Extended Highlights from Fir Park as Motherwell Under 20s crash to a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Dundee.
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkTuesday 18 December 2012
TV: Saunders glad to be backTuesday 18 December 2012
Scotland International cap Stevie Saunders made his long-awaited return to action tonight as Motherwell U20s lost to Dundee at Fir Park.
The former Queen’s Park product has spent the best part of the last eighteen months on the sidelines after first rupturing his Achilles before going under the knife again to tidy up a troublesome knee.
His introduction on the hour gave a young Steelmen side some much-needed composure and the defender even marked it with a neat goal in the dying seconds.
[pullquote]“I’ve been working hard at getting back and thirty, thirty-five minutes was a good outing for me.[/pullquote]
After the match he told MFC TV of his delight at making his return: “It’s good to be back after so long out.
“I’ve been working hard at getting back and thirty, thirty-five minutes was a good outing for me.
“I was pleased with the goal; I thought I’d take a chance and stay up and when it came to me I just slid it by the ‘keeper. It’s just a shame it was a consolation goal, especially after the boys performed a lot better in the second half.
“It would be nice for the boys to get a win and for me to come back but it wasn’t to be.”
TV: Johansson dissapointed at defeatTuesday 18 December 2012
Jonatan Johansson was again left frustrated as cheap goals cost his side dearly this evening.
The Fir Parkers fielded a young side with just one player over the age of 18 years old. The defense in particular was inexperienced with Danny McNulty and Ross Kellock starting their first match at Under 20s level.
Dundee could call on a little more experience with the likes of Brian Easton, Stephen O’Donnell, Lewis Toshney and Martin Boyle all having turned out for Barry Smith’s side in recent times.
And that showed in the opening stages as the visitors ran into a commanding 3-0 lead before the break.
Motherwell battled back and got to within a goal but were unable to get a third and a share of the spoils.
[pullquote]It’s a shame we were so naive in the first half but they are young players and still learning.[/pullquote]
Johansson told MFC TV: “We went with a very young back four in the first half and I think they learned a lot.
“Dundee had two sharp players up front and they gave us a beating in the first half. We were second best and the pace of their players took us by surprise. They’re used to playing u17s and this level is a different tempo.
“I’m pleased with the reaction and pleased with the second half and when you have the experience of Stevie Saunders back in the middle of defence, we looked a totally different team. It’s a shame we were so naive in the first half but they are young players and still learning.”
Motherwell U20s 2 – 3 Dundee U20sTuesday 18 December 2012
Steven Saunders marked his return to action with a goal but it wasn’t enough as a young Motherwell U20s side crashed to a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Dundee.
The visitors raced into a three goal lead thanks to an opener from Martin Boyle and a double from Craig Wighton.
Adam Asghar reduced the arrears before the interval but the Steelmen couldn’t add any further goals until the closing seconds when sub Saunders neatly tucked the ball under Baird.
Johansson made a massive seven changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Falkirk at Airdrie last Wednesday.
Dom Green, Danny McNulty, Ross Kellock, Adam Asghar, Paul McCafferty, Omar Daley and Dale Shirkie came into the side in place of Fraser Kerr, Simon Ramsden, Zaine Francis-Angol, Stevie Hetherington, Craig Moore, Axel Bossekota and Bob McHugh.
And it was Dundee who made the best possible start when Boyle scored inside the opening 90 seconds. The former Montrose striker got on the end of a lovely slide-rule ball from Jamie Reid and kept his composure to slot under Ross Stewart and into the far corner.
‘Well tried to hit back when Daley’s great run and cross found Jack Leitch in the box but his goalbound looking shot was blocked by Lewis Toshney who had got across to cover well.
It was to prove pivotal as the Dark Blues doubled their advantage on the eleventh minute. Wighton collected 25-yards from goal and after a neat one-two with Boyle on the edge of the area, he had all the time and space he required to pick his spot in the corner as Dundee went two ahead.
