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    Motherwell 3 – 2 St Johnstone

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    New voucher system in place

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    Ojamaa gets Estonia call

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    TV: McCall up for Saints clash

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    TV: Ramsden eager to get going again

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    TV: Francis-Angol extends his stay

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    Bid on ‘Tash Converters’ Shirts

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    St Johnstone Magazine Preview

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    Collum in charge for Saints clash

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Motherwell 3 – 2 St Johnstone

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee at Fir Park

    A Michael Higdon hat-trick helped keep Motherwell in joint second place in the Scottish Premier League with a narrow 3-2 win over St Johnstone.

    But having been slightly fortunate to take a 3-0 lead, ‘Well almost tossed away the three points in the final 15 minutes as St Johnstone threw caution to the wind.

    The forced substitution of Darren Randolph in the 74th minute didn’t help and after conceding two goals to Nigel Hasselbaink and Liam Craig, it took a fabulous save from Lee Hollis two minutes from time to secure the win.

    Bob McHugh was asked to fill the void created with Jamie Murphy’s departure but it was Higdon who reminded ‘Well fans of his scoring prowess taking his tally of league goals to fifteen.

    Two first half goals from two chances highlighted the striker’s eye for goal and the home side’s efficiency.

    In truth it was a below-par first half showing from the home side with sloppy play allowing Saints to dictate most of the play.

    However, Stuart McCall’s men showed the Perth side how to convert chances in their first attack after just seven minutes. McHugh won the ball just inside his own half laying the ball inside to Higdon. And after sending Chris Humphrey scurrying down the right, the ‘Well striker raced on to find himself perfectly placed for the winger’s cut back, side-footing home from 12 yards.

    Saints then had the best of the chances with Liam Craig’s in-swinging corners posing problems for the Fir Park defence. Keith Lasley at the back post headed one off the line before another cross curled behind the bar before Gregory Tade nodded the ball off the post although the assistant did have his flag up for the ball going out of play.

    A quick break down the left by Henrik Ojamaa after 19 minutes, though, set up the second. Higdon got a break after turning Frazer Wright and his first effort bounced back off the defender. From just inside the penalty box the former Crewe hitman made no mistake at the second time of asking, confidently drilling his shot low inside the left hand post.

    Despite their two goal lead ‘Well looked uncharacteristically nervous in possession not helped by a bumpy winter pitch. And Randolph’s goal had another narrow escape at the start of the second half when Rowan Vine’s cross rebounded off the crossbar.

    The action continued to focus around the home goal and only a brilliant Shaun Hutchison tackle at the edge of the box prevented Tade powering in on goal.
    Motherwell then snatched a third after 68 minutes which should have made the points absolutely safe.

    Tom Hateley whipped in a corner and although Hutchison’s header was rebounded back off the thigh of Ojamaa, Higdon toe-poked the rebound into the corner of the net from six yards to grab his hat-trick.

    However, the game changed dramatically in the 74th minute when, amidst a number of substitutions, Randolph with a strained hamstring, limped off to be replaced by Lee Hollis.

    Within three minutes Saints had pulled back a goal when their sub Hasselbaink slammed the ball high past ‘Well’s substitute ‘keeper.

    A minute later a poor clearance landed in front of Craig at the edge of the box and he steered a left foot shot low past Hollis to reduce the lead to one goal and set up a nervous final twelve minutes.

    Hollis proved to be the hero two minutes from the end when he bravely spread himself at the edge of his six yard box to block Hasselbaink and preserve ‘Well’s slender goal lead.

    It’s a win that keeps the Steelmen in touch with Inverness in second place and McCall’s side will look forward to the visit of Dundee Utd in eight days time.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 3 – 2 St Johnstone

    90mins: MacKay’s shot is sliced towards Vine. At the back post he can only blaze over!

    88mins: Fantastic save from Hollis! Made himself big and blocks at the feel of Hasselbaink!

    87mins: St Johnstone win a corner…..Hollis gathers well!

    85mins: Nervy last 5 minutes then…..

