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    Motherwell 3 – 0 St Mirren

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    TV: McCall hoping for home comforts

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    TV: Mick wants Christmas consistency

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    St Mirren Magazine Preview

  • Archive

    Injury boost for young trio

  • Archive

    Official eBay store returns with a bang!

  • Archive

    Collum in charge this Saturday

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from New Douglas Park

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    TV: Johansson content with derby point

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    Hamilton U20s 0 – 0 Motherwell U20s

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    Motherwell 3 – 0 St Mirren

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee  at Fir Park

    Motherwell gave the Fir Park fans some pre-Christmas cheer with a comfortable home win over St Mirren.

    And after two heavy home defeats, Stuart McCall’s men bounced back with an impressive and emphatic win over Danny Lennon’s men.

    Two well taken goals from Henri Anier in each half and a cool finish from Lionel Ainsworth just before half-time was more than a fair reward for Motherwell’s play.

    With first choice ‘keepers Lee Hollis and Gunnar Nielsen still sidelined through injury, it gave another on loanee, Dan Twardzik the chance to make his home debut.

    And after helping ‘Well to all three points at Dingwall last week the young Dundee ‘keeper helped himself to another win bonus with a shut-out.

    In truth, though, he was seldom tested as Motherwell controlled the match for long spells and after the first half double the result was never in doubt.

    Motherwell posted their intentions from the start and Anier headed Ainsworth’s cross just wide within 30 seconds.

    Saints replied with a cross from Sean Kelly which forced Twardzik into a brave save at the feet of the in rushing Gary Harkins. Other than that the young ‘keeper had a quiet afternoon although he did have a couple of decent saves from John McGinn and Kenny McLean late in the game to deny Saints a consolation goal.

    Motherwell were well on top by that stage. A sustained spell of pressure midway through the half from the home side finally paid off.

    With 24 minutes played Marian Kello did well to block Ainsworth’s volley inside the six-yard box. But the ‘keeper was helpless when ‘Well made the deserved breakthrough on the half hour mark.

    A good build up involving Ainsworth and Keith Lasley set up Anier who twice turned Lee Mair inside the box before slamming the ball high past Kello from close range.

    Four minutes from half-time ‘Well doubled their lead with a brilliantly created and finished goal. Anier and John Sutton were involved in a smart exchange of passes before Ainsworth worked a one-two with Sutton before stroking the ball inside the post to round of a great move and make it 2-0.

    Although a fight back from Saints was anticipated, it never came and it really became a question of how many more ‘Well would score.

    A third almost came after 53 minutes when Sutton terrific pass sent Ainsworth down the right and when his cross was only partially cleared Sutton strike from the edge of the box was blocked by Mair on the line.

    Kello then produced a wonderful save to deny Ainsworth a second goal.

    However, it was Anier who grabbed his second and Motherwell’s third after 63 minutes. Iain Vigurs sent over a tempting cross and Anier drilled the ball beyond Kello from 15 yards for a superb finish.

    It might have been more miserable for the Saints fans as Sutton headed narrowly past and Paul Lawson’s thundering drive was palmed out by Kello.

    But nothing could detract from a fine Motherwell performance and a perfect start to the hectic programme of fixtures over the festive holidays.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Of course, an early Christmas present for all ‘Well fans too! Safe journey home everyone and have a great Christmas!

    FT: A great home performance and well worthy of the final scoreline and three points.

    FT: Motherwell 3 – 0 St Mirren

    90mins: Lawson stings the palms of Kello with a 25 yard drive! #mfcvsmfc

    89mins: Sutton almost puts the cream on the pudding with a diving header at the back post just wide. #mfcvsmfc

    89mins: Sutton almost outs the cream on the pudding with a diving header at the back post just wide. #mfcvsmfc

    83mins: St Mirren corner……Twardzik punches to safety #mfcvsmfc

    83mins: Motherwell sub, Lasley off for Lawson. Took a bit of a knock. #mfcvsmfc

    81mins: McGowan tries to pick out Thompson with a ball in however he misses it and it very nearly deceives Twardzik. Good save in the end.

