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    Motherwell 3 – 1 Ross County

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    Ross County Magazine Preview

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    TV: McCall aims for home comforts

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    Madden’s in charge this Saturday

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    League Cup Quarter Final draw

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    Book Ross County hospitality now

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    TV: Highlights from Almondvale

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    TV: McCall pleased with cup progress

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    Livingston win in pictures

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    Livingston 1 – 2 Motherwell

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    Motherwell 3 – 1 Ross County

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee at Fir Park

    Motherwell recovered from going a goal down in the first half to beat Ross County 3-1 at Fir Park this afternoon.

    And in the closing stages ‘Well might have added a few more goals as they turned in possibly their best home performance of the season.

    Despite some good individual performances from the changed team in the League Cup win at Livingston, James McFadden was the only change from the side which started at Tannadice last week, with ex-County man Iain Vigurs on the bench having just got through a fitness test before the match.

    Having rested the main strike force, John Sutton and Henri Anier, in mid-week it was obvious they would get chances against a County side boasting the worst defensive record in the league.

    And within 90 seconds, Anier might have added to his account when Sutton set him up but from a tight angle but the Estonian’s drive was parried by ex ‘Well keeper Mark Brown.

    Although play was very open, there were no real chances at either end until the 25th minute when McFadden sent Francis-Angol to the goal line and his cut back found Sutton who fired in a low shot which Brown blocked with his right foot.

    However, It was County who made the breakthrough four minutes later. And although Melvin de Leeuw’s shot from the edge of the box might have been on target ,the ball took a wicked deflection off Stephen McManus to send it spinning across the helpless Lee Hollis and in off the ‘keeper’s left hand post.

    ‘Well immediately went in search of an equaliser and McFadden hit the wall with a free-kick before Hutchinson swept wide after getting on the end of the resulting corner.

    County’s attacking formation provided them with a couple of chances but Lee Hollis was alert to save from Richard Brittain and a brilliant block to deny Stuart Kettlewell from close range.

    When ‘Well equalised after 54 minutes, though, there was only to be one winner. And that was demonstrated by John Sutton’s determination to score the equaliser.

    His free kick from 20-yards was brilliantly palmed round the post by Brown. But the ‘Well striker was not to be denied and when Lionel Ainsworth whipped in the corner, Sutton powered his header towards the top corner, despite Brown’s best efforts to keep the ball out.

    Motherwell were going through the gears and Sutton sent Ainsworth racing down the right. His curling cross in front of Anier was met with a diving header which sent the ball about a foot away from giving the home side the lead.

    The pressure steadily mounted on the visitors goal and after 67 minutes the Fir Parkers took the lead. Anier sent Sutton bursting through the middle and he held off Grant Munro before blasting an unstoppable shot high past Brown.

    Ainsworth then had an angled shot parried by Brown but the third goal was only delayed until the 77th minute. Simon Ramsden’s long cross found the unmarked McHugh who calmly steered his header into the top corner.

    It was all Motherwell after that and Sutton came close to grabbing his hat-trick with a header from a Stevie Hammell’s cross which flashed narrowly past the post.

    Motherwell’s form and confidence is high for the trip to Celtic Park next week.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 3 – 1 Ross County

    90mins: 3 minutes added on

    85mins: Sutton running riot. Another header just wide from Vigurs’ free-kick from wide on the left.

    84mins: Inches wide from Vigurs! His shot took a touch off Boyd though and it’s a corner.

    81mins: Sutton goes close again with another header! Hammell with the ball in from the left, Sutty heads just wide.

    77mins: Ramsden with the ball in and McHugh flew through the air to head past Brown. 3-1!

    77mins: GOAALLLL!! McHugh!

    76mins: Ross County sub , Glen on for Ross

    76mins: Motherwell sub: Vigurs on for Francis-Angol

    75mins: Good play from Francis-Angol to get to the wing and cut it back for McHugh. He tries to hit it on the spin but scoops it over.

