Highlights from the Falkirk Stadium as Lee Erwin’s second-half strike earned Motherwell U20s a 1-1 draw with Falkirk.
TV: Highlights from the Falkirk StadiumTuesday 07 May 2013
TV: Johansson pleased with responseTuesday 07 May 2013
Under 20s boss Jonatan Johansson was pleased with his side’s second-half showing as ‘Well came from behind to earn a draw with Falkirk.
The young Steelmen were poor in the first forty-five and Falkirk were rightly in front. In fact, Biabi Botti’s “offside” goal should have counted but ‘Well were saved by an erroneous flag from the referee’s assistant.
The second half was far more encouraging and Erwin’s equaliser was followed by a number of chances to get ahead.
In the end, both teams were forced to accept a share of the spoils in a game high in effort and endeavor but a little low on quality.
[pullquote]The second half was better. We kept the ball better and controlled the game although they probably had the better chances.[/pullquote]
“It’s was a scrappy game and, at times, not very pretty but the pitch didn’t help with that,” Johansson told MFC TV after the match.
“I thought we were poor in the first-half. We weren’t as sharp as we have been [in recent matches] and they won more second balls. They were stronger than us in many ways and deserved their 1-0 lead at the break.
“The second half was better. We kept the ball better and controlled the game although they probably had the better chances. It’s pleasing to have the point coming from behind but I’m not 100% happy.”
Falkirk U20s 1 – 1 Motherwell U20sTuesday 07 May 2013
Graham Barnstaple at the Falkirk Stadium
Motherwell Under 20s came from behind to earn a point against Falkirk this evening.
The young Steelmen were a goal down after sixteen minutes when Michael Martin slotted home from just inside the area.
However, nine minutes into the second half, Lee Erwin pounced after Danny McNulty’s deep cross had bounced back off the right-hand upright.
Both teams had chances to win it but it remained all-square, meaning Jonatan Johansson’s men are now five unbeaten in the league.
‘Well made four changes from the side who beat Kilmarnock in their last match. Lee Hollis, Zaine Francis-Angol, Fraser Kerr and Bob McHugh all dropped out and were replaced by Ross Stewart, Danny McNulty, Morgyn Neill and Dale Shirkie.
Motherwell started the better of the two sides, with Lee Erwin and Dom Thomas firing shots over from distance in the opening 15 minutes.
As so often happens, Falkirk scored with their first attack. Michael Martin brilliantly controlled a neat diagonal cross into the box. His first touch took him away from Euan Murray, his second saw him slide the ball past Ross Stewart from 12 yards out.
The home side were forced into a double substitution with Ryan McGeever and Conor Hogg both limping off and being replaced by Tyler Fulton and Ryan Blair.
Just after the half hour mark Falkirk had the ball in the net but a tight offside call denied Biabi Botti the goal. Replays show the brilliantly named Falkirk forward was actually onside.
Motherwell’s first shot on target came on 35 minutes, Dom Thomas shrugged off a couple of defenders but his shot from 20 yards was comfortable for the Bairns keeper Graham Bowman
In the final five minutes before half time, Falkirk could’ve added a couple of more goals but Blair’s flick across goal slide wide of the far post and then Botti’s header went into the ground before bouncing harmlessly into the arms of Stewart.
Motherwell made the best possible start to the second half when Lee Erwin equalised after only eight minutes. Danny McNulty’s cross to the far post deceived keeper Bowman and when the ball rebounded off the post Erwin was on hand to tap in.
It inspired the young ‘Well side and Frazer Johnstone was only denied a second by a fine save by Bowman low to his left. Minutes later, Dom Thomas cross was headed inches wide by Erwin as Johansson’s men went through the gears.
Falkirk weren’t out of it though and Botti should’ve done better than head wide when he was left unmarked in the box. Play then switched to the other end again Erwin was once again denied by Bowman who saved with his legs when the striker was clean through.
With 15 minutes left the Motherwell goal led a charmed life; Stewart did well to save from Stewart and when it looked as though Faulds was about to tap the rebound into the empty net, a sliding Neill somehow got a touch in it to send the ball over the bar.
In stoppage time both sides had a chance to win it but Neill could only head over for ‘Well and, at the other end, sub Blair shinned the ball wide at the far post.
In the end, both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils. Motherwell finish their season with a ‘home’ match against Ross County at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium this Thursday afternoon.
Motherwell: Stewart, McNulty (Ferguson – 80mins) Murray, Saunders, Neill, Johnstone, McCafferty, Erwin, Shirkie (Higgins – 63mins), Leitch, Thomas (Cadden – 88mins)
Subs not used: Currie, Anderson, McCall
Higdon wins PFA Player of the YearMonday 06 May 2013
Michael Higdon has won the PFA Scotland Player of the Year for season 2012/13.
