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    TV: Ramsden aiming for Cup glory

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    TV: McCall wants professional approach

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    TV: Highlights from Tannadice

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    TV: McCall frustrated despite away point

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    Dundee Utd draw in pictures

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    Dundee Utd 2 – 2 Motherwell

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    TV: Highlights from Bayview

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    East Fife U20s 0 – 3 Motherwell U20s

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    TV: McCall excited by Tannadice test

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    TV: Lasley wants extended run

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    TV: Ramsden aiming for Cup glory

    Defender Simon Ramsden has set his sights on Cup glory after early exits last season.

    In contrast to excellent league form, Motherwell went out at the first hurdle to both Rangers and Aberdeen in the 2012/13 season.

    And the former Bradford full-back has spoke of the determination amongst the squad to put that right this time around.

    [pullquote]Last season we let ourselves down in the cup competitions so we’re determined to put that right.[/pullquote]

    “It’s a break from the league but a very big game for us,” he said.

    “Last season we let ourselves down in the cup competitions so we’re determined to put that right.

    “The manager described the performance at Ibrox as the most disappointing performance of the season; I don’t know if the atmosphere got to a few players.

    “The league side of things last season was tremendous this is definitely something we want to put right and we’re under no illusions it’s going to be a tough game, but we’ll go there determined to do well.

    “There’s always upsets in the Cup and all you need is a little bit of luck to get through the first few rounds. It’s a case of taking each game as it comes and although it is a tough game if we can get through hopefully we can put a good run together.”

    -WATCH HIS INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    TV: McCall wants professional approach

    Stuart McCall has warned his squad they mustn’t underestimate Livingston in tomorrow’s SPFL League Cup tie.

    The Steelmen take on the Scottish Championship basement boys at the Energy Assets Arena in the third round of the competition.

    And McCall has cautioned his troops to approach the match in a professional manner, particularly as the Lions have a new manager in John McGlynn and are unbeaten since his appointment.

    Speaking to the gathered press at Motherwell’s pre-match news conference, the Scotland coach said: “I was at the Dumbarton versus Livingston game on Saturday and at half-time, Livingston had just lost a goal and didn’t look as though they could turn it around.

    [pullquote]We are all in no doubts that if we’re not fully focused and treat this 100%, it could be a banana skin. With the result they got on Saturday, and the lift they got from playing so well, their spirit will be good.[/pullquote]

    “However, in fairness to John [McGlynn], he made some changes and they were terrific in the second half.

    “We are all in no doubts that if we’re not fully focused and treat this 100%, it could be a banana skin. With the result they got on Saturday, and the lift they got from playing so well, their spirit will be good.

    “They have good players down the spine of the team; Mensing and O’Brien and Barrowman up front as well as good youngsters like Scougall so we will be treating this game as serious as any league game.

    “We’ll make a few changes but in no way will we be taking it lightly. The players who will come in are desperate to get a game and if they play at the level they can, we are capable of going through.”

    -WATCH HIS INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    TV: Highlights from Tannadice

    Highlights from  this afternoon’s game at Tannadice as Motherwell and Dundee Utd battle out an entertaining 2-2 draw.

    -WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

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    TV: McCall frustrated despite away point

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall couldn’t help but wonder what might have been as his side were held to a 2-2 draw at Tannadice this afternoon.

    Motherwell deservedly took the lead when Henri Anier smashed home his fourth of the campaign in a first-half dominated by the Steelmen.

    To their credit, United came out swinging at the start of the second half and scored twice in a three-minute period, Nadir Çiftçi and Andrew Robertson doing the damage.

    Keith Lasley smashed the post with an exquisite free-kick before Lionel Ainsworth brought Motherwell level with a rocket buster of a strike with about fifteen minutes left to play.

    Both teams went for it and John Sutton came within an inch of winning it, but his bundled effort bounced agonisingly wide of the post.

    Looking back over the ninety minutes, McCall was a little frustrated his side only had the single point to show for their efforts.

    [pullquote]It was a bit more end-to-end in the second half whereas we dominated the first. With that in mind, we have to be a little disappointed not to have come away with a win.[/pullquote]

    “Later tonight or tomorrow I might see the match as a well-earned point, but my first thought after the match is two points thrown away,” McCall told MFC TV after the match.

    “I felt we were in complete control at half-time, we got a terrific goal and kept their danger men quiet for long periods of the game.

    “We needed to make sure we came out on the front foot in the second half but we didn’t unfortunately. We lost two good goals from their point of view, but it’s poor defending from ours; we can’t let the boy run for sixty yards unopposed and get a free shot at goal.

