Extended highlights from Fir Park as Motherwell U20s suffer another defeat at the hands of St Mirren’s youngsters.
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkThursday 28 March 2013
Johansson takes positives from defeatThursday 28 March 2013
Jonatan Johansson chose to focus on the positives despite his side slipping to another home defeat at the hands of St Mirren.
The young Motherwell side played well in the first forty-five minutes and created a number of half-decent chances.
However, none were converted and Saints went on to dominate most of the second period, scoring their goal through former Motherwell youth Jack Smith.
Despite the defeat, Johansson saw enough to be encouraged, particularly with so many young players in the starting eleven.
[pullquote]Football is all about taking chances and in the first half we didn’t do that. Overall, though, it was a big improvement on the Dundee Utd game.[/pullquote]
“I’m pleased with a lot of our play,” he told MFC TV after the match.
“We came in with a small and young squad so we were forced to go with a back three.
“The first half was excellent. We played with enough power to keep pressing them and kept battling to win the ball.
“In the second half we got stretched and they changed things by putting a man in the hole and created chances through him. They had numerous chances to score so I can’t complain they took one and got all three points.
“Football is all about taking chances and in the first half we didn’t do that. Overall, though, it was a big improvement on the Dundee Utd game.”
Motherwell U20s 0 – 1 St Mirren U20sThursday 28 March 2013
Kris Jack at Fir Park
A solitary strike from St Mirren’s Jack Smith was enough to earn the young Buddies a win over a hard-working Motherwell side.
A first half-full of chances for both sides gave the small crowd plenty of entertainment, but the match’s only real clinical moment condemned Jonathan Johansson’s side to a narrow defeat.
With his side missing top scorers Bob McHugh and Craig Moore, the Finn fielded a younger than usual side, giving starts to Under 17s Steven Higgins, Dom Thomas and David Ferguson. With only three subs named on the ‘Well bench, all schoolboys, it was a makeshift side to say the least, but to their credit, the battles of the first half were mainly won by those in claret and amber.
Despite St Mirren controlling the early proceedings, it was ‘Well who were first to threaten, when Lee Erwin’s free kick from 25 yards was well covered by Saints keeper Grant Adam. Not to be out done, the Buddies forced Steelmen stopper Ross Stewart in to early action, after a neat exchange on the right hand side teed up Robertson, but his shot was too direct.
A home corner then dropped at the feet of McCafferty, but the winger could only blaze the ball high in to the South Stand. Stewart then made a fantastic double save to keep the game level, firstly blocking out a half volley from Jon Scullion from eight yards, before reacting to Mo Yaqub’s follow up at the other side of his goal.
At the other end, Dom Thomas created two excellent chances for the hosts after getting to the by-line, but neither could be converted. The first one was somehow turned over the bar by Lee Erwin from all of three yards under pressure form Sean Kelly, before a replica move saw the ball bounce behind Adam, before being cleared off the line to safety.
In between those efforts, Euan Murray had thought he had put the Well ahead when he nodded Erwin’s front post flick-on goalwards. Adam was on hand to claw the ball away, despite shouts from the hosts that it had crossed the line. The goal wasn’t given and play raged on.
Despite the efforts of the Steelmen, St Mirren always looked lively, and when Stewart spilt Robertson’s shot, Scullion should have put the Buddies ahead. Instead, he managed to shank the ball over from eight yards with a gaping goal in front of him, to the amazement of his teammates.
Erwin then was thwarted by Adam again, when the tall striker turned his men in the box, only to have the Scotland U21 keeper react quickly to save at his feet, leaving the forward injured for a few moments. McCafferty then showed great technique to shuffle away from two men, but his shot once again ended up over the bar.
‘Well were almost made to pay for passing up their opportunities, when a great ball in from the right by Williams was begging to be poked home, but frontman Scullion didn’t gamble and the chance was gone.
However, within four minutes of the restart the hosts were left to rue their missed chances as St Mirren took the lead.
A ball forward from Brown had the ‘Well defence caught on their heels, with Jack Smith reacting quickest to get the ball under control, sliding the ball through the legs of Stewart to give the visitors the lead.
It would be the only moment of real quality in the game, as the Paisley side dominated the second half without adding to their tally.