At that stage the visitors were well on top and should have added to their advantage. Connor MacLeod blazed over from the edge after robbing Green and Danny Cavanagh crashed a shot off the crossbar as Gavin Burns’ side cut the home defence open at will.
‘Well then had Stewart to thank as he twice produced great blocks to keep the score respectable. His first was a one-on-one with Wighton and the second, a minute later, was a low Boyle shot again saved by the Motherwell number one.
The home side somehow managed to weather the storm without conceding and gradually got themselves back into the match. Asghar had a near post shot well saved by Baird before almost connecting with a fizzing Daley ball across the face of goal.
Johnstone also had his shot blocked after a neat McCafferty cut back and Green’s header from the resulting corner was straight at Baird as the Fir Parkers worked hard at getting back into the match.
However, their hard work would be undone as the Dens Park side grabbed a decisive third just eight minutes before the interval with a classic counter attack. Daley had his pocked picked on the left flank before the ball was quickly knocked forward to Boyle in the centre of the park. Driving forward and the home defence scampering back to cover, he rolled in his strike partner Wighton who got to the ball just ahead of Green to toe-poke past Stewart and into the net.
There was a danger of a Motherwell collapse but, to their credit, the young Steelmen side hit back almost straight away. A Jack Leitch free-kick flew towards the penalty spot allowing Asghar, who had made a great run across his marker, to flick it on and past Baird into the net.
It was a glimmer of hope the hosts required.
Incredibly, they should have reduced the deficit even further before the interval. A Green cross was almost turned into his own net by the recovering Easton but the former Hamilton defender’s blushes were spared by Baird who was well placed to block.
Asghar hit a close-range free-kick straight at the Dundee keeper and Leitch burst clear after a terrific Daley diagonal but with a large part of the goal to aim at, his shot lacked conviction and was easy for Baird to catch.
The second half didn’t produce the same amount of chances as the first but there was still enough opportunities for more goals.
Seconds after the restart, Boyle should have made the game safe for his side when he got on the end of a great cross from the left but his header dropped inches wide.
Up the other, Shirkie got on the end of a neat Daley reverse ball but his low shot was deflected just wide. The resulting kick from the quadrant was perfect for Morgyn Neill but the big defender could only head over.
Both teams traded half chances with Johnstone firing straight at Baird and Reid fizzing an effort at Stewart which the ‘Well keeper was well placed to save.
The highlight of the night was the return of Steven Saunders who has missed the last eighteen months with an Achilles injury then a tidy up operation on his knee. His introduction on the hour gave the Fir Parkers some much-needed composure in the back four.
Play raged on though and a low Asghar shot and a Dom Thomas header were both blocked by Baird as it remained 1-3.
‘Well were forced into another change when Dale Shirkie was forced off after colliding with the advertising board behind the goal. The big striker was treated for a significant time before leaving the ground in an ambulance. He was replaced by another returner, Steven Higgins, himself having missed the last five months due to injury.
Thankfully, Dale was later discharged from hospital with some bumps and bruises and is already on the mend.
With the game nearing its conclusion, McCafferty had a great chance to make the last five minutes interesting when he burst into the area but with just the keeper to beat, his shot lacked the desired power and it was easily gathered by Baird who hadn’t been properly tested all night.
Right on full time, substitute Saunders marked his return with an excellent goal. Dom Thomas was the creator, sliding the defender in on the left flank and his first time shot was slotted past Baird.
It was too little too late though as another disappointing night ended in defeat for Johansson’s young men.
Motherwell: Stewart, Green (Saunders – 58mins), Kellock (Thomas – 58mins), Neill, McNulty, Johnstone, McCafferty, Asghar, Shirkie (Higgins – 7mins), Daiey, Leitch
Subs Not Used: Currie
Goals: Asghar (39), Saunders (90)
Referee: Alan Newlands
Dundee U20s on Tuesday nightMonday 17 December 2012
A reminder for fans that the Under 20s match with Dundee, re-arranged from later this month, will go ahead at Fir Park tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
Both teams find themselves at the foot of the table however a win for the Steelmen could push them to within a point Ross County in thirteenth with a game still in hand.
