineup from the side which earned a 3-2 win over Ross County at the weekend. Nicky Law, who scored The Steelmen’s second in that game missed out with an ankle knock, replaced by Stuart Carswell. Darren Randolph returned between the posts from suspension with Lee Hollis’s short tenure in goal coming to an end.
Russell Anderson missed out for The Dons, with Clark Robertson drafted into the side in his place.
It was the Dons who were first to threaten when an early corner from a deflected Magennis shot, was headed straight at Darren Randolph by Rory Fallon.
After that, McCall’s side began to play with confidence while keeping possession, threatening on a couple of occasions. Stuart Carswell would have burst the net had it not been for Jamie Langfield diving low to his right to keep out the young midfielders first time shot.
Humphrey was looking lively and did well to cross from the byline having roasted Magennis, only to see Michael Higdon flash his header just over Langfield’s cross bar.
Jamie Murphy was looking to be as impactful as he had been in the first game and had he gone down in the box when challenged from behind by Considine, he could have earned his side a penalty. However, he stayed on his feet, opting to lay off Lasley, whose shot was blocked.
The former Scotland U21 striker then had a trademark effort sail high over the bar, having cut in from the left wing to the edge of the box. His opposite number Johnny Hayes then tried a speculative effort form 30 yards out wide on the right, but it was expertly tipped over by the returning Randolph.
From the resultant corner Fallon once more headed right at the Irish keeper, from Clark Robertson’s delivery.
Motherwell had played the better football, keeping the Dons hemmed in their own half for large parts of the first period, but two goals before the hour mark all but settled the tie in the away side’s favour.
Rory Fallon, who scored twice when Aberdeen knocked the Well out at the quarter final stage last season, was on hand on 50 minutes to lash home from around the penalty spot, after Niall McGinn had broken away on the right. It was a fine finish and swung the momentum in the Reds’ favour.
It should have been 2-0 moments later when McGinn was played through on the right by Considine, but Randolph stuck out a strong arm at his front post to deny the Northern Irishman. From the corner, Shaughnessy thought he had found the net when he poked a dropping ball goalwards, but it hit the side netting.
However, he didn’t have to wait long to get on the scoresheet as he bagged the Dons second on the hour. Johnny Hayes, who hadn’t made much of an impact in the match to that point, bar his one effort in the first half, hared up the East Stand side unchallenged and in to the box, squaring for the right-back who found the net with ease from close range.
The travelling support and their brass band were making all the nose noise from the top tier of the South Stand, having seen their side take a two goal lead.
From then on, the hosts tried in vain to break down their opponents but could not breach their stubborn defence. Always looking to counter, McGinn passed up a glorious chance of a third when Randolph done well to parry Johnny Hayes effort from the edge of the box, but the little striker somehow volleyed the rebound over the bar from eight yards.
A Shaun Hutchinson header from a corner was the closest ‘Well came to getting back in to the game in 90 minutes, but they were awarded an injury time penalty when Considine handled in the box. Michael Higdon scored via the elbow of Langfield to set up a nervy final few seconds but the Dons managed to see the match out to progress into the fifth round.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Fir Park
FULL TIME: Motherwell 1 – 2 Aberdeen
90mins: Scored by Higdon. 1-2
90mins: PENALTY TO MOTHERWELL!
85mins: Motherwell sub, Hateley off for Kerr.
84mins: Don’s defence has been solid. There’s just no way through.
82mins: Eight minutes left of our Scottish Cup campaign barring a miracle.
78mins: Half-chance there for Higdon. Header from 12 yards which lacked any power to beat Langfield.
72mins: Motherwell subs: Francis-Angol and McHugh on for Ojamaa and Cummins
61mins: GOAL! Shaughnessy converts a cross at the back post. 0-2
59mins: Wow, Randolph at it again! This time he denies McGinn from close range with a big right hand. All Aberdeen here!
57mins: McGinn finds himself through 1 on 1 with Daz with plenty of time. The big man gets a hand to it to turn it away.
53mins: Reynolds with a superb last ditch tackle to deny Higdon from 8 yards. Looked a certain equaliser too!
