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    Motherwell 0 – 5 Celtic

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    Cash Converters’ November POTM

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    Celtic Magazine Preview

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    TV: Hammell hoping to regroup

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    TV: McCall wants a positive reaction

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    McLean in charge for Celtic clash

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    Turnstiles operators required

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    Erwin facing lengthy injury layoff

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior stadium

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    TV: Johansson delighted with reaction

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    Motherwell 0 – 5 Celtic

    [tab:Match report]

     Phil McGhee at Fir Park

    Motherwell crashed to their second consective home defeat as Celtic punished a Fir Park side still suffering the effects of their shock cup defeat.

    Stuart McCall switched up with an unusual 3-5-2, matching Celtic who started with a similar shapre. Simon Ramsden returned to form a three man central defence with Iain Vigurs back in midfield and Craig Moore joining John Sutton in attack.

    And the plan worked to some extent having nullified the champions threat until just before half-time when Kris Commons made the break through. However, a second goal early in the second half killed the game before Celtic finished the rout with three more goals in the final 15 minutes.

    Celtic started where they left off at Tynecastle and immdeiately swept into attack, Mikael Lustig forcing a good save from Gunnar Nielsen within the first minute.

    McCall was forced into a substitution after only nine minutes when Fraser Kerr limped off with Adam Cummins coming into central defence and Ramsden moving to right back.

    ‘Well then conceded a free kick 20 yards in front of goal but Nielsen smothered Anthony Stokes curling effort at the second time of asking.

    The home goal was under siege at this stage and Scott Brown appealed for a penalty when his cross cannoned off Stevie Hammell.

    As the half progressed ‘Well took the sting out of Celtic’s attack and started to make some in roads towards Fraser Forster’s goal.

    A great move down the left ended with Vigurs whipping in a teasing cross which was just beyond Sutton.

    Motherwell looked more confident in possssion but just when it looked as if they were heading for the dressing room on level terms Celtic produced a goal from nothing. Stokes, who had pushed Keith Lasley off the ball in the build up, fired a low shot across the six yard box. There looked little danger until Commons, with a terrific backhealer, re-directed the ball past Nielsen.

    Two minutes into the second half ‘Well created their best chance of the game when Vigurs curled in a free kick and Sutton climbed the highest only to send his header narrowly over the bar.

    Before ‘Well could sustain any pressure on the visitor’s goal they found themsleves two down. Shaun Hutchison did well to cut out Stokes’ cross but when Charlie Mulgrew delivered the reslutant corner to the back post Efe Ambose towered above everyone to powerfully head the ball under the bar.

    ‘Well then replaced Moore with Henri Anier as they tried to make an impression on the dominant Celt’s defence.

    It was the ‘Well defence and Nielsen, though, that found themselves under attack as Celtic pressed to extend their lead.

    The Fir Park ‘keeper stayed on his feet to brilliantly block Brown from the edge of the six yard box, before doing likewise to deny Joe Ledley.

    But in the final 15 minutes the ‘keeper was exposed as Celtic added another three.

    Nielsen, at full length brilliantly palmed away an Izaguirre shot but it fell for Commons who bundled the ball into the net. Two minutes later Teemu Pukki swept the ball across the face of the goal allowing Stokes to drive home number four before Bahrudin Atajic lobbed the ball over Nielsen to make it 5-0 and complete a miserable night for ‘Well.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 0 – 5 Celtic

    89mins– GOAL – Atajic makes it 5-0, chipping it over Nielsen

    89mins: 2 minutes added on

    87mins: Boerrigter smashes it off the post

    83mins: Celtic sub, Henderson on for Brown

    83mins: A rare venture upfront, Ramsden crossing for Sutton, who is just beaten to it by Ambrose.

    79mins: Commons and Pukki off for Atajic and Boerrigter

    76mins: GOAL – Stokes makes it 4-0, counter attack and he slides it home from Pukki’s cross.

    74mins: GOAL – Commons makes it 3-0 after he pokes home from Nielsen’s save

    67mins: Another let off as Nielsen tips Ledley’s shot past the post with his feet. Total domination now from Celtic

    66mins: Pukki booked for simulation. Clearly not though from TV footage. A let off.

    65mins: Pukki should really have made it 3 but he is hesitant and Hutchinson does well to slide in and clear

    63mins: Stokes tries his luck from a tight angle on his left foot which Nielsen does well to divert to safety

    61mins: Mulgrew fires his 30 yard free kick over the bar as the snow starts to come down here at FP

    60mins: Motherwell sub, Anier on for Moore

    56mins: Should have been 3 there! Brown denied well though by Nielsen at his front post from close range

    53mins: GOAL – Ambrose makes it 2-0, heading home, Mulgrew’s corner.