10-man ‘Well won the last time the teams met at Dens Park back in September with Craig Moore and Stuart Carswell scoring the vital goals in a 2-1 win.
The match will take place at Fir Park with kick-off 7pm.
Adults and Concessions:
Season book holders or Well Society membership: £2
Season book holders or Well Society membership: £1
If you cannot make the game, MFC TV will have full live commentary from Fir Park. A full match report, pictures, reaction and highlights will also be available on the official site after the match.
TV: Highlights from Easter RoadSaturday 15 December 2012
Extended highlights from Easter Road as Motherwell sensationally came from behind to win 3-2 with a later Bob McHugh winner.
TV: McHugh thrilled with winnerSaturday 15 December 2012
Fans-favourite Bob McHugh hopes his winning goal at Easter Road can provide the launch pad for the striker to make a big impact in 2013.
The 21-year old has been forced to kick his heels on the sidelines for the majority of the campaign, appearing thirteen times from the substitute’s bench.
However, it’s the second time he has popped up to salvage it for the Steelmen; his leveller against St Johnstone in August gave a Euro-weary ‘Well a point at Fir Park.
Now he hopes he can kick on and feature more heavily in Stuart McCall’s plans in the second half of the season.
[pullquote]It’s been difficult to push into the team but hopefully after I took my chance today I can push on[/pullquote]
“I’m delighted and over the moon,” he told MFC TV after the match.
“A lot of credit has to go to the boys who I thought played really well towards the end of the game and finished really strongly.
“Obviously from a personal point of view I’m delighted to come on and snatch the winner. It’s been quite a frustrating last two-and-a-half-years being on the bench and not playing as much as I’d like.
“That said, the strikers have been playing really well so it’s difficult to argue with the manager. He’s kept a consistent team and it’s been difficult to push into the team but hopefully after I took my chance today I can push on.”
TV: McCall delighted with comebackSaturday 15 December 2012
‘Well boss Stuart McCall was thrilled with his side after bravely fighting back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Easter Road.
Eion Doyle had put Hibs in a commanding 2-0 lead with a goal either side of half-time but a double from Jamie Murphy and a late, late winner from substitute Bob McHugh gave the Steelmen the points.
And the Fir Park boss could hardly contain his excitement at full-time after watching his side jump to second spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
[pullquote]I actually said to Kenny Black at two-nil down we’re we’re not out of this. At two-one I knew we could go on and win it and I think the lads showed that.[/pullquote]
“It’s fantastic,” McCall beamed.
“We were disappointing in the first forty-five minutes. We didn’t get our attack minded players on the ball much and they started better.
“Although they had the better of the play and deserved to go in with a lead, it wasn’t as though we were under siege.
“I said at half-time when we came here we had a poor first half but in the second half we dominated them and I thought once we got our wide men in the game and made a few changes, when it went to 2-2 our lads wanted to win the game.
“We piled pressure on them. I actually said to Kenny Black at two-nil down we’re we’re not out of this. At two-one I knew we could go on and win it and I think the lads showed that. They weren’t happy to settle for a point and always wanted to get the ball back.
“It’s a great three points.”
Hibernian win in picturesSaturday 15 December 2012
Pictures from the 3-2 win over Hibernian in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Easter Road.
Hibernian 2 – 3 MotherwellSaturday 15 December 2012
Andy Ross at Easter Road
Motherwell produced a sensational second-half comeback to defeat Hibernian 3-2 at Easter Road.
Substitute Robert McHugh converted Henrik Ojamaa’s cross two minutes from time to move Motherwell into second in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Eoin Doyle headed the hosts ahead five minutes before half-time and doubled his tally nine minutes after the break when he raced onto Paul Cairney’s high ball and rocketed past Darren Randolph.