    69mins: Ainsworth strides forward and after creating space for a shot, stings the palms of Brown with a powerful effort

    68mins: Motherwell sub, Anier off for McHugh

    67mins: Sutton makes it 2-1 with a fantastic finish 1 on 1 with Brown from Anier’s great through ball!


    63mins: Another fine save from Hollis to deny Brittain from close range.

    61mins: Ross County sub, de Leeuw off for Sproule

    59mins: Anier almost gives ‘Well the lead with a diving header from Ainsworth’s cross! Great effort

    58mins: Fantastic save from Hollis after Brittain’s long range shot takes a deflection and almost sneaks in.

    55mins: Ainsworth wins ‘Well a corner….,….McManus heads just over!

    53mins: Sutton equalises with a thumping header from the resulting corner. 1-1!

    53mins: GOAALLL!!!

    52mins: Another FK 25 yards out….Brown tips Sutton’s effort just past!

    51mins: Free-kick 30 yards out for Motherwell….Lasley drills it into the wall.

    50mins: De Leeuw goes close with a volley from Brittain’s cross. Was an awkward angle and didn’t get the power required to test Hollis

    46mins: Second half underway

    HT: Motherwell sub: McFadden off for Ainsworth.

    HT: Motherwell back out. Come on!

    HT: Motherwell 0 – 1 Ross County

    45mins: 2 minutes added on

    43mins: Glorious chance for County to double their lead just before half time. Brittain scoops it well over the bar from the edge of the box

    37mins: And from the corner, Hutchinson’s shot at the front post drifts just past!

    37mins: Free-kick about 25 yards out. Good position……McFadden’s shot is headed out for a corner.

    35mins: Ross County sub: McLean makes way for Munro.

    33mins: Decent chance there for ‘Well as Sutton flicks on McFadden’s free-kick from wide on the right. Straight at Brown.

    30mins: GOAL! County open the scoring. De Leeuw with the goal which was deflected past Hollis

    25mins: Sutton denied the opener by Mark Browns foot! Was a good stop to deny him from 10 yards. Anier curls the rebound just wide.

    20mins: Ambitious stuff from Hutchinson as he storms forward and tries a shot from 35 yards.High and wide.

    15mins: Bit of trickery from Francis-Angol freed him up to get a cross in from the left. Unfortunately no-one was there to take advantage

    9mins: Good spell of attacking pressure there from County! Carey with 2 good crosses in from the left with no takers

    5mins: Carey gets a bit of time 30 yards out and opts to shoot. Well over the bar.

    1min: Anier brings out a good stop from Brown! From the resulting corner Hutchinson heads just over.

    1min: De Leeuw and Brittain kick us off #COYW


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “It obviously wasn’t in the script to go a goal behind but to be fair to Ross County; they came and put two right up top.

    “They don’t often do that to be fair so that made their intentions clear from the start but I always felt that would leave us a little more room to play and it proved to be the case.

    “First half, although we were behind, we had the majority of the ball and had two or three wee half chances. Despite being behind at the break, I seen enough to suggest we would get chances and that proved to be the case in the second half.”

    Ross County manager Derek Adams:

    “I thought we played very well in the game as a whole.

    “The first half we created openings and didn’t really look under any threat. I know Brown made a really good save but Richard Brittain had a great chance to make it 2-0 just before half-time.

    “The second half we didn’t deal well with the cross ball into the box. From that point of view, disappointing, but overall it was a good performance from us.”


    [poll id=”160″]

  • Archive

    Ross County Magazine Preview

    The fourth domestic Steelmen Matchday Magazine of 2013/14 is on sale when Ross County visit on Saturday.

    But what is inside the 68-page issue?

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall and Captain Keith Lasley both return with their regular columns.

    Stuart talks about continuing our recent run of form and the difficulty posed by Derek Adams’ side.

    The skipper chats about having competition for places in a competitive ‘Well squad.

    The feature interview is with Stephen McManus. The Scotland defender speaks highly of his new club and how much he is enjoying life back in his native Lanarkshire.

