Extended highlights from New Douglas Park as Motherwell crash out the Scottish Cup to Albion Rovers.
TV: Highlights from New Douglas ParkSaturday 30 November 2013
McCall embarrassed by Cup exitSaturday 30 November 2013
Stuart McCall admitted he was embarrassed to face his family after Albion Rovers inflicted the biggest upset of his football career.
An 18-yard strike from Gary Phillips in the 90th minute proved too much for Gunnar Nielsen to stop and sent the Coatbridge side into the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup thanks to a 1-0 win at New Douglas Park.
Rovers had never beaten Motherwell outside the Lanarkshire Cup in 34 previous competitive matches and McCall found the defeat hard to swallow.
The former Everton, Rangers and Scotland midfielder said: “I’ve been very, very fortunate in my life, certainly in my football life for 34 years now, I can’t recall being on the end of an upset anything like that.
“I know they happen in football and you see them happening and you think hopefully that will never come to your door. But it certainly came today and I take full responsibility.”
McCall turned round to hold his hand up and acknowledge the anger of Motherwell fans who left in audible disgust after Phillips had struck.
He said: “What can you say to them? They are right to have a go. It’s one of the worst results we have had. I’ve been very fortunate since I’ve been at the club to have had loads of highs.
[pullquote]Obviously there are disappointments too but this is the worst. You can’t do anything but apologise because it’s an embarrassing result for the club.[/pullquote]
“Obviously there are disappointments too but this is the worst. You can’t do anything but apologise because it’s an embarrassing result for the club.
“To be honest I would rather sit here and speak to you for a few hours because I don’t really fancy going home and speaking to my family or my friends because it’s horrible. There is no getting away from it.”
McCall admitted he found it difficult to have a go at his players for their effort. Motherwell could not break down stubborn opponents and only tested goalkeeper Neil Parry once, when he saved John Sutton’s close-range header following a 78th-minute corner.
When asked to explain the defeat, he said: “It wasn’t down to a lack of fight and lack of desire, which is probably the worst thing that can ever be labelled at a team.
“It was just down to lack of quality. Give Albion Rovers full credit for the way they defended but our possession was woeful at times.
“We had plenty of it and we just couldn’t break them down.
“When teams sit in like that it can be difficult but you have to find a way and, with the quality of player we had on the pitch, to create as little as we did was hugely disappointing.”
Albion Rovers 1 – 0 MotherwellSaturday 30 November 2013
Phil McGhee at New Douglas Park
Motherwell crashed out the Scottish Cup with one of the worst results in the clubs’ history, losing 1-0 to League Two side Albion Rovers at New Douglas Park.
With Motherwell looking at best to take a replay from what was a terrible perfomance, Gary Phillips fired in a last minute goal, to send a barrage of boos towards a ‘Well side, an incredible 37 league places above their Lanarkshire rivals.
Motherwell couldn’t even blame their embarassing exit on an inferior pitch or ground as the Second Division Coatbridge side elected to move the game to a neutral venue.
Subsequently, all roads led to Hamilton for this all Lanarkshire Scottish Cup tie. And with over 2,500 ‘Well fans inside New Douglas Park, there was a cup carnival atmosphere and a real expectation.
In truth, though, ‘keeper Neil Parry saw little action over the 90 minutes as the Premiership side toiled to test him, forcing just one save, amazingly 12 minutes from time.
Stuart McCall paid Rovers his utmost respect by fielding an almost full strength side. Stevie Hammell returned from injury to wear the captain’s armband, with Keith Lasley joining John Sutton on the bench. That meant Bob McHugh partnering Henri Anier in attack.
The ‘Well fans packed into the main stand anticipated that the pair would lead a goal rout against their lowly opposition. But the huge gap in league places was never obvious in the first half and while it may have taken McCall’s men some time to adjust to the artificial surface, the fans had nothing to get excited about in the first 20 minutes.
In fact the first thing of note came from Rovers when Liam Cusack’s 20 yard drive was brilliantly palmed over the crossbar by Gunnar Nielsen.
Motherwell’s response was immediate, McHugh nodding Fraser Kerr’s cross over the bar.
With 30 minutes played some decent build up on the left provided an opening for Stuart Carswell but from the edge of the box he dragged his shot wide leaving Rovers’ ‘keeper Neil Parry still awaiting his first save.
At the other end the Coatbridge side conjured up another half chance when Chris Dallas, eight yards in front of goals volleyed the ball over Nielsen’s bar.
