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    McCall angered at ‘limp’ ‘Well

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    Ross County 3 – 0 Motherwell

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    Matchday Live: Ross County

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    Collum in charge for Highland showdown

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    TV: McCall calls for a cutting edge

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    A Sunday Brunch with…

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    TV: McCall irked at frustrating evening

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    Dundee Utd defeat in pictures

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    Motherwell 0 – 1 Dundee Utd

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    McCall angered at ‘limp’ ‘Well

    Stuart McCall was left angered as a below-par Motherwell crashed to a poor 3-0 defeat at the hands of Ross County this afternoon.

    The Steelmen never really good going and were out-fought by the Highlanders, who controlled the majority of the match and could have added more goals to their tally.

    The Fir Park boss admitted he had a few choice words for his troops and awarded none of them pass marks in what was a miserable showing.

    [pullquote]Throughout the team, there is not one player who gets pass marks in what was a really, really poor performance.[/pullquote]

    He told MFC TV after the match: “I’m hugely disappointed with the lack of anything both in an attacking and a defending sense, and I’ve made those feelings clear to the players.

    “We’ve not put in a performance as limp as that for a long, long time and that is hurtful.

    “Ross County did all the dirty things better than us, winning all the second balls and putting their head in.

    “Throughout the team, there is not one player who gets pass marks in what was a really, really poor performance.

    “I’m annoyed at the lack of desire although thankfully performances like that are few and far between.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ON MFC TV-

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Ross County 3 – 0 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Alan Burrows at The Global Energy Stadium

    Motherwell slipped to third in the SPL after a disappointing 3-0 defeat at the Global Energy Stadium.

    Played on a bumpy, sandy pitch, Ivan Sproule opened the scoring on 34 minutes, firing a Rocco Quinn pass under Darren Randolph after Zaine Francis-Angol was caught in possession.

    Sproule turned provider twenty minutes from time, setting up Richard Brittain to curl home from just inside the box.

    The home side added the exclamation mark to the victory in the dying moments, Iain Vigurs volleying home from close range.

    Stuart McCall made three changes to the side that lost in midweek. Tom Hateley and Stevie Hammell both missed out through injury and Kallum Higginbotham had to be content with a place on the bench. They were replaced in the starting eleven by Francis-Angol, Adam Cummins and the returning Keith Lasley – making his 300th start in Claret and Amber.

    ‘Well had to start the match with just six substitutes after Fraser Kerr felt ill before the match.

    The first chance fell to the visitors inside the opening two minutes but Michael Higdon’s shot was blocked.

    County replied when Sproule volleyed over before both Vigurs and Quinn both tested Republic of Ireland International Darren Randolph.

    The hosts eventually took the lead shortly after the half-hour mark. Francis-Angol was robbed in possession and Quinn quickly slid in Sproule who kept his composure to dink it past Randolph from close range.

    Former Hibs striker Sam Morrow came close to a second for County but his shot was deflected just wide of the post for a corner.

    Incredibly, despite having nothing in the way of an attacking threat for the majority of the first-half, Motherwell could and probably should have been level just before the interval.

    Nicky Law’s free-kick was perfect for Shaun Hutchinson but the big Geordie could only head over from close range when a goal looked on the cards.

    A few minutes after the restart Chris Humphrey gave Mark Brown something meaningful to do when he latched on to a ball over the top but his low shot was fairly comfortable for the former ‘Well stopper.

    At the other end, Randolph had to look smart to block a close-range effort from Sproule after the Northern Irishman had been set-up by the excellent Paul Lawson.

    McCall introduced James McFadden after the hour and his first action was to fire a free-kick off the wall. Nicky Law followed that up with a decent curling shot that had Brown scrambling only for it to drop a yard or so wide of the post.

    It was to prove a pivotal point as County made it 2-0 shortly after. Sproule closed down Cummins and managed to block his attempted clearance. He hared off down the right before firing it across goal for Brittain who fired home from the edge of the box.

    That took the wind out of the Motherwell sails and chasing a way back into the match, County created more.

    Brittain curled a free-kick narrowly and Vigurs prompted Randolph into another decent block.

    However, Vigurs’ next effort in the 89th minute was more successful when. From around eight yards, the former Inverness man was completely unmarked and smacked home a ball from the right to complete the scoring.

    McCall will now need to pick his troops up for the midweek visit of Celtic who travel to Fir Park with at least an eighteen point gap.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Ally Reilly at The Global Energy Stadium

    FT: Ross County 3 – 0 Motherwell

    89mins: Ross County sub, Hainault on for Lawson

    88mins: GOAL- It’s 3-0 as Vigurs volleys home form close range.

