Extended highlights from Dens Park as Stuart McCall’s men run out three nil winners against Dundee.
TV: Highlights from Dens ParkSaturday 30 March 2013
TV: Law delighted with Dundee braceSaturday 30 March 2013
Nicky Law was pleased with his contribution as the midfielder’s double helped ‘Well to a 3-0 win in Dundee.
Motherwell were already in front when Law headed home a Lasley cross after 63 minutes to put Stuart McCall’s side in a commanding position.
He would save the best for last, cracking home a belter from the edge of the box to seal the win – his fifth and six goals of the campaign.
And former Sheffield United man Law was happy with a job well done.
[pullquote]I’m delighted to get the two goals, the first one being a headers which is unusual for me, after a great ball in from Las, and the second was just instinct[/pullquote]
He told MFC TV: “We’re delighted as we knew how difficult it was going to be today. We knew if we matched their endeavour and work-rate, we’d have the quality to go on and win the game.
“Before the game, we thought if we could score early we’d take the wind out their sails because all week they had spoke about how they were going to stop our flair players getting on the ball, so we knew it would be a lively start and to score settled all of us.
“I’m delighted to get the two goals, the first one being a headers which is unusual for me, after a great ball in from Las, and the second was just instinct.
“I wanted to volley it but the bench were screaming at me to take a touch and luckily I put it the only place I could have put it.”
TV: McCall hails professional ‘WellSaturday 30 March 2013
Stuart McCall paid tribute to his players as Motherwell continued their excellent run with a 3-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park.
The Steelmen have taken thirteen points from the last fifteen, and today’s victory was never in doubt as ‘Well turned in a professional performance throughout.
Michael Higdon nodded Motherwell in front after just nine minutes before a Nicky Law brace in the second half sealed the win.
And McCall was quick to praise his men as the race for Europe really warms up.
[pullquote]I thought it was a good all round team performance, allied with some great goals and we’re delighted with the clean sheet too.[/pullquote]
“I thought the first half was a good open game; really was end to end.,” he told MFC TV after the match.
“At half time, I thought if we could use our creative players a little bit better and be better on the ball in the final third, we’d go on to score more and thankfully that was the case.
“It was a big decision for me today as Higginbotham had played really well in the last game, but I just felt Chris deserved to be in the side and he’s put a great ball in for the first goal.
“I’ll also give credit to the defence today as they were immense. Both full-backs were excellent, Ramsden and Hutchinson were solid with Lasley giving the work ethic in front of them.
“I thought it was a good all round team performance, allied with some great goals and we’re delighted with the clean sheet too.”
Dundee 0 – 3 MotherwellSaturday 30 March 2013
Alan Burrows at Dens Park
On-form Motherwell produced a confident display to see off bottom side Dundee at Dens Park this afternoon.
Michael Higdon headed home the opening goal after nine minutes and Nicky Law grabbed a second-half brace to complete a satisfying afternoon for Stuart McCall’s men.
Victory for Inverness at Easter Road ensured the Steelmen remain three points ahead in the race for second spot with six games left in the campaign.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall made just one chance from the side that thumped Hibs 4-1 at Fir Park fifteen days ago. Chris Humphrey returned from a troublesome hamstring injury, replacing Kallum Higginbotham who would have to settle for a spot amongst the substitutes.
It was the hosts who started the brighter of the two teams and John Baird passed up a chance after Nicky Riley whipped in a decent near post ball. Unfortunately for John Brown’s side, the header was almost into the ground and the ‘Well rear-guard were able to clear.
They were to be punished as Motherwell made the breakthrough after nine minutes, Chris Humphrey burst away down the right and floated over a perfect cross for Higdon to head beyond Steve Simonsen from close range.
After netting his first goal since making his Fir Park return, James McFadden came close to adding to his tally when he forced the Dundee keeper into a low stop seven minutes later. The ball rebounded back into the danger area and although Henrik Ojamaa was in attendance, the home defence were able to hook it clear.
It was all looking rather comfortable for the visitors and the Estonian Ojamaa really should have converted Humphrey’s cut-back instead of firing straight at Simonsen midway through the first-half.