Two minutes from half-time Paul Lawson fired a drive high over the bar as a very disapointing fist half ended with the Rovers’ defence completely untroubled – and the ‘Well fans loudly sounding their disapproval.
Not surprisimgly McCall made a half-time change when he brought on Sutton for McHugh. And the striker who, on his first spell with the club, scored in every round when he led ‘Well to the 2011 Scottish Cup Final, hoped for a similar impact.
And twelve minutes into the half Sutton had his first chance when he collected a headed pass from James McFadden but his volley from 25 yards dipped over the crossbar.
Sutton then chested a through pass from Shaun Hutchison into Anier’s path but he snatched at his shot as ‘Well desperately looked for a breakthrough.
After 72 minutes McCall decided that some drastic action was required sending on Lasley and Jack Leitch, to make his first team debut. But it did little to change the pattern of the game.
It was Rovers who almost grabbed the lead after 76 minutes when Mark McGuigan cut inside Hammell before driving his shot just wide of goal.
Two minutes later Parry made his only save of the game when he reacted well to block Sutton’s header on the goal line allowing Cusack to boot the ball clear before any ‘Well player could react.
Motherwell’s desperation was underlined four minutes from time when Shaun Hutchison, devoid of options, fired a 30 yard drive over Parry’s crossbar.
Then in the 89th minute and with a draw looking likely, Rovers produced their memorable winning goal.
After a couple of blocked attempts the ball broke to Phillips at the edge of the box and his low drive through a ruck of players had Nielsen at full stretch. Although the ‘keeper got a touch he couldn’t prevent the ball bouncing into the corner of his net.
‘Well still had time to redeem the situation in added on time but Anier summed up the afternoon when he slashed his shot well wide of target as McCall’s men, for the second successive season crashed out of all cup competitions before Christmas.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at New Douglas Park
FT: Albion Rovers 1 – 0 Motherwell
91mins: Ball falls to Anier but he slices it over inside the box
3 minutes added on
89mins: GOAL! Albion Rovers 1 – 0 Motherwell
85mins: 5 minutes left and ‘Well desperately looking for a way through. Albion defending solidly
82mins: Albion sub, Cusack off for Flood
77mins: Corner to ‘Well…..Sutton’s header is cleared off the line!
76mins: McGuigan turns Hammell and fires just wide from 20 yards!
First team debut for Jack Leitch, son of Scott. 15 minutes left, still 0-0
72mins: Motherwell subs, Leitch and Lasley on for McFadden and Francis-Angol
72minns: Albion sub, Tiffney on for Dallas
61mins: Corner to Albion…..delivery evades all in the box and is out for a goalkick #arfcvmfc
57mins: Ball falls to Sutton some 25 yards out. Has an effort with his left foot but it’s too ambitious and well over #arfcvmfc
Second half underway #arfcvmfc
HT: Albion Rovers 0 – 0 Motherwell #arfcvmfc
45mins: Corner to ‘Well……..McFadden delivers and it eventually falls to Carswell who scoops it well over #arfcvmfc
43mins: Albion proving hard to break down. Lawson opts to shoot from range but fires well over with his left foot
35mins: Great chance for Phillips! Shrugged off his marker and from the cross, didn’t connect well and blazed over! #arfcvmfc
30mins: McFadden cuts it back to Francis-Angol who squares to Carswell. On his left foot, he slices it just past from 16 yards #arfcvmfc
22mins: McHugh heads just over from Kerr’s cross!
20mins: Corner to Albion after a fantastic save from Nielsen to deny Cusack! #arfcvmfc
14mins: Decent effort from McHugh. Hit it on the spin from 25 yards but watches it curl well wide
9mins: Another corner to ‘Well, Lawson delivers from the left but Albion head clear
7mins: Francis-Angol goes on a mazy run and the ball almost breaks to him inside the box. Reid clears though #arfcvmfc
With the minute’s silence impeccably observed, Carswell and Lawson kick the game off! #arfcvmfc
Hammell and Donnelly lead the teams out the tunnel. #arfcvmfc
Albion Rovers manager James Ward:
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
Scottish Cup Ticket ReminderFriday 29 November 2013
Fans are reminded tomorrow’s Scottish Cup clash against Albion Rovers at New Douglas Park is a ‘Pay-at-the-gate’ fixture.
Due to segregation and security requirements, Albion Rovers supporters will occupy the Spice of Life North Stand and will enter via turnstiles 10-12.
Motherwell supporters will occupy the Main West Stand and will enter via turnstiles 1-6.
Admission is by cash only at the turnstiles priced Adults £12 and Concessions £7 (under 16s, over 65s, students, and unemployed – photo ID is required). Disabled free.