    “I am pleased with the character we showed to get back into the match through a wonderful Lionel Ainsworth goal.

    “It was a bit more end-to-end in the second half whereas we dominated the first. With that in mind, we have to be a little disappointed not to have come away with a win but it was a good game to be involved in.”

    -WATCH HIS INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    Dundee Utd draw in pictures

    Pictures from the 2-2 draw with Dundee Utd in the Scottish Professional Football League Premiership at Tannadice.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix, Jeff Holmes (JSHPix) and Craig Foy Photography.

    [svgallery name=”dundeeutd220913″]

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    Dundee Utd 2 – 2 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Gavin McCafferty at Tannadice

    Lionel Ainsworth struck a glorious first goal for Motherwell to earn a 2-2 draw against Dundee United at Tannadice.

    The on-loan Rotherham winger hit a superb long-range strike in the 76th minute, on his second appearance off the bench, after Dundee United had cancelled out Henri Anier’s opener with two goals in four minutes early in the second half.

    Anier’s well-executed volley had given the visitors a deserved lead on the half-hour mark but United, who were without Gary Mackay-Steven, got going soon after following a slow start and Nadir Çiftçi and Andrew Robertson both exploited space down Motherwell’s right-hand side.

    Each team had come into the match on form with Motherwell on a three-match winning streak and United having hit eleven goals in their previous four games and they both pushed for a winner in an exciting finale.

    Motherwell started well and their first real chance came inside eight minutes when Stephen McManus met Iain Vigurs’ corner with a diving header, but the defender sent it wide of the far post from 10 yards.

    Anier’s strength and movement was causing problems for United’s defence and he got his first sight of goal when he ran on to Vigurs’ pass and struck a vicious left-footed effort on the run, which just cleared the bar.

    The breakthrough came as a result of a powerful run down the left wing by Zaine Francis-Angol. The Antiguan International got away from Ryan Dow just inside United’s half and got to the penalty box before cutting across John Rankin to cut the ball back.

    The delivery was far from easy for Anier to take but the on-loan Viking Stavanger forward chested the ball down and repositioned his body perfectly to fire a powerful left-footed volley beyond Radoslaw Cierzniak’s outstretched hand from around the penalty spot.

    Motherwell went on the hunt for more goals and John Sutton met Ramsden’s cross before the near post but could not steer the ball on target.

    United, who barely got a kick in the first forty-five, responded in the latter stages of the half as Çiftçi set up two chances.

    The first fell for Dow but the midfielder never looked confident and volleyed well over and Stuart Armstrong then dragged a left-footed shot wide of the far post from 15 yards after getting in front of Ramsden.

    United stepped up a gear after half-time and equalised in the 53rd minute after Motherwell had defended a series of corners.

    With Ramsden breaking down the right, Keith Lasley and then Shaun Hutchinson saw balls forward cut out. Ciftci peeled into the space on the left and collected the pass from John Rankin to fire an angled drive underneath Lee Hollis and into the net.

    Motherwell were playing without a wide-right midfielder and United exploited the same space to take the lead. Robertson picked the ball up midway inside his own half and ran unchallenged before unleashing a 25-yard strike that nestled inside the far corner.

    Well boss Stuart McCall rectified that situation by bringing on Ainsworth for Vigurs and Lasley came so close to equalising on 65 minutes when he curled a 30-yard free-kick off the inside of the post.

    Çiftçi set up another chance but Hollis held after Armstrong slid in to stab the ball towards goal.

    Anier had a 20-yard curler held before making way for McFadden, but it was the other substitute who immediately stole the show.

    Ainsworth controlled a second ball from a Hollis goal kick and fired a powerful 25-yard strike inside Cierzniak’s near top corner.

    United manager Jackie McNamara made an ambitious double switch as he brought on strikers David Goodwillie and Brian Graham for Dow and Ryan Gauld, while moving Çiftçi to wide right.

    But Motherwell were not satisfied with a point either and Sutton headed just wide following an up-and-under in the 89th minute before Goodwillie elected to head the ball back to a team-mate when presented with a stoppage-time chance.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Ally Reilly at Tannadice

    FT: Dundee Utd 2 – 2 Motherwell. Entertaining game!

    90mins: Lasley booked for crunching down Goodwillie

    90mins: 3 minutes added on.

    88mins: Sutton inches away from winning it for ‘Well! Ball fell to him 10 yards out and he headed just wide.