    81mins: Vigurs should have buried that from only 12 yards out. Still 2-0

    80mins: Motherwell sub, Daley on for Humphrey

    78mins: Ross County subs, Sproule off for Wohlfarth and Glen on for Morrow

    75mins: Morrow heads just past from Vigurs’ cross

    72mins: Motherwell sub: McHugh on for Francis-Angol

    70mins: GOAL: Brittain makes it 2-0.

    69mins: Good effort from Law as he cut inside and curled it just past from 25 yards.

    67mins: Faddy jinks past two and wins a free-kick in a good position. Free-kick drilled straight into the wall.

    63mins: Motherwell sub: McFadden on for Carswell

    59mins: Ramsden booked for a foul on the half-way line.

    50mins: Great save by Randolph at the feet of Sproule after Lawson put it on a plate for him across the box.

    47mins: Corner to Motherwell….easily gathered by Brown.

    46mins: Humphrey races onto Law’s punt forward. Shoots straight at Brown. Good chance though,and encouraging.

    Teams back out and we’re underway for the second half. Need a big, big improvement from that first half! #COYW

    HT: Ross County 1 – 0 Motherwell

    44mins: Corner to Motherwell…

    41mins: Decent chance for ‘Well! Great free-kick delivered by Law. Hutchinson stretches and heads just over the bar from 10 yards.

    40mins: Morrow really should have put them 2 up! Misses from about 10 yards out.

    38mins: Humphrey gets in behind Oikonomou but his cross is just behind Higdon and County sweep it clear.

    33mins: GOAL – Sproule opens the scoring for Ross County. Quinn slid him in and he found himself with all the time in the world to fire past helpless Randolph

    30mins: Half an hour in and it’s still quite poor. ‘Well yet to have any meaningful possession.

    29mins: Rocco Quinn up next to try his luck from range. His shot is on target from 20 yards but doesn’t really trouble Randolph

    26mins: Brittain works a bit of space just inside the side the box but sees his shot deflected wide for a corner.

    23mins: Another good chance for County.This time Britain drives in a crossed free-kick which Randolph has to deal with at his front post.

    21mins: Morrow nods down Kovacevic’s cross to Sproule. Thankfully he blazes well over from 18 yards.

    20mins: Ross County starting to get the upper hand. They’re pressing further up the field but have yet to test Randolph.

    17mins: bit of slackness from Hutchinson allows in Vigurs. He tries to clip the ball in to Sproule but ‘Well clear.

    12mins: Half chance there for County. Vigurs hung a cross up at the back post but Randolph gathered with ease.

    10mins: 10 minutes in and there is very little happening. Most of action played on the sandy side of pitch and very scrappy so far.

    1mins: Early corner to Motherwell… Falls to Higdon at the back post.His left footed volley is diverted away from danger by County.

    And we’re underway! #COYW

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “Just not good enough and we need to be better.

    “Everywhere throughout the park, they were better than us, stronger than us, wanted it more and from a manager you don’t want to say those things.

    “I don’t think anybody in our side got pass marks whatsoever. I don’t take anything away from Ross County because they were, in spells, very good.

    “We’ve got to make sure it is a one-off because we can’t have performances like that.

    “I can always accept people just not having the best of games but I just thought there was a lack of urgency and a lack of real desire and stomach.”

    Ross County manager Derek Adams:

    “We’re moving on up the league, we’re eight unbeaten and we just want to keep it going,

    “It was a very good win for us, against a team that are pushing for second position.

    “We’ve cut the gap between Motherwell and ourselves to two points and moved up positions in the league.

    “This is why I keep saying that the restructuring of Scottish football should not be happening.

    “I’m deeply against it and this is one of the reasons why.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”139]

  • Archive

    Matchday Live: Ross County

    Motherwell make the long journey north to take on Derek Adams’ Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium.

    TEAMS:

    Ross County manager Derek Adams has a full squad for Saturday’s meeting with Motherwell.

    Midfielder Iain Vigurs returns from suspension, while Ivan Sproule returned from a hamstring injury last week.

    Motherwell have a couple of injury doubts including Stevie Hammell.

    However, Keith Lasley and Fraser Kerr are both available following suspension and James McFadden is set to start on the bench after making his return to the club on Tuesday.

    TICKETS:

    Tickets are available from the Global Energy Stadium. Admission is priced at:

    ADULTS: £20
    CONCESSIONS: £12
    JUVENILE: £10

    • Concessions are listed as Over 65s, Under 18s and Full Time Students with a valid matriculation card.

    TRAVEL:

    There is significant roadworks on the Kessock Bridge in Inverness and fans should factor this in to their journey time north.

    WEATHER:

    It will be a sunny day in Dingwall. Expect a crisp afternoon, temperatures sitting at around 4 degrees at kick-off.

    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.

    All the pre, during and post match chat will be on our Facebook page. You can also follow match updates on Twitter and join in the debate on our Foursquare and listen out for Stuart McCall’s pre-match thoughts on Audioboo.