    81mins: Motherwell sub: Ojamaa off for Carswell

    78mins: GOAL – Craig makes it 3-2!

    77mins: GOAL – Hasselbaink pulls one back with a good finish from 18 yards. 3-1

    75mins: St Johnstone subs: Tade off for Miller and Millar also off for Cregg

    74mins: Motherwell sub: Hollis on for Randolph. Looks like a muscle strain.

    73mins: All MacLean needs to do is divert Vine’s cross into the net. The ball agonisingly skids inches past him.

    71mins: Who in his first time on the ball is clattered by MacKay. Dangerous area, Hateley’s delivery is collected by Mannus

    69mins: Motherwell sub, Francis-Angol on for McHugh

    68mins: Hutchy’s header bounces off Ojamaa to Higgy who pounces on it to complete his hat-trick!

    GOAAALLL Hat-trick for HIGGY!

    65mins: Superb recovering challenge from Hutchinson to clear from Tade!

    61mins: St Johnstone sub: Hasselbaink on for Pawlett

    60mins: Some solid defending from Hutchinson there. Firstly standing firm against Vine’s shot then powering a header away from a cross.

    55mins: MacLean finds himself with perhaps too much time in the box. Opts to cut inside on his left foot but fires straight at Randolph

    52mins: Hammell concedes a free-kick in a dangerous area. Craig fires through a crowd of players and just past the post.

    51mins: Up the other end crosses from Law and Humphrey can’t quite find their man.

    50mins: Vine’s cross is deflected onto the top of the bar by Hateley. Bit of a let-off there!

    48mins: Craig industrious but still can’t find his finishing touch as he blast another shot wide of the post from distance

    46mins: Second half underway!

    HT: Motherwell 2 – 0 St Johnstone

    34mins: St Johnstone with all the pressure as we enter the final 10 minutes of the half.

    31mins: Liam Craig tries his luck from 20 yard. Hooks it well wide on the left foot.

    27mins: Vine’s delivery is judged to have left the field as Tade meets it with a header at the back post. Hit post, wrong decision too!

    23mins: Good defending from Hutchinson as he knocks Vine’s cross wide for a corner. Danger averted.

    19mins: It’s 2-0! Higdon gets a bit of luck as his shot deflects off Davidson straight back to him. Clinical finish on the rebound!


    16mins: Pawlett squares to Craig at the edge of the box who sees his effort deflected wide by teammate, Steven MacLean

    13mins: Tade tries to pick out the top corner from 20 yards. Good effort but too tame to trouble Randolph

    11mins: Corner Motherwell. Humphrey getting the better of Davidson there. Cleared as far as Law who drives low straight at Mannus

    8mins: Brilliant from Humphrey as he picks out Higdon 10 yards out, Wonderful finish low into the corner! 1-0!


    6mins: Danger as Vine connects well with a volley on the edge of the area. Straight at Randolph.

    4mins: Millar slices a left-footed effort just wide of the post from 18 yards

    3mins: McHugh swings in a cross which is deflected awkwardly. Higdon can’t capitilise as he leaps with Mannus

    1min: Game underway! #COYW


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “A win’s a win. This season we’ve played a lot better and got nothing, so we’re happy with what we’ve done today.

    “It’s been a cold winter’s day but three points will warm us up.

    “We made hard work of it. At 3-0 we should see it out but fair play to them [St Johnstone] who kept at it.

    “It’s three points and three goals again at home which is good.”

    St Johnstone assistant manager Tommy Wright:

    “I’m extremely disappointed with the result, not the performance. We will try to take positives out of that game. We have shown that we can come here and compete against a very good side.

    “We did well, particularly in the first half. We didn’t deserve to be 2-0 down. Motherwell had two or three chances and they were clinical. We probably didn’t make enough of the opportunities we had in the first half. In the second half it was pretty even. We looked to be out of the game but fair play to the lads, they showed a desire to get back into it.

    “In the end we looked the team that was going to get the next goal and that would have got us the point which I think that would have been deserved. Even in defeat we can take a lot out of the day’s game.”