Jamie Murphy tapped in from close range to cut the hosts’ lead and he glanced home a leveller with 10 minutes remaining.
Hibs looked shell-shocked after losing a commanding lead and things got worse for Pat Fenlon’s side when substitute McHugh fired in a late winner.
James McPake was dismissed for a second yellow card during injury-time to complete a miserable afternoon for the home side.
The hosts made a bright start and only a well timed block from Tom Hateley denied Cairney from breaking the deadlock in the opening minute.
Doyle dragged his shot inches wide a minute later as the Motherwell goal continued to live a charmed life during the early exchanges.
Motherwell’s first chance of the match arrived after 12 minutes when Michael Higdon fired over after latching onto Shaun Hutchinson’s long ball.
Lee Griffiths forced Randolph into his first save of the match with a low effort from distance and Ben Williams was called into action at the other end when he had to gather Alan Maybury’s header.
Adam Cummins picked up the first booking of the match for hauling back Doyle and the hosts should have profited from the resulting free-kick as McPake rose unmarked to meet Griffiths’ delivery – but the Hibs captain was unable to find the target.
Motherwell were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position after Maybury bundled over Murphy – but Hateley could not test Williams.
The hosts broke the deadlock five minutes before the break when Wotherspoon twisted away from Steven Hammell before providing an pin-point delivery for Doyle to nod home from close range.
Randolph parried Griffiths’ stinging drive as Pat Fenlon’s side threatened to extend their advantage before half-time.
It was Motherwell who began the second half on the front foot and Chris Humphrey should have done better after taking on Ryan McGivern inside the penalty box, but the winger could only manage a tame effort directly at Williams.
In throwing men forward Stuart McCall’s side left themselves liable on the counter-attack and they were punished on 54 minutes when Cairney’s through-ball created an opening for Doyle and the Irish striker finished in style for his second goal of the afternoon.
The Fir Park side continued to look for a way back into the match and they reduced the deficit when Humphrey drilled the ball low across the six-yard box and Murphy was left with a simple tap-in.
Gary Deegan made his return from injury when he replaced Griffiths with 20 minutes left and McCall showed his attacking intent as Cummins made way for McHugh.
Ojamaa flashed an effort just wide of the target and Higdon then tested Williams from 12 yards as the Fir Park side threatened to get back on terms.
Fenlon looked to tighten up his defence with the introduction of Ross Caldwell for Doyle, but the home side were unable to hold their lead as Higdon knocked on Hateley’s dangerous corner and Murphy glanced the ball home at the back post.
McHugh passed up a wonderful opportunity to complete a remarkable second half turnaround when he somehow failed to connect with Humphrey’s cutback.
The substitute made no mistake when presented with another opportunity with two minutes remaining as he turned Ojamaa’s cross across the helpless Williams and into the bottom corner.
McPake was dismissed with seconds remaining for a second yellow card following a tussle with Murphy – and the visitors held out to take all three points from a thrilling encounter.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Easter Road
91mins: RED CARD: McPake off for second yellow card.
91mins: ‘Well sitting in. Nervous.
90mins: FOUR minutes added on!
89mins: Ojamaa off for Francis-Angol
89mins: Composure regained. Ahem, McHugh gets enough on Ojamaa’s cross to diver past Williams.
89mins: Somebody just score!!! No idea who!! 3-2 to Motherwell
89mins: WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW
86mins: Hibs sub, Cairney off for Handling
84mins: WOAH. Should have been 3-2. On a plate for McHugh who a yard out can’t get enough on it. Either that or defender got a touch. Possibly even a penalty?
83mins: Lasley off for Ramsden. Looks hurt.
80mins: Murphy with his second, heading in Higdon’s knock-back! That has been coming. 2-2
78mins: Great spell of pressure here for ‘Well
76mins: Hibs sub, Doyle off for Caldwel
73mins: Encouraging! Ojamaa and Higdon go close with successive efforts.
72mins: ‘Well sub, Cummins off for McHugh.