50mins: It was a ball across goal which was not dealt with by the ‘Well defence. Ball broke to Fallon who smashed it home from 12 yards.
50mins: GOAL! Fallon opens the scoring . 0-1
47mins: Early action. Humphrey shows off some trickery and forces Langfield to race from his line to collect his cross in front of Higgy.
46mins: Second half underway.
HALF-TIME: Motherwell 0 – 0 Aberdeen
41mins: Aberdeen cross from the left. Goal gaping. Fallon heads goalwards….who comes to the rescue? The man in pink, Big Daz with a fine save!
29mins: Woah, out of nowhere Hayes unleashes a blistering 25 yard strike. Randolph does brilliantly to tip over.
25mins: Similar to how he scored at Pittodrie, Murphy cuts in from the left and pulls the trigger. This time it is well over.
20mins: Almost midway through the first half, still 0-0.
13mins: Close! A delightfully floated ball in from Humphrey finds the leap of Higdon….just over though!
7mins: Carswell forces a good save from Langfield after some great build-up play. Was a tight angle but he did well to trouble.
6mins: Chest and volley from Higdon well over the bar. Was worth the effort.
4mins: Now it’s Motherwell’s turn. Higgy winning the corner….danger cleared by Aberdeen
1min: Magennis’ shot deflected wide for the first corner of the game…..Fallon heads straight into Randolph’s hands.
1min: Aberdeen kick-off!
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“I’m disappointed to be out of the cup. It wasn’t to be. Second half they were better, there’s no doubt about that.
“We couldn’t find a way past them. I thought Mark Reynolds was outstanding at centre-back for them.
“We’ve now got to go on and try to clinch a European place via the league.”
Aberdeen manager Craig Brown:
“We’ve now managed to turn it round against Motherwell. That’s four games and it’s two wins and two draws for us.
“Between the first and the second goal we had three really good chances and their goalkeeper Darren Randolph had two saves which were world class.
“We handled the situation exceptionally well, particularly the young boys out there. I thought they were superb.
“It was a big blow to us when we lost Russell Anderson on Monday. To come here without Russell and to get a victory against Motherwell is very good.
“I rate Motherwell highly. I rate Stuart McCall and I think they have a superb team.”
Motherwell take on Aberdeen this evening in the William Hill Scottish Cup 4th Round (Replay).
Darren Randolph replaces Lee Hollis in goal for Motherwell after completing a two-match suspension.
Defender Steven Saunders is the only absentee as he continues the final stages of his rehabilitation from a knee injury.
Aberdeen’s Clark Robertson and midfielder Stephen Hughes could recover from injury in time to feature.
Ryan Fraser, Ryan Jack, Rob Milsom, Chris Clark, Gary Naysmith and Isaac Osbourne remain out.
Tickets are still available on the gate at Fir Park. Admission is priced at:
There are no anticipated travel problems between Aberdeen and Motherwell and the area in and around Fir Park is clear. Please be cautious of the weather which has made some roads, streets and paths hazardous.
It will clear and very cold night in North Lanarkshire. The temperatures around kick-off will be -4 degrees Celsius (25 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.
Midfield maestro Nicky Law hopes the Steelmen can maintain their recent run of form when a talented Aberdeen side visit Fir Park tomorrow.
The Fir Parkers have lost just once in the last seven matches, propelling the side up to third in the table, just four points behind leaders Celtic.
They now face Craig Brown’s Aberdeen at Fir Park, themselves rejuvenated from last term, but Law says the squad is in confident mood ahead of the Cup replay.
[pullquote]We know it’s a difficult game and a tough cup tie as it was at Pittodrie but as we’re at home, hopefully we’ll finish the job this time.[/pullquote]
He told the gathered press and ‘Well’s weekly news conference: “I thought we played quite well up there in the first leg so we’re pretty confident, especially at home, that was can go on and win the game.
“With it being a Scottish Cup tie, anything can happen in these games as you’ve seen before.
“Aberdeen are always a tough side to play against; they’re a big side and are good from set-plays. McGinn scores them goals and they have players like Hayes who can hurt us.