Referee Steven McLean infuriated the Dundee supporters when he brandished only a yellow-card to Hutchinson after he brought down Riley – deciding it was not a last-man challenge. Television replays would show he got it just about right.
For all Dundee’s possession, they were restricted to periodic shots from distance that weren’t troubling Darren Randolph. Gary Harkins stung the palms of the Irish International and Baird failed to hit the target from the rebound as Dundee demonstrated a rare attacking threat shortly before the break, but it’s the only time in the match they’d make the former Charlton man work.
In first-half stoppage time, Higdon came within an inch of doubling the lead with a curling effort from just inside the box, following a lovely spell of keep-ball, but it went a yard or two over Simonsen’s bar with the English keeper at full stretch.
The Fir Parkers made the brighter start to the second 45 and a wonderful bit of individual skill by Higdon ended with the striker hooking a shot just over the top.
They noisy visiting supporters did not have to wait much longer for a second goal however, Keith Lasley’s cross found Law who sent a header looping over the helpless Simonsen. It was the perfect end to an excellent move and it knocked the stuffing out the hosts.
Higdon should have doubled his tally for the day with a great opportunity from twelve yards out. Ojamaa was again the creator, hitting the by-line before pulling it back. The ball took a bobble and it was enough to distract the normally lethal front man as the ball ended up over the bar and into the stand.
Law’s afternoon got even better with eleven minutes remaining when a fantastically worked corner found him at the edge of the penalty area and the midfielder took a touch before unleashing a wonderful effort into the top corner.
Bob McHugh, Kallum Higginbotham and Stuart Carswell were all introduced for the final stages and there were further chances for Ojamaa and Higdon as the ‘Well saw out the match in a comfortable fashion.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Dens Park
FT: Dundee 0 – 3 Motherwell
90mins: 2 minutes added on
87mins: Motherwell sub – Lasley off for Carswell
84mins: Motherwell sub – Higdon off for McHugh
80mins: Motherwell sub – Higginbotham on for Humphrey
79mins: Dundee sub – Cowan on for Baird
78mins: GOOALLLL!! It’s a cracker again from Lawsy! Set-piece delivery finds him unmarked at the edge of the. One touch, then a delightful curler into the top corner!
76mins: Corner to Motherwell……dealt with by Easton
69mins: Should have been three after Hammell and Ojamaa combined to put it on a plate for Higdon. Well over from the big man though!
67mins: Dundee sub – Conroy off for Finnigan
61mins: GOOAALLL! It’s beautiful as Lasley curls the ball to Law who flicks it past Simonsen with his head. 0 – 2
55mins: Good mazy run from Ojamaa free’s up some space in the to get a cross in. Drills in across goal and Humphrey is only inches away
51mins: Succession of corners for Motherwell. Just can’t find the final touch on the delivery.
49mins: Thunderous volley from Higdon just inside the box flashes just over!
46mins: Good early chance for Dundee. Randolph with the block at the feet of Baird and Davidson firing the follow-up well past.
46mins: Teams back out for the second half. The Steelmen shooting towards the ‘Well support.
HT: Dundee 0 – 1 Motherwell. Higdon’s header enough to put ‘Well in one up at the break but Dundee looking dangerous in spells.
45mins: Higdon shoots over from just inside the box after a one-two with Ojamaa.
40mins: Benedictus does enough to take the sting out of McFadden’s header leaving an easy gather for Simonsen
38mins: McAlister tries his luck from 25 yards, Straight at Randolph.
30mins: Harkins forces a good save from Randolph then Baird fires the rebound inches past.
27mins: Superb defending from Ramsden as he slides in to deflect Conroy’s shot out for a corner.Dundee on the front foot now
22mins: Hutchinson booked for mistiming his header and blocking Riley. Was maybe a goal scoring opportunity too…..
20mins: Free header for Grassi there! Well wide though thankfully.
17mins: Great chance for ‘Well! Humphrey sells Easton a dummy and squares to Ojamaa. From 10 yards he fires straight at Simonsen
16mins: McFadden cuts in off the left wing and attempts an outside of the foot curler. Simonsen does well to tip around the post.