    78mins: St Mirren sub, Goodwin off for Van Zanten #mfcvsmfc

    76mins: Motherwell sub, Ainsworth off for Kerr. That’s a great shift from the Winger. #mfcvsmfc

    75mins: St Mirren sub, Harkins off for Reilly #mfcvsmfc

    72mins: Almost another instant impact for Moore as he gambles at the front post to get on the end of Ainsworth’s cross.Inches away. #mfcvsmfc

    70mins: Motherwell sub, Anier off for Moore. Been great today! #mfcvsmfc

    63mins: Anier pokes home to make it 3 after Vigurs puts in the best delivery you’ll see this festive period 3-0 #mfcvsmfc


    61mins: Ainsworth cuts the ball across the face of goal and Naismith takes no chances with Anier waiting to pounce. Corner. #mfcvsmfc

    60mins: St Mirren sub, Newton off for McGinn #mfcvsmfc

    59mins: Anier drives into the box and with a few options to pick from, opts to shoot straight at Kello.#mfcvsmfc

    57mins: Corner to ‘Well…balls falls to McManus and to be fair, his volley is heading in until it’s blocked 6 yards out #mfcvsmfc

    53mins: Glorious chance for Sutton! Kello flaps at a cross and it falls to Sutton, albeit 23 yards out. His goalbound effort is cleared

    Second half underway

    Motherwell well worth their half-time lead. Been an entertaining first 45. #mfcvsmfc

    HT: Motherwell 2 – 0 St Mirren.

    41mins: Ainsworth makes it 2-0!!! Sutton laid him off, and the winger was composed enough to slot past Kello. #mfcvsmfc


    37mins: McLean whips in a dangerous free-kick which almost catches Twardzik out. Drifts inches over #mfcvsmfc

    34mins: Two corners in succession for the Buddies. Eventually clawed away by Twardzik #mfcvsmfc

    32mins: Almost 2! Ainsworth flashes a shot inches past of Kello’s post from the edge of the area. #mfcvsmfc

    30mins: It’s a christmas cracker from ANIER who turns Mair inside out in the box and drills it home from 10 yards 1-0 #mfcvsmfc


    28mins: Decent effort from Newton who curls a shot just over the bar from the edge of the box #mfcvsmfc

    27mins: Another corner to Motherwell…this time Sutton dives in at the front post only to see his header fly just past! #mfcvsmfc

    25mins: ‘Well break through Las who picks out Ainsworth at the back post. Should score but Kello makes a great block at his feet #mfcvsmfc

    ….ball falls to Goodwin who slices well wide and high #mfcvsmfc

    23mins: Hutchinson slides in to block Kelly’s cross which was heading into the danger area, From the corner, Saints win another…..

    21mins: Corner to ‘Well again…..close! A combination of Ramsden and Hutchinson heads goal wards but it’s cleared off the line! #mfcvsmfc

    14mins: Lasley sells McGowan a dummy to win a free-kick just outside the box next to the byline. Vigurs’ delivery has no takers #mfcvsmfc

    13mins: Now a corner to St Mirren, good delivery headed to safety by McManus #mfcvsmfc

    11mins: Another corner to ‘Well…..Ainsworth’s delivery is headed back to him by McManus.Hutchy concedes a foul on the next cross #mfcvsmfc

    10mins: Hutchinson leaps in the box to meet Ainsworth’s corner but it’s too high and he awkwardly heads over #mfcvsmfc

    8mins: Free-kick from wide on the left for St Mirren, Thompson heads it harmlessly wide #mfcvsmfc

    3mins Corner to St Mirren, whichs is too deep and Thompson can only head wide #mfcvsmfc

    2mins: Good bravery from Twardzik as he slid out at the feet of the sliding Harkins. Gathers and clears #mfcvsmfc

    18seconds: Seconds in and Anier has a header at the front post sneak just past from Ainsworth’s cross #mfcvsmfc

    And we’re underway! #COYW #mfcvsmfc

    Here come the teams, usual colours for both sides. #mfcvsmfc


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “It’s a great result for us – St Mirren have been on a good run and have some real talented players in their side.

