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    St Johnstone 2 – 0 Motherwell

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    TV: Mick happy to fly under the radar

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    TV: McCall expects it tough in Perth

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    Back the Scots at Fir Park this Saturday

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    TV: Highlights from Falkirk Stadium

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    TV: Johansson praises ruthless ‘Well

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    Falkirk U20s 1 – 5 Motherwell U20s

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    TV: Highlights from Links Park

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    TV: Johansson pleased to progress

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    Montrose U20s 0 – 4 Motherwell U20s

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    St Johnstone 2 – 0 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

     Alan Burrows at McDiarmid Park

    Motherwell turned in arguably their poorest performance of the season so far to go down 2-0 to St Johnstone.

    The Steelmen were off the pace for the majority of the match at a wet and windy McDiarmid Park and the home side fully merited the three points.

    In truth, with a bit more composure in front of goal, Tommy Wright’s men could have made the win even more convincing than it was.

    In the end, goals from Stevie May and Nigel Hasselbaink was enough to secure the win as ‘Well failed in the efforts to go second in the SPFL Premiership table.

    Stuart McCall made two changes to the side that beat Hearts eight days ago. Henri Anier and Zaine Francis-Angol dropped to the substitutes bench and were replaced by Paul Lawson and Bob McHugh.

    The team lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond in midfield. Former Ross County duo Lawson and Vigurs sat at the top and bottom of the diamond.

    The Fir Parkers made the better start and looked the team most likely in the first ten minutes, but it was the hosts who would create the first chance when Hasselbaink pulled it back for Paddy Cregg only for curled effort to fizz wide of the post.

    David Wortherspoon headed a Brian Easton cross wide of the post before John Sutton passed up the best opportunity of the first half.

    Simon Ramsden’s curling ball into the box was begging to be headed home, but the former Hearts man’s stooping header dropped a foot or so wide of Mannus’ left-hand post.

    Saints replied through the busy May, but his shot flashed wide of the post with Neilsen at full stretch.

    The driving ran and swirling wind was making it difficult for either side to produce anything like fluid football.

    It looked as if a set piece might be the key to breaking the deadlock and Stephen McManus might have done better with a header from Keith Lasley’s free kick; unfortunately, the former Scotland defender could only head over.

    Saints had enjoyed the best of the first-half and although ‘Well had created the more clear-cut opening, McCall wouldn’t have been too dissatisfied at going in level at the break.

    That was to change just four minutes after the restart when Stevie May opened the scoring. Gunnar Nielsen made a super stop to deny the acrobatic Gary McDonald but the ball fell fortuitously for May who tucked the rebound home from four yards out.

    Saints could have doubled their advantage shortly after when Hasselbaink’s deflected effort slid inches wide. From the resulting corner, Miller’s header was only just over the crossbar.

    Motherwell’s reply came via a long-range Bob McHugh effort that flew over the bar and a Shaun Hutchinson header that was saved by Mannus at the second attempt.

    Nielsen again had to look smart to deny Millar with a fearsome strike from the edge of the box, but the Faroese International will not remember Saints’ second, and decisive goal, with much fondness.

    When retrieving a Ramsden back-pass, the former Man City stopper slipped on the sodden McDiarmid Park surface, knocking it into the path of the prowling Hasselbaink. The former Accies man remained composed and curled the ball into the unguarded net. 2-0 Saints!

    The big keeper made some amends shortly after, denying Hasselbaink with a well-timed intervention before Ramsden had to divert a goal-bound looked shot from Wotherspoon over the bar after a wayward ball across the box had played the big keeper into trouble.

    There was a claim for a Motherwell penalty when a Lawson’s effort struck Brian Easton’s hand on the way out for a corner, but there was nothing doing from referee Calum Murray.

    Substitute Craig Moore brought out a decent save from Mannus before Sutton spurned a chance to reduce the arrears with virtually the last kick of the game but sent a shot wide of the post to complete a miserable afternoon for the Fir Parkers.

    Attention will quickly switch to Wednesday’s big League Cup Quarter Final tie with Aberdeen with ‘Well looking to rebound as quickly as possible.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Ally Reilly at McDiarmid Park

    FT: St Johnstone 2 – 0 Motherwell

    91mins: Decen chance for a consolation goal but Sutton pokes wide from Moore’s flick on header

    89mins: Hammell booked for hauling down Davidson

    84mins: St Johnstone sub, Wotherspoon off for Edwards

    80mins: Lawson finds his way into the book for a crunching tackle.