    [poll id=”134″]

  • Archive

    New voucher system in place

    Starting at today’s match with St Johnstone, the club will be using a new voucher system for fans paying at the turnstile.

    Depending on what stand you sit in, you will receive an appropriate voucher upon entry.

    It is important the voucher is retained as proof of entry should the match have to be rearranged for any reason.

    Safety and Facilities Manager Alan Marshall said: “Following the abandonment of the Hibernian match last season and Dundee Utd a few months ago, we have been working to implement a system that will make things much easier for supporters.

    “Giving every fan who pays in a voucher will mean we have an easy system in the unlikely event of a match abandonment. Season Ticket holders will enter the rearranged match with a Special Voucher from their book.

    “Pay-at-the-gate and complimentary holders should retain the relevant stubs which will be redeemable at the Ticket Office for the rearranged match.

    “It cuts out the need for people scrambling for tickets as they leave the ground, making it simpler, safer and fairer for everyone.”

  • Archive

    Ojamaa gets Estonia call

    Henrik Ojamaa has been included in the Estonia squad to face Scotland at Pittodrie next month.

    The eight-times capped striker, who was named Estonian U21 Player of 2012, has been included in Tarmo Rüütli’s 25-man squad for the friendly on February 6th.

    The match will be the first for the new Scotland management team of Gordon Strachan and former Steelmen gaffer Mark McGhee.


    Pavel Londak – FK Bodø/Glimt
    Marko Meerits – Vitesse
    Sergei Pareiko – Wisła Kraków

    Alo Bärengrub – Nõmme JK Kalju
    Enar Jääger – Aalesunds FK
    Ragnar Klavan – FC Augsburg
    Dmitri Kruglov – FK Rostov
    Igor Morozov – Polonia Warszawa
    Taavi Rähn – Tianjin Songjiang
    Tihhon Šišov – Nõmme JK Kalju
    Taijo Teniste – Sogndal Fotball

    Aleksandr Dmitrijev – FK Gomel
    Gert Kams – Tallinna FC Flora
    Joel Lindpere – Chicago Fire
    Siim Luts – Tallinna FC Flora
    Sergei Mošnikov – Pogoń Szczecin
    Sander Puri – Kuopion Palloseura
    Ats Purje – Kuopion Palloseura
    Konstantin Vassiljev – FK Amkar Perm
    Martin Vunk – Panachaiki FC

    Jarmo Ahjupera – Györi ETO FC
    Tarmo Kink – AS Varese 1910
    Henrik Ojamaa – Motherwell F.C.
    Andres Oper – Nea Salamis Famagusta FC
    Vladimir Voskoboinikov – FC Dinamo Tbilisi

  • Archive

    TV: McCall up for Saints clash

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall reckons his squad are in good shape ahead of Sunday’s ESPN live clash with St Johnstone.

    The Fir Parkers faced another early start to the campaign with gruelling matches in the heat of Athens and Valencia during the summer months.

    It’s for that reason McCall welcomed the opportunity for his side to rest over the last few weeks and has lauded the standard in training in recent days.

    [pullquote]We came back earlier than everyone else in the summer, with the Champions League and the Europa League and the majority of our side have played in every game so for most of them a little break has done them the world of good.[/pullquote]

    He said: “It’s terrific to be back and the lads have trained really well.

    “We played Celtic on the Wednesday and we gave them off until the following Friday so they’ve had a good chance to rest.

    “We’ve obviously lose Jamie (Murphy) and Jonathan Page has gone to Accies but we’ve brought in Kallum Higginbotham and Fraser Kerr has extended his loan and that is the squad we’ve got.

    “It’s a tight knit squad but one I’m happy with and looking forward to the remaining part of the season and the focus now is finishing as high as we can.

    “We came back earlier than everyone else in the summer, with the Champions League and the Europa League and the majority of our side have played in every game so for most of them a little break has done them the world of good. We had an Under 20’s game midweek and we picked up a couple of knocks but everyone is back and raring to go for Sunday’s game.”


