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    Morecambe 1 – 2 Motherwell

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    TV: Highlights from Central Park

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    Black pleased with friendly workout

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    Cowdenbeath 0 – 5 Motherwell

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    Saturday friendly information

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    TV: McCall counting on experience

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    ‘Well paired with Kuban Krasnodar

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    TV: Motherwell sign McFadden

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    TV: McCall happy with new signings

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    TV: McManus eyes more Scotland caps

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    Morecambe 1 – 2 Motherwell

    Motherwell scored with virtually the last kick of the ball to win their first match of the pre-season campaign so far.

    Estonian trialist Henri Anier had put the Steelmen ahead after sixteen minutes before a Kevin Ellison shot deflected off Padraig Amond to level things on the half hour.

    It stayed that way until the last minute when another trialist, young Jack Smith, got on the end of a Francis-Angol cross to head home despite the best efforts of Shrimps skipper Mark Hughes on the line.

    It was a satisfying end to the day for McCall, who opted to mix the side up between the game in England and that in Cowdenbeath.

    ‘Well were missing the likes of James McFadden, Keith Lasley, Stevie Hammell and Simon Ramsden who were in Fife. The squad was peppered with a number of trialists including Frenchman Chris Gadi, Portuguese Toni Silva and Estonian Anier.

    Summer recruit Gunnar Nielsen was named as goalkeeper and had to look smart early on to save from Stewart Drummond’s back post header.

    The Faroese International was in action shortly after, stooping low to his right to turn around Andrew Fleming’s long-range effort although it may well have been dropping wide of the post.

    It was to prove an important few stops as Motherwell would get themselves ahead just four minutes later.

    Iain Vigurs collected a neat pass from Stephen McManus in middle of the park and immediately set the Steelmen on the attack. He sent a super pass through the home defence for Henri Anier, who had timed his run to perfection. The seven-times capped Estonian International kept his composure to round Roche and tuck into the empty net.

    Morecambe didn’t let the goal get to them though, and were only denied a leveller four minutes later thanks to another excellent Nielsen save.

    Kevin Ellison collected on the left flank, cut inside Fraser Kerr before unleashing a stinging drive that forced the former Blackburn and Man City stopper to turn over at full stretch.

    Motherwell’s defence was eventually breached on the half-hour. Ellison was again involved. Stuart McCall will have been frustrated at how the wide man was able to squirm away from three markers on the right flank. His ball into the area would have been comfortable for Nielsen, but an unfortunate touch of both Amond and Stephen McManus left the keeper helpless.

    Motherwell could and perhaps should have been ahead again within a minute. A defence mix-up allowed the Estonian in but Roche superbly turned around his low shot. To make matters worse, the match official gave a goal kick.

    Iain Vigurs smashed a 40-yard shot narrowly wide before the Shrimps had the ball in the net via Ellison but he was clearly offside. Fleming had a long-range strike of his just before the interval but Nielsen was again on hand to turn it away.

    ‘Well started the second half on the front-foot and a quick thinking John Sutton free-kick provided Anier with another half chance but his low near post shot was well saved by Roche.

    The second half was certainly quieter than the first, and it took until the 65th minute when Iain Vigurs blasted over. It came after good play on the right flank from substitute Toni Silva, who was introduced at the break in place of Gadi.

    Nielsen was called into action for the first time in the second period with just seventeen minutes left on the clock. Sub Ryan Williams’ cross-cum-shot was certainly awkward but well dealt with by the Faroe Islander.

    Silva must have thought he had won it for ‘Well when his shot from 6-yards beat Roche but some fantastic defending by another sub, Robbie Threlfall denied him, somehow sliding it off the line.

    However, there would be a sting in the tail for the hosts as ‘Well netted with virtually the last kick of the ball.

    Paul Lawson sent Francis-Angol on his way with a delicious diagonal ball towards the left flank. The Antiguan International held up a teasing ball to the back post where the lurking Jack Smith was waiting. The young trialist, son of former striker Andy, rose well and headed home despite the acrobatic efforts of Hughes.