    78mins: Let off there as Hutchinson leaves Nielsen in a footrace with May. He clears then Ramsden has to head off the line.

    76mins: Claims for handball after Lawson shot goalwards. Looked soft

    74mins: St Johnstone looking to kill the game off and should have through May then Hasselbaink. Good stop from Nielsen

    70mins: St Johnstone sub, Cregg off for Davidson

    66mins: Motherwell sub, Vigurs off for Moore

    65mins: Motherwell sub: Francis-Angol on for Carswell

    64mins: GOAL! Hasselbaink capitalises on a slip from Nielsen to make it 2-0

    60mins: Miller booked for wrestling Sutton to the ground. From the resulting free-kick, Motherwell win a corner

    59mins: Another good save from Nielsen who palms Millar’s shot over for a corner

    55mins: McHugh wins a corner…..Hutchinson’s header is saved by Mannus

    53mins: McHugh creates some space but his shot from 20 yards is over the bar

    51mins: Miller heads just over from a corner. Should have made it 2!

    49min: GOAL! St Johnstone open the scoring through May after a stunning stop from Nielsen, #1-0

    47mins: Another corner to St Johnstone, flashes just past the front post

    46mins: Second half underway

    HT: St Johnstone 0 – 0 Motherwell

    43mins: Dangerous free-kick from wide for St Johnstone….May’s shot is deflected wide for a corner

    41mins: And yet another corner to St Johnstone….Carswell finally scoops clear from the feet of Easton

    39mins: Another corner to St Johnstone. McManus heads wide for another corner. McDonald clips his shot just wide

    36mins: McManus has a free header from Lasley’s free-kick. He heads high and wide though.

    32mins: Millar gets too much time out wide and gets a cross in to the front post. Nielsen gathers.

    30mins: Half an hour gone and safe to say it’s not a classic.

    24mins: Good effort from May on the break from Saints. His effort from 20 yards whizzes just past

    22mins: McManus gets his foot on Millar’s cross to clear for a corner

    20mins: Great ball in from Ramsden to Sutton who heads inches wide! Good chance.

    12mins: Wotherspoon heads past the post from Easton’s cross.

    10mins: First corner of the game goes St Johnstone’s way…..clawed out for another corner by Nielsen.

    9mins: A good chance for Cregg! Hasselbaink but the ball back and 18 yards out, he curls just past the left post.

    2mins: Speculative effort from Hammell there. Was never going to trouble Mannus with that one from 25 yards

    1mins: Stop in play as Carswell takes one right in the face. Ouch.

    1min: Lasley and Carswell kick-off. #COYW


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “I’m naturally disappointed. It was an uncharacteristic performance from us.

    “We were off it today and we got beat. I didn’t see it coming.

    “The conditions don’t make it great for great football but, when the conditions are like that, you have to look to win it in different ways.

    “But St Johnstone deserved their victory.”

    St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright:

    “It was excellent from start to finish.

    “We emphasised to the players that if they kept on doing what they were doing, the goals would come. I’m really pleased after last week.”


    [poll id=”164″]

  • Archive

    TV: Mick happy to fly under the radar

    Stephen McManus says both he and his teammates are happy to stay out the spotlight despite being joint second in the table.

    The 26-times capped Scotland defender is one of several experienced heads in the Fir Park squad.

    Media attention has focused on other clubs around the league but that is something the 31-year old says suits the Steelmen, as the first quarter of games reaches its conclusion this weekend.

    [pullquote]It’s still early days but from our point of view, we are happy for other clubs to get spoke about and for us to almost go under the radar.[/pullquote]

    He said: “It’s still early days but from our point of view, we are happy for other clubs to get spoke about and for us to almost go under the radar.

    “It certainly doesn’t bother us. We’ve got an experienced group, many of whom have been over the course before.

    “Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice when people are saying positive things but we will remain grounded as there will most likely be a time when we are getting pelters when we don’t perform as well as we perhaps should be.

    “It’s a bit of cliché but we’ll just take it week by week, trying to pick up as many wins as we can including Sunday at St Johnstone, which will be a very tough game.”


    MFC TV

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    TV: McCall expects it tough in Perth

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has challenged his players to maintain their recent consistency levels against free-scoring St Johnstone.

    The Steelmen have been in decent form in the last six weeks, with the only blot on the copybook a 2-0 defeat at Celtic Park three weeks ago.

