Highlights from Fir Park as Motherwell Under 20s continued their recent good run with a 4-2 victory of Kilmarnock.
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkTuesday 30 April 2013
TV: Johansson reflects on Killie winTuesday 30 April 2013
Jonatan Johansson praised his side after they battled away for three points against Kilmarnock this evening.
The Steelmen looked to be cruising to the three points after an hour, three goals (a Bob McHugh double and Paul McCafferty’s first of the campaign) to the good and playing some attractive, attacking football.
To their credit, Killie plugged away and were rewarded with two goals from Robbie Muirhead, making the closing stages a little nervier than they perhaps ought to have been.
It took an injury time strike from substitute Steven Higgins to settle everyone down and confirm three points, the U20s tenth from the last four matches.
[pullquote]If you look back at it, we had about seventy or eighty minutes of good football with ten minutes not so good.[/pullquote]
Johnasson told MFC TV after the match: “Up until Kilmarnock scored their first goal, I thought we played some really nice football.
“At 3-0 we looked very comfortable and I felt at that stage that we might even go on and get more.
“As can happen in football, when they get one back, they start to take more risks, the confidence goes up and we started to panic a little bit.
“If you look back at it, we had about seventy or eighty minutes of good football with ten minutes not so good.
“Overall, I’ve got to be pleased with how we performed and obviously delighted with another victory.”
Motherwell U20s 4 – 2 Kilmarnock U20sTuesday 30 April 2013
Graham Barnstaple at Fir Park
Motherwell Under 20s continued their recent good run with a 4-2 victory over Kilmarnock at Fir Park.
The Steelmen roared into a three-goal lead, Paul McCaffery’s solo goal sandwiched in between a Bob McHugh double.
‘Well looked comfortable but Robbie Muirhead’s deflected goal gave the visitors hope.
Then, with just a minute left on the clock, Muirhead pulled another back making for a nervous ending.
But, with virtually the last kick of the ball, substitute Steven Higgins fired home from close range
The Fir Parkers were looking to build on their recent good run and Jonatan Johansson made just one change from the side that smashed four past St Johnstone. Adam Cummins dropped out and was replaced by the returning Euan Murray.
Both sides had chances in the opening five minutes, with Lee Hollis saving at close range from Rory McKenzie after a strong run down the right by the Killie man.
At the other end, Dom Thomas played in a cross for Lee Erwin but the big striker’s effort was hit straight at keeper Devlin MacKay.
The game then went to sleep for the next thirty minutes with neither side creating anything at all of note.
It eventually sparked back to life when ‘Well passed up a few half chances, McHugh shooting off target and Erwin firing just wide from a tight angle.
Then, with twelve minutes left to the break, Johansson’s men took the lead.
McHugh played a neat one-two with Erwin on the edge of the area, collecting the return on the byline. The striker cut back, beat two markers before firing in off the leg of Caoimhin Bonnar.
Two minutes before the break, the hosts doubled their lead thanks to a fine solo effort from Paul McCafferty. The winger collected the ball wide on the right, skipped past a couple of defenders before wrong-footing keeper MacKay from 15 yards out.
Motherwell made it three on the hour mark; Frazer Johnstone robbed Craig Slater on the edge of the box. The midfielder took his time and looked up before squaring to McHugh for a simple tap in from 12 yards out – his seventeenth goal of the campaign for the Under 20s.
Killie pulled one back with just over 15 minutes left, Robbie Muirhead cut in from the left flank and his low shot from a narrow angle took a wicked deflection off substitute Morgyn Neill to beat the stranded Lee Hollis.
Five minutes later Lee Erwin almost restored the three goal lead but his shot from the edge of the box skimmed the top of the cross bar with keeper MacKay well beaten.
In the dying minutes Hollis was called into action once again as he tipped a Greg Kiltie header over the bar. From the resultant corner Hollis pulled off a fine save from Kiltie again but the rebound fell kindly for Muirhead who tapped in from close range.
The win was sealed in stoppage time when ‘Well added a fourth; Thomas won the ball on the left edge of the box and his cross was stabbed home by Higgins to make it four unbeaten for the under 20s.
The youths finish the season with two matches next week, Falkirk away on Tuesday before closing the season against Ross County at the Excelsior Stadium on Thursday.
Motherwell: Hollis, Kerr, Francis-Angol (Higgins – 80), Murray (Neill – 59), Saunders, Johnstone, McCafferty, Erwin (Shirkie – 80), McHugh, Leitch, Thomas
Sub not used: Stewart
Under 20s take on KillieMonday 29 April 2013
The Under 20s face Kilmarnock at Fir Park tomorrow (Tuesday) in what is the penultimate home match of the campaign.
The young Steelmen side have hit a bit of form in recent times, taking seven points from the last nine available, including impressive wins at both Inverness and St Johnstone.
Killie came from behind to beat 10-man Motherwell the last time the teams met back in February.