70mins: Game sitting at 2-1 to Hibs, Hibee’s worthy of their lead but will be an interesting last 20 minutes.
69mins: Hibs sub: Deegan on for Griffiths.
63mins: Out of nowhere we’re back in it! Murphy slotting home Humphrey’s cross!!! 2-1
57mins: Ojamaa wins ‘Well a corner….but is too hard and the danger is gone.
54mins: Long ball over the top, out paces the ‘Well defence and coolly slots past Randolph.
54mins: GOAL: Doyle makes it 2-0 to Hibs.
49mins: Humphrey glides into the box but his left footed effort is tame and straight at Williams.
48mins: Ojamaa curls a cross in that is more of a shot. Easily gathered by Williams.
46mins: Doyle shoots straight at Randolph from outside the box.
46mins: Lasley and Ojamaa kick-off the second half.
HT: Hibernian 1 – 0 Motherwell
43mins: Griffiths stings the palms of Randolph from 18 yards as Hibs look to add a second before half-time.
40mins: GOAL: Doyle opens the scoring. Too easy for him as he heads home Wotherspoon’s cross from 8 yards.
38mins: Randolph does well to pluck the ball out of the air from McGivern’s cross.
35mins: Free-kick to Motherwell 25 yards out, much to the Hibs fans displeasure. Hateley flashes it just over the bar
31mins: Ojamaa grappled to the deck as he went to race clean through. McPake booked.
30mins: Quiet 10 minute spell there. Match becoming a bit more even.
20mins: Still goalless at Easter Road. Hibs the more dangerous side.
20mins: Griffiths can’t jink past Cummins so opts to shoot. Drags it just past from 20 yards.
18mins: Best chance of the game. Griffiths with a perfect in-swinging free-kick met by McPake in acres of space. Over the bar.
17mins: Almost an O.G. there from Hibs. Williams reacting sharply to collect a deflected header back to him.
16mins: Griffith’s 25 yard effort is ambitious to say the least. Forces a good save from Randolph though.
14mins: ‘Well coming into it a bit. Still to trouble Williams but starting to build up some good possession.
11mins: A chance…of sorts. Higdon with a speculative volley from outside the box. High, wide and not at all handsome.
9mins: Bit of danger again there as we approach the 10 minute mark. Wotherspoon works the ball into the box but Cummins heads clear.
8mins: Now it’s Hibs’ turn. Corner……..Randolph claws it clear.
5mins: And as I type….corner to Motherwell! Hateley’s deep delivery is headed clear by McGivern.
5mins: Early days but Hibs are on top. ‘Well still to have any meaningful possession.
2mins: Doyle looks a threat! Shoots just a fraction past Randolph’s right hand post from 18 yards, Unlucky.
1mins: Doyle gets to the byline but sees his cut-back cleared by Cummins.
1mins: Early pressure from Hibs. Griffiths just fails to control the ball at the vital point and it runs through harmlessly to Randolph.
1mins: Hibs kick off.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“I’ll take that second-half performance any day of the week. We said at half-time we’ve got to go out and play and show what we can really do.
“I turned to Kenny Black at 2-0 and said we can still win this. I said to Chris Humphrey at half-time: we want you to get to the dead-ball line, it’s no good crossing from the 18-yard box – hit the dead-ball line.
“We did that and got the rewards for it.
“We’ll never get over being knocked out the cup the other night, but we can make up for it by having a good run in the league. I think that’s four away victories [in the league] on the trot.”
Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon:
“We’re just giving away too many sloppy goals. So maybe there’s one or two [players] coming back that are looking to play so we might have to change the team around a little bit.
“I’m disgusted. I think we thought we’d won the game when we scored the second goal.
“We never got hold of the ball after that and got deeper and deeper into our own half. You don’t get anything for getting results at half-time; it’s all about seeing games out.”
“We didn’t take them off together. We were getting over-run and we took one off to try and get hold of the ball in the middle of the park and we didn’t do that.”