    47mins: Free-kick to ‘Well about 40 yards out, chance for a good delivery……Sutton heads just over!! Good chance! #mfcvcfc

    46mins: Ledley almost makes it 2 with a head which whistles just past the left hand post.

    46mins: Lasley and Vigurs kick off the second half.

    HT: Motherwell 0 – 1 Celtic

    44mins: Lasley booked for dissent

    43mins: GOAL – Commons opens the scoring after Stokes shoots and he diverts it past Nielsen

    38mins: Hutchinson does well to take the sting out of Stokes’ shot which Nielsen takes comfortably

    34mins: Pukki drives into the box but only 10 yards out from at tight angle he tamely rolls the ball into Nielsen’s hands

    31mins: Bit more positive play now. First Lasley tries to slide in Sutton but he can’t quite get there then Vigurs’ cross is headed clear

    27mins: Bit of attacking play from ‘Well. Hammell and Vigurs combine down the left but Vig’s cross is over hit.

    24mins: Lustig heads just over from Izaguirre’s cross from 12 yards

    20mins: Hammell handles in the box but ref rules it not deliberate and waves play on. Have seen those given.

    16mins: Hutchinson booked for a hard tackle on Pukki.

    15mins: ‘Well struggling to get out their own half or get any sort of meaningful possession

    10mins: Kerr limping off here, Cummins his replacement.

    6mins: Corner to ‘Well, Izaguirre blocking Kerr’s cross

    5mins: Dangerous free-kick for Celtic……Stokes fires straight at Nielsen who gathers at the second attempt #mfcvcfc

    3mins: Lasley tries to play in Moore with a ball over the top but it’s over hit and out for a throw-in #mfcvcfc

    1mins: Ramsden and Pukki chase down a ball over the top and a free-kick is given to ‘Well after a push #mfcvcfc

    20seconds: Lustig stings the palms of Nielsen already from 16 yards on the angle! #mfcvcfc

    Stokes and Commons get the game underway #mfcvcfc


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “Celtic were terrific and there’s no doubt about that,” said the Motherwell boss. “But, coming up to five minutes before half time, for all the good play they’ve had, I don’t think they’ve had any outstanding chances.

    “We were digging in and getting blocks. But they’ve got quality players and boys who can bring it out from the back. And they’re playing with a lot of confidence.

    “The biggest disappointment was the second goal from a set-piece. If you get cut open, which Celtic did many times to us, then you’ve got to hold your hands up.

    “But it was a bread and butter corner and we don’t pick up. Ambrose scores and thereafter they just picked us off at will and showed what confident form they’re in at the moment.

    “That’s probably as strong a Celtic side they can be at the moment. They’ve got players playing at the top of their game.

    “No disrespect, but in the next couple of games we’re not going to come up against Celtic. So it’s down to us to knuckle down and prove we can be in the top three or four and that’s what we’ll aim to do.

    “We’ll knuckle down and go up to Dingwall next week and hopefully put this to bed. Last week has gone and tonight was a difficult one to take.

    “But I think sometimes you’ve got to put your hands up and say we were up against a really good side.

    “There’s things we can do better, there’s no doubt about that. You don’t want to get beat at home like that, but we’ve got three or four games coming up where we need to hit top form.”

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon:

    “Overall, I’m delighted as the quality of our football is at a very high level. We started the game well and in the second half we were fantastic.

    “We were too wayward in front of goal for my liking and probably could have scored more, with a couple of penalties thrown in as well. But I’m very pleased with the win.”


    [poll id=”170″]

  • Archive

    Cash Converters’ November POTM

    Every month this season, Cash Converters will be giving you the opportunity to present your Motherwell Player of the Month with his trophy.

    All you need to do is vote for the Well player you think has been the stand-out performer for November and you could be chosen at random to congratulate our star man in person.

    To cast your vote, simply visit our Cash Converters SPL Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.

    The Cash Converters SPL Facebook page will also give you the opportunity to enter the draw to take part in the next Convert for Cash, and the chance to win a whole host of other prizes.

    Competition closes at 5pm on Tuesday 10th December 2013.

  • Archive

    Celtic Magazine Preview

    The ninth domestic Steelmen Matchday Magazine of 2013/14 is on sale when Celtic visit tomorrow (Friday) night.

    But what is inside the 68-page issue?

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

    Picking up the pieces from last weekend’s Cup exit at the hands of Albion Rovers, McCall speaks about the hurt of going out and about his aims and objectives for the rest of this season.

    The skipper chats about how flat the week has been and what the players have had to do to pick themselves up ahead of the visit of the current Premiership leaders.