    87mins: Utd sub, Ciftci off for Oyenuga

    85mins: Utd charge up the pitch and win a corner of their own. Great header from Hutcinson to divert the danger

    83mins: Free-kick in Lasley territory…. ends with a corner.

    80mins: Utd subs: Goodwillie and Graham on for Gauld and Dow

    77mins: Ciftci booked for leaving a boot in on Hollis

    75mins: Lionel has absolutely pinged one in from 30 yards! A screamer!

    75mins: GOOOOAAALLLL!! WHAT A GOAL FROM LIONEL AINSWORTH!!!!

    74mins: Motherwell sub, McFadden on for Anier

    73mins: Motherwell coming back into the game a little as they search for the equaliser. ….

    69mins: Todays attendance is 5808

    67mins: Great chance again for Utd! This time it is Armstrong on the end of Ciftci’s cross. Thankfully it’s straight at Hollis.

    65mins: Free-kick won by Sutton about 35 yards out. ….Lasley thumps it off the post! Great effort!

    62mins: Motherwell sub, Ainsworth on for Vigurs

    56mins: GOAL!: Utd make it two through Robertson! Far too easy again to get forward and get his shot away. Good finish though

    52mins: GOAL! Utd equalise through Ciftci! Seemed to have far too much space to move into and rifled his shot past the helpless Hollis

    47mins: Utd start the half with a succession of corners. ‘Well defence holds strong!

    Back underway here for the second half. #COYW

    HT: Dundee Utd 0 – 1 Motherwell

    43mins: Bit of a let off there just before half-time as Rankin powers into the box but can only drag his shot wide.

    38mins: Dow should really have done better after Ciftci’s header down to him in the box. Volleys well over from 10 yards

    36mins:Ramsden goes on a run up front, eventually getting the ball across to Sutton. The big striker can only volley wide from a tight angle

    30mins: 1-0 to Motherwell

    GOAALL!! Stunning goal from Motherwell Absolutely superb run from Francis-Angol to get into the box,. He cuts it back to Anier who finishes in style!

    17mins:Lively looking start for ‘Well! Anier goes very close again with a left footed shot on the edge of the box after Vigurs sent him clear

    14mins: Patient build-up play from Vigurs and Lasley eventually releases Anier. His cross is deflected into the arms of Cierzniak

    11mins: Good play from Anier to win ‘Well a corner…..Utd clear the danger.

    8mins: Big Sutty almost hits the corner flag with his shot from 25 yards. He’ll know he can do better.

    7mins: McManus’ diving header from 10 yards flashes just past from Vigurs’ corner!

    5mins: Not a lot to speak of so far! As I type, Lasley see’s his effort from 25 yards sail well over

    1min: Underway here at Tannadice. Internet seems slow but will do our best! Motherwell playing in their black away top with white shorts and socks, Utd in their usual Orange and black.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “There were four great goals, but the two goals we lost were so disappointing. The second one we let the kid run 50 yards. In fairness to him it’s a good finish but we have got to close the ball.

    “I’m disappointed with the way we let them get back into it, although they deserved it with the way they played. We certainly deserved the equaliser and then both teams just went for it.

    “(Ryan) Gauld needed looking after in the pockets so we had to play one extra in the middle of the park. But I just don’t like playing one up on their own. We had to go lopsided and play without a natural right-sider.

    “We knew the left-back would be an outlet, hence my anger at letting him come so far down the park because we had been warned about that.

    “I have left Zaine Francis-Angol out twice now after two good performances and I thought he was our best player against St Mirren and deserved to keep his place. It was nothing detrimental against James.”

    Dundee Utd manager Jackie McNamara:

    “In the first half, they dominated us. It took us 40 minutes to win our first header in the centre of defence.

    “I’m delighted with the spirit in the second half, to come back like that.”

    “I think in the end, it’s two points lost. I thought we were terrific in the second half and [Stuart] Armstrong could have put the game to bed to go 3-1 up, but unfortunately he side-footed into the keeper.

    “The lads battled well to go 2-1 up. I thought it was a good match, a lot of energy throughout the match. Motherwell started the game well with good energy.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”158″]

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    TV: Highlights from Bayview

    Highlights from  this morning’s game at Bayview where Motherwell u20s progressed to the second round of the youth cup with a win over East Fife

    -WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

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    East Fife U20s 0 – 3 Motherwell U20s

    Motherwell finally excised their Bayview ghosts from last season with a comfortable 3-0 win in the SFA Youth Cup.