    ‘Mick’ also features as the third of a souvenir poster collection in the centre pages and, for the first time this season, gives us his top five songs – all of which will be played over the PA before the match tomorrow.

    But that’s not where the features stop!

    There is a 12-page section dedicated to our visitors, Ross County.

    Ray Morrison introduces the Victoria Park side and there is a player-by-player breakdown of who is likely to line up for the Dingwall side.

    We continue our opposition manager section by speaking directly to Staggies boss Derek Adams. The former Steelmen midfielder chats candidly about catching up and facing some former teammates.

    We also take a detailed look back at Ross County’s last match against Hearts in the Highlands

    Graeme McGarry’s ‘Us and Them’ section also makes a return and features former ‘Well and County midfielder Marc Fitzpatrick. The Queen of the South player talks about some of his former teammates who ply their trade for both teams.

    The big features keep coming…

    Press & Media Manager Alan Burrows returns in ‘The Last Word’ and the next round of new quiz, MFC Eggheads, pits two Scotland Internationals against each other – James McFadden and Stephen McManus.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Our match reports section takes a look back at the win over St Mirren in Paisley and the 2-2 draw with Dundee Utd at Tannadice.

    There’s also an in-depth report from the Under 20s most recent match against East Fife in the SFA Youth Cup.

    We have the latest from The Ticket Office, Commercial and Community Departments, and update from the Well Society as well as the latest stats, facts and figures from the 2013/2014 campaign.

    We also take a statistical look at the match official, detail the SPFL’s support for a new road safety message and there’s details on September’s Player of the Month in the Latest News section.

    Another new feature is the ‘Junior Steel’ kids page that will test the youngster’s quiz minds with puzzles and ‘Did you know’ facts.

    The programme is available for £3 and is will be 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 –

  • Archive

    TV: McCall aims for home comforts

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall is hoping for more home success after back-to-back wins in recent weeks.

    The Steelmen will be aiming for their third consecutive home victory after disposing of both Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock in recent weeks.

    Incredibly, it wasn’t until Boxing Day last year that McCall’s men recorded their third win, beating Aberdeen 4-1.

    Three points against Ross County tomorrow would match that, three months ahead of schedule, and the Fir Park boss is conscious of having to perform in front of the home crowd.

    [pullquote]We have had some better results this season and, whilst we haven’t been fantastic in those matches, we played well in patches and merited each of our wins.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV, he said “It’s fairly obvious to say you want to win games but that’s particularly true when you are playing in front of your own fans.

    “We started off pretty poorly at Fir Park last season, it was actually the 3-2 win over Ross County in December that eventually got us going.

    “We have had some better results this season and, whilst we haven’t been fantastic in those matches, we played well in patches and merited each of our wins.

    “We just need to have that killer instinct when we are creating chances.

    “Obviously, Ross County will be tough; there is a bit of added spice with a number of former players lining up in both sides, but our main focus is trying to win the match and continue or recent run of form.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Madden’s in charge this Saturday

    Referee for this Saturday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Ross County at Fir Park is the highly-rated Bobby Madden.

    The match will be Bobby’s second in charge of the Steelmen this campaign. The first was the SPFL opener against Hibs at Easter Road, Henri Anier coming off the bench to net the winner.

    That was only his fifth ever Motherwell match. His first was back in January of the 2011/12 season as the ‘Well slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Inverness; Grégory Tadé grabbing the game’s only goal.

    His second was the thrilling 5-1 win over St Johnstone as Motherwell reaffirmed their grip on third spot in the SPL. Goals that day from Higdon, Law, Murphy and an Ojamaa double all but ended Saints’ hopes of nicking the best of the rest gong last season.

    Last season he also handled two matches. The first was an entertaining 3-3 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

    Motherwell had raced into a 3-1 lead courtesy of goals from Higdon, Hutchinson and Law but a late Aberdeen fightback handed Craig Brown’s men a draw.