    “The first half was reminiscent of just about every other match we’ve played against Saints; end to end, nothing much between the teams.

    “The three goals we scored were quality and we could have had more. Their keeer (Marian Kello) has had a couple of really good saves.

    “We had some outstanding individual performances; it was hard to pick a man of the match for us. People will look at Lionel (Ainsworth) and Henri (Anier) for their goals but you can go right though the side, so many people were on top of their game which is what you need to win games in the Premiership.”

    St Mirren manager Danny Lennon:

    “The highly frustrating part is that we have dropped one or two gears in terms of our work ethic, and that has been the main ingredient of our success,” he said.

    “I just felt we were off, we played second fiddle to a lot of balls and Motherwell just showed a greater hunger.

    “That disappoints me and it hurts me to say that.”


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    TV: McCall hoping for home comforts

    Stuart McCall hopes to complete the full set of home victories when St Mirren visit Fir Park tomorrow.

    The Steelmen have managed to beat every single SPFL Premiership side on their own patch under the former Scotland midfielder, with the exception of the Paisley Saints.

    Indeed, you need to go back to October 2010 for Motherwell’s last home victory over the Buddies, albeit in the same time period, ‘Well have won three and drawn one of five fixtures at St Mirren Park.

    Kilmarnock had a similar record that was finally ended back in August, and McCall is hoping to do something similar tomorrow.

    [pullquote]Like every other point we’ve earned this season, we will need to work exceptionally hard against a side who are certainly on form. I say it every week, but we’ll need to be at our very best if we’re to win the match.[/pullquote]

    “I am almost three years at the club and I’ve not managed a home win against them [St Mirren],” he said.

    “Kilmarnock were in the same boat, but we managed to bury that ghost a few months ago.

    “They lost last week against Aberdeen in terrible conditions, but I’ve watched the game; Danny and Tommy will be reasonably happy with their performance despite the defeat.

    “I expect St Mirren to be right in the mix for top-six, they’ve got some really good players coupled with real leaders like Steven Thompson and Jim Goodwin.

    “Like every other point we’ve earned this season, we will need to work exceptionally hard against a side who are certainly on form. I say it every week, but we’ll need to be at our very best if we’re to win the match.”


    MFC TV

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    TV: Mick wants Christmas consistency

    Stephen McManus is aiming for a consistent Christmas period with fifteen points available in the next two weeks.

    The Steelmen face St Mirren tomorrow to kick-off a hectic schedule that will follow with trips to Aberdeen and Glasgow, before a Fir Park double-header against St Johnstone and Inverness in the New Year.

    ‘Well are four points behind second-place Inverness in the table and how teams perform in the next fortnight will no doubt shape their season, as the race for the top-six and European places really heats up.

    “Christmas is one of the few times where it is difficult to be a footballer because the schedule is so hectic,” he told the gathered press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference.

    [pullquote]If we’re being honest, we have been a little stop, start. We’ve not really got into a rhythm; we’re winning one, then losing, then drawing then winning again. It would be nice if we could put a little consistent run together.[/pullquote]

    “In saying that, I personally look forward to it, you don’t train in the same way as everything is pretty much geared to playing games!

    “Obviously when you get that little bit older, you have to look after your body a bit more, but there’s five games in fourteen days and a couple wins can really kick your season on.

    “It was good to get off to a winning start last week at Ross County, but we approach every match looking for the three points, particularly at home.

