Pictures from the 4-1 win over Aberdeen in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
Pictures from the 4-1 win over Aberdeen in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
Phil McGhee at Fir Park
Motherwell gained some revenge their Cup defeat and provided the fans with a Christmas cracker with an emphatic win over Aberdeen.
Two goals from Jamie Murhpy added to strikes from Tom Hateley and Michael Higdon combined to give the fans a home performance of real quality.
The Christmas spirit was evident as both teams played an open game contributing to a five goal thriller, where the Dons had the chances early in the game to punish the home side. But in the end it was ‘Well who came out on top with their best home performance of the season, arguably of the calendar year.
‘Well were forced to make two changes, with Stevie Hammell and Chris Humphrey only fit enough for the bench. Fraser Kerr slotted in at right back allowing Hateley a midfield berth, while Zaine Francis-Angol took up the left back position.
It was Aberdeen, though, who started where they left off in the Cup forcing the home side on to the back foot.
Niall McGinn should have extended his scoring run after only three minutes but after Darren Randolph parried Joe Shaugnessy’s header the Don’s leading scorer pulled his shot wide. Then with the reshaped ‘Well still trying to settle, Josh Magennis curled an angled effort beyond Randolph and the post.
It was the Aberdeen goal, though, which had the narrowest of escapes after seven minutes. Hateley’s corner was only cleared as far as Nicky Law and from 20 yards his ferocious left foot drive raced past Jamie Langfield only to see the ball rebound from the face of the bar.
Langfield was again helpless two minutes later when Motherwell took the lead. Jamie Murphy whipped in a cross from the left and although it was beyond Higdon, Hateley darted in behind him to bullet a header inside the keeper’s left hand post.
Rory Fallon, who has scored a couple of spectacular goals at Fir Park, tried his luck from just outside the box but his rising shot was comfortably palmed over the bar by Randolph.
While Aberdeen were direct, Motherwell were more deliberate in their build up play, especially down the left. And on the half hour mark, after a series of passes had taken them to edge of the box, Henrik Ojamaa teed up Murphy who took a couple of steps before planting the ball in the bottom corner of Langfield’s net.
It took Aberdeen only three minutes to reduce the deficit though, as Johnny Hayes raced from the middle of the park, worked a one two with Fallon before rifling a fine shot inside Randolph’s left hand post.
Knowing that the Dons have twice fought back already this season, ‘Well never looked comfortable on their lead and Gavin Rae might have equalised in the 39th minutes when he rattled the ball into the hoardings behind the goal.
Perhaps the game changing moment came on the stroke of half time when Motherwell restored their two goal lead. Again it came from some great work on the left and when Francis-Angol slipped the ball through to Murphy, he checked he was not offside before side footing the ball home from eight yards out.
That resulted in the Dons chasing the game in the second half, which suited ‘Well’s style of counter attack.
A tremendous run from Ojamaa ten minutes after the break carried him to the goal line before cutting the ball back to Michael Higdon who scooped it into the net from two yards to effectively finish the game as a contest.
It then became a question of how many goals as Craig Brown rang the changes in an attempt to limit the damage.
Murphy should have claimed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after Clark Robertson tripped Ojamaa. But Langfield easily saved his weak effort to prevent ‘Well making it five.
And just before being replaced to a standing ovation, Ojamaa was denied a well deserved goal when Langfield pushed his shot round the post after a breathtaking move from the hosts.
Motherwell fans were not complaining at the final whistle as they now look ahead to Saturday’s home game with Kilmarnock and the chance of back to back home wins.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Fir Park
FT: Motherwell 4 – 1 Aberdeen. The Steelmen dish out an absolute Christmas roasting to Aberdeen. What a performance!
90mins: Two minutes added on.
89mins: “Well, Well, Super Well” ringing out as we enter the final few minutes.