    The feature interview is with Estonian International Henri Anier. The former Sampdoria front man talks about his time in Scotland and how he is looking to draw on the experience of previous disappointments to help get over the Cup shock.

    The on-loan front man also features as the next in the centre-page souvenir poster collection.

    But that’s not where the features stop!

    There is an 11-page section dedicated to our visitors, Celtic.

    As ever, Ray Morrison introduces the Parkhead side and there’s a player-by-player breakdown of who is likely to line up for the Hoops.

    We report from Tynecastle and Celtic’s 7-0 Scottish Cup win and former player Stephen Pearson, who played for both clubs, features in Graeme McGarry’s ‘Us and Them’ section.

    The former Scotland midfielder talks honestly about some of the regrets he has about how his move from Fir Park was handled, his time at Celtic and what he still wants to achieve in his career.

    The big features keep coming…

    A new column – ‘Football from around the World’ from Ross Dunbar takes a look at the fascinating story of Egyptian side Al-Ahly, who against the odds managed to win the African Champions League despite turmoil in Cairo and a suspension of the domestic league in the country.

    ‘From the Press Box’ returns with a new host, the Herald’s Scott Mullen and the last of the first round matches is complete in ‘Eggheads’ as young defenders Fraser Kerr and Zaine Francis-Angol square off.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Our match reports section takes a look back at the 2-0 win over Kilmarnock two weeks ago. There’s also an in-depth report from the Under 20s disappointing Cup exit to the same team on the same ground.

    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 and celebrate the culmination of the ‘It’s a Goal’ mental health course run at the club. Also returning 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 – CLICK HERE

  • Archive

    TV: Hammell hoping to regroup

    Stevie Hammell has admitted the ‘Well squad have shared a few home truths in the wake of last weekend’s Scottish Cup defeat.

    Although the Steelmen sit third in the SPFL Premiership table, the disappointment felt by everyone at exiting both Cups in recent weeks has been abundant.

    31-year old Hammell, a veteran of 481 games in Claret and Amber, conceded the Albion Rovers defeat was the worst in his long career, but says there is a real determination amongst the squad to try and get back to winning ways against table-toppers Celtic tomorrow.

    “There’s been a few words spoken since last week and rightly so,” said the Scotland cap.

    [pullquote]It’s been a tough week for us, on and off the park, and we have to regroup and focus on the Celtic game now, which will be a tough one[/pullquote]

    “It’s been a tough week for us, on and off the park, and we have to regroup and focus on the Celtic game now, which will be a tough one.

    “Cup upsets happen, but a result like last week should not. We have high standards here and that was unacceptable. It was certainly the worst result of my career.

    “We watched the Hearts game and Celtic’s forward play was really good. We’ve had some good results against Celtic here recently but that’s because we’ve been playing at a high level and playing good football, not just squeezing out a one nil.

    “We played really well to get those results last season and we’ll need to play like that to get a something similar tomorrow.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: McCall wants a positive reaction

    Stuart McCall has challenged his side to bounce back after ‘letting people down’ last weekend against Albion Rovers.

    The Steelmen were shocked by the Third Division side at New Douglas Park last Saturday, in what was one of the worst results in the clubs’ 127-year history.

    There has been little time to mope though as undefeated league-leaders Celtic visit Fir Park for a Friday night showdown.

    And McCall is desperate for his men to get back to winning ways and hopes to make it a hat trick of home wins against the Parkhead club.

    [pullquote]I’ve had a whole load of emotions this week, the worst is the sense of despair at letting everyone down.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the broadcast press at today’s pre-match news conference, McCall said: “We’ve had our time of wallowing and feeling sorry for ourselves, but now we need to go out and play football.

    “I’ve had a whole load of emotions this week, the worst is the sense of despair at letting everyone down, and that will never leave I don’t think.

    “But I look at the league table and we’ve managed to get 25 points with well over 50% wins, five points better off than at the same stage last campaign.

    “With all the changes we’ve had this summer, there was always going to be ups and downs and that will probably continue for the rest of the campaign, but if we can continue that level in the league then that’s the way forward for us.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    McLean in charge for Celtic clash

    Referee for this Friday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Celtic will be Steven McLean.

    McLean, the brother of former ‘Well defender Brian, is handling his second Motherwell game of the current campaign. His first was the last time ‘Well turned out at Fir Park – a depleted Steelmen crashed 4-0 to Dundee United.

    He is a very familiar face to most Motherwell fans having taken charge of six matches last term too.

    His first was the exceptional 5-1 success over Inverness CT back 12 months ago. Henrik Ojamaa, Adam Cummins, Omar Daley and a Jamie Murphy double completed the rout.