    “If we’re being honest, we have been a little stop, start. We’ve not really got into a rhythm; we’re winning one, then losing, then drawing then winning again. It would be nice if we could put a little consistent run together.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    St Mirren Magazine Preview

    The tenth domestic Steelmen Matchday Magazine of 2013/14 is on sale when St Mirren visit on Saturday.

    But what is inside the 68-page issue?

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

    Reflecting on last weekend’s vital win in Dingwall, McCall speaks about how he hopes the win sparks a good Christmas and New Year period for the Steelmen.

    The skipper also chats about last week’s victory and what he expects from an improving St Mirren.

    The feature interview is with Motherwell number nine, John Sutton. Despite a good start to his second spell in Claret and Amber, the former Saints hitman is desperate for more.

    The striker also features as the next in the centre-page souvenir poster collection.

    But that’s not where the features stop!

    There is a 14-page section dedicated to our visitors, St Mirren.

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

    We report from Pittodrie and the Buddies’ 2-0 defeat to the Dons and former player Michael Higdon, who played for both clubs, features in Graeme McGarry’s ‘Us and Them’ section.

    The NEC striker talks about life in Dutch football and his positive experiences at both St Mirren Park and Fir Park.

    Saints boss Danny Lennon also gives us an exclusive interview where he talks honestly about early season pressure and his search for consistency.

    The big features keep coming…

    Our new column – ‘Football from around the World’ from Ross Dunbar this week focuses on the fascinating end to the increasingly popular J-League in Japan where Sanfrecce Hiroshima pipped Shunsuke Nakamura’s Yokohama F. Marinos to the title in last day drama.

    ‘From the Press Box’ returns with a new host, the Herald’s Scott Mullen and the first of our Eggheads ‘Quarter Final’ clashes pits Paul Lawson against John Sutton

    But wait, there’s more!

    Our match reports section takes a look back at the 2-1 win over Ross County last weekend. There’s also an in-depth report from the Under 20s defeat to Kilmarnock at Fir Park.

    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 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

    Injury boost for young trio

    Motherwell have been boosted by the quicker than expected return of three injured players.

    Bob McHugh, Fraser Kerr and Zaine Francis-Angol have trained all week and are back in the squad for Saturday’s visit of St Mirren.

    It’s a timely boost for ‘Well boss Stuart McCall who, only two weeks ago, had as many as eight players on the treatment table.

    McHugh picked up an injury during the first half of the Scottish Cup clash at New Douglas Park three weeks ago.

    Fraser Kerr had to go off after just ten minutes against Celtic and Francis-Angol looked as if he might have been missing for several months, but detailed scans provided good news and the Antiguan International was cleared to resume training much quicker than expected.

    McCall said: “The main positive news from this week is we’ve got a three of players back in training, McHugh, Francis-Angol and Kerr.

    “With so many games in short succession over Christmas and New Year, the more options you have, the better.

    “We weren’t expecting Zaine to be back so soon, but he got some really welcomed news after we thought he’d be out for two to three months at least. Hopefully the diagnosis and the treatment he has got has propelled him forward.

    “Zaine, along with Bob and Fraser, will provide increased competition for places and are in contention for this weekend.”

    Meanwhile, the Scottish FA have confirmed Shaun Hutchinson will be banned for one match after picking up his sixth SPFL booking this term.

    The 23-year old went over the disciplinary threshold when he was booked in Satuday’s 2-1 win over Ross County.

    The Englishman will be free to face St Mirren on Saturday and Aberdeen on Boxing Day before the suspension kicks in.

    He will sit out the trip to Partick Thistle on December 29th before making his return against St Johnstone on New Year’s Day.

  • Archive

    Official eBay store returns with a bang!

    There are some fantastic and unique lots currently up for action on the clubs’ relaunched eBay store.

    The club’s official eBay store has been in hibernation for some time, but is back and full of claret and amber goodies you won’t find anywhere else!

    From signed merchandise to hospitality packages and money can’t buy experiences, fans have the chance to get their hands on some exclusive Motherwell memorabilia?