The match will take place at Fir Park Stadium, kick-off is 7pm.
Adults and Concessions:
Season book holders or Well Society membership: £2
Season book holders or Well Society membership: £1
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkSunday 28 April 2013
Extended highlights from Fir Park as Motherwell turn in a superb performance to beat Celtic 3-1.
TV: McCall proud of his playersSunday 28 April 2013
‘Well boss Stuart McCall spoke of his pride as Motherwell recorded back-to-back wins over Celtic.
The Steelmen were brilliant again and goals from Henrik Ojamaa, Michael Higdon and a Lustig own-goal gave ‘Well the vital win.
The win leaves the Fir Parkers nine points ahead of Inverness Caley in the race for second spot. It also confirmed Motherwell’s participation in the 2013/14 Europa League.
[pullquote]I’m delighted and proud for all the staff, players and everyone connected to the club.[/pullquote]
McCall told MFC TV after the match: “I’m delighted and proud for all the staff, players and everyone connected to the club.
“To put in a performance like that, especially after going a goal down to a team like Celtic, was brilliant. It was a good open day with some great performances and it’s a day we’ve got to cherish.
“The players covered the ground, got around the park, got into players and I thought the desire and hunger was terrific but I also thought some of the football was outstanding.
“It was a combination of good play from goalkeeper to attackers and it was a joy to watch.”
Motherwell 3 – 1 CelticSunday 28 April 2013
Phil McGhee at Fir Park
Motherwell completed a rare home double win over Celtic to ensure a place in next season’s Europa League.
After falling behind to a Gary Hooper goal, the Fir Park side stunned Neil Lennon’s men with three goal inside twelve minutes either side of half-time.
Motherwell sportingly welcomed the newly crowned SPL champions on to the pitch with a guard of honour, but it was the ‘Well players who took all of the plaudits after a terrific ninety minutes.
Despite resting four players, Celtic made the brighter and more determined start with Tony Watt shooting over the bar within a couple of minutes.
An early booking for Shaun Hutchison put the defender under a bit of pressure for the remaining 87 minutes but, despite having to contend with the Greek International Georgios Samaras, the central defender was commanding throughout and might even have opened the scoring after seven minutes.
Nicky Law’s inswinging cross flashed across a begging goal and just beyond Hutchison’s lunge. Then, amidst a first half downpour, James McFadden brightened up the proceedings, weaving past a couple of defenders before driving his right foot shot narrowly past.
On the half hour mark, Samaras fell to the ground 25 yards out allowing Charlie Mulgrew to produce a trade mark curling free kick which Darren Randolph leapt to palm away.
The ‘Well keeper then produced a fabulous save spreading himself to block Gary Hooper who looked certain to sidefoot the ball home form four yards.
‘Well had strong appeals for a penalty after 34 minutes when Henrik Ojamaa’s drive into the box was glanced by Keith Lasley onto Thomas Rogne’s arm but a spot kick would have been harsh on the Norwegian.
Six minutes from half time Celtic took the lead. Watt raced away from Simon Ramsden and as Randolph elected to leave his line the ball was chipped over him to the waiting Hooper who crashed his header off the cross bar before hooking the rebound into the net.
A minute before the break the sides were back on level terms. Lasley’s incisive pass sent Ojamaa darting between Mulgrew and Rogne before drilling a superb finish inside Forster left hand post.
In an incredible turnaround, Motherwell grabbed the lead four minutes into the second half. Ojamaa tussled with Mulgrew for the ball just inside the box and as the Estonian fell to the ground Euan Norris pointed to the spot.
Although Forster saved Tom Hateley’s penalty at Parkhead in January, the Celtic ‘keeper had no chance this time as Michael Higdon confidently swept his kick high over the diving Foster to claim his 25th league goal of the season.
In an amazing spell, ‘Well made it three after 55 minutes. Rogne’s glancing header from Hateley’s cross almost cost him an own goal but his effort rebounded off the foot of the post and back off Foster and into the net.
As Celtic threw on forwards to try and recover the game the Parkhead defence was carved open as ‘Well chased more goals.
A terrific run and drive from Humphrey took a wicked deflection off Mulgrew and only an acrobatic save from Foster prevented the ball from dipping under the bar.
Ojamaa the sent McFadden stealing in behind the visitors defence but with plenty of time to pick his spot he hammered the ball off the keeper.
Another great save from Foster denied Higdon a second goal but the points and European football were well wrapped up before an Anthony Stokes shot bounced off the post in the final minute.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Fir Park
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“You demand energy and commitment, but some of the football was outstanding,
“I normally say you have to score the first goal to win against the Old Firm; what character to go behind, come back and put in a performance like that.
“I could go through the team. There were some huge performances. I said to the lads ‘enjoy that but don’t get carried away with three games to go’. But they’re special moments, to play as well as that against Celtic.