Higdon, 29, becomes the first ever player from Motherwell FC to win the award in its 37-year history.
The former Crewe striker has scored 27 goals this term, surpassing Wullie Pettigrew’s post war top league goal scoring record for the club.
Hibs striker Leigh Griffiths was named Young Player of the Year as he made up for losing out to Higdon in the top award.
And Queen of South’s Allan Johnston pipped Stuart McCall to the award for Manager of the Year, having led his side to Second Division and Ramsden’s Cup success.
Everyone at Motherwell Football Club would like to congratulate Michael on his award, along with Darren Randolph, Shaun Hutchinson and Nicky Law who were all named in the SPL Team of the Year.
TV: Highlights from InvernessSaturday 04 May 2013
Highlights from the Caledonian Stadium where Motherwell’s comeback from 3-0 down wasn’t enough as Billy McKay sneaked a late winner.
Inverness defeat in picturesSaturday 04 May 2013
Pictures from the 4-3 defeat by Inverness CT in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at the Caledonian Stadium.
TV: McCall frustrated at Highland lossSaturday 04 May 2013
‘Well boss Stuart McCall was disappointed with his side after a 4-3 defeat brought to an end a eight-match unbeaten run.
The Claret and Amber men have been in excellent form since the last time they were in the Highlands, taking 20 points from a possible 24.
It looked as if things were coming to shuddering halt when Terry Butcher’s side cruised into a 3-0 lead inside 27 minutes.
But a stirring Steelmen comeback had the sides level just after the hour, but there was a sting in the tail still to come.
Henrik Ojamaa was ordered off for a second bookable offence, which changed the tide back in the favour of the Highlanders.
[pullquote]The first-half performance was really poor, not just our defending and how we lost the goals, but also in an attacking sense where we created very little.[/pullquote]
And there would be more disappointment when Billy McKay grabbed the winning goal five minutes from the end, meaning Motherwell still need a point to confirm their spot as Scottish Premier League runners up.
Although pleased with the sprit and determination his side showed to haul themselves back into the match when all looked lost, ‘Well boss McCall was frustrated his side travelled back down the A9 with nothing to show for their efforts.
“I’m hugely disappointed on a few aspects and obviously because we lost the game,” he told MFC TV after the match.
“The first-half performance was really poor, not just our defending and how we lost the goals, but also in an attacking sense where we created very little.
“We were really poor on the ball and although the pitch and the conditions weren’t conducive to good football, too often we made the wrong decisions.
“You’ve got to give Inverness credit. McKay works the front line very well and Shinnie was on form today.
“At half-time there was no ranting and raving. They knew they had let each other down and at I expected them to come out and win the game; I genuinely believed we would do that because when we get our attacking game going, we are a match for anyone, and we almost did.”
Inverness CT 4 – 3 MotherwellSaturday 04 May 2013
Alan Burrows at the Caledonian Stadium
Despite a stirring comeback, ten-man Motherwell lost 4-3 to Inverness Caley Thistle at the Caledonian Stadium this afternoon.
The Steelmen were poor in the first forty-five and found themselves 3-0 down inside the opening half hour, goals coming courtesy of Andrew Shinnie and a Billy McKay double.
James McFadden pulled one back shortly before the interval and that gave the Fir Parkers something to build on at the break.
And, three minutes after the restart, Henrik Ojamaa won his side a penalty, which Michael Higdon converted for his 27th of the season.
Unbelievably, fifteen minutes later, McFadden drew his side level with a well-taken strike from just inside the box.
The game would turn on the red card to Ojamaa, the Estonian sent for an early bath for a second bookable offence.
The sting in the tail was still to come, McKay latching on to a rebound to poke beyond Randolph for all three points.
Understandably, Stuart McCall opted to go with the same starting eleven that beat Celtic last week. Inverness, with Chris Hogg making his comeback after 18 months out with a knee injury and Owain Tudur Jones benched, had an unseasonably strong wind at their backs from kick-off and took just over three minutes to exploit their advantage.
Graeme Shinnie’s 20-yard free-kick hit the wall but Aaron Doran retrieved the ball and lifted it over to Josh Meekings, who was in yards of space as the Motherwell defence looked in vain for an offside flag.
Meekings sent a low cross into the six-yard box and McKay got there first to stab home.
Motherwell soon had a penalty claim turned down by Willie Collum after Nicky Law went down under the close attention of Danny Devine after beating Inverness goalkeeper Antonio Reguero to Keith Lasley’s through-ball.
But the home side were soon back on the front foot and Richie Foran hit the post after winning the ball and playing a one-two with Andrew Shinnie.