    Saints have been slightly more up and down in that time, losing four goals at Dundee Utd and St Mirren but scoring four against Inverness and three against in-form Hamilton in the League Cup.

    It makes things difficult to predict ahead of Sunday’s BBC Alba live match, but McCall is expecting it to be extremely difficult against Tommy Wright’s men.

    [pullquote]From our point of view, I have been pleased with our recent consistency levels and I have challenged the players to keep that going.[/pullquote]

    “It is going to be a tough one for our lads,” McCall told the broadcast press at Motherwell’s pre-match news conference.

    “You only need look at their last home outing, thrashing Inverness is no mean feat, banging for past them and it could have been more.

    “Although they lost last week at St Mirren, they scored three goals and will be in confident mood. Obviously, to lose both centre backs will be tough but they’ve got experienced lads to play back there.

    “From our point of view, I have been pleased with our recent consistency levels and I have challenged the players to keep that going.

    “For the first time in a while, we’ve had a full squad to choose from with the exception of Lee Hollis, who is still struggling with an ankle injury.

    “I won’t decide on the team until at least tomorrow as we have options in various areas of the park.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Back the Scots at Fir Park this Saturday

    Anna Signeul has named an 18-player squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland at Fir Park this Saturday.

    Scotland currently top Group 4 after taking maximum points from their opening two fixtures against Faroe Islands and Bosnia-Herzegovina, scoring 14 goals in the process.

    There is one change to the squad, with Glasgow City midfielder Jo Love returning from injury.

    The match against Northern Ireland will be the second woman’s international hosted at Fir Park and is also live on BBC ALBA and BBC Radio Scotland.

    Scotland squad:

    • Jennifer Beattie (Montpellier)
    • Frankie Brown (Hibernian)
    • Rachel Corsie (Glasgow City)
    • Leanne Crichton (Glasgow City)
    • Sarah Crilly (Glasgow City)
    • Lisa Evans (Turbine Potsdam)
    • Gemma Fay (Celtic) (GK)
    • Suzanne Lappin (FFC Glasgow City)
    • Hayley Lauder (Mallbackens IF)
    • Kim Little (Arsenal)
    • Joanne Love (Glasgow City)
    • Shannon Lynn (Hibernian) (GK)
    • Suzanne Mulvey (Glasgow City)
    • Eilish McSorley (Glasgow City)
    • Emma Mitchell (Arsenal)
    • Joelle Murray (Hibernian)
    • Jane Ross (Vittsjö GIK)
    • Leanne Ross (Glasgow City)
    • Megan Sneddon (Rangers)
    • Caroline Weir (Arsenal)

    Tickets for the match, which kicks off at 5.30pm, are available on the gate priced at £5 adult, £2 child/concession. You can take advantage of our youth group ticket offer of five adult tickets and 20 kids tickets, which costs just £30.

    To apply for this fantastic offer, download the order form here…

    Then take the completed form to the main reception at Fir Park and collect your tickets.


    Email the completed form to – Tickets will then be posted out to the group leader indicated on the form prior to the match, or will be available for uplift from the Motherwell FC Ticket Office.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Falkirk Stadium

    Extended highlights from Falkirk Stadium as Motherwell U20s extend their win streak to six with a 5-1 win over The Bairns


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: Johansson praises ruthless ‘Well

    Jonatan Johansson praised his ruthless Steelmen side as they hit five past Falkirk this evening.

    After a close first-half, which ‘Well were leading 1-0 courtesy of a Jack Leitch stunner, Falkirk were reduced to ten men, leaving them with an uphill struggle.

    Motherwell took full advantage, Leitch adding a further two to complete his hat-trick which came after David Ferguson’s first of the season, and before Craig Moore’s eleventh.

    The win is Motherwell’s sixth in a row and Johansson was full of praise for his young troops and skipper Jack Leitch in particular.

    [pullquote]Recently they’ve shown confidence and belief and that’s helped us continue this run of wins. The victories just seem to be coming by themselves and it’s a shame we don’t have a game next week.[/pullquote]

    He told MFC TV: “The first half wasn’t great, but we hung in there and got a little bit of good fortune with the goal and them getting a man sent of then in the second half we kept passing the ball and made them tired.

    “Leitch’s goal came at a perfect time. We were talking before the game that the role of a midfielder is also to get assists and get shots on goal and he certainly did that today.

    “He’s been performing well for us and as well as his goals was instrumental in our win. Hopefully this will give him confidence and he can continue to attack in games instead of sitting in.

