Pictures from the 2-0 win over Ross County in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
Pictures from the 2-0 win over Ross County in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall was delighted to take three points in the last home match of the campaign.
First-half strikes from James McFadden and Chris Humphrey was enough to secure the Steelmen’s eighteenth win of the campaign.
And although the Steelmen weren’t anything like their fluid best, McCall was pleased with yet another win.
[pullquote]I’m delighted with the victory and pleased to have ended at home with a win although, it was our least effective game in a long time at home.[/pullquote]
He told MFC TV: “I’m delighted with the victory and pleased to have ended at home with a win although, it was our least effective game in a long time at home against a team the needed to win the game.
“They passed the ball well and we weren’t at our best in that department, but we got two cracking goals and I’m delighted with the clean sheet for big Darren.
“We were a bit disappointed at half-time and we still were a little after the game as we’ve not played as well as we know we can but it’s not about today; it’s about the whole season and the group in there have been outstanding.”
Graham Barnstaple at Fir Park
Motherwell rounded off their home season with a comfortable win over Ross County thanks to first half goals from James McFadden and Chris Humphrey.
It was an emotional day with at least two players making their last appearance at Fir Park before leaving in the summer and to mark the occasion, Darren Randolph was handed the captain’s armband.
Ross County knew only a win would keep them in with a chance of Europa League qualification ahead of a final game encounter against their local rivals Inverness at Victoria Park.
Motherwell knew they were assured of second place after Inverness’s loss to Dundee Unite on Saturday.
This appeared to have a bearing on the early stages with County looking the more assured side. Despite their early dominance, they fell behind to a classic counter attack goal in the ninth minute. Jamaican International Humphrey intercepted a loose pass in midfield by Richard Brittain and skipped past Grant Munro before squaring across the six yard line for McFadden to side foot past ex-Motherwell keeper Michael Fraser.
The visitors tried to bounce back immediately but all they could show for their possession was a twenty-yard shot from Brittain which fizzed just inches wide of Randolph’s right hand post with the Republic of Ireland stopper happy to watch it behind.
The game then developed into a bit of a midfield scrap with neither side really looking like scoring. Symptomatic of County’s afternoon was a chance on the break for Ivan Sproule but his first touch was too heavy allowing Randolph to save easily.
Just before the break, Motherwell struck on the counter attack once again. Humphrey picked up a clearance from a Ross County corner 70 yards from the visitor’s goal, got his head down and out paced Ian Vigurs. No other defender reacted and the winger was allowed a clear run on Fraser and he kept his composure to side foot under the keeper to double the lead with what turned out to be the last kick of the half.
Not surprisingly County came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half, but their finishing really let them down. Martin Scott stabbed a shot over and then Greek full-back Evangelos Ikonomou shot straight at Randolph.
At the other end McFadden spotted Fraser off his line and tried to chip him from about 30 yards out, but his effort was just a few feet off target with the keeper beaten.
Motherwell could have made it three half way through the half, once again Humphrey was the provider and his cross to the far post was somehow headed over by McFadden from close range.
The Scotland International appeared to be pushed by André Hainault just before connecting with the cross but referee Craig Thomson was having none of it, despite the former Everton man’s protestations. Television replays would show he had a fairly strong case.
County threw everyone forward in a last ditch effort to get something from the game and keep their Europa League hopes alive. Their closest effort came when Sproule’s cross-cum-shot evaded Randolph but bounced clear off the cross bar.
In the end Motherwell held on comfortably enough to seal a memorable season with a home win in the last game of the season at Fir Park, and sparked scenes of celebration in the Stands around the ground.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Fir Park
FT: Motherwell 2 – 0 Ross County
92mins: Motherwell sub – Randolph off to a standing ovation, replaced by Ross Stewart.
90mins: 5 minutes added on here.
89mins: Sproule can’t quite get enough on Wolfarth’s shot to divert it into the back of the net.
80mins: Motherwell subs – Law and Higdon off for Higginbotham and McHugh
79mins: Sproule clips the top of the bar with a good effort on a tight angle 18 yards out.
76mins: Great chance as McFadden heads Humphreys great cross over the bar from 3 yards out!. Hainault did enough to put him off.
74mins: Ross County sub – Cooper on for Lawson
68mins: Hammell heads clear and out for a Ross County corner. Munro heads the delivery well wide.
66mins: Fortheringham tries his luck from 20 yards on his left foot. It’s just over the bar!
65mins: Ross County sub -Scott off for Glen
64mins: Lawson’s 20 yard strike looked goal-bound until it struck Scott and deflected away to safety.
57mins: Cheeky chip from McFadden there after he spotted Fraser off his line. Drifts well past in the end.
56mins: Ross County sub – Fotheringham on for Brittain.
54mins: Looks like a sore one for Brittain. He slid in on Humphrey but caught his trailing leg on the turf and twisted his knee. Now being stretchered off. Looked a bad one.