Johansson’s side had goalkeeper Stewart to thank for that, after he pulled off some fantastic stops to keep the score down. Firstly he blocked well at the feet of Smith after the goal scorer had broken the offside trap once more. He then had to react sharpest after Morgyn Neill had done well to block out a Scullion volley, the ball falling to Brown who looked on as Stewart palmed the ball wide.
The young Motherwell keeper made it a hat trick of second half stops with the best of the bunch, when Smith’s lay off for Scullion saw the diminutive front man bend a shot from 18 yards towards the top corner, only to see it batted away by the finger tips of Stewart.
Erwin and Shirkie failed to bother Adam in the second half, with Jack Leitch’s set piece deliveries as close as ‘Well would come to putting the St Mirren defence under any real threat.
In the dying moments, Scullion passed up two further chances to secure the pints. The first came when Williams flashed a ball in to the six-yard box, which the striker couldn’t stretch to connect with. He came closer with the second, as his outstretched toe diverted the ball on to the bar from a similarly dangerous delivery.
Another free kick from Erwin was well marshalled by the Saints keeper as the clock ticked down ahead of the final whistle.
There were plenty of positives to take in the first half for Johansson’s and the on looking Stuart McCall, but their fourth game in ten days ultimately ended in defeat. Games are coming thick and fast with Aberdeen at Fir Park on Tuesday afternoon as the U20s season nears its conclusion.
Motherwell: Stewart, Ferguson, Neill, Murray, Asghar, Leitch, McCafferty, Erwin, Shirkie, Thomas (Cadden – 78mins), Higgins (Mackie – 78mins)
Subs Not Used: Currie
TV: McCall pens two-year extentionThursday 28 March 2013
Motherwell Football Club is today delighted to confirm that manager Stuart McCall has signed a new two-year contract.
The former Scotland midfielder has overseen a period of almost unparalleled success since arriving in December 2010, reaching the top-six in the last three seasons, two semi-finals, a Scottish Cup Final as well as Champions League and Europa League qualification following last season’s third place finish.
The Steelmen currently sit second in the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League, with seven games to go until the end of the campaign.
With his contract due to expire at the end of the current season, the Board have been extremely keen to extend the stay further.
And, late this afternoon, the 48-year old pen to paper on deals that will keep them at Fir Park until the summer of 2015.
[pullquote]There has never been any doubt on my mind but I am pleased it is finally signed. We can now focus all the attention on the last seven matches of this SPL season.[/pullquote]
Speaking exclusively to clubs online TV channel, MFC TV, Manager Stuart McCall said: “I am really delighted to have it sorted. As I have said on numerous occasions, there was never any issues, it was just a case of getting round to it.
“I’ve been doing my job exactly the same in terms of the squad and you have already seen that with some of the younger players who have signed up.
“There has never been any doubt on my mind but I am pleased it is finally signed. We can now focus all the attention on the last seven matches of this SPL season.”
Chief Executive Leeann Dempster commented, ““We are really delighted to have Stuart at the club for a further two years. We have enjoyed real success under his stewardship with a strong backroom staff and playing squad and we hope that we can build on that for the season ahead.”
TV: McHugh extends his stayTuesday 26 March 2013
Bob McHugh has become the latest Motherwell player to commit his future to the club by signing until the summer of 2015.
Fans-favourite McHugh has appeared in twenty-five ‘Well matches this campaign, netting some vital goals including the winner at Easter Road back in December.
He is also the Under 20s top scorer with thirteen goals in twelve starts for Jonatan Johansson’s side.
The Glasgow-born hitman was handed his Motherwell debut by Mark McGhee aged just sixteen years old.
He was a second half substitute at Easter Road back in May 2008 as the Steelmen finished one of the best seasons in recent history with a 1-0 win.
He now has 71 appearances to his name, and is set to play a big role for the Fir Parkers in the years to come.
The 21-year old joins fellow talented youths Adam Cummins, Zaine Francis-Angol, Stuart Carswell and Craig Moore in committing their future to the club.
[pullquote]I’ve worked hard at it, even though I’ve not started as many games as may have liked, and I hope the manager has recognized that.[/pullquote]
He told MFC TV: “I am delighted, it’s always great to get that wee bit of security.
“I’ve worked hard at it, even though I’ve not started as many games as may have liked, and I hope the manager has recognized that.
“It’s not always easy to come off the bench and have an impact but I’ve made a contribution; I look back at the Hibs game as certainly the high point of the season.