    MFC TV

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    TV: Ramsden eager to get going again

    ‘Well defender Simon Ramsden says he can’t wait to get back into action after almost three weeks without a game.

    The former Bradford City defender has had a stop-start season after a number of niggling injuries.

    Frustratingly for the 30-year old, just as he was putting together a consistent run of matches, the SPL shut down for a its winter break.

    Feeling refreshed, the Bishop Auckland-born centre back is now looking forward to getting back in the mix when St Johnstone visit Fir Park on Sunday.

    [pullquote]The Celtic game seems ages ago now; the lads have had some relaxation for a few days and it’s back to hard training.[/pullquote]

    He told the broadcast press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference, “The Celtic game seems ages ago now; the lads have had some relaxation for a few days and it’s back to hard training.

    “It’s a game we’re definitely looking forward to. I’ve never had a winter break in my career and it’s been good and bad from my point of view.

    “I’ve had four or five games in a row and was just getting back into the swing of things so for me I’d maybe liked to have continued playing but for the lads in general it’s came at a good time. They can get their legs back and be raring to go again.

    “St Johnstone is going to be a tough game. I’ve played in both games against them this season. The game at home was a very tight affair that could have gone either way but away from home our start provided us with the momentum to go on and win the game.

    “They are a big threat going forward, which I can vouch for having went up against their frontmen but obviously we think we can test them ourselves.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: Francis-Angol extends his stay

    Antigua and Barbuda International Zaine Francis-Angol has today signed a new two-and-a-half year contract with the club.

    The 19-year old broke into the first-team at the start of the campaign, making his full debut in the UEFA Champions League against Panathinaikos in Athens.

    At the end of August Francis-Angol received a call up to the Benna Boys World Cup Qualifying matches against Guatemala.

    Starting both games, Zaine earned praise from Antigua coach Tom Curtis and looks set to have a long international career ahead of him – having won four caps already.

    [pullquote]I love it here. It’s a lot slower paced than in London and I think I prefer that. Everybody wants to play; that includes me and hopefully I can be a regular.[/pullquote]

    The Tottenham Hotspur academy graduate has subsequently impressed when filling in for the established Stevie Hammell where his pace and trickery going forward can be powerful weapon for Stuart McCall’s side towards the latter part of a match.

    He has turned out seventeen times in Claret and Amber, six as a starter and eleven from the substitutes bench.

    Speaking exclusively to MFC TV, the 19-year old said: “I’m delighted and can’t wait to carry on with the rest of the season.

    “The financial side of Scottish Football  isn’t the same as down south so obviously clubs have to give their youth an opportunity and hopefully I can be a part of that. I love it here. It’s a lot slower paced than in London and I think I prefer that. Everybody wants to play; that includes me and hopefully I can be a regular.

    “Motherwell is a great foundation and hopefully I can play on from here and see where I end up.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Bid on ‘Tash Converters’ Shirts

    In November 2012, Motherwell FC and Cash Converters produced special ‘Tash Converters’ shirts that were worn by the players to help promote the Movember appeal.

    These shirts are now available for sale in an effort to raise much needed funds for this great cause.

    To buy your bespoke Tash Converters shirt CLICK HERE.

    Cash Converters is working hard to support the Movember appeal, raising funds for prostate and testicular cancer research. Since 1997, 25,000 supporters have contributed nearly £12 million through the appeal towards our mission to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.

    All monies raised after costs will be donated to the Movember appeal to help raise more funds.  Both Cash Converters and Motherwell FC are avid supporters of local and national charities and will continue to participate in new and innovative ideas to help raise cash for good causes.

  • Archive

    St Johnstone Magazine Preview

    Another bumper edition of the 68-page Steelmen Matchday Magazine returns against St Johnstone this weekend.

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall and Captain Keith Lasley both return with the regular columns. The gaffer talks about the challenges posed by Saints, the winter break and building on recent decent home form.

    The skipper looks forward to getting back into action, salutes recent departure Jamie Murphy and gives an insight into some recent off-field superstardom.