    It would end a good afternoon’s work for the Claret and Amber men, ensuring wins at both friendly matches some twelve days before the European opener at Fir Park.

    Motherwell: Nielsen, Kerr, Francis-Angol, Lawson, Hutchinson, McManus, Gadi (Silva 45), Carswell, Sutton, Vigurs (Smith 84), Anier (McCafferty 77)

    Subs: Stewart, Ferguson

    Photography: Keith Fitton at www.shrimpsvoices.co.uk

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    TV: Highlights from Central Park

    Highlights from Motherwell’s second game of the day against Cowdenbeath at Central park where the visitors ran out convincing 5-0 winnners

    -WATCH THE FULL HIGHLIGHTS ONLY ON MFC TV-

    MFC TV

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    Black pleased with friendly workout

    Kenny Black believes the squad will benefit from game time in today’s friendly encounters with Cowdenbeath and Morecambe.

    With Stuart McCall opting to split his squad between the two fixtures, Black led a side featuring James McFadden, Lasley, Steven Hammell and Simon Ramsden to a 5-0 thrashing over the Blue Brazil.

    Bob McHugh grabbed a double while Dominic Thomas, Keith Lasley and Craig Moore all were on target in a comprehensive showing from the Steelmen.

    “I said before the game that the young players would help the experienced guys and the older guys would help the younger players,” said Black.

    [pullquote]It was a good showing in tough conditions and there were some very positive performances from the younger guys[/pullquote]

    “It was a good showing in tough conditions and there were some very positive performances from the younger guys.”

    There was concern on the Well bench as McFadden limped off in the early stages of the match, however Black is confident the former Everton and Birmingham man will be ok.

    “It wasn’t in the script to lose Faddy, he needs more game time, but unfortunately that didn’t happen,” he added.

    “He was feeling his hamstring a bit, we took him off as a precaution and did the same with Simon Ramsden too.”

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    Cowdenbeath 0 – 5 Motherwell

    Motherwell coasted to a comfortable victory in the sunshine at Central Park this afternoon.

    Dominic Thomas curled home a wonderful effort on the half-hour mark and Bob McHugh netted from the spot to double the lead just before half-time.

    A blistering last 15 minutes saw three further goals for the Fir Parkers, McHugh rocketed home a wonderful free-kick and Keith Lasley’s low drive found the corner of the net.

    Craig Moore added the fifth in the final minutes to complete a satisfying afternoon for the visitors.

    With Stuart McCall opting to split his squad between games in Morecambe and Cowdenbeath, Kenny Black led a side featuring James McFadden, Lasley, Steven Hammell and Simon Ramsden to face the Blue Brazil.

    There was concern on the bench when McFadden hobbled off after 25 minutes, however Black later confirmed he was only taken off as a precaution.

    McFadden saw his early effort comfortably gathered by Scott Mathieson, before Thomas flashed a shot just wide of the target.

    The Scotland legend was enjoying a bright start to his first appearance since putting pen to paper on a one-year-deal with the club and he again tried his luck from range – this time his shot sailing over courtesy of a deflection.

    McHugh was the next to try and break the deadlock as the visitors continued to control proceedings.

    McFadden’s afternoon ended after only 24 minutes when he limped off to be replaced by Steven Higgins.

    Kenny Black’s men got the goal their play merited on the half-hour mark when Thomas skipped past his man before curling a superb effort beyond the helpless Mathieson.

    Lee Erwin narrowly failed to connect with Craig Moore’s low cross on 36 minutes, but the small band of travelling fans did not have to wait long for another goal.

    Greg Stewart clumsily brought down Keith Lasley inside the box McHugh coolly slotted home from the spot.

    Young left-back Ross Kellock replaced Simon Ramsden at half-time meaning Hammell was moved into the centre of the Well defence.

    McHugh sent a shot from distance wide of the post with 16 minutes remaining, but he did add to his tally two minutes later – floating a wonderful free-kick past the helpless Mathieson from 25-yards.

    Lasley drilled home a fourth after connecting with a loose ball following Thomas’s free-kick hit the wall and Moore completed the rout, slotting a close-range shot past the goalkeeper via a slight deflection.

