Pictures from the 1-0 defeat by Dundee Utd in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
Pictures from the 1-0 defeat by Dundee Utd in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
Phil McGhee at Fir Park
For the second time this season, a solitary strike from Johnny Russell was enough to give Dundee United a narrow 1-0 victory at Fir Park.
And even the introduction of James McFadden for the final 18 minutes couldn’t save ‘Well from slipping to their first home defeat since November, ironically when United were the visitors.
In truth this would have been a more convincing win for Jackie McNamara’s men had Darren Randolph not produced a handful of stunning second half saves to give ‘Well some faint hopes of sneaking a draw.
From the kick-off Motherwell put pressure on a United defence which conceded six goals at Celtic Park on Saturday. The shell-shocked Tannadice backline was bolstered by Jon Daly at centre back leaving Johnny Russell as the visitor’s lone forward.
Despite camping in United’s half for the first five minutes, though, only a Chris Humphrey drive into the advertising hoardings came close to testing Radoslaw Cierzniak.
At the other end, Russell’s pace and Gary Mackay-Steven’s trickery always looked threatening.
And after seventeen minutes the pair combined for the opening goal.
From a ‘Well corner Mackay-Steven raced upfield and his pass in behind Shaun Hutchison allowed Russell to draw Darren Randolph from his line before calmly slotting the ball inside the keeper’s right hand post.
The expected storming fightback from the Fir Park side did not materialise. Instead both teams were intent in playing some good possession football, largely in the middle of the park, without threatening either goalkeeper in the first half.
A rising shot from Henrik Ojamaa after the break and a free kick which Stevie Hammell curled just over the cross bar at least gave an early indication that the second half would be better.
After 64 minutes Randolph kept ‘Well in the game with an outstretched leg to block Mackay- Steven’s low drive.
The Motherwell keeper, who rightly earned the man of the match award, then produced three magnificent saves inside two minutes to deny Mackay-Stevens, John Rankin and at point blank range Russell.
Having survived that, Stuart McCall immediately rang the changes bringing on Bob McHugh and to a thunderous reception, James McFadden, for the final 18 minutes.
Almost immediately ‘Well were denied a penalty when Michael Higdon’s thumping volley cannoned off Daly’s arms.
In 78th minute ‘Well came within inches of the equaliser when Cierzniak raced from his line to palm a Tom Hateley cross only as far as Nicky Law but his floated shot over the stranded keeper skimmed off the cross bar.
Mackay –Steven had the chance to make certain of the points six minutes from time but his drive past Randolph was booted off the line by Hutchinson.
After the emphatic victory over Inverness CT on Saturday and the frenzy surrounding the re-signing of Faddy, it was a disappointing evening for the Steelmen.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Fir Park
FT Motherwell 0 – 1 Dundee Utd.
90mins: 3 minutes added on as Higdon heads tamely to Cierzniak.
89mins: Faddy free-kick appears to have knocked Rankin out.
86mins: Dundee Utd Sub, Flood off for Millar
83mins: Oofft, Daly’s header cleared off the line by Hutchy! And again! This time from Mackay-Steven.
78mins: Off the bar from Law as Cierzniak comes flapping. Feels like one of those nights.
74mins: Another handball shout! Again, a difficult one to call on first viewing.
72mins: Motherwell subs, McFadden and McHugh on for Higginbotham and Ojamaa
72mins: Quite incredible trio of saves from Randolph keeps us in the game.
67mins: More pressure from Motherwell results in Higginbotham firing tamely at Cierzniak from just inside the box.
64mins: Randolph does fantastically to block from Mackay-Steven on a tight angle with his feet.Utd counter attack there looking dangerous.
59mins: Bit of an onslaught now from the Steelmen! Balls flying about left right and centre in the box but no killer touch.
54mins: Motherwell sub: Hammell off for Francis-Angol
52mins: Free-kick in a dangerous position! Hateley ruled to have been fouled just outside the box. Utd defence not happy. Hammell tried the curler but there is too much on it and it’s well over.
49mins: Ojamaa sprints up the other end and he too blazes well over, this time from 25 yards.
47mins: Bit of a let-off there. McLean swings a boot at it inside the Motherwell box but scoops it well over. Needed composure.
47mins: Hutchinson flattens Mackay-Steven and is rightly booked.
46mins: Second half underway.
HT: Motherwell 0 – 1 Dundee Utd
44mins: more frustration as again we got in the box but get crowded out of a shot then Utd get corner for what looked like a wrong decision
36mins: Ryan tries a shot from 22 yards but it slices off the outside of his boot and sails well wide.
32mins: Again, Ojamaa picks the ball up in the box but can’t create the angle for a shot. Frustrating
26mins: Russell is unlucky as he pounces on Hammell’s indecision. Curls it just over from 20 yards.
23mins: It’s been a good reaction to the Utd goal. Lots of positive play, just lacking that killer pass.
22mins: Boos ringing out at FP! Home fans think they were denied a penalty after McLean appeared to handle. Hard to call though!
17mins: GOAL! – Russell slides the ball under Randolph after springing the offside trap. 0-1
12mins: Game starting to open up. United probing a little more and putting ‘Well on the back foot.