Caley Thistle were pressing Motherwell aggressively high up the park and the visitors survived some more nervous moments amid a succession of blocked shots. Inverness doubled their lead in the 25th minute after Motherwell failed to cope with a long free-kick from Meekings.
McKay held the ball up before Andrew Shinnie pounced on the loose ball 12 yards and guided a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
The front pair combined again two minutes later. Shinnie ran clear on to Foran’s ball down the right wing and had all the time he needed to pick out McKay who supplied another sliding near-post finish.
It almost got worse before it got better for Motherwell as Doran was soon sent clean through but he hesitated after taking the ball round Randolph.
A stunned Motherwell got a goal back in the 36th minute when McFadden collected the ball from Ojamaa 20 yards out and swerved a powerful low drive with the outside of his boot into the bottom corner.
Motherwell almost pulled another one back inside the first minute of the restart when Higdon volleyed Tom Hateley’s high cross inches wide.
They only had three more minutes to wait. Ojamaa ran on to Higdon’s and got in front of Hogg, who was too close and took him down. Higdon sent Antonio Reguero.
Ojamaa got in front of Hogg moments later and went down again, this time just outside the box, but Collum booked him for simulation.
The Estonian was soon played through twice in quick succession but Reguero was out sharply to foil him both times.
Motherwell were on top at this stage but they were caught on the break and Humphrey pushed Nick Ross inside the box for the second penalty of the afternoon., McKay hit the resulting penalty too straight and Randolph saved.
Motherwell were level 60 seconds later after Inverness failed to defend a set-piece. Ojamaa stabbed the ball through for the unmarked McFadden and he finished in off the post.
Both sides soon had chances. Shaun Hutchinson and Randolph combined to deny McKay after Shinnie had played him in over the top and Law fired just over from 12 yards after Ojamaa had got in behind.
Yet another flashpoint came in the 73rd minute when Ojamaa stretched to tackle Andrew Shinnie after a heavy touch and was shown a second yellow card after getting there too late.
Motherwell appeared to be coping well with ten men but McKay struck again in the 84th minute after Randolph had parried a powerful long-range strike by Meekings.
The visitors were not finished and piled bodies forward in the closing stages but the hosts survived.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at the Caledonian Stadium
FT: Inverness CT 4 -3 Motherwell
90mins: 3 minutes added on
89mins: ICT sub, Shinnie off for Jones
85mins: Motherwell sub – Ramsden off for McHugh
84mins: GOAL! – ICT 4-3 up, McKay hat-trick.
82mins: Motherwell sub – Humphrey off for Fraser Kerr.
72mins: RED CARD – Ojamaa receives his second booking and his marching orders.
71mins: Great play from Ojamaa to get a cross in for Law. Somehow he blazes over from 12 yards!
68mins: What a game this is! Great save by Randolph to deny McKay 1 v 1!!
64mins: GOOOOAALLL!! Faddy makes it 3-3 with a superb finish on his right foot inside the box!!!
62mins: Saved by RANDOLPH!!!!!!!
61mins: Penalty to ICT!
58mins: Fantastic block from Ramsden there to deny Shinnie!! Foran blasts the rebound well over.
56mins: YELLOW CARDS – Law and Draper booked after some handbags
54mins: Should have been 3-3! Ojamaa with a great chance but Reguero gets enough on it to block from close range!
52mins: Some great pressure from Motherwell. 2 corners in a row and then Hateley delivers a great cross which unfortunately has no takers
50mins: Ojamaa bursts through on goal and hits the deck again. Ref says it was a dive!
48mins: GOAAALLLLL!!! 3-2 Higdon slots the Penalty home!
48mins: PENALTY! Ojamaa hauled down and the ref points to the spot.
46mins: Almost a good start there! Hateley looped in a cross which was met by Higdon. His volley looked like it bounced fractionally past!
45mins: Second half underway.
HT: Players are back out. No changes for either team. ‘Well with the wind behind their backs and in need of goals, goals, goals.
HT: Inverness CT 3 – 1 Motherwell
41mins: YELLOW CARD – Hammell booked for a tug on Doran’s shirt
35mins: GOAALLL!! Faddy gives ‘Well some hope! Left footed strike from 20 yards into bottom corner 3-1
32mins: Better. Humphrey and Hateley combine to set up Higdon. Reguero blocks at his near post then stops Humphrey’s header on rebound.
30mins: Could easily have been four there! Doran was through 1 on 1 but thankfully Randolph did enough to narrow the angle and help clear.
27mins: GOAL! – Somehow it’s 3-0 to Caley! McKay bundling home Shinnie’s cross
25mins: GOAL – Shinnie makes it 2 for Caley with a left footed strike just inside the box.