81mins: Aberdeen sub: Fallon off for Masson
81mins: Motherwell subs, Ojamaa off for McHugh and Carswell on for Law. Both players getting a standing ovation from the crowd.
78mins: Ojamaa a constant thorn in the side of Aberdeen. He’s been unplayable today and absolutely deserves a goal.
70mins: Ojamaa is on fire today. Yet another beautiful flick though lets Law pick him out with a cross. Great save from Langfield to deny.
68mins: Vernon is played through but the ball is a hard one to take and he volleys over from 15 yards.
66mins: Ojamaa clipped in the box and goes down…Murphy steps up but misses!
66mins: PENALTY FOR ‘WELL!
63mins: ‘Well turning on the style. A tricky run from Ojamaa is laid out to Murphy who with a bit of time can only curl well over.
57mins: Aberdeen subs: Smith on for Shaughnessy, and Considine on for Anderson
55mins: Higgy makes it four after terrific work from Ojamaa down the left wing. Put it on a plate with all the trimmings and the big striker finished it from close range.
55mins: GOOAALLLL!!!! 4-1!
48mins: Higdon booked for a high challenge on Reynolds. Looked mistimed if anything….
46mins: Early chance for Aberdeen! McGinn races through the whole defence but Randolph saves with his feet.
46mins: Teams are back out minus Ramsden. He is replaced by Cummins.
HT: Motherwell 3 -1 Aberdeen
45mins: Murphy strikes again after fine play from Francis-Angol! Tidy finish from 10 yards
45mins: GOAAALLLL 3-1!
40mins:Kerr goes for a wander up the pitch and is unlucky when he is given time to get into the box and get a shot off. Straight at Langfield.
39mins: Rae fires close from 18 yards! Looked almost as if it had went in after he latched onto Fallon’s flick.
38mins: Hateley tries the spectacular with a volley from 25 yards. Well over!
33mins: GOAL! Hayes pulls one back for The Dons! Powerful left footed shot from 20 yards giving Randolph little chance.
30mins: Murphy doubles the lead! Made it look so easy as he picked it up just outside the box and drilled it home past Langfield!!!
29mins: Teasing ball across goal from Lasley……no takers though
21mins: Fallon forces Randolph into a good save from 20 yards. Probably took the wrong option though as he had McGinn bursting through.
12mins: Exquisite turn from Ojamaa allows him to turn Rae inside out on the half way line. Threads through Murphy but Reynolds slides clear
9mins: A rare header from Tom Hateley. The Englishman, playing wing-back, nods home Murphy’s beautifully curled cross! 1-0
9mins: GOOOAALLL!! 1-0 ‘Well
7mins: ‘Well respond with Nicky Law blasting off the bar from 16 yards. Unlucky!
5mins: Another good chance for The Dons there! Magennis curling inches wide after a neat through ball from McGinn.
3mins: McGinn misses a glorious opportunity! 8 yards out the ball falls kindly to him but scuffs it wide.
2mins: Aberdeen pushing for an early opener. All the action being played East Stand in the ‘Well half so far.
1min: Teams are out on the pitch….and Aberdeen kick us off. #SIWY
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“I’m really pleased and delighted for the fans, as a lot of people talk about our poor home results.
“We managed to take our chances today and could have taken more – I thought today when we got ahead we played some really good football.
“As a manager it’s a delight to win games, but if you can do it like that then all the better.”
“I decided to match them and play three forwards up against their three centre-backs and I think with Murphy’s two goals, one for Higgy (Higdon) and Henrik (Ojamaa)’s performance too it worked,” added McCall.
“It can be a dangerous game, but you have to have faith in your defenders and that your frontmen can do more damage to them than they can to you.
Aberdeen manager Craig Brown:
“I didn’t feel we were outplayed, Motherwell are probably the best team out with Celtic and we don’t like losing to them – and we haven’t in the last three times we played them.
“All of the credit should go to Motherwell for the way they played. If we don’t take the chances we have, then we won’t win the match.