    Previous auctions have included match-worn shirts, signed footballs, programmes, tickets, and even sponsor rights.

    Right now, we have Henrik Ojamaa’s matchwork and signed Champions League shirt, James McFadden’s matchworn and signed 2012/13 Third kit, a matchworn and signed Stuart Carswell 2013/14 shirt, worn on the last home match of last season (vs Ross County), Jamie Murphy’s matchworn 07/08 ‘First Goal’ away kit, Darren Smith’s Canterbury Training top, a 1991 Scottish Cup Final matchday programme and a programme from the Kuban Krasnodar away match as well as Match/training-worn Darren Randolph signed Adidas boots.

    There is certainly something for everyone. CLICK HERE to browse everything at our official eBay store.

    The club also run charity auctions from time to time where all proceeds go towards one of the many local charities we support.

    If you wish to donate an item please contact us on 01698 333333 or email

    Standard eBay terms and conditions apply to any purchases.

  • Archive

    Collum in charge this Saturday

    Willie Collum will take charge of Saturday’s Scottish Premiership meeting with St Mirren at Fir Park.

    Regarded as one of Scotland’s best officials, it will be Willie’s first Motherwell match of the 2013/14 campaign.

    He’s no stranger to ‘Well fans having been a top-flight whistler for a number of years, taking charge of six Motherwell matches last term.

    The first match this season was the 1-0 defeat at Tynecastle in October 2012 when Danny Grainger’s long-range effort separated the sides.

    He also took charge of both William Hill Scottish Cup clashes with Aberdeen last December.

    In the first meeting at Pittodrie, Niall McGinn headed home a late equaliser to cancel out Jamie Murphy’s opener 10 minutes from time.

    There would be disappointment for the Steelmen in the replay as goals from Rory Fallon and Joe Shaughnessy helped the Dons progress to the next round.

    Motherwell were handed a lifeline in injury-time when Michael Higdon netted from the penalty spot, however Craig Brown’s side held firm in the final minutes.

    He was also the man in the middle for the narrow 3-2 win over St Johnstone in January; Michael Higdon’s hat-trick sealing a terrific three points and also the disappointing 3-0 defeat at Ross County shortly after.

    He also handled the James McFadden-inspired 4-1 victory over Hibs in March and, finally, the 4-3 defeat to Inverness Caley in the Highlands in May.

    His overall record in charge of the Steelmen reads five wins, twelve defeats and five draws from twenty-two matches (in all competitions).

    In those games, Motherwell have scored 34 and conceded 43. 45 players have gone into the book, 20 wearing Claret and Amber, while four players have been dismissed – Ian Murray of Hibs at Easter Road five years back, Jerard Aafjes at Falkirk four seasons ago, Paul Dixon at the end of 2009/10 and, most recently, Henrik Ojamaa in that game at Caley last season.

    Alastair Mather and Dougie Porter will run the lines with Kevin Graham on fourth official duties. Referee observer is Brian Winter and John Connolly is SPFL delegate.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from New Douglas Park

    Extended highlights from New Douglas Park where Motherwell U20s and Hamilton Accies U20s played out a goalless yet entertaining draw.


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: Johansson content with derby point

    Under 20s boss Jonatan Johansson was content with the hard-fought point his side gained at New Douglas Park tonight.

    The youths had to withstand spells of pressure in both halves with some enthusiastic and committed defending.

    It would be the visitors who would finish the game stronger though, and only two good saves and the width of the Accies crossbar denied them a win.

    Johansson admitted his side has to dig in at times, but was satisfied with what is a good point against a talented side in the Under 20s league.

    [pullquote]We started to get a little more confident and probably looked the more likely team to score at the end, with their goalkeeper making two great saves and Paul McCafferty hitting the bar.[/pullquote]

    He told MFC TV: “From our point of view, we were far happier with the second half and how we finished the game.