16mins: Fantastic sliding challenge from Hutchinson there to deny Draper inside the box. ICT turning the screw bit now….
9mins: Foran strikes the ball off the post from the angle inside the box. Looking a bit slack here, wind not helping though
7mins: Well, Law goes past Reguero and looks to be hauled down in the Caley box. No pen!
5mins: YELLOW CARD – Foran booked for a wreckless challenge on Lasley
3mins: GOAL! McKay puts Inverness 1 up! Motherwell failed to deal with the FK and he slotted home Meeking’s cross
2mins: Free-kick right on the edge of the ‘Well box. Ramsden ruled to have hauled down Shinnie.
1mins: Just seconds in and The Steelmen break into the box. Lasley fires McFadden’s cut-back well over form 18 yards
Teams just coming out. Usual colours for both sides, Lasley and Foran captains. ‘Well shooting away from the ‘Well fans in the first half
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“I’m hugely disappointed on a few aspects and obviously because we lost the game. The first half performance was really poor, not just in a defending sense about how we lost the goals but also in an attacking sense where we created very little.
“We were really poor on the ball and although the pitch and conditions wasn’t conducive to good football, too often we made the wrong decisions.
“You’ve got to give Inverness credit. McKay works the front line very well and Shinnie was on form today
“At half time there was no ranting and raving.
“They knew they had let each other down and at I expected them to come out and win the game; I genuinely believed we would do that because I think when we get our attacking game going we’re a match for anyone, and we almost did.”
Inverness manager Terry Butcher:
“Twenty-three goals is phenomenal from a player from Northampton. His season has been absolutely spectacular.
“You look at his work rate as well. Him and Andy Shinnie worked their socks off, it’s our first line of defence.
“He is a pest, he is a wasp, he gave their two centre-halves a hard time and chased everything. He is a lovely kid and just wants to work hard.
“But I must praise Chris Hogg especially. The boys wanted to win it for Chris because it’s his first game in 18 months. His experience and voice helped a lot. He gave away a penalty right enough, I’ll speak to him about that.
“But the players wanted to win it for him, it was a special ambition for the players.
“We’ve had a great chance at 3-0 to make it four and I was thinking: ‘I hope we don’t have to rue that and end up losing 4-3’.
“At 3-3 I was thinking that might just happen. It was a great comeback by Motherwell in the second half. They have got quality, they have a four-man attack which is tremendous.
“Obviously the sending-off helped but in the end I think we did deserve it with the chances we made. But it was a wonderful game of football, both teams hammer and tongs at each other and end-to-end stuff.”
Open Day: Sunday 5th May 2013Saturday 04 May 2013
Making a return by popular demand, Motherwell FC will host a special open day at Fir Park tomorrow (Sunday 5th May).
It has been several years since the club has run a similar type of event, which allows fans to get a unique insight into the ground and meet the first-team squad at a signing session.
Excitingly, the new Motherwell FC PUMA home kit will be launched and on sale to buy from the Well Shop in the Davie Cooper Stand on the day – the first images of the new kits can be found on the clubs’ official website – motherwellfc.co.uk.
The ‘Well Society will have a presence for fans to get involved and you will also be able to renew your Season Ticket on the day.
But that’s not all… There will be plenty to do, particularly for young ‘Well fans. There will be a bouncy castle, Beat the Goalie, Face Painting and an X-Factor style football skills competition.
The Fire Brigade will be there with demonstrations and the TA will have an assault course there to try.
There will be much, much more confirmed before the event – which will be free. Keep an eye on the official website for further details and they are confirmed
The event will run between 12 noon and 5pm – Sunday May 5 2013
TV: Ojamaa delighted with awardFriday 03 May 2013
Estonian International Henrik Ojamaa praised his teammates after becoming the latest ‘Well player to collect an award.
The 21-year old forward has been in terrific form in the last three matches, including goals against Dundee United and Celtic.
The ten-times capped former Derby hitman was rewarded with his second Clydesdale Bank Young Player of the Month award but was quick to laud the rest of the squad at Fir Park.
[pullquote]It’s been a great month for me individually and collectively for the team as well.[/pullquote]
He said: “It’s been a great month for me individually and collectively for the team as well.
“There’s been some really important games that we’ve managed to win and we’re on an excellent run right now so can’t wait for the Inverness game to try to continue it.
“For me it’s great to be a part of that. I’ve not scored many goals this season; I’ve mainly been setting them up, but this month I’ve scored two at important times.
“We have great team spirit and it’s a great bunch of guys to play alongside; we’ll be looking to enjoy the last three games and what better way to enjoy them than to take all nine points.”