6mins: Higginbotham looking lively tonight. Cuts in and tries and ambitious effort from range. Doesn’t trouble Cierzniak though.
4mins: Again creating a bit of an opening there. Higginbotham slid in Ojamaa who cut it back to the danger zone. No takers
2mins: Sliced clearance by McLean gifts us our first corner of the game.Headed clear to Humphrey who shoots wide.
1min: Slack defending from Utd gifts Ojamaa a good chance! Can’t get a shot off though unfortunately.
1min: Teams are out…kick-off just moments away! Teams have switched ends. Carswell and Law kick the game off.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
Dundee Utd manager Jackie McNamara:
Last week, Motherwell Football Club Community Trust hosted the February Holiday Programme for children from 5-14 years.
Parents had the option to for their kids to attend for a half-day from 8:30am-12:30pm or a full day 8:30am-4pm where they experienced expert coaching from our SFA accredited coaches.
The Holiday Programme welcomed children of all abilities and attendees had the opportunity to learn the techniques of the game: dribbling, passing, turning, finishing and defending.
As you can see from the above image, the youngsters who went along had a ball and even had a visit from Motherwell Football Club captain Keith Lasley!
For more information on the courses offered from the Community Trust, to find out more about soccer centres in your area or to book a future school holiday programme, call the Trust on 01698 239 926 or visit www.mfccommunitytrust.org.uk.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall is excited at the prospect of working with James McFadden and has challenged the Scotland International to win his place in the side.
The Steelmen have performed terrifically under the stewardship of the former Scotland midfielder, and currently sit second in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
McFadden’s arrival has prompted mass excitement amongst the Motherwell support. It was originally thought that discussions would take place on Wednesday, after tonight’s match with Dundee Utd, but an eager Faddy wanted things sorted quicker.
And, following his arrival, the Fir Park boss has pleaded for patience to allow McFadden to get up to speed.
“I said yesterday that I wouldn’t speak to James until after the Dundee United match and that was absolutely the plan,” he said.
[pullquote]Obviously he is itching to get going. There is no doubting his talents as a player; he has had a fantastic career. He doesn’t need to impress us we know his ability. He is fit in so far as training but proper sharpness will only come with matches but his first job is winning a spot in the starting eleven.[/pullquote]
“However, James actually came and spoke to me about 3 o’clock and we sat down and discussed football. Obviously, things have snowballed in recent days and there has been a lot of speculation. We never talked finances; that would take place between the club, James and his representatives.
“He just wants to play football, which is obviously great, but we have been going well and the lads currently in the squad have performed brilliantly to get us to second in the table as it stand. He understands that, and knows he will have to win his place in the side.
“Obviously he is itching to get going. There is no doubting his talents as a player; he has had a fantastic career. He doesn’t need to impress us we know his ability. He is fit in so far as training but proper sharpness will only come with matches but his first job is winning a spot in the starting eleven.
“We have guys who are currently sitting on the bench who feel like they should be starting, and James will too. We always try and operate on merit and the ideal situation for everyone is he will come in, impress, do well, kick on and the deal will suit both parties.
“He has been made aware and accepts the circumstances in which he joins up with the squad. I am sure fans will be desperate to see him on the pitch. I’ll probably start getting shouts after twenty minutes in tonight’s match, but obviously I will deal with that and have no worries with that.
“But it’s an exciting time. We’re getting a player who is really hungry and determined to do well for both Motherwell and himself.”
Motherwell tonight completed the sensational signing of Scotland International James McFadden until the end of the season.
29-year old McFadden started his career at Fir Park, scoring 31 goals in 58 starts, before securing a £1.25 million move to English Premiership side Everton back in September 2003.
He has spent the last decade south of the border with spells at Birmingham City, Everton (again) and, most recently, Sunderland. He has also been capped 48 times by Scotland, scoring 15 goals.
A hero amongst the Motherwell support, ‘Faddy’ spent significant time training with the club over the summer and again in the last few weeks.
The board have worked hard to thrash out a deal to bring the Glasgow-born forward back home and after signing tonight, he now goes straight into the squad to face Dundee United tomorrow night.
[pullquote]The team are flying high near the top of the table, but I hope I can add something to that over the next few months.[/pullquote]
Speaking exclusively to MFC TV, McFadden said: “I am really pleased to be back here at Motherwell.
“I need to get back playing competitive first-team football and this is the best place for me.
“The team are flying high near the top of the table, but I hope I can add something to that over the next few months.”
Chris Humphrey is hoping for more home comforts when Dundee United visit Fir Park tomorrow.
Motherwell have not lost a league match on their own patch for over three months.
Coincidentally, it was United who were the last team to take three points back on November 7th when Johnny Russell scored the winner late in the match.
The twice-capped Jamaican International winger hopes that recent form continues against Jackie McNamara’s men.
[pullquote]“Our performances and confidence as a team is starting to show at home.[/pullquote]
He told the gathered press at Motherwell’s pre-match news conference: “Our performances and confidence as a team is starting to show at home.