52mins: Corner to Motherwell….Oikonomou does enough to put off Carswell at the front post.
48mins: County starting this half on top. Oikonomou stings the palms of Randolph with a left footed shot outside the box.
46mins: Second half underway. Scott volleys Kovacevic’s cross just over the bar from 12 yards
HT: Strange first half! Only two shots on goal and we find ourselves 2-0 up.
HT: Motherwell 2 – 0 Ross County
45mins: GOOOAALLL!! Humphrey makes it 2-0! Runs the entire half with the ball and cool as you like slots it past Fraser
37mins: Captain for the day Randolph races off his line to collect at the feet of Sproule as he raced through on goal.
35mins: Half-chance there for Sproule. Shot from just inside the box…never going to beat Randolph from that angle though.
32mins: Corner to Motherwell now….County eventually clear from a Hateley/Law combo
30mins: Corner to Ross County…..Law blocks twice to clear the danger.
25mins: Free-kick in a dangerous position for Ross County….. Brittain blasts over.
22mins: YELLOW CARD – Brittain booked for a tug on Carswell’s shirt.
19mins: Oikonomou skins Hateley on the wing and delivers a good left footed cross which marginally evades the waiting Wolfarth.
16mins: Brittain combines with Vigurs on the edge of the box but his left footed shot drifts just past Randolph’s post
8mins: GOAAALLL!! McFadden and Humphrey make it look easy! Humphs rolls it across the face of goal and Faddy slots home! 1-0
5mins: A quiet start. Just a few niggly midfield challenges to speak of.
1min: Ross County get the game underway…..by promptly punting the ball out the park.
Here come the teams! New kit looking lovely, too. Pity it’s not brilliant sunshine to add a little to the party atmosphere
Kick-off just minutes away here at a rainy Fir Park.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“It’s nice to finish with a home win; although that’s probably the least impressive we’ve been at home since Christmas.
“We’ve broken the points record from last year and the players deserve it for the whole season.
“We’ve got pace on the break, although we missed Henrik [Ojamaa] a little bit – the front two – Faddy and Higgy [Michael Higdon] – I could probably give them both a race!
“As with all wingers, Chris can be a bit hit and miss at times but he was the difference between the teams today.”
Ross County manager Derek Adams:
“We’ve had a fabulous season and now we want to try and finish in fourth position.
“Today was about trying to finish in third and we haven’t been able to do that.
“At the start of the season our main aim was to finish in 11th position and we’ve done a lot better than that.
“Take nothing away from Motherwell. They’ve had a fantastic season and deserve to be second in the league.”
The final Steelmen Matchday Magazine of 2012/13 is on sale today, and for the first time ever we have produced dual covers.
Prodigal son James McFadden is on half of them and, as a tribute to PFA Scotland Player of the Year Michael Higdon, he is on the other.
But what is inside the 68-page issue?
‘Well boss Stuart McCall and Captain Keith Lasley both return with the regular columns. The manager reflects on the season gone and Keith Lasley pays tribute to the current squad.
The feature interview is with legendary forward James McFadden who chats about his return to Fir Park, Motherwell’s fantastic season and his hopes for the future.
But that’s not where the features stop!
There is a 13-page section dedicated to our visitors, Ross County.
Kris Jack goes through four players to watch from opponents, as we as a player-by-player breakdown of their squad.
Staggies ‘keeper, and former ‘Well stopper Mikey Fraser is the man in the spotlight in our opposition Q&A and Lynn Maclennan gives us a fans-eyed view of County’s season so far.
We also have a scout report from the 1-1 draw with Celtic at Victoria Park last weekend.
The features and big names keep coming…
In our Interview Alumni section, we catch up with yet another legend, Willie Pettigrew. The striker talks about record-breaking, goalscoring and the current crop of Motherwell talent.
Press & Media Manager Alan Burrows returns in ‘The Last Word’ and Graham Barnstaple’s Cult Heroes this week focuses on one former Dutch defender Mitchell van der Gaag – a hero of the last home game of the campaign.
But wait, there’s more! We look back at the fantastic win against Celtic and the narrow defeat in Inverness. There are ten tough questions in our Quiz, the latest news section as well as an in-depth statistical look at referee Craig Thomson.
Steelmen boss takes his through his ‘First and Last’ and there’s a preview of the new Motherwell away kit for 2013/14.
We have the latest from The Ticket Office, the Commercial Department, and update from the Well Society as well as the latest stats, facts and figures from the 2012/2013 campaign.
The programme is available for £3 (or £5 for both covers) and is currently on sale from the Club Shop as well as the usual sellers located in and around the ground pre-match.
You can also order back editions or take a season-long subscription to the magazine by visiting the website of our publishers – Curtis-Sports –http://www.curtis-sport.com/
Motherwell striker Michael Higdon has scooped the Clydesdale Bank Player of the Month award for April.