“It’s a really proud moment. We beat Celtic a few years ago, 2-0. One was a mistake by them and one was a dodgy penalty, but today I thought we won in style.
“As a coach, as a person and as a player, you always want to try and improve.
“We looked at the points tally of 62 we got last season – the highest we’ve ever had in the SPL. We’re on 60 now with three games to go. So I can’t speak highly enough of the group of players we’ve got.”
Celtic manager Neil Lennon:
“I don’t know where that came from. I felt we dominated the first-half and could have been two-up but a really poor call has cost us a goal. And then, for some reason, we didn’t come out the traps in the second half and lose it with a penalty and an own goal.
“From an attacking point of view, I thought we were really good and dangerous; defensively we were poor. Some players knew that there are Cup final places up for grabs but I am not too sure they took that today. A few of them looked as if they had switched off in the second-half and that is unacceptable.”
Norris in charge for Celtic clashSaturday 27 April 2013
Referee for tomorrow’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Celtic here at Fir Park will be Euan Norris.
The 35-year old will be handling his second Motherwell game of the campaign having previously been the man in the middle for the 1-1 draw with St Mirren at Fir Park back in August.
It should be his third; he was all set to handle our home match with Dundee Utd back in early October but a local electrical fault put pay to the match ten minutes before kick-off. Alan Muir took charge of the rearranged fixture a month later.
Euan will be a familiar face to Fir Park fans having officiated four matches last season.
He started with the 4-2 away success against Dunfermline at East End Park in late August, the 1-0 win at Easter Road in October, the 3 – 0 defeat at Ibrox in January and the 6-0 demolition of Morton in the Scottish Cup in early February.
He also handled two games the previous season…
The first, a 0-0 draw with Inverness was instantly forgettable. However, the other was one that will live long in the memory. Today’s opponents Celtic were beaten 2-0 at Fir Park, former striker John Sutton netting a brace.
Going back a further year to 2009-10, Euan also handed two matches. He was the man in the middle when Motherwell edged out Falkirk 1-0 at Fir Park. Lukas Jutkiewicz got the only goal of the game, heading home a corner from the left after 18 minutes.
His other game that campaign was also at Fir Park; a stormy affair between Motherwell and Hibs.
The Steelmen won the game 1-0 thanks to a Jamie Murphy goal eight minutes from time but the game was marred by a red card for Liam Miller for a poor challenge on Jim O’Brien midway through the first forty-five.
Thankfully, FIFA referee Norris usually likes to keep his cards in his pocket with only twenty-six cautions handed out in all those games, with ten flashed at a ‘Well players.
He had only produced one red to a player wearing Claret and Amber and that was Shaun Hutchinson for a second bookable offence the last time he was at Fir Park.
Euan will be ably assisted by Francis Andrews and Graeme Leslie with Euan Anderson on fourth official duties.
TV: Hammell pays Higgy tributeFriday 26 April 2013
Stevie Hammell has paid tribute to teammate Michael Higdon after the striker was listed as a candidate for the PFA Player of the Year.
Motherwell’s top-scorer, who has surpassed Willie Pettigrew’s record for top-league goals in one season, was named alongside Aberdeen’s Niall McGinn, Inverness’ Andrew Shinnie and Hibernian’s Leigh Griffiths.
And the former Scotland International is hopeful the Liverpudlian hitman can go on win it and create more history, becoming the first ever recipient from Motherwell in the awards’ 36-year history.
[pullquote]He’s been excellent and although we have a team that create a lot of chances for him, he tucks them away.[/pullquote]
“I’m delighted for big Higgy,” Hammell told MFC TV.
“He’s been excellent and although we have a team that create a lot of chances for him, he tucks them away.
“He’s scored all kinds of goals; the two he scored last Friday against Dundee Utd were excellent and he’s playing with so much confidence.
“Hopefully he goes and wins it. He’s been a standout and scored 25 goals so far which is a fantastic achievement.”
TV: McCall hoping to continue formFriday 26 April 2013
‘Well boss Stuart McCall has challenged his side to continue their recent good run of form when Champions Celtic visit Fir Park on Sunday.
It was actually the win against Neil Lennon’s men back in February that kick-started the recent run, which has seen ‘Well collect seventeen points from the last twenty-one available.
And now McCall has called on his players to replicate that recent success and further cement second place, as the Scottish Premier League season draws closer to its conclusion.
[pullquote]At home we always try to win the game and that will be no different on Sunday.[/pullquote]
He told MFC TV: “Not many people outside our dressing room would have thought we’d have got anything from the last game [against Celtic in February] but on the night we played really well and took our chances.
“It was a terrific performance and a big win which bred confidence. Individually and collectively, our confidence is high after a run of five wins and two draws.
“This is the first game they’ve had since they were crowned champions and although it looks likely they’ll rest a few players, they come here with some incentive to win, especially considering the last result.
“At home we always try to win the game and that will be no different on Sunday.”