    The knock to McFadden aside, it will be regarded a very good days work for the squad.

    Motherwell: Hollis, Ramsden (Kellock 45), Hammell, Lasley, Murray, Cummins (Leitch 77), McFadden (Higgins 23), Thomas, McHugh, Moore, Erwin

    Subs: Currie, Cadden

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    Saturday friendly information

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has said he plans to mix it up ahead of a fixture double-header this weekend.

    The Steelmen face Morecambe at the Globe Arena and Cowdenbeath at Central Park – both on Saturday afternoon.

    It was initially thought that the game against the Blue Brazil would be used predominately as an Under 20s fixture, but the Fir Park boss will now send an ‘XI’ to both.

    McCall said: “I want everyone to get ninety minutes, so we will split up the squads for both matches.

    “We are getting so close to European matches and it will help the lads if everyone gets a full game.”

    MORECAMBE:

    Venue: Globe Arena
    Kick-off: 2pm
    Kit: Claret and Amber (Home)

    Admission Prices:

    SEATING AREA:

    ADULTS:   £12
    CONCESSIONS:    £8
    JUNIORS:   £4

    STANDING AREA:

    ADULTS:   £10
    CONCESSIONS:    £7
    JUNIORS:   £3
      • Concessions are listed as Over 60s and Full Time Students with a valid matriculation card and registered disabled.
      • Juveniles are listed as 14 – 18 year olds.

    Squad:

    Gunnar Nielsen, Ross Stewart, Fraser Kerr, Stephen McManus, Shaun Hutchinson, Zaine Francis-Angol, David Ferguson, Stuart Carswell, Paul Lawson, Iain Vigurs, Paul McCafferty, Craig McCall, John Sutton, Henri Anier, Dale Shirkie coached by Stuart McCall, Gordon Marshall, John Porteous (Physio) and Alan MacDonald (Kitman)

     

    COWDENBEATH:

    Venue: Central Park
    Kick-off: 3pm
    Kit: All black (Away)

    Admission Prices:

    ADULTS:   £10
    CONCESSIONS:    £5
    • Concessions are listed as OAPs and Under 16s. Please note there are no student tickets available

    Squad:

    Lee Hollis, Max Currie, Stevie Hammell, Ross Kellock, Euan Murray, Adam Cummins, Simon Ramsden, Steven Higgins, Dom Thomas, Craig Moore, Frazer Johnstone, Keith Lasley, Lee Erwin, Bob McHugh, James McFadden coached by Kenny Black, Jonatan Johansson, Adam Stokes (Physio) and Nicky Watson (Kitman).

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    TV: McCall counting on experience

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall is hoping to call on previous European experiences when they face FC Kuban in a fortnight.

    Whilst it is the Russians first match in European competition, the tie will represent Motherwell’s tenth in the last five years.

    And although the Krasnodar side is full of experienced International players such as Djibril Cissé, McCall wants to use St Johnstone in Rosenburg and Scotland in Croatia as an inspiration for upsetting the odds.

    [pullquote]We’ve got to look to try and progress and we can take confidence from St Johnstone’s result last night as well as Scotland’s result in Croatia.[/pullquote]

    He told the gathered press at Motherwell’s news conference: Last season I was pleased with the away games on Europe; we were 0-0 in Greece for a long period of time and only got beat 1-0 by Levante.

    “Games like those are great experiences for the players and they’ll all be looking forward to playing Kuban.

    “We have to make sure we go to Russia and, not to say still be in the tie – that’s a negative way to look at it, but to go there and have a lead

    “We’ve got to look to try and progress and we can take confidence from St Johnstone’s result last night as well as Scotland’s result in Croatia.

    “We’ll be positive and do the best we possibly can. If we can be at our best and it gets us through, it’s all well and good.”

    -WATCH HIS FIRST INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    ‘Well paired with Kuban Krasnodar

    Motherwell will face Russian side FC Kuban Krasnodar  in the Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round.

    The ties are due to be played on 1 and 8 August 2013.

    More information will follow shortly…

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    TV: Motherwell sign McFadden

    Motherwell FC is today delighted to confirm the signing of James McFadden on a one-year contract.