    “First half, we were up against it a little. They are a very good pressing side; they are aggressive and difficult to play against. There were some great last-ditch tackles and blocks from our boys who showed a good attitude.

    “We also had Ross Stewart to thank for a number of good saves, particularly at the start of the second half.

    “After that, we started to get a little more confident and probably looked the more likely team to score at the end, with their goalkeeper (Blair Currie) making two great saves and Paul McCafferty hitting the bar.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Hamilton U20s 0 – 0 Motherwell U20s

    Motherwell and Hamilton Accies Under 20s shared the spoils in an entertaining goalless draw at New Douglas Park tonight.

    The Steelmen had to dig in deep at times as the home side applied a lot pressure.

    However, the visitors would finish well and only two late saves and the width of the crossbar would deny Jonatan Johansson’s men all three points.

    The Finn would make just one change to the side that lost narrowly to Kilmarnock seven days ago with David Ferguson dropping out and Craig Moore returning to the side in attack.

    It was a fairly even start with both sides training chances.

    Spanish defender Jesús García Tena fired a free-kick a foot or so over the bar and, down the other end, Steven Higgins weaved his way through two challenges but his shot was straight at Blair Currie.

    The home side were seeing a fair bit of the ball but it was ‘Well who would threaten next. Jack Leitch teed up Dale Shirkie on the edge of the area, but his first-time shot ballooned over the bar.

    Play was raging from end to end and only a last ditch Morgyn Neill header prevented Andy Ryan from scoring at the expense of a corner. The resulting kick from the quadrant led to a chance for Jaison McGrath at the back post but his low shot was saved well by the feet of Stewart.

    Motherwell’s reply was a Euan Murray header that flashed wide in what was a whirlwind opening twenty minutes.

    But as the half wore on, the hosts gained the upper hand and dominated the play for the last fifteen minutes. They passed up four quick-fire chances within three minutes, Louis Longridge (twice), Eamonn Brophy and Ryan all had efforts either wide, over or saved by Stewart.

    Just before the break, left full-back Colin Granger brought out another good stop from Stewart after a sweeping Accies move across the pitch.

    The Motherwell ‘keeper would start the second period much as he finished the first, saving in spectacular style. This time he would deny Brophy after the front man had got behind Neill. Longridge followed that with a darting low shot that was again saved by Stewart.

    ‘Well’s first shot on target in the second period came just before the hour mark when Craig Moore collected a Murray pass on the edge of the area, but his turn and shot presented few problems for Currie.

    That effort had came after Brophy had another chance to score, creating space for himself with some neat wide play, only to drag his low shot wide of Stewart’s far post.

    Johansson’s men had to survive another Accies onslaught 25 minutes from time when they had two shots just wide. In between, there was an almighty scramble in the area with the Fir Parkers having to defend with all sorts of last-ditch blocks and tackles.

    But, as time ticked away, Motherwell came more and more into things and would finish strongly.

    The start of it was a piercing counter attack, Thomas rolling in Higgins on the left flank only for the forward to watch on as Currie tipped his curling effort just wide.

    Moore flicked a Murray cross over the bar before Paul McCafferty came within an inch of grabbing his first of the campaign. A quick corner eventually worked its way to the little winger on the edge of the area. He teed himself up with a nice touch before drilling a shot which cannoned back off Currie’s crossbar with the keeper beaten all ends up.

    Then, with four minutes to go, Dom Thomas must have thought he had scored with a stinging shot only for Currie to get a super hand to it, to turn it over the bar.

    It was the last action of a swashbuckling local derby with a point just about fair. The Under 20s now go into their mini winter shutdown and are not back in action for a month.

    Motherwell: Stewart, Cadden (Ferguson 42mins), Murray, Cummins, Neill, Leitch, McCafferty, Shirkie, Moore, Thomas, Higgins

    Subs Not Used: McCall, Anderson, Hall, Currie

    Photography: Craig Foy