    “Recently they’ve shown confidence and belief and that’s helped us continue this run of wins. The victories just seem to be coming by themselves and it’s a shame we don’t have a game next week.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Falkirk U20s 1 – 5 Motherwell U20s

    A Jack Leitch inspired Under 20s made it six wins on the spin with a ruthless 5-1 win over 10-man Falkirk this evening.

    Skipper Leitch grabbed a memorable hat trick and there were goals for David Ferguson and the lethal Craig Moore, who added his eleventh of the campaign.

    Falkirk’s only goal came via Kris Faulds midway through the second period period , whose cause was certainly not helped by a dismissal of Connor Greene on the stroke of the half time interval.

    Jonatan Johansson made just one change to the side that saw off Montrose two days ago. Adam Cummins came back into the side in place of Morgyn Neill, who has performed exceptionally well in recent weeks.

    Motherwell made a positive start to the match and Steven Higgins stung the palms of Graham Bowman with a fierce shot. Inside thirty seconds.

    Dom Thomas followed that with a snapshot from the edge of the area that fizzed low past the post as the visitors enjoyed a fruitful opening five minutes.

    However, as the game wore on, Falkirk came more and more into things Kris Faulds had the first shot at goal with a long-range effort that flew past Ross Stewart’s post.

    By the midway point of the first half, the hosts were well on top but any chances created were from distance.

    Stewart’s first real action came on the half hour when he stood up well to Scott Shepherd’s smashed effort. Within thirty seconds, it was Falkirk’s Bowman who had to make another good block, denying Craig Moore who had raced away 1vs1.

    Two minutes later, Bowman was again well placed to stop Thomas’ long-range half volley as ‘Well searched for the opener.

    However, it was the Bairns who almost took the lead. Shepherd was again denied by another good Stewart save before Faulds’ cross-cum-shot from the right flank hit the top of the bar, much to the relief of all in Claret and Amber.

    It was to prove a vital break as, a minute later, Motherwell took the lead in spectacular circumstances. An attack eventually landed back at the feet of the skipper who took a touch to set himself before unleashing a dart of a shot high past Bowman into the postage stamp top right corner.

    It went from bad to worse for Stevie Crawford’s side when they were reduced to ten men on the stroke of half time. Craig Moore beat the offside trap but, as he bore down on goal, Connor Greene brought him down just inside the box. A penalty kick and an early bath for the young defender!

    Moore, normally so lethal, hit the post with the kick but there would be a long second half in store for the home side.

    Johansson would ask his side to be more ruthless in the second forty-five and they would do just that, doubling the advantage after just seven minutes.

    Dom Thomas was involved, showing some nice feet before teeing up Paul McCafferty who whipped a deep ball towards the back post where fullback David Ferguson was on hand to prod through the goalkeeper and into the net.

    Bowman would thwart Motherwell once again with another good save, this time from Higgins, but he would be pick it out his net once again some three minutes later.

    A quick-thinking corner from Thomas found its way to Leitch on the edge of the area. His touch spun the ball into the air before smashing a cracking volley past the helpless goalkeeper to all but secure the win.

    Falkirk’s response was a free kick from Luke Leahy that clipped the top of the crossbar on the way out. But it wasn’t long before ‘Well were back on the attack, Craig Moore denied for a third time by Bowman, who saved despite being outnumbered by Claret and Amber attackers.

    The fourth wasn’t far away though and it was a great moment for captain Leitch, who grabbed his hat trick after muscling his way through the home defense and coolly slotting past Bowman.

    Falkirk did eventually score a goal their first-half play merited when Faulds finished off a quick counter attack.

    However, the four-goal lead was quickly restored by Moore; the little striker finally netting after getting on the end of an excellent Morgyn Neill through ball before lifting it over the outrushing Bowman to complete the scoring.

    That fifth goal came after Bowman, Falkirk’s best player by some distance, made another excellent save at the feet of Thomas who looked certain score after good build-up play and pass by Moore.

    The win rounds off an excellent month for Johansson and his side; six wins from six games, nineteen goals scored with just two conceded. There is a week’s break now before the youngsters return to action against Dundee United in a fortnight’s time.

    Motherwell: Stewart, Cadden, Ferguson, Cummins, Murray, Leitch, McCafferty (Neill – 68mins), Shirkie, Moore (Mackin – 79mins), Thomas, Higgins (McCall – 75mins)

    Subs Not Used: Currie, Hall, Kellock

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Links Park

    Extended highlights from Links Park as Motherwell U20s beat SPFL League Two side Montrose 4-0.