    The feature interview is with fan-favourite Bob McHugh. The striker, who netted a quadruple for the U20s during the week, talks about filling the void left by Jamie Murphy, fan chants and finishing high in the SPL table.

    But that’s not where the features stop!

    There is a 13-page section dedicated to our visitors, St Johnstone.

    Kris Jack goes through four players to watch from opponents, as we as a player-by-player breakdown of their squad, including three former Steelmen.

    Nigel Hasselbaink is the man in the spotlight in our opposition Q&A and Kev Heller gives us a fans-eyed view of Saints’ season so far.

    We also have a scout report from the Perth clubs’ last match as they beat Dundee 1-0 thanks to a Liam Craig goal.

    BobThe features and big names keep coming…

    In our Interview Alumni section, we caught up with former Steelman striker and Saints manager Owen Coyle. The former Burnley and Bolton boss looks back fondly at his time at Fir Park and his almost telepathic partnership with the Cobra – Tommy Coyne. He also talks candidly about his disappointment at the way his time at Motherwell came to an end.

    Press & Media Manager Alan Burrows adds his thoughts in ‘The Last Word’ near the back of the publication and examines the on-going debate of Scottish Football reconstruction.

    Antiguan International Zaine Francis-Angol tells us his ‘First and Last’ and Graham Barnstaple’s Cult Heroes this week focuses on one of Motherwell’s greatest ever players – John Gahagan.

    But wait, there’s more!

    We take a look back at the 4-1 win over Aberdeen, the 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock and the narrow 1-0 defeat at Celtic Park. There are 10 tough questions in our Quiz, the latest news section as well as an in-depth statistical look at referee Willie Collum.

    We have the latest from The Ticket Office, the Commercial Department, and update from the ‘Well Society.

    The programme is available for £3 and is will be 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 –

  • Archive

    Collum in charge for Saints clash

    Willie Collum will take charge of Sunday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League meeting with St Johnstone at Fir Park.

    Regarded as one of Scotland’s best officials, it will be Willie’s fourth Motherwell game of the current campaign.

    He took charge of both William Hill Scottish Cup clashes with Aberdeen, in the first meeting at Pittodrie, Niall McGinn headed home a late equaliser to cancel out Jamie Murphy’s opener 10 minutes from time and there was disappointment for the Steelmen in the replay as goals from Rory Fallon and Joe Shaughnessy helped the Dons progress to the next round.

    Motherwell were handed a lifeline in injury-time when Michael Higdon netted from the penalty spot, however Craig Brown’s side held firm in the final minutes.

    Collum’s other match this season was the 1-0 defeat at Tynecastle in October when Danny Grainger’s long-range effort separated the sides.

    He’ll be a familiar face to most ‘Well fans having officiated at the top level for many years now, including two Motherwell matches last term.

    He took charge of the 0-0 draw with Rangers at Ibrox in early May, Rangers’ last SPL fixture at their own ground. The other match was Motherwell’s Scottish Communities League Cup defeat at home to Hibs; the Easter Road men progressing through on penalties.

    Incredibly, Motherwell have never won a league game with Collum in charge. The only victories recorded whilst the Bellshill based whistler has been the man in the middle was the then CIS Cup win against Raith Rovers at the start of the 2007/08 season, a Scottish Cup success at Inverurie the following season and a 1-0 success over Dundee United in the League Cup – Alan Gow’s goal earning the Fir Park side a place in the last four.

    His overall record in charge of the Steelmen reads three wins, ten defeats and five draws from eighteen matches. In those games, Motherwell have scored 24 and conceded 33. 34 players have gone into the book, 15 wearing Claret and Amber, while three players have been dismissed – Ian Murray of Hibs at Easter Road a few years back, Jerard Aafjes at Falkirk four seasons ago and Paul Dixon at the end of 2009/10.

    Martin Cryans and Willie Conquer will run the lines with Greg Aitken on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Extended highlights from Fir Park as a Bob McHugh quadruple and a super Stevie Hetherington bullet gives Motherwell U20s a 5-1 win over St Johnstone.


    MFC TV