    His second, two months later, was a fine 2-1 win at Tannadice. Michael Higdon opened the scoring before Chris Humphrey rocketed in a second goal of the season contender. Jon Daly pulled one back with his customary goal but it wasn’t enough as Motherwell held on for the three points.

    The 34-year old has been fourth official on a number of occasions, including Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup last season and the Semi Final with St Johnstone at Hampden.

    The whistler has busy already this campaign, with domestic duties topped up with games in the Europa League with Esbjerg fB vs AS Saint-Étienne.
    In addition, he handled two UEFA Champions League qualifiers: CS Fola Esch vs GNK Dinamo Zagreb and Austria Vienna vs FH Hafnarfjördur.

    His most recent SPFL appointment was last weekend when Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock shared a 1-1 draw at Firhill. He was also the man in the middle for Morton’s shock 1-0 win over Celtic in the League Cup on Tuesday night.

    Bobby will be ably assisted by Alasdair Ross and Stuart Stevenson with Euan Norris on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    League Cup Quarter Final draw

    Motherwell have been drawn to face Aberdeen at Fir Park in the Quarter Final of the SPFL League Cup.

    The Steelmen eased into the last eight with a comfortable 2-1 win over Livingston at the Energy Assets Arena.

    And after today’s draw at Hampden, ‘Well will now take on xx side with the matche due to be played either on Tuesday 29th October or Wednesday 30th October, 2013.


    Inverness CT vs Dundee Utd
    Morton vs St Johnstone
    Hibernian vs Hearts
    Motherwell vs Aberdeen

  • Archive

    Book Ross County hospitality now

    Ross County will visit Fir Park this Saturday 28th September and we are putting on a fantastic lunch menu in our hospitality suites.

    It’s a Saturday and it’s a 3pm kick off so an ideal opportunity to combine a lovely afternoon meal with a game.

    We’ll be serving:

    • Scotch Broth with a fresh Petit Pan
    • Traditional Steak Pie served with a Flaky Pastry and a selection of chefs vegetables
    • Dark Chocolate Truffle Torte with chocolate cream
    • Freshly Brewed Coffee/Tea and Mints

    All hospitality packages include your match ticket, award-winning programme, team sheet and half time tea.

    Former players will host the afternoon with your chance to meet first team players and club staff whilst enjoying your day.

    You have a choice of three packages:

    • Centenary Claret – Arriving from 12.30pm onwards for meal. Full service with access to a pay bar till kick off and then again for an hour post match. All this in the comfort of our Centenary Lounge. Book now from only £60 for an adult and £45 for a child under 16.
    • Centenary Amber – Arriving from 12.30pm onwards for meal. Full table service with complimentary bar and then again for an hour post match. All this in the comfort of our Centenary Lounge. Book now from only £99 for an adult and £55 for a child under 16
    • Millennium ticket – Enjoy a lighter bite with a complimentary bar for one-hour pre & post. Soup pre-match and half time refreshments, team sheet, match day programme for only £70 for an adult and £35 for a child.

    You can also get a ‘Centenary Matchday Ticket‘ which gives you access to the lounge, ticket and half-time tea, but doesn’t include the meal, for £45. Remember, Season Ticket holders can upgrade to hospitality for just £25.

    If you would like to book a place at our fantastic Ross County Hospitality Lunch, you can do so online by CLICKING HERE.

    Alternatively, please phone Jennifer Reston on 01698 333 333 or email

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Almondvale

    Highlights from Almondvale as goals from Bob McHugh and James McFadden help ‘Well to a 2-1 over Livingston.


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: McCall pleased with cup progress

    Stuart McCall was satisfied with his side after they comfortably eased past Livingston into the Quarter Finals of the League Cup.

    Bob McHugh and James McFadden both got their first goals of the new season in a match where the visitors were rarely troubled.

    John McGlynn’s men did add a late goal from a corner but it wasn’t enough as the Steelmen saw out the closing minutes.

    McCall was happy with the attitude of his players in what was a potential banana skin tie against the Championship side.