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: Johansson pleased to progress

    U20s boss Jonatan Johansson hailed his side’s professional performance after beating Montrose 4-0 this afternoon.

    The Steelmen, who went into the match on the back of four straight wins, looked comfortable throughout and safely progressed after goals from Craig Moore, Euan Murray and a Steven Higgins double.

    The Finn called on his troops to adopt a professional and hard-working attitude before the match, and that’s exactly what he got from his men, who will be in the fourth round hat for the first time in over six years.

    Speaking to MFC TV, he said: “We did what we set out to do and played some nice football too.

    [pullquote]Apart from a small spell in the first half, our superiority shone through and it’s pleasing to go through to the next round scoring four really good goals.[/pullquote]

    “Apart from a small spell in the first half, our superiority shone through and it’s pleasing to go through to the next round scoring four really good goals.

    “I hope we can continue to do well in this competition as it’s a great thing for a young professional to remember when they get older.

    “I was lucky enough to win the Finnish Youth Cup and although, at the time, you don’t think too much of it, when you come to play a final at the National Stadium, it’s something that will live with you forever.

    “It’s too early to talk about winning it but it’s a massive prize up for grabs for these boys and we will continue to try and maintain the form we have shown in the last month.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Montrose U20s 0 – 4 Motherwell U20s

    The U20s made it five wins from five and safely progressed to the 4th Round of the Youth Cup with a 4-0 win over Montrose.

    Steven Higgins opened the scoring for the Steelmen before man-of-the-moment Craig Moore doubled the advantage shortly after.

    Euan Murray made the game safe with a third on the stroke of half-time before Higgins added his second, and Motherwell’s fourth, to complete the scoring before the hour.

    Jonatan Johansson opted to made four changes to the side that beat Aberdeen at Fir Park twelve days ago.

    Max Currie, Adam Cummins, Paul Lawson and Bob McHugh all dropped out, replaced by Ross Stewart, Chris Cadden, Steven Higgins and Dale Shirkie.

    ‘Well came out the traps flying and Paul McCafferty forced home goalkeeper Cameron Johnston into a good save inside five minutes.

    Shortly after, Moore almost opened the scoring with a downward header but once again, goalkeeper Johnston was well placed to make the stop.

    It did look like it was more a case of when, rather than if, Motherwell would grab the lead and Steven Higgins did just that after 21 minutes.

    Dom Thomas and David Ferguson combined on left flank before knocking it inside for the young striker. He took a touch to set himself before drilling it hard under the goalkeeper into the bottom corner.

    Moore almost doubled the advantage just two minutes later but a timely defensive block denied him. From the resulting corner, Murray came close to heading home at the back post but the spinning cross was a yard too high.

    The score stayed the same until the 40th minute when Moore grabbed his customary goal – his tenth for the Under 20s already.

    The on-form hitman, fresh from his stunner for the first-team yesterday, latched on to a short back past to deftly flick the ball over the outrushing Johnston with his first touch. A great poachers goal and a sign of just how confident the 19-year old is at the moment.

    It quickly went from bad to worse for the hosts as ‘Well made it three on the stroke of the half-time interval. Jack Leitch’s curling corner towards the back post was begging to be finished off, and Euan Murray duly obliged, powering a header into the net to all but secure the win.

    Johansson replaced goalscorers Moore and Murray at the break but it didn’t appear to have any detrimental effect on the performance.

    Indeed, it should have been 4-0 just five minutes after the restart when David Ferguson coolly slotted home Chris Cadden’s cross, only to be thwarted by the assistant’s flag. MFC TV replays would show it was an incorrect call.

    It wouldn’t deter the visitors though who scored again shortly after.

    Higgins beat the offside trap to get on the end of Morgyn Neill’s pinpoint pass over the top. With enough bounce still left on the ball, he coolly lobbed it high over Johnston and into the net – his fourth of the campaign.

    The Steelmen saw out the rest of the match in a professional manner, keeping the ball for long spells. Montrose did have a chance to score though Sam Simpson but, despite racing clear one-on-one with Ross Stewart, he dragged his shot wide of target.

    The Fir Parkers will now be in the hat for the fourth round draw for the first time in over six years.

    Motherwell: Stewart, Cadden, Ferguson, Murray (Hall – 46mins), Neill, Leitch (McCall – 59mins), McCafferty, Shirkie, Moore (Kellock – 46mins), Higgins, Thomas

    Subs Not Used: Currie, Mackin