The 29-year old, who has scored an astonishing 27 goals for ‘Well this season, has won the award for the second time this campaign after previously being recognised back in September.
The accolade comes hot on the heels of his PFA Scotland Player of the Year success last Sunday – the first Motherwell player to ever win that particular award.
Higdon scored in all three games Motherwell played in April, including a stunning double against Dundee United at Tannadice that took him beyond Willie Pettigrew’s post war top league goals record for the Steelmen.
It was Higdon’s goalscoring performances that led the panel to pick him as the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Young Player of the Month.
A panel of Scottish football experts chose the award winners from a shortlist which included the top three fans’ nominations from Clydesdale Bank’s football website, www.cbfootball.co.uk.
Due to some last minute changes we are relisting three positions in the Matchday Experience.
This will be the last opportunity to play on the hallowed turf so make sure you do not miss out.
Away Team number 5 and 7 and Home Team number 9 are now relisted, with the auctions due to expire around 7pm on Monday night (13th May).
To visit the MotherwellFCBay site on eBay, CLICK HERE.
For more information on the Matchday Experience, CLICK HERE.
Motherwell Football Club are tonight delighted to showcase our new black away kit for season 2013/2014.
It is Motherwell’s fourth year with manufacturing giants PUMA and the third with principal sponsors Cash Converters.
The Steelmen haven’t played in black since the 2005/06 ‘Third Kit and with the PUMA CELL design, retail manager Alan Provan is hopeful fans will once again respond well to the strip.
He said: “When you think of an all-black Motherwell kit, it’s almost impossible not to think back to the ‘Skippy Sunday’ match back in 2005.
“We’ve not had a black kit since then and we felt now was the right time bring it back.
“I am absolutely delighted with how they have turned out. We have spent a great deal of time getting the CELL design along the top and I think it gives the strip a real edge.
Once again I think PUMA have delivered with another fine set of strips for 2013/14 and we’ve had them out and on sale earlier than ever this season.”
The new PUMA 2013/2014 away kit will be released both in-store and online on Saturday 22nd June 2013. The home kit has already been launched and the team will wear it for the first time against Ross County this Sunday.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall has urged his side to finish the season in style and sign off the last match at Fir Park with a win.
The Steelmen take on Derek Adams’ Ross County side still needing a single point to tie up second spot in the Scottish Premier League.
The match is also likely to be the last at Fir Park for a few ‘Well players who will likely depart at the end of the current campaign when their contract expires.
And paying tribute to his players, former Bradford boss McCall has challenged his squad to go out with a bang and wrap up what has been a superb 2012/13.
[pullquote]We all want to win the game and for both sides it is a big game.[/pullquote]
Speaking at Motherwell’s weekly news conference, he said: “I’ve been very fortunate to be in charge of a team like this as they’re a great bunch.
“I inherited a lot of them but also brought in some of my own to strengthen and I think they deserve to go out on a high.
“We all want to win the game and for both sides it is a big game. Our home form up to playing them (Ross County) in December was lost three and drawn two, however after winning that match we’ve never looked back.
“We’ve scored goals, played well and won games. Last season I was slightly disappointed when we lost the last game of the season to Dundee United even though we had already qualified for The Champions League, so certainly we’ll be looking to win the game and end the season on a positive note at home.”
Cash Converters have confirmed that the overall winner for the season was ‘Well fan Markus Schieren.
Throughout the season, the Convert for Cash Race has pitted a home fan against an away fan during half time at a home game each month.
Faced by two giant inflatable footballs, fans had to dribble the balls with their hands around a designed slalom course and cross the goal-line to take home £150.
Markus will receive £1,000 from Cash Converters.
Markus was absolutely delighted and had this to say: “I just wanted to say thank you to you all at Cash Converters and a special thanks to the event team.
I hope you will do something similar again next year. By the way, that’s season tickets for me and my girlfriend next season sorted!”
We would invite all Motherwell fans to get along to Fir Park this Sunday for the last home match of the 2012/13 season.
It has been yet another fantastic campaign; Stuart McCall and his side have performed incredibly well and currently sit second place in the Scottish Premier League table behind Celtic.
The club have worked with North Lanarkshire Council and other local bodies to hand out over 5,000 tickets to local schools, community groups and clubs, boys brigade, scouts, local community teams and many more.
The Maxim Park Stand will hopefully be full to capacity this Sunday* and we want you to join us.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall said: “The lads deserve a big crowd for all their efforts this campaign.
“For some of the lads, this may well be their last appearance at Fir Park and I know they will be looking forward to thanking the fans for their terrific support throughout the season.
“It’s a big match for us too. We desperately want to confirm that second spot and try and eclipse last year’s record points total in the SPL.
“I would encourage everyone to get along and hopefully it will be an afternoon to remember.”
Kick-off is 4.05pm on Sunday 12th May 2013 – standard ticket prices apply.
*Please note you will not be able to purchase tickets for the South Stand either prior or on the day of the match.