“I’m not clutching at straws, I have told the players that it was an unacceptable result and the humility in the dressing room is there to be seen.
“The Christmas message is humility in the performance and determination to banish the disappointment in our next fixture with Dundee.”
Motherwell take on Aberdeen at 3pm today as the Dons visit Fir Park for the second time in three weeks.
Motherwell have no fresh injuries so are likely to be unchanged.
Defender Steven Saunders is unlikely to return to first-team action until early in the New Year following surgery.
Aberdeen’s Andrew Considine has recovered from a virus, Jamie Langfield is free of suspension, while Jonny Hayes, Stephen Hughes and Ryan Fraser could return from injury.
But Ryan Jack, Rob Milsom, Chris Clark, Gary Naysmith and Isaac Osbourne are still sidelined through injury.
The confirmed teams will appear here just after 2pm.
Tickets are still available on the gate at Fir Park. Admission is priced at:
ADULTS: £22 / £18
CONCESSIONS: £15 / £14
JUVENILE: £12 / £9
There are no anticipated travel problems between Aberdeen and Motherwell and the area in and around Fir Park is clear.
It will be a dull and cloudy day in North Lanarkshire with some light rain expected close to kick-off. It will be slightly warmer than the last few days with temperature highs 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit).
FOLLOW THE MATCH:
Motherwell Media will bring you all the action from Fir Park. Graham Barnstaple and Alan Burrows will call every kick off the ball live on MFC TV.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall wants to celebrate Christmas and New Year by matching the sensational away form at Fir Park.
The Steelmen have won an astonishing six times on the road, the best record in the division alongside Celtic.
Victories against Inverness Caley Thistle and Ross County are all the Claret & Amber men have to show for their efforts on their own patch and that is something the former Scotland midfielder wants to change.
The 48-year old is desperate to give the home fans something to cheer about and hopes to kick that off with festive matches against both the Dons and Killie.
[pullquote]Everybody talks about our home form and rightly so as it hasn’t been good enough. Although I have said on a couple of occasions our performances have merited more points than we have got.[/pullquote]
He told the gathered press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference: “Everybody talks about our home form and rightly so as it hasn’t been good enough. Although I have said on a couple of occasions our performances have merited more points than we have got.
“(Games again) Both Aberdeen and Kilmarnock, like with every club in this league, is too hard to call as they are all evenly matched sides.
“Aberdeen had a good result at the weekend and obviously came down and knocked us out the Cup. Three days later we play Kilmarnock who have came here and played well and had some good results. It will be two tough games but we’ve got to just concentrate on what we do.
“I have already said that Aberdeen are best equipped to finish second and I still haven’t seen anything to change my mind about that. Having said that, I think we’re more than capable of giving anyone a game on our day and we’re looking forward to it.
“It’s not about revenge for us; we just want to extend the gap between us.”
Bob McHugh is hoping to make it three from three this Boxing Day and once again be the scourge of his former boss.
The young striker worked under both Craig Brown and Archie Knox during the twelve months they were in charge at Fir Park between December 2009 and 2010.
The 21-year old came off the bench to haunt the duo, scoring the winning goal with just six minutes left on the clock in September of last season.
And with goals against Hibernian and St Mirren in his last two matches, the former Scotland Youth International is keen to once again get amongst the goals.
[pullquote]I’ve got a couple of goals now so I’ll be looking to improve on that for the next half of the season.[/pullquote]
“Craig (Brown) has done a great job at Aberdeen,” he told the gathered press at ‘Well’s pre-match press conference.
“I learned a lot off him and Archie (Knox) and they put me through a lot of one to one sessions on finishing and striking routines so I have a lot of respect for them. In saying that, I will be doing everything possible to get one over on them this Wednesday.
“I’ve got a couple of goals now so I’ll be looking to improve on that for the next half of the season.