“The is to try and win a regular place in the starting eleven this season and beyond.”
Weatherseal launch Charity RaffleTuesday 26 March 2013
Weatherseal today launched the SPL’s biggest ever, free-to-enter charity raffle in aid of JAM with club themed prizes for supporters of all clubs in the league.
Joint Aid Management South Africa (JAM) is Weatherseal’s official charity partner, and staff have already raised over £130,000 over the last two years.
Football supporters in Scotland can enter the raffle for FREE via www.facebook.com/weatherseal.
Weatherseal will make a £1 donation for each entry directly to JAM.
JAM is a South African founded registered non-profit, Christian humanitarian relief and development organisation with 28 years of experience in relief and sustainable development.
They work with over 26,000 children in childcare centres, providing food, care and education.
Programmes focus on nutritional feeding, school feeding, assistance to orphans and vulnerable children, the provision of water and sanitation, as well as skills development, community training on agricultural development, income generation projects and HIV/AIDS programming.
The raffle closes on Tuesday 2nd April at 11.59pm at which time all winning tickets will be drawn.
Prizes will include signed shirts, first team goalkeeper gloves, directors box tickets and general match tickets across the SPL teams.
Tony Reilly, Weatherseal managing director, commented: “Weatherseal is proud to support JAM. Our staff are hugely committed to the project and we’re really pleased to use a number of our SPL rights to give back to supporters and benefit our own charity at the same time.
“As we saw earlier in the season with our Weatherseal SPL Charity Weekend supporters in Scotland have big hearts, and we hope to be able to make a big donation this time, too!”
Introduce a friend vs St Mirren: Last DayTuesday 26 March 2013
-THIS OFFER HAS NOW EXPIRED-
Today is the last day for Season Ticket holders to introduce a friend to the Fir Park experience when St Mirren visit on Saturday.
In what has been another fantastic season for Stuart McCall’s side, we are keen to try and show people who don’t come along, just what they are missing.
In particular, we are concentrating on ‘Well fans who, for one reason or another, don’t come to enjoy the live experience anymore or potential fans who have never been.
Season Ticket holders can help us by claiming a free ticket to the match against the League Cup holders on April 6th.
Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said: “We are always striving to get as many supporters to get along to games as possible. This is to ignite the atmosphere for Stuart and the team, but also to get people back into the habit of enjoying live matches.
“We sincerely appreciate the support that we get from our Season Ticket holders and not forgetting also the ‘Pay at the Gate’ support, and this a chance to say thank you once again for turning out for the club.
“We would ask you to give the voucher to someone who perhaps has either not been back for a while or to someone who has never been to a game here at Fir Park and help the club to our goal in time to come of getting an average home crowd up to 10,000.”
To claim or order your free ticket, please contact the ticket office before close of business on Thursday 4th April 2013. You will be asked to produce Special Voucher ‘C’ from the back of the book.
Please note that if you are booking over the phone, or via email, the special voucher does not need to be handed over until actually claiming the additional ticket on the day of the match but you are encouraged to collect the additional ticket at your earliest possible convenience to avoid queuing.
No turnstile access will be given on the day with the special voucher, as this must be exchanged for a ticket as per the above.
You can secure your additional seat by visiting the Chapman Building in person or by:
T: 01698 333 333 (Option 2)
Terms and Conditions:
- Only one free ticket per season ticket holder.
- The club will require minimum contact details for the guest in order to gather feedback on the matchday experience and encourage future attendance.
- We are unable to guarantee a seat next to the season ticket holder, but we will endeavour to get a seat as close together as possible.
- If seats together are not available and Season Ticket holders would like to move seats for this one match in order to sit beside their guest, the club will facilitate this. When claiming the free ticket, please also bring along Match Voucher 17 if this is the case.
- The offer applies to all home stands (East Stand, Davie Cooper Stand and Phil O’Donnell Stand) within the stadium.
TV: Highlights from TannadiceMonday 25 March 2013
Extended highlights from Tannadice as Motherwell Under 20s lose 3-0 to an impressive Dundee United side.
TV: Johansson reflects on Arabs defeatMonday 25 March 2013
Jonatan Johansson conceded his side were well beaten by an impressive and well-oiled Dundee Utd side.
The Steelmen played second fiddle to the Terrors, who are chasing leaders Celtic in the SPL U20s table.