“We know it’s a difficult game and a tough cup tie as it was at Pittodrie but as we’re at home, hopefully we’ll finish the job this time.”
‘Well boss Stuart McCall today talked up the importance of the William Hill Scottish Cup on the eve of the fourth round replay with Aberdeen at Fir Park.
The two teams meet again after the 1-1 draw at Pittodrie ten days ago with a trip to Easter Road lying in wait for the winners.
McCall, who won the Scottish Cup three times as a player, can’t wait for the game and hopes the Motherwell support come out in numbers with prices reduced to just £12 / £6.
[pullquote]I hope the Motherwell fans come out in force the way they did against Dundee United in the Cup replay a few years ago.”[/pullquote]
“A cup run is important to the club,” he said.
“We’ve got players in the dressing room who have been to Hampden three times in the last few years whereas one or two haven’t and it’s a great place to go and play football.
“If we manage to get through against Aberdeen we have a very difficult game against Hibs but as much as it is great for the financial aspect of the club, just as players you want to go as far as you can in the cup.
“We’ve had a good little bit of success in the Cup a couple of seasons ago and naturally we want to go and see if we can do it again.
“I hope the Motherwell fans come out in force the way they did against Dundee United in the Cup replay a few years ago.”
A reminder for fans that the ticket prices for Tuesday’s William Hill Scottish Cup 4th Round replay against Aberdeen have been confirmed.
Motherwell vs Aberdeen
William Hill Scottish Cup 4th Round Replay
Tuesday 11th December 2012
Fir Park Stadium
Extended highlights from Fir Park as goals from Michael Higdon, Nicky Law and Keith Lasley give Motherwell a 3-2 win over Ross County.
Steelmen skipper Keith Lasley was delighted his first goal of the campaign handed ‘Well all three points against Ross County this afternoon.
The veteran midfielder was regularly amongst the goals last term, notching a career-best five throughout the season but before today, had yet to find the net.
But his 82nd minute strike finally ended that run and handed the Fir Parkers their first home win since September, pushing the side into third in the table.
[pullquote]The most important thing was getting the three points but from a personal point of view it’s obviously nice to pop up with the winner.[/pullquote]
A beaming Lasley told MFC TV: “The most important thing was getting the three points but from a personal point of view it’s obviously nice to pop up with the winner.
“From our first half display I think we merited the three points.
“For about half an hour I thought it was as well as we had played at home this season but we just never got our noses in front when we probably should have done with the chances and pressure we had but it wasn’t to be.
“Funnily enough when Lawsy scored I though Ross County got on the ascendancy and you’ve got to give them credit in that regard.
“They’re a decent side and got themselves back in the game; obviously it was our day in the end but you have to credit Ross County for making the match what it was.”
‘Well boss Stuart McCall couldn’t hide his delighted after ‘Well picked up their first three points at Fir Park in over three months.
You have to go all the way back to early September when the Steelmen thrashed County’s Highland neighbours, the high-flying Inverness Caley Thistle.
It’s difficult to fathom just how that run came about given some of the performances during that spell, but it took a battling 3-2 win over the Staggies to end the rut.
McCall was thrilled with the win but also saluted the contribution of Ross County who, despite the result, left North Lanarkshire with plenty of plaudits for the way they played.
[pullquote]We played some really entertaining stuff but just didn’t have the finishing touch at times.[/pullquote]
“I am delighted to get a home victory,” McCall told MFC TV after the match.
“We always talk about getting the first goal and in fairness after we started well, they got a terrific goal but I felt we came on after that and played some really good football.
“We played some really entertaining stuff but just didn’t have the finishing touch and then we score a terrific goal ourselves. Chris stands a really good ball up at the back post and big Michael bangs it in.
“In the second half we just felt if we kept playing with the same quality as in the first half we’d do well and to get the early goal exactly what we asked for. For some reason it seemed to rock us and they came into the game more and at 2-1 we were quite edgy.
“It was a terrific winning goal though and I thought today Las in the middle of the park did all the dirty work. He won second balls, won tackles and headers and kept us going in the middle of the park. He deserved to get the winner.”
Pictures from the 3-2 win over Ross County in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.