Supporter parking is available at the Morrisons underground car park in Auchinraith Avenue, and the two large car parks in Beckford Street and Caird Street; both 5 minutes walk from the ground where there are almost 2000 spaces.
For fans coming by train, Hamilton West Station is adjacent to the ground and a path connects the platform on the Glasgow arrival side, direct to the stadium car park and Main West Stand.
With a fairly large Motherwell support anticipated, ‘Well fans are encouraged to get to the ground as early as possible to avoid queuing at the turnstiles.
TV: Lawson eyes Scottish Cup runFriday 29 November 2013
Paul Lawson is desperate to replicate success from his past and take ‘Well all the way in this season’s Scottish Cup.
The 29-year old has been to a Final with former club Ross County, including handing out a number of shocks and upsets along the way.
And following the huge disappointment of the League Cup exit to Aberdeen last month, the midfielder insists there is a real determination to put a solid run together in the 2013/14 William Hill Scottish Cup.
Speaking to MFC TV, he said: “I’ve been on the end of some cup upsets but I’ve also given a couple out.
[pullquote]A cup run is brilliant for everyone associated with the club and it would be very nice to do that here[/pullquote]
“They’ll be looking at it as it’s there to be had for them but we just need to be as professional as we can and treat it like every other game and that’s what we’ve done this week.
“The boys are geared up and ready to go. There’s nothing better than a cup run and that’s what we’re aiming for, especially after the disappointment of the cup exit against Aberdeen.
“I got to the cup Final with Ross County which was a great occasion. The result didn’t go for us but what we did up there was magnificent. A cup run is brilliant for everyone associated with the club and it would be very nice to do that here.
TV: McCall wants professional approachFriday 29 November 2013
‘Well boss Stuart McCall insists his side will give Albion Rovers the respect they deserve ahead of tomorrow’s Cup tie.
The Steelmen take on Rovers for the first time in 26 years when they lock horns at New Douglas Park in the 4th Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.
Despite three leagues separating the sides, McCall is taking nothing for granted and will ask his players to be professional as they battle for a place in Monday’s 5th Round draw.
Speaking to MFC TV at today’s pre-match press conference, McCall said: “We’ve had tricky games in the past where we’ve been outstanding favourites, so we know it’s all about the approach.
[pullquote]We’ll need to be at our best and really put them under pressure early in the game.[/pullquote]
“You’ve got to start well and mentally look at it as being two teams of eleven. This will be one of their biggest matches of the season so we’ve got to take that into account.
“There’s been Cup upsets before and we have to make sure we’re not on the end of one, particularly with the added spice of being a local derby.
“It’s a good surface over at Hamilton. Technically, our lads should be better and fitter, but certainly at the start of the game, they will match us for energy and commitment so we have to meet that head on, be ready for it, and then start to move the ball like we know we are capable of.
“We’ll need to be at our best and really put them under pressure early in the game.”
Anderson in charge against AlbionWednesday 27 November 2013
Referee for Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup 4th Round clash with Albion Rovers at New Douglas Park is Euan Anderson.
Anderson will be handling his first ever Motherwell match.
Indeed, it will be the first time ever the 30-year old will handle a Premiership side in competitive action.
He has been fourth official at several top-flight matches as well as Motherwell’s Scottish Cup success against Queen’s Park a few seasons back.
The Dumbarton-based whistler was promoted to category one in the summer of 2011 and is cutting his teeth in the lower leagues.
This season, he has handled Championship games at Dumfries, Hamilton and Falkirk as well as League One matches at Stenhousemuir, Brechin, Airdrie and Stranraer.
He was also the man in the middle for the Ramsden’s Cup clash between Annan Athletic and Highland League side Formartine United.
Euan will be assisted on the day by Brian Templeton and Ralph Gordon with Iain Brines as fourth official.
Under 20s game offTuesday 26 November 2013
Tonight’s Under 20s match has been postponed as the pitch at McDiarmid Park is frozen.
No date has as yet been confirmed for the rearranged tie.
Jonatan Johansson’s men are back in action this Sunday when they face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in the 4th Round of the SFA Youth Cup – kick-off is 1.30pm.
TV: Highlights from Rugby ParkSaturday 23 November 2013
Extended highlights from Rugby Park as goals from John Sutton and Henri Anier edge out Kilmarnock 2-0.
Kilmarnock win in picturesSaturday 23 November 2013
Pictures from the 2-0 win over Kilmarnock in the SPFL Premiership at Rugby Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.