    His second was perhaps even more memorable as Motherwell came back from 2-0 down at Easter Road to win 3-2. A Doyle double had the home side in a commanding position but a Murphy brace and a late Bob McHugh winner handed the Steelmen all three points.

    Third was the New Year fixture against today’s opponents Celtic when a brave ‘Well went down 1-0 after Tom Hateley had missed a second half penalty.

    Fourth was the instantly forgettable 2-0 defeat at Rugby Park in February whereas the fifth was a comfortable 3-0 win at Dens Park – Michael Higdon heading home before a Nicky Law double sealed the three points.

    His last was the season finale at McDiarmid Park as the Steelmen went down 2-0 to a Saints side that won the race for Europe ahead of Inverness and Ross County.

    McLean began his refereeing career back in 1997, aged just 16, but had to wait six years before being promoted to the SFA Senior List.

    It took him a further four years (June 2007) to get promoted to a Category 1 where he has spent the three years handling old SFL and Challenge Cup games as well as gaining experience as a fourth official at SPL matches. He is now regarded as one of the country’s top officials.

    He has had an extremely busy start to the season already – handling eleven SPFL Premiership matches in the first twelve weeks.

    He has also had two League Cup matches, both at the Falkirk Stadium, and two Europa League Qualifiers – Omonia Nikosia’s 1-2 defeat by Romania’s Astra Giurgiu and Serbian side FK Vojvodina’s 2-2 draw with Bursaspor.

    McLean will be ably assisted by Willie Conquer and Graham Chambers with Brian Colvin on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    Turnstiles operators required

    Motherwell Football Club are looking for additional staff for our matchday operation to man turnstiles.

    Ideal candidates will be able to work to concise instructions and have good literacy and numeracy skills.

    They must also be available on all weekend matchdays (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) alongside occasional midweek fixtures (Tuesday and Wednesday) – the typical days allocated for matches at Fir Park.

    Suitable people should have no issues interacting with the public. Cash handling experience would also be a benefit, but not essential

    In return the successful candidate would be paid above the industry average.

    Anyone interested please contact Alan Marshall at the Club on 01698 3380683 or email

  • Archive

    Erwin facing lengthy injury layoff

    Lee Erwin’s season could be over after going under the knife to repair a knee cartilage injury picked up in Sunday’s Youth Cup game at Kilmarnock.

    The striker, who spent a successful period on loan at Scottish League One side Arbroath, scoring eight goals in eleven starts for the Red Lichties, had just returned to the club to fight for a spot in the first-team.

    He netted at Rugby Park in that ultimately unsuccessful 4th Round match, but was carried off with just over ten minutes left on the clock.

    He was successfully operated on today and the surgeon was able to repair the damage, but his rehab will likely run until the end of the current 2013-14 season.

    [pullquote]That loan and playing first-team football was exactly what he needed, so it’s a big blow for both the lad and us that he will miss such a large part of the season.[/pullquote]

    It’s a devastating blow for the nineteen-year old, who missed four months of last season with a similar injury in his other leg.

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall said: “It’s a real shame as we were looking forward to having him back in the fold after a real prolific run at Arbroath.

    “That loan and playing first-team football was exactly what he needed, so it’s a big blow for both the lad and us that he will miss such a large part of the season.

    “The positive is that he has battled back from this sort of setback before and has shown a real strength of character.

    “He is in the best possible hands with John Porteous and Adam Stokes who will, no doubt, get him fighting fit again as soon as possible.”

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Excelsior stadium

    Extended highlights from Excelsior Stadium as Motherwell U20s cruise to a 4-1 victory over Partick Thistle.


    MFC TV

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    TV: Johansson delighted with reaction

    Jonatan Johansson praised his side after they bounced back from Sunday’s Cup exit with an impressive win over Partick Thistle.

    The Steelmen had lost to both Celtic and Kilmarnock in recent weeks, but were back to their best against the table-topping Jags, who were reduced to ten men after just seventeen minutes.

    Goals from Paul McCafferty, Steven Higgins, Dale Shirkie and Liam Anderson made sure of the three points.

    Prior to the match, the 106-times capped Johansson had asked his side to show their mettle and they did just that.

    [pullquote]I was really down after losing at Kilmarnock and so were the boys but we picked ourselves up and this was a really pleasing performance.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV, the former Charlton striker said: “It was an excellent performance and most aspects of it pleased me.

    “The way they reacted to Sunday’s defeat, the way they were positive and how they worked was really good to see.

    “I was really down after losing at Kilmarnock and so were the boys but we picked ourselves up and this was a really pleasing performance.”


    MFC TV