    After the match, the official website and MFC TV will bring you reports, pictures, reaction and highlights.

    MFC TV

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    Collum in charge for Highland showdown

    Willie Collum will take charge of Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League meeting with Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium.

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

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

    He also 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.

    Most recently, he was the man in the middle for the narrow 3-2 win over St Johnstone in January; Michael Higdon’s hat-trick sealing a terrific three points.

    Collum 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 win over Saints last month with the first league success with Willie 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 four wins, ten defeats and five draws from nineteen matches.

    In those games, Motherwell have scored 27 and conceded 35. 35 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.

    Willie Conquer and Stuart Stevenson will run the lines with Andrew Dallas on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    TV: McCall calls for a cutting edge

    Stuart McCall is hoping for more attacking potency from his side when they take on Ross County this Saturday.

    The Motherwell boss bemoaned a lack of a cutting edge against Dundee United during the week when, despite some neat play up until the opponent’s box, ‘Well failed to trouble Terrors’ stopper Radosław Cierzniak during the ninety minutes.

    The same was also true of the last visit to the Global Energy Stadium, when Motherwell managed little in the way of clear-cut chances on the Scottish Premier League’s opening day.

    However, it has not been a regular occurrence this season and with the SPL’s joint top scorer and assist holder along with the addition of the talismanic James McFadden, McCall is hoping for something altogether more clinical this weekend.

    [pullquote]I’ll be looking for a much better attacking performance both from the Dundee Utd game midweek and the last time we were in Dingwall.[/pullquote]

    “Both the games against Ross County have been close,” he recalled.

    “The 0-0 draw back in August was a really disappointing game, possibly the most disappointed I’ve been at an away game.

    “Defensively we were fine but going forward we did not create anything. When they came to Fir Park, they’d had a little run of scoring a lot of goals and thankfully although they managed to score two, we managed to score one more.

    “No one can take anything away from Ross County; they’ve had some good results recently beating Hearts, Hibs and St Johnstone, so they are certainly a threat. They usually sit with a 4-1-4-1 and are a well-drilled outfit and are hard to break down.

    “I’ll be looking for a much better attacking performance both from the Dundee Utd game midweek and the last time we were in Dingwall.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ON MFC TV-

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    A Sunday Brunch with…

    A series of Club events will take place at Fir Park in the New Year as part of the Steelmen Forever drive.

    The Centenary Suite at Fir Park is set to become the venue for ‘Well fans looking for a fry up, good company and a cool beer.

    The first will be a “SUNDAY BRUNCH WITH JOHN GAHAGAN” on Sunday 24th February at 12.30pm.

    If you’ve seen fans favourite John in action before, you’ll understand why this is an ALL ADULT event.  He leaves little to the imagination; it’s certainly not for the feint hearted!

    Further ‘Sunday Brunch’ events will see Q & A sessions with the Motherwell-minded greats as well as guest appearances to be announced on the club’s official website.

    Tickets cost just £20 and are available from the Ticket office.  To book, call us on 01698 338062 or email diane.harvey@motherwellfc.co.uk.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Extended highlights from Fir Park as Johnny Russell’s seventeenth minute goal hands Dundee United all three points.

    -WATCH EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIR PARK ON MFC TV-

    MFC TV

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    TV: McCall irked at frustrating evening

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall was left to rue toothless attacking as Motherwell crashed to another 1-0 home defeat by Dundee Utd.

    The Steelmen had plenty of the ball and played some neat football, but a lack of a cutting edge in the eighteen yard box would prove costly.

    United scored a classic breakaway on the seventeenth minute, Johnny Russell finishing a sweeping move up the pitch, and that would prove to be the winning goal.

    In truth, but for a couple of excellent Darren Randolph blocks, the away win might have been more convincing.

    [pullquote]Our attacking play wasn’t as fluid as it was on Saturday but we also must give Dundee United credit for the way they defended.[/pullquote]

    “I was disappointed by the manner in which we have conceded and, ultimately, lose the match,” McCall told MFC TV after the match.

    “We warned the players of their ability to hit on the break with and with talent such as Russell and Mackay-Steven, they are able to do that.

    “Our attacking play wasn’t as fluid as it was on Saturday but we also must give Dundee United credit for the way they defended.

    “When we lost the goal, they sat Ryan in front of the back four and played counter-attacking football and, fair play, they could have scored more goals when we were chasing the game.

    “But we won’t get too downbeat. We are still in a healthy position and look forward to Dingwall on Saturday.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ON MFC TV-

    MFC TV

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    Dundee Utd defeat in pictures

    Pictures from the 1-0 defeat by Dundee Utd in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.

    [svgallery name=”dundeeutd190213″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell 0 – 1 Dundee Utd

    [tab:Match report]

    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.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    Coming Soon…

    Dundee Utd manager Jackie McNamara:

    Coming Soon…

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”137″]