“I don’t have a figure of how many goals I’d be looking to score, I just want to keep helping the team when I’m needed and try to get a few more starts in the upcoming weeks and months.”
Christmas is just a few days away we will be open right up to the last minute at The ‘Well Shop at Fir Park where you can choose from a fantastic array of gift ideas for the ‘Well fan in your life.
We’ll be open until 5pm tonight (Saturday) and on the hours below before Christmas.
Also, don’t forget we will be open on Boxing Day for the Aberdeen match from 11am until kick off and again afetr the match.
For more information call 01698 338025.
Guarantee you see the second half of the season at a great price with a Motherwell FC Half Season Ticket.
The Half Season Tickets for all areas of the stadium are now available, so you can guarantee your seat at the final crucial ten home fixtures of the season starting with Aberdeen on Boxing Day
There are some great value prices in all areas of the stadium and none more so than for a Juvenile half season ticket, which works out at just £4 per game.
Whether it is for an adult or child a half year season ticket makes a great Christmas present for any ‘Well fan and as with 2012/13 season tickets; remember, up to two under 16s go free with a full paying adult or OAP in the Cooper Stand. You can save almost 64% on what you would pay on a similar ticket by paying at the gate each week.
As a Season Ticket holder, you can use it to earn a host of discounts in a number of well-known businesses throughout Lanarkshire has also been extended.
We’ve added the likes of M&D’s, Tony Macaroni, Hamilton Palace, Knockhill Racing and Esporta to the 38 strong list which already contained the likes of McDonalds, KFC, Subway, Pizzahut, LivingWell Health Club, Evans Halshaw and many, many more.
What better time of the year to save some money than now with Christmas not far away. Take advantage of these great offers in the knowledge that the seat is yours for what promises to be an exciting finish to the campaign.
There are three easy ways to book your seat and enjoy all the fun in 2013.
1. Phone our Box Office enquiry line on 01698 333333
2. Pop into the Fir Park Ticket Office
3. Buy online now at motherwellbuyonline.co.uk
For a full stand-by-stand price breakdown, CLICK HERE.
Christmas is just a few days away and if you are searching for the ideal present for the ‘Well fan in your life, look no further than Motherwell’s new online store.
There is something for everyone and you can even add that personal touch with engraving or gift-wrapping.
We have everything from signed bottles of wine, champagne flutes, cufflinks to hip flasks and much more.
You can also buy match tickets, half season tickets, hospitality or signed matchday magazine.
It’s your one-stop-shop for Motherwell FC goodies this Festive period.
We accept all major credit cards as well as PayPal so make sure you order now to ensure we get the gift to you before the big day.
You can click and collect from Fir Park on Christmas Eve so there’s still time to get your hands on the ideal MFC present.
Highlights from St Mirren Park where, despite a Bob McHugh goal thirteen minutes from time, Motherwell crashed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of St Mirren.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall was trying to remain positive despite Motherwell slipping to a 2-1 defeat at St Mirren Park this evening.
The Fir Parkers went behind to two first half goals from Steven Thompson but roared back in the second half.
Despite Bob McHugh pulling one back, St Mirren defended for the lives late on in the match and held on to take the win and three points which moves them above Ross County in the SPL.
[pullquote]It’s disappointing as the lads went right to the end and probably deserved a point[/pullquote]
McCall told MFC TV after the match: “I think for the neutral, which we’re not obviously, it was an entertaining game.
“It’s hugely disappointing not to get anything out of it, in the first half, although we weren’t at our best, played some decent stuff and we hit the woodwork.
“They played well and got two good goals. They did what we didn’t and took their chances. To be fair to Thompson it’s a really good near post finish and a towering back post header.
“In the second half when we started moving the ball, for the last 25 minutes it was a siege. They’ve had some good blocks and we’ve had chances we’ve not it the target with.
“They brought on a centre half and went five at the back and it’s disappointing as the lads went right to the end and probably deserved a point.”