14mins: Great deep delivery from Conroy has Randolph racing off his line to punch clear. Deals with the corner too.
9mins: GOAALLL!! Higdon nods Motherwell in front from close range! Was a deep ball in from Humphrey and Higdon leapt to head past Simonsen with ease. 0-1
6mins: Mazy run from McFadden who slides in Humphrey. The winger’s cross is high and out the pitch
5mins: Conroy wins Dundee their first corner via Hammell. Grassi attemped to prod is goalward but sails past the post.
3mins: Good one-two between Higdon and Ojamaa. The Estonian judged to be a fraction offside as he goes through on goal
1min: Early chance as Baird can only succeed at heading the ball away from goal as he gets on the end of Riley’s cross
1min: Baird and Davidson get the game underway
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“Inverness have had a good result [beating Hibernian] and they’re hot on our heels.
“We’ve just got to keep at it and hopefully keep playing the football we’re playing, scoring the goals and putting smiles on faces.
“The goals were exceptional. The pitch is in good condition for this time year so it allowed us to get it down and play football.
“In the end, it’s a terrific result.We’re fortunate to have lads with really good ability and we’ve got to enjoy them while they’re here.
“We’ve got six games to go and we just insisting on the lads not to take their foot off the pedal now.”
Dundee manager John Brown:
“We didn’t help ourselves with the goals we lost.
“I’ve got to say, Motherwell have caused every team in the division problems this season so we’ve got to work at certain areas, tighten up at the back and take the opportunities when they come our way.
“It’s a steep learning curve. We have to do better in defence and that’s the first time we’ve been guilty of that since I took over.
“But we’ll keep battling on and won’t give up on anything.”
TV: McCall expects it tough at DensFriday 29 March 2013
‘Well boss Stuart McCall is sure his side will find it tough against a rejuvenated Dundee at Dens tomorrow.
The league’s bottom club have found something extra since appointing John Brown several weeks ago.
Dundee are unbeaten in the league since dismissing Barry Smith, beating St Mirren and drawing against St Johnstone and Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Dens and Dundee United at Tannadice in that run.
[pullquote]It will be a tough game but the lads are more than aware that the season is not over and we still need a big push to finish second.[/pullquote]
“Dundee are experiencing ‘new manager syndrome’ and John has got them right up for games,” he told the gathered press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference.
“They’ve been down to ten men a few times and have shown great resilience.
“They came back against St Johnstone and St Mirren and have had some really spirited performances and, although it looks like they will be going out the league, each and every one of those players are playing for their future so will be up for it and, of course, they have good players.
“We’re more than aware of they dangers and threat they pose, even just looking back at our last two games.
“We drew one each then managed to come from behind at Dens. It will be a tough game but the lads are more than aware that the season is not over and we still need a big push to finish second.”
TV: Hammell delight at McCall dealFriday 29 March 2013
Steelmen vice-captain Stevie Hammell today spoke of his delight at the manager’s recently announced new contract.
The club broke news of the extended deal last night, and it’s a decision that has gone down well in the dressingroom.
McCall is a popular figure amongst the players and staff at Fir Park, and Hammell reckons the news might tempt others to follow suit.
[pullquote]He is without doubt the best I’ve ever worked with. He’s excellent; his man management and organisation is brilliant, and he has created a feel-good spirit amongst the boys.[/pullquote]
The former Scotland cap told the gathered press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference: “It’s a massive boost for everyone at the club.
“He always said it was never in doubt, but as time goes on you start to worry about it, but it is excellent news that he has commited to a new deal.
“He is without doubt the best I’ve ever worked with. He’s excellent; his man management and organisation is brilliant, and he has created a feel-good spirit amongst the boys, which is a big part of or success here.
“With the uncertainty over the manager’s contract, maybe a few of the out of contract players were thinking they’ll hold off but now he is tied down for another couple of years, it can only be good news for the ones who are out of contract.”
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkThursday 28 March 2013
Extended highlights from Fir Park as Motherwell U20s suffer another defeat at the hands of St Mirren’s youngsters.
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.”