It was a poor night at the office for the youths who never really got going but for a ten minute spell either side of the half-time interval.
[pullquote]We were well beaten by the better side; they are second in the league and you can tell by how they played[/pullquote]
Speaking to MFC TV, Johansson said: “We were well beaten by the better side; they are second in the league and you can tell by how they played.
“We conceded poor goals again with two penalties given away and that is very disappointing.
“We use this as a reserve league but even so, this is where you have to show you are ready to take the step-up, keep 90 minutes of concentration and keep your levels up but we don’t seem to be able to do that.
“Our best spells came ten minutes either side of half time and we really had to score, instead we give away a sloppy goal and that killed the game.”
Dundee Utd U20s 3 – 0 Motherwell U20sMonday 25 March 2013
Motherwell Under 20s crashed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of an impressive Dundee Utd at Tannadice this evening.
United charged into a 2-0 lead in the opening stages, Thomson and Gauld putting Stevie Campbell’s men on the way to victory.
Right back Gilmour added a third from the penalty spot just after the hour mark, as United deservedly collected all three points.
Johansson made two changes from the side that edged out Hamilton last Wednesday. Steven Saunders returned in place of Adam Cummins whilst Adam Asghar got the nod ahead of Jack Leitch in the middle of the park.
The game exploded to life after just eight minutes when the home side took the lead.
Ross Stewart blocked Scott Fraser’s low shot from the edge of the area; the home side reacted quickest and Gauld got on the loose ball, squared it for the unmarked Thomson who had the simplest of tasks, slotting it home from close range.
Motherwell could have drawn level eight minutes later. Humphrey’s buccaneering run down the right left three in his wake. His pull back towards the ‘D’ was excellent but instead of hitting it first time, Carswell was forced into taking a touch and the chance was gone.
United’s response to that chance was instant and only a fantastic one-handed save prevented Thomson grabbing his, and United’s, second. The big striker managed to work space after Saunders had slipped but his fearsome strike was expertly blocked.
However, United wouldn’t be denied a second goal some three minutes later when they doubled their advantage from the penalty spot. After breaking up an attack, the home side quickly broke through Ryan Ferguson. He eventually slid in Gauld who was brought down by the Saunders as he was lining up a shot.
The striker dusted himself down and blasted it past Stewart who went the wrong way.
The home side cranked it up a gear and should have extended their lead further. Gauld again teed up Thomson but he blasted over, Fraser had a curling effort well saved, Ryan Dow fired wide before sending a stinging free-kick straight at Stewart.
Motherwell only really got going in the closing stages of the first forty-five. Bob McHugh posted the first chance on target with a low free kick comfortably saved by Phil Anderson.
Minutes later, the goalkeeper had a much more difficult save to make when he turned round a Francis-Angol shot from the edge, after the Antiguan had gone on a marauding run.
McHugh had the Steelmen on the front foot at the start of the second half and posted intentions early on with a spinning half volley that flew over the bar.
It was but a fleeting moment of pressure as United got themselves back on top. Ferguson fired over before bringing out a good save from Stewart, cutting in from the flank and firing one at the young ‘Well stopper.
Chris Humphrey, Motherwell’s best player on the night, tried to haul his side back into things with another rampaging run and shot that was well held by Anderson.
However, the Jamaican would concede a penalty shortly after that effectively ended the match as a contest.
The visitors surrendered possession cheaply, with the former Shrewsbury man caught the wrong side of right-back Ross Gilmour who was bursting into the area.
In an attempt to stop his run, Humphrey bundled the youngster to the ground and the referee pointed to the spot for the second time. Gilmour took it himself and although Stewart went the right way, there was enough power to beat the goalkeeper.
The rest of the match was fairly uneventful. Motherwell tried to get themselves back into things, but with little success. McHugh and substitutes Leitch and Thomas all had half chances, but never really made Anderson work.
It was another poor night for Johansson’s men who are back in action again this Thursday when St Mirren visit Fir Park.
Motherwell: Stewart, Neill, Francis-Angol, Saunders, Asghar (Leitch – 63mins), Carswell (Thomas – 80mins), Humphrey, Erwin (Shirkie – 73mins), McHugh, McCafferty, Murray
Subs Not Used: Higgins
Booked: Saunders, Humphrey, Francis-Angol, Neill