    [pullquote]I was pleased with how we defended though – we limited them to next to nothing all night and, overall, we deserved to go through.[/pullquote]

    “I am pleased with a lot of aspects of the match although I was disappointed to lose the late goal,” he told MFC TV after the match.

    “If I was being super critical, I would say we could have kept the ball a little better and perhaps used it better.

    “That being said, their goalkeeper has made three or four really good saves throughout the match which would have made it more convincing.

    “To their credit, Livingston played some nice football but when they player was sent off, it made it very difficult. I was pleased with how we defended though – we limited them to next to nothing all night and, overall, we deserved to go through.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Livingston win in pictures

    Pictures from the 2-1 win over Livingston in the SPFL League Cup Third Round at the Energy Assets Arena.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix and Craig Foy Photography.

    [svgallery name=”livingston250913″]

  • Archive

    Livingston 1 – 2 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

     Phil McGhee at the Energy Assets Arena

    Although the scoreline might suggest otherwise, Motherwell comfortably overcame Livingston to make the draw for the League Cup Quarter Finals.

    An early Bob McHugh goal should have removed thoughts of a another cup shock but it took a second goal from James McFadden, and after Livi were reduced to 10 men, to kill off the well organised Championship side.

    And although Danny Denholm pulled a goal back for the home team in the final minute, it was literally their first attempt on target and too late to unsettle ‘Well.

    While it was patchy performance, the Fir Park side will be happy to notch up a cup win after failed attempts at the first hurdle last season.

    Stuart McCall took the opportunity to rest five players from Sunday’s starting eleven at Tannadice. Gunnar Neilson took over in goal in an otherwise unchanged defence. Paul Lawson and Bob McHugh also made a start with James McFadden and Lionel Ainsworth retaining their places after coming on as substitutes against Dundee United.

    After what would have been a quiet opening first 15 minutes, had it not been for the huge and noisy travelling support, ‘Well opened the scoring. Ainsworth curled in a corner which Simon Ramsden headed towards the back post where Bob McHugh gladly nodded home his first goal of the season.

    The early goal settled the Steelmen, but while the rearranged side tried to develop a patient passing game, there was little to worry Darren Jamieson in the home goal.

    Ainsworth, after his stunning goal on Sunday, tried to emulate that strike with a run and shot from 25 yards which had the ‘keeper at full stretch as the ball whizzed past the post.

    Three minutes from the break ‘Well had strong appeals for a penalty when Coll Donaldson came through McFadden leaving him grounded and the referee thinking long and hard before waving play on.

    Neilson, untroubled for 45 minutes, faced his first shot just before half-time interval but Marc McNulty’s wild effort posed more of a threat to the ‘Well fans in the corner of the Energy Assets Arena.
    Despite some periods of untidy play from Motherwell, a second goal would have killed the tie and it was almost gifted six minutes after the break.

    Some erratic defending from Donaldson in front of his own goal presented the ball to McHugh, but his cut back to McFadden was smothered by the ‘keeper.

    McHugh then tried the direct route with a drive from the edge of the box but his effort drifted a couple of yards wide of goal.

    McNulty then did likewise at the other end as John McGlynn’s men tried to get themselves back into the tie. A glancing header from Andy Barrowman came even closer to forcing a first save from Neilsen.

    However, just as the home side looked to be gaining some confidence and posing a threat, they were reduced to 10 men when Jason Talbot was shown a straight red card after a two-footed tackle on Stevie Hammell.

    After 70 minutes John Sutton replaced McHugh and the impact was immediate.

    Ainsworth drilled a ball across the six-yard box and McFadden with a cheeky back-healer directed it past Jamieson to make it 2-0.

    The ‘keeper then produced a stunning triple save to block shots from Sutton, Ramsden and McFadden.

    Ainsworth almost made it three with a low left foot drive but Jamieson at full stretch palmed the ball away to retrict the lead to two goals.

    And in the final minute that lead was reduced when Denholm scrambled home Martin Scott’s corner, as Neilsen without a single save, passed up the chance to claim a clean sheet.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Ally Reilly at the Energy Assets Arena

    FT: Livingston 1 – 2 Motherwell. Comfortable night for the Steelmen.