    30-year old McFadden started his career at Fir Park, scoring 31 goals in 58 starts, before securing a £1.25 million move to English Premiership side Everton back in September 2003.

    He has spent a decade south of the border with spells at Birmingham City, Everton (again) and Sunderland. He has also been capped 48 times by Scotland, scoring 15 goals.

    He returned to Fir Park for a second spell in February and galvanised the squad who would go on to finish second in the Scottish Premier League. Faddy’s contribution cannot be underestimated, scoring five goals in ten starts.

    The forward is Motherwell’s seventh signing of the summer following the arrival of Paul Lawson, Iain Vigurs, John Sutton, Fraser Kerr, Gunnar Nielsen and Stephen McManus.

    [pullquote]My relationship with the supporters and how they are with me certainly played a part in my decision.[/pullquote]

    Speaking exclusively to MFC TV, McFadden said: “I am really pleased to have it all sorted.

    “When the manager asked me to go to Spain, I made up my mind then that I was going to come back and I am really looking forward to the season ahead.

    “My relationship with the supporters and how they are with me certainly played a part in my decision.

    “It’s familiar surroundings; obviously I really enjoyed it last season, I hope the fans will be happy and I am happy to get it all done.”

    Chief Executive Leeann Dempster added: “Obviously we are thrilled and delighted to have James on board again.

    “He is an iconic figure amongst our supporters and made a significant contribution at a vital time last season.

    “The board have been very pleased with how the summer recruitment plan has gone thus far and are still hopeful of adding some more new faces in the near future.”

    -WATCH HIS FIRST INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    TV: McCall happy with new signings

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has declared himself pleased with the standard of players he has recruited so far this summer.

    The Steelmen had already brought in Paul Lawson, Iain Vigurs, Fraser Kerr, John Sutton and Gunnar Nielsen before Stephen McManus joined at the start of the week.

    And the 40-times capped former Scotland International midfielder is hopeful of adding more in the near future, with ‘Well hero James McFadden top of the wanted list.

    He said: I’m really pleased to have (Stephen) McManus on board.

    [pullquote]There is no doubt we’ve lost a lot of quality, that goes without saying but I’ve been pleased with the players we’ve brought in.[/pullquote]

    “To be honest, I thought when we didn’t get him on the plane to Spain with us and he went off to train with Hibs, we wouldn’t get him but thankfully he’s decided to come here.

    “I wasn’t really looking for a centre back; Simon Ramsden did well there last season and we’ve lost two good full backs in Hateley and Saunders but when a player of his pedigree and quality comes up, I thought we’d have a sniff and we’re delighted to get him.

    “There is no doubt we’ve lost a lot of quality, that goes without saying but I’ve been pleased with the players we’ve brought in.

    “I still think, not including Faddy, we need one, if not two, other additions and if we get that I’ll be pleased with the work we’ve done.”

    -WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    TV: McManus eyes more Scotland caps

    Experienced defender Stephen McManus has more caps in his sights after joining Motherwell on Monday.

    The defender won the most recent of his 26 caps in a 3-2 defeat by Spain at Hampden in October 2010, but he is keen to make sure it is not his last.

    The 30-year-old, who made 21 appearances last season for Middlesbrough and loan is aiming to impress former Celtic and Riverside boss Gordon Strachan after signing a one-year deal at Fir Park.

    [pullquote]You get what you deserve and if I end up in the Scotland squad then great. My aim is to concentrate on playing here week in week out and I’ll see where that takes me.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the gathered media at a Press Conference to formally parade him as ‘Well player, he said: “I’m only 30 and everybody knows about the relationship I have with Gordon Strachan, which is pretty good, but you don’t get any favours in football.

    “You get what you deserve and if I end up in the Scotland squad then great. My aim is to concentrate on playing here week in week out and I’ll see where that takes me.

    “The only reason I will not be in squads is if the manager doesn’t pick me, it will not be from my own doing. It’s a different challenge playing here but it’s one I’m going to enjoy.”

    -WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE ON MFC TV

    MFC TV