“When you’ve got a player like Higgy (Michael Higdon) scoring goals for fun at the minute and everything is going well for him, it couldn’t be better for us; hopefully he can carry that on.
“It’s such a tight league. You can win two games and be second or you can lose two games and be ninth.
“Everyone is a threat to us and Dundee United are no different, that’s why it’s important for us to get the points tomorrow to try and build up a cushion from the other teams.
“We had a great win at the weekend so we’re glad we have this one so soon to try and carry that form into.
Steelmen boss Stuart McCall expects a close match when Dundee United visit Fir Park tomorrow night.
The Terrors won on the previous visit to North Lanarkshire when Johnny Russell scored the only goal of the game eight minutes from time.
In reply, Stuart McCall took his troops to Tannadice in November and came away with all three points; goals from Michael Higdon and Chris Humphrey securing the win.
Jackie McNamara is now in the Arabs hotseat, and although they go into the match after a heavy defeat at Celtic Park, McCall is certain there will be little, if anything, between the sides.
[pullquote]I see them as being very similar to us. They have a similar size of squad and a similar mix of experienced and young players as well as match-winners in the front area, so I imagine it will be an open and entertaining game.[/pullquote]
He said: “It’s a huge game. I’ve probably said the same in the last two press conferences before Dundee Utd, but they have good players.
“From middle to front they have Mackay-Stevens, Russell, Daly and Armstrong, and although the got beat at the weekend against Celtic, to score twice shows they are a danger and they could have scored more so they still carry an attacking threat.
“I see them as being very similar to us. They have a similar size of squad and a similar mix of experienced and young players as well as match-winners in the front area, so I imagine it will be an open and entertaining game.
“The good thing for us from Saturday is we were against Shinnie, McKay and Doran and kept a clean sheet so the key against United for is that, although I believe we’ll create chances and take them, we need to be a tight and strong defensive unit as well.”
We are looking for an experience and highly capable Food and Beverage Manager to manage our operation as a leading Scottish Premier League team.
This is a hands-on role where you will be required to oversee and develop matchdays but also a significant weekly private function and events diary.
The ideal candidate will have gained at least three years food and beverage / senior operational management experience either from post held working for a prestige contract and event caterer, or within a high quality hotel or country club operation, branded high street restaurant or large scale outlet.
You will work closely with our existing catering manager and their team but you will have direct responsibility for all food and beverage functions at the club, which directly includes overseeing the smooth operation of all bars.
We will expect you to be able to ensure a comprehensive and professional Food and Beverage operation focusing on leadership and direction as well as ensuring the highest standards of safety and hygiene.
We operate a full Food and Beverage service on matchdays and also cater for community and business functions, player meals and supporter events. We have various hospitality, function suites and corporate boxes, which cater variously for 160 guests but are also flexible enough to accommodate smaller numbers. A fully sold match day may have 300 hospitality guests across seven or eight locations within the stadium.
You will be instrumental in further developing our matchday experience but importantly our non-matchday activities too. It is our aim to be become the ‘must have’ location for any family or business event locally in Lanarkshire therefore this role ideally suited to a manager who enjoys planning events, interacting with customers and FOH. An interest in sports would be an advantage however not essential.
You should be able to effectively monitor and manage the Food and Beverage team to achieve budget, deliver a quality product and importantly be able to pre-plan, co-ordinate and host a variety of social events for the club, our supporters and the community at large.
You will also recruit, manage and train our team as well as maintaining excellent levels of customer service and you will be an important member of our team working very closely with our commercial department.
Ideally educated to a degree level in a relevant course, this post is suited to a highly motivated individual who works well as part of a larger team and will offer the opportunity for a more rounded career in management within the sports and leisure sector.
Salary for this post is between £20,000 and £25,000 dependent on experience.
To apply please send a covering letter / personal statement along with a current CV to email@example.com. Closing date for applications Monday 25th February with all interviews directly afterwards.
Only applicants with suitable experience will be contacted.
Extended highlights from Fir Park as a Michael Higdon double and a Nicky Law goal give ‘Well all three points against Inverness.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall was thrilled with his side after their comfortable 3-0 win over Inverness at Fir Park.
The Steelmen were a goal to the good at the interval when Michael Higdon poked home his seventeenth of the campaign.
Nicky Law doubled the lead seven minutes after the restart before Higdon volleyed home his second, Motherwell’s third, just four minutes later.
It was Motherwell’s third win over the Highlanders this campaign, with the Claret and Amber men scoring twelve in the process.
[pullquote]In the first half it was tight, and they played some nice football. Our forward players caused them a lot of problems[/pullquote]
A pleased McCall told MFC TV after the match: “It was a good game and Inverness played their part.
“In the first half it was tight, and they played some nice football. Our forward players caused them a lot of problems.
“We wanted to get Henrik down the wings, and he did. Higginbotham had a good debut, and the difference was the clinical finishing.
“Higgy’s second goal was a great strike, and in the end we could have had more. I was really pleased, not only with the three goals, but with performances all over the park.
“Inverness have caused team problems all season so for us to keep a clean sheet and score three goals is very pleasing.”