    90mins: That’s Livi’s first and only shot on target all night and it leads to a goal. That will disappoint Stuart McCall…

    GOAL Livingston! Danny Denholm. Hopeful corner bounced through, hit the sub before bouncing in. Goal from nothing there…

    87mins: Lovely interplay between Ainsworth and Sutton. Little winger fires a half-volley wayyyy over the bar. Still 2-0 ‘Well..

    85mins: Offft, almost gets another belter. Poor kick from the GK – incredible touch but 25 yard shot goes inches over.

    84mins: Lovely cut back from Moore lands at Ainsworth. His shot is well saved by Jamieson.

    81mins: Last sub for Livi – Barrowman off, replaced by Burchill.

    80mins: Hammell comes off and us replaced by Moore. Big Gunnar gets the armband!

    79mins: How on earth did that not go in. Sutton just missed shot, Ramsden’s rebound palmed away, McFadden’s attempt deflected over. Crazy!

    76mins: Scougall off, replaced by Denholm as Livi make their second sub of the match.

    75mins: Carswell booked for a cynical trip.

    70mins: 2-0 for the ‘Well… Majestic back-heel flick by the Scotland International. Almost like Paulinho’s for Spurs last Saturday! Magnificent!

    GOAL FADDY!!!!!!

    69mins: Livi sub… Jacobs off, replaced by McDonald. Well also change… Sutton on for goalscorer McHugh.

    65mins: Livi down to 10 men after Jason Talbot is sent off for a bad lunge on Stevie Hammell who is left in a heap! Ouch!

    61mins: Livi’s best chance… Barrowman heads inches wide of target at the near post. Close from the hosts. Still 1-0 ‘Well

    58mins: Livi’s McNulty winds up a shot from the edge of the box but it zips way wide of post. Ohhhh from the home fans, but it was well wide

    55mims: ‘Well collect loose ball. Lawson to McHugh. Faddy wanted the slide ball but McHigh took shot on, blasting over the bar.

    52mins: Livi all over the place at the back. Donaldson gets into all sorts of trouble. McHugh pulls back for Faddy but he can’t convert.

    46mins: Motherwell get the second half going

    HT: Livingston 0 – 1 Motherwell (McHugh)

    41mins: Wee penalty shout there. McFadden downed in the box by Donaldson but nothing doing from referee Colvin.

    31mins: Offtt! Another Ainsworth screamer. This one is just tipped wide of the post by Jamieson. Still 1-0 ‘Well.

    29mins: There has been precious little to talk about folks. Few corners either side but that’s about it.

    15mins: Corner from Lionel Ainsworth flicked on by Ramsden for Bob who heads home from a yard out. 1-0 ‘Well!

    GOAL!! Bob McHugh

    13mins: Still nothing major to report at all folks. ‘Well Bois in great voice again. Good to have them back after a quieter Tannadice!

    4mins: Bob McHugh has the first effort of the game which is comfortably held by Jamieson.

    3mins gone so far… Nothing much happening, including a decent wifi or 3G connection…

    Livingston are going to kick-off…!


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “I have to say, I thought Livingston were terrific and it was only really when they went down to 10 men that we had chances to kill it off.

    “I think we did enough to win the game. I’m disappointed to lose the goal but overall we’re in the next round and that’s the main thing.

    “The park was really wet and it was skidding off and things weren’t coming off in the final third for both teams, but I’m pleased James got on the scoresheet and got a full 90 minutes.

    “He is desperate to do well, he puts everything into training and games.

    “Both strikers scored so that was great.”

    Livingston manager John McGlynn:

    “I would need to see it again but I don’t think you need to go in as aggressively in that position on the pitch. Away up there, what danger is anyone doing to you?

    “It cost us because we were well in the game.

    “I thought we played some really good football and controlled large chunks of the game. Credit to the lads, we even got a goal back at the end.”


    [poll id=”159″]