Extended highlights from Fir Park as Aberdeen U20s put four past Motherwell without reply.
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkTuesday 02 April 2013
TV: Johansson bemoans poor decisionsTuesday 02 April 2013
Jonatan Johansson was left to count the cost of poor decision making by his players & the referee as ‘Well lost 4-0 to Aberdeen.
The Steelmen were outplayed in large spells by their talented opponents, but weren’t helped by what looked like a questionable penalty call early in the match which gave the visitors the lead.
Motherwell never really recovered and three additional goals for the Dons and a red card for Adam Cummins made for a really poor afternoon for the Fir Parkers.
[pullquote]There were a lot of incidents you rarely see on a football pitch, and by that I mean some decision made by both the referee and the players.[/pullquote]
“It was a strange game,” a visibly frustrated Johansson told MFC TV after the match.
“There were a lot of incidents you rarely see on a football pitch, and by that I mean some decision made by both the referee and the players; it’s hard to put the finger on why that happened.
“We didn’t start well and were off the pace, then they got a penalty, which I think everyone agrees was not a penalty. They could then pick us off on the counter-attack and that’s what happened.
“There was a spell where we came back into it and looked the better side and McHugh has hit the post but that’s it. From two nil down and then a man down, it was very hard to recover and the two second-half goals just added insult to injury.”
Motherwell U20s 0 – 4 Aberdeen U20sTuesday 02 April 2013
10-man Motherwell U20s crash to a disappointing home defeat at the hands of Aberdeen this afternoon.
The Dons took the lead from the penalty spot through Nicky Low before Declan McManus headed home a second before the interval.
Motherwell’s job was made even more difficult when ADAM CUMMINS was sent off for dissent towards the match official minutes after the break.
The Dons took full advantage of the extra man to add a third through Low again and a fourth via Cammy Smith.
Jonatan Johansson made a massive eight changes from the side that lost to St Mirren last Thursday. Only PAUL McCAFFERTY, LEE ERWIN and JACK LEITCH were involved from the team that faced the Saints. The eight drafted in all had first-team experience and included LEE HOLLIS, FRASER KERR, ZAINE FRANCIS-ANGOL, STEVEN SAUNDERS, Adam Cummins, STUART CARSWELL, KALLUM HIGGINBOTHAM and U20s top scorer BOB McHUGH.
The Steelmen made a bright start and on-loan Huddersfield Town front man Higginbotham was the first to have an effort at goal, striking a shot from the edge of the area that forced one time Motherwell target Dan Twardzik into a good save low to his right hand side.
The Dons would take the lead on the ninth minute though and it was in controversial circumstances. Peter Pawlett collected the ball on the edge of the area and, after flicking the ball over Cummins, bounced off the defender who was doing his best to turn.
Inexplicably, referee Alan Frame pointed to the spot. Nicky Low was in no mood for mercy, slamming home in to the bottom corner despite Hollis going the right way.
Motherwell missed several chances to get themselves level.
Saunders headed wide from a free-kick and McCafferty fired straight at Twardzik after working good space for himself on the edge of the area.
Bob McHugh then hit the post, the striker seeing his shot deflect off both Scott Rumsby and the face of Craig Duguid before striking the woodwork and landing fortuitously in the hands of Twardzik. It would be Duguid’s last involvement; Kieran Gibbons replaced him.
Motherwell looked as if they were gaining the upper hand and Erwin almost grabbed the leveler, nipping between Dons defenders Stephen O’Neill and Craig Murray but his fizzing shot flashed a yard past Twardzik’s left hand post.
With ‘Well looking the more likely, it was the Dons who would extended their lead against the run of play and in bizarre circumstances.
McManus, who had made a good near post run, headed a Murray cross from the right flank high into the air. It looked comfortable for Hollis to claim but in doing so, was adjudged to have carried the ball over the line.
Replays from behind the goal show the assistant referee got the decision correct.
Motherwell’s chances of getting back into the match were dealt a huge blow when Adam Cummins was ordered off. The defender gave away a fairly routine free kick on the edge of the area. After what looked like some chat with the match official, he was dismissed for dissent, although it is unclear if any card was flashed.
Aberdeen seized on the man advantage and dominated for most of the second-half. They should have made it three when McManus got on the end of a teasing Murray cross but he screwed his effort Fraser Kerr doing well to narrow the space.
Low fired a shot from distance that was well held by Hollis but he wouldn’t be denied shortly after as he grabbed his second of the afternoon to kill to game.
The left-sider made a great run between Saunders and Kerr to collect a pinpoint Jamie Masson pass over the top. Through one-on-one with Hollis, the midfielder’s first effort was well blocked by the ‘Well stopper, but he kept his composure to lift the rebound over the keeper and into the net, despite the best efforts of the recovering Kerr on the line.
The Dons went in search of more and they got it when Cammy Smith added a fourth, and thankfully final, goal for his side. The busy forward robbed Saunders on the edge of his own box, held off the defender and coolly slotted it through Hollis and into the net.
Motherwell did have one effort almost on full-time when Erwin capitalised on some slack Dons defending at a free-kick. Higginbotham’s ball found the Scotland youth International in bags of space but his volley was straight at Twardzik who cleared with his feet from point-blank range.
It brought to an end what was a miserable Motherwell performance. The watching Stuart McCall will have plenty to ponder ahead of Saturday’s match with St Mirren.
Motherwell: Hollis, Kerr, Francis-Angol, Cummins, Saunders, Carswell, McCafferty, Erwin, McHugh, Higginbotham, Leitch
Subs Not Used: Stewart, Neill, Thomas, Shirkie, Higgins
St Mirren hospitality available nowMonday 01 April 2013
St Mirren visit Fir Park on Saturday 6th April and we are putting on a fantastic carvery in our hospitality suites.
All hospitality packages include your match ticket, programme, team sheet and half time tea.
Stevie Kirk will be the host for the afternoon with your chance to meet first team players and club staff throughout the day.
You have a choice of three packages:
- Centenary Claret – Arriving from 12.30pm onwards to enjoy our Carvery. Full service with access to a pay bar from 1pm till kick off and then again for an hour post match. All this in the comfort of our Centenary Lounge with ’91 Legend Stevie Kirk as host. Book now from only £60 for an adult and £45 for a child under 16.
- Centenary Amber – Arriving from 12.30pm onwards to enjoy our Carvery. Full service with full complimentary bar from 1pm till kick off and then again for an hour post match, all this in the comfort of our Centenary Lounge with ’91 Legend Stevie Kirk as host. Book now from only £95 for an adult and £45 for a child under 16 (obviously there is no complimentary bar for the child!)
- Millennium ticket – Enjoy a lighter bite with a complimentary bar for one-hour pre & post. Soup pre-match and half time refreshments, team sheet, match day programme for only £65 for an adult and £30 for a child.
Remember, Season Ticket holders can upgrade to hospitality for just £25.
U20s take on Aberdeen at Fir ParkSunday 31 March 2013
Motherwell U20s return to action tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon when they take on Aberdeen at Fir Park.
The young Steelmen side will be looking to bounce back following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Dundee Utd and St Mirren last week.
They face a tough test against third-placed Aberdeen who will be keen to close the gap on Dundee Utd.
Jonatan Johansson’s men only have three home matches remaining this season and will be hoping to finish off what has been a disappointing season on a high note.
The match will take place at Fir Park with kick-off 2pm.
Adults and Concessions:
Season book holders or Well Society membership: £2
Season book holders or Well Society membership: £1
TV: Highlights from Dens ParkSaturday 30 March 2013
Extended highlights from Dens Park as Stuart McCall’s men run out three nil winners against Dundee.
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.”