    Jonatan Johansson’s men crashed out the Cup at the first stage last season with perhaps the most disappointing performance of the campaign.

    Two first half goals from Craig Moore made sure there was to be no repeat of last season’s shock result. A further goal in the second half from Liam Anderson secured progression to the next round.

    Motherwell almost made the best possible start to the game when Craig Moore was sent clean through in the second minute but chipped his left foot shot wide of the post. The little striker made amends five minutes later when he did open the scoring.

    A Steven Higgins cross to the far post was turned back into the six yard box by Paul McCafferty for Moore was on hand to stab the ball home from close range.

    Young McCafferty almost turned provider again only minutes later but Moore could only scoop his cross over the bar.

    Moore came close again mid way through the half when he hooked a Jack Leitch free-kick wide of the front post. Higgins should’ve doubled the lead when he burst into the box but shot wide from a tight angle.

    It was all Motherwell by now and the second eventually came in the 29th minute and once again Moore was the scorer. He ran on to a Dom Thomas through ball and rounded the keeper before slamming home with his left foot.

    The home side almost pulled one back just before the break but Ritchie Hutton could only shoot over from a tight angle after being sent clear.

    Moore could have added two more in the early stages of the second half, firstly he chested a Thomas wide at the front post. His second chance also came from a Thomas cross this time he headed narrowly wide at the back post.

    The sides swapped long-range efforts with Daryl Falconer’s effort for the home side not troubling Ross Stewart in the ‘Well goal. At the other end, centre-half Nathan Doig blocked Thomas’ goalbound effort.

    With less than ten minutes to go, Motherwell finally made it three. Sub Liam Anderson latched on to a loosed ball twelve yards out and smashed a left-foot volley high into the net.

    This was the final action of the game and Motherwell can now look forward to the draw for the next round having put this tricky tie behind them.

    Motherwell: Stewart, Ferguson, Cadden, Hall, Neill, Leitch, McCafferty (McCall – 85mins) Thomas, Moore, Shirkie, Higgins (Anderson – 71mins) subs: Currie, Macken

    Subs Not Used: Currie, Mackin

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    TV: McCall excited by Tannadice test

    Stuart McCall is predicting a close encounter when two of the league’s form teams meet at Tannadice on Sunday.

    Dundee United host the Steelmen with both teams going into the match after some encouraging recent results.

    The Tangerines have won three of the last four, only losing to Champions Celtic, and have scored eleven goals in the process.

    ‘Well are on the back of three consecutive wins which have pushed them to third in the table.

    It is so finely poised ahead of the match and McCall is expecting a tight affair.

    [pullquote]People would probably say that we both made slow starts but have come into a bit of form in recent weeks.[/pullquote]

    “Both teams have had an overhaul of players during the summer,” he told Motherwell’s weekly media conference.

    “People would probably say that we both made slow starts but have come into a bit of form in recent weeks.

    “It’s a place we have been fortunate enough to have had good results in recent years, and hopefully we can do so again.

    “Make no mistake; it will be a tough one. They have been free-scoring lately and have talents in the attacking department that can hurt anyone.

    “However, we have a plan in place and will go there on Sunday in confident mood, looking for the win.”

    -WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

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    TV: Lasley wants extended run

    Skipper Keith Lasley has challenged his teammates to continue their good run of form when they face Dundee United this Sunday.

    The Fir Parkers have won their last three matches, disposing of Partick Thistle, Kilmarnock and St Mirren respectively.

    One theme that has been consistent through those matches has been the amount of chances ‘Well have struggled to convert, making for a somewhat nervy ending.

    And the veteran midfielder admitted the players themselves are keen to show more of a ruthless streak in forthcoming matches.

    “We have been pleased with how results have gone but the one criticism of ourselves, in the dressing room, is the need to be a little more ruthless,” he told the gathered press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference.

    “We’ve had a fair amount of chances to kill teams off; you think back to the two home games against Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock and in both those occasions, we have opportunities to extend our lead, and make it a little more comfortable in the closing stages.

    [pullquote]It is obviously going to be very tough against Dundee United on Sunday, but there is certainly a real desire and belief amongst the lads to keep our little run going.[/pullquote]

    “We just need to make sure that when we are on top in matches, we need to take advantage that little bit more than we currently are.

    “That being said, we have been delighted to take nine points from the last three matches, particularly as it came after a couple of disappointing results against Aberdeen and Inverness.

    “It is obviously going to be very tough against Dundee United on Sunday, but there is certainly a real desire and belief amongst the lads to keep our little run going.”

    -WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV