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    Motherwell 4 – 3 Partick Thistle

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    TV: McFadden eyes repeat performance

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    TV: McCall bemoans injury list

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    Partick Thistle Magazine Preview

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    Norris to ref Jags clash

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    Possible fan assistance on Saturday

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

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    TV: Johansson hails Steelmen character

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    St Mirren U20s 1 – 2 Motherwell U20s

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    Keith Lasley wins January award

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    Motherwell 4 – 3 Partick Thistle

    [tab:Match report]

     Phil McGhee at Fir Park

    Motherwell showed great determination to stage a dramatic last gasp fight back and take all three points against Partick Thistle today.

    But when Stephen McManus powered home his winning header four minutes from time, it not only erased the poor opening 30 minutes but rewarded the ‘Well players who never gave up hope of taking something from a game, despite trailing 3-2 with just six minutes remaining.

    It also rewarded the 25 hardy ‘Well fans who battled against the elements on the Fir Park pitch, making it playable for the visit of Thistle. In the light of the injuries, which kept Simon Ramsden, Fraser Kerr and Lee Hollis sidelined, Stuart McCall perhaps secretly hoped for a postponement!

    And with six minutes remaining and his side looking to drop three points, the ‘Well boss was most certainly wishing the game had been off.

    The finale was in complete contract to most of the first half where both teams struggled to find any pattern to their game, ‘Well looked rusty and short of match practice after a three week lay-off.

    After a couple of early chances for the home side, with Iain Vigurs firing over and James McFadden thumping a shot into a packed defence, Thistle sneaked into the lead after 38 minutes.

    Former Fir Park loan player Karl Higginbotham, who had a terrific match, fed a pass to Chris Erskine who had time to turn and bury his shot in the corner of the net despite Gunnar Nielsen getting his hand to the ball.

    Two minutes Prince Bauben was denied a second when his drive was blocked by Shaun Hutchison on the penalty spot.

    Paul Gallagher in the Thistle goal had not been called into action but three minutes from half-time, he was picking the ball out of his net when ‘Well drew level with a bit of luck. Keith Lasley, shaking off a whack to his knee earlier in the match, cut in from the corner of the box and although his shot was on target, a wicked defection from Higginbotham carried the ball high over Gallagher and under his cross bar.

    That lifted the home side and within minutes of the restart McFadden found Vigurs at the angle of the box but he curled his shot over the bar.

    After 51 minutes McFadden was the provider as ‘Well took the lead. Taking a pass from Lionel Ainsworth the former Scotland star rolled the ball back across the box into the path of Ainsworth, whose controlled shot carried he ball high past Gallagher to make it 2-1.

    Thistle had appeals for a penalty dismissed when Aaron Taylor-Sinclair’s shot rebounded from a ‘Well defender’s arm but the ref pointed to the spot after 65 minutes when Ainsworth sliding tackle caught Taylor-Sinclair. Higginbotham rejoiced in front of the East Stand as he confidently sent Nielsen the wrong way to level the scores at 2-2.

    Higginbotham then seemed certain to come back to haunt his former employees after 72 minutes when he finished off a great solo run with an angled drive across the ‘keeper and into the far corner of the net to make it 3-2.

    That should have been the winner for Thistle but rather than feeling sorry for themselves, the ‘Well players took the challenge to their opponents in the final 15 minutes.

    Faddy, who showed some fabulous touches and superb fitness on a heavy pitch, came within inches of the equaliser but his turn and shot from six yards took a deflection on its way into the side netting. Gallagher then produced a great save to palm a thumping header from McManus over the cross bar.

    Finally, with six minutes remaining, ‘Well grabbed a deserved equaliser when Ainsworth’s tempting cross found John Sutton rising to nod home his 12th goal of the season and set up a grandstand finish.

    And two minutes from time, the comeback was complete. Stevie Hammell whipped a free kick just beyond the 6 yard box where McManus met the ball full on to powerfully head the ball beyond Gallagher to make it 4-3 and grab a hard earned three points.


    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

     An incredible game here at Fir Park. A battle, and ‘Well showed great spirit to keep going and come back for the three points #MFCvPTFC

    FT: Motherwell 4 – 3 Partick Thistle #MFCvPTFC

    Balatoni heads over. 30 seconds left #MFCvPTFC

    92mins: Free-kick to Thistle in a dangerous position #MFCvPTFC

    3 minutes added on #MFCvPTFC

    89mins: Motherwell sub, Ainsworth off for Lawson #MFCvPTFC

    88mins: MCMANUS with a looping header over Gallagher. 4-3, unbelievable!! #MFCvPTFC

    87mins: Free-kick from out wide……GGGOOOOOAAALLLLL!!!

    84mins: It’s that man Sutton again with a monumental leap at the back post to power home Ainsworth’s cross 3-3 #MFCvPTFC


    83mins: Partick’s final change, Higginbotham off for Craigen #MFCvPTFC

    82mins: Bannigan booked for a shirt pull on Anier #MFCvPTFC

    79mins: Partick Thistle sub, Elliot on for Erskine #MFCvPTFC

    77mins: Partick Thistle sub, Doolan on for Taylor #MFCvPTFC

    76mins: Motherwell sub, Anier on for Vigurs #MFCvPTFC

    73mins: Great save from Gallagher to deny McManus’ volley from a corner! #MFCvPTFC

    72mins: GOAL! Higginbotham makes it 3-2 with a mazy run and good finish from a tight angle #MFCvPTFC

    66mins: Corner to ‘Well……Thistle break and Nielsen has to make the save from Erskine’s shot #MFCvPTFC

    65mins: GOAL! Higginbotham makes it 2-2 from the spot #MFCvPTFC

    64mins: Penalty! Ainsworth concedes it #MFCvPTFC

    61mins: Fine stop from Nielsen at the feet of Bauben! Looked like the equaliser but he did well to make the block 5 yards out #MFCvPTFC

    60mins: Thistle claim for handball in the ‘Well box. Was travelling at speed but looked (and sounded) like it hit Hammell’s chest #MFCvPTFC

    58mins: Vigurs leaps well at the back post to connect with Ainsworth’s cross. Goes just past #MFCvPTFC

    57mins: Carswell also enters the book for for a similar offence #MFCvPTFC

    56mins: Balotoni correctly booked for a shirt pull on Ainsworth on the halfway line as ‘Well looked to break #MFCvPTFC

    Ainsworth makes it 2-1 with a superb curling finish from just inside the box! McFadden the provider #MFCvPTFC


    49mins: Decent build-up play leads to Vigurs getting some space on the left. Shoots, but it’s sliced well wide #MFCvPTFC

    Second half is underway #COYW #MFCvPTFC

    Teams are back out for the second half. #MFCvPTFC

    HT: Motherwell 1 – 1 Partick Thistle #MFCvPTFC

    2 minutes added on #MFCvPTFC

    42mins: Lasley makes it 1-1. With nothing much on he struck it from 20 yards, Took a deflection over the keeper but they all count! 1-1


    36mins: GOAL! Erskine opens the scoring! Had all the time in the world as the defence opened up and slotted home 0-1 #MFCvPTFC

    26mins: Taylor gets the break of the ball and with options available, opts to go himself. Lasley does well to cover and tackle #MFCvPTFC

    21mins: Ball falls to Lasley 20 yards out. His right footed strike finds the side netting. Close! #MFCvPTFC

    13mins: Great battling from Sutton to get away from Balatoni. As he pulls the trigger, Mair gets across to block #MFCvPTFC

    10mins: Lasley goes down under a heavy challenge from Higginbotham. He’s up, but limping #MFCvPTFC

    6mins: Corner to Partick, won by Erskine. Higginbotham’s low delivery is dealt with by Ainsworth #MFCvPTFC

    4mins: Vigurs comes close after getting on the end of Francis-Angol’s low ball in. Curls just over #MFCvPTFC

    2mins: Early corner for The Steelmen….McFadden’s goalbound header cleared by Taylor #MFCvPTFC

    That’s us underway here at FP!! #MFCvPTFC


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “When we went 2-1 up I thought we were back in it but the penalty gives them a boost before Higginbotham’s terrific third goal. They showed great character and so did we and the action was end to end.

    “I stressed to the players that we might make the most of set-pieces and Sutton and McManus were terrific in the air for the last two goals.”

    The match had been in doubt beforehand due to adverse weather and McCall admitted that with 10 minutes left he was wondering whether all the effort to get it played had been worth it.

    He said: “In the end I was delighted with the victory, and the fact we got the game on, but we had a lot of heavy legs on a heavy pitch.

    “We were a bit rusty at times and although it was not our best performance we kept going.”

    Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald:

    “I thought we were worth at least a point, particularly the way we played in the second half.

    “We dealt well all day with the Motherwell threat until the last five minutes but our Achilles heel came back to haunt us again.

    “Kallum Higginbotham was outstanding in the second half and for us to score three goals at Fir Park, it should be enough to win the game as not many teams do that.”


    [poll id=”179″]

  • Archive

    TV: McFadden eyes repeat performance

    James McFadden hopes to recreate the same scintillating form he showed last time ‘Well faced Partick Thistle.

    The 48-times capped Scotland talisman had struggled with a troublesome hamstring injury in the early part of the season.

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall had asked the former Evertonian to play wide on the left, but it wasn’t until he took a role through the middle against Thistle in Glasgow that he really kicked into top gear.

    And the 30-year old hasn’t looked back since, starting three of ‘Well’s four matches, and looking back to his old confident self.

    Now the forward to wants to continue that for the rest of the season, as the Steelmen chase their sixth Euro qualification in the last seven seasons.

    [pullquote]It was probably a wee bit of a turning point [the Thistle match at Firhill in December] for me this season and performances have been better since.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the gathered press at Motherwell’s pre-match press conference as the Steelmen prepare to meet the Jags again, McFadden said: “It was probably a wee bit of a turning point [the Thistle match at Firhill in December] for me this season and performances have been better since.”

    “I think I’m suited better to playing through the middle. I can probably have more of an effect on the game.

    “I have enjoyed it and the team has been playing well, and we have been getting some decent results. We face a difficult test against an improving Partick Thistle. People might look at the last match and make assumptions, but no one here is doing that.

    “We know how difficult the match will be but it’s up to us to put our own stamp on it and hopefully come away with the three points.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: McCall bemoans injury list

    Stuart McCall has a injury headache to contend with ahead of Saturday’s match with Partick Thistle.

    The Fir Park boss had hoped to clear the treatment room, as ‘Well went the first two weekends in February without a match.

    However, physiotherapists John Porteous and Adam Stokes have been busier than ever, leaving McCall to turn to his Under 20s side to fill up the squad.

    Speaking to the gathered press and ‘Well’s weekly news conference, McCall said: “We had hoped the period without a game would have seen us better off than we were before Aberdeen, and the lads could recharge their batteries; unfortunately we’re probably worse off.

    [pullquote]We had hoped the period without a game would have seen us better off than we were before Aberdeen, and the lads could recharge their batteries; unfortunately we’re probably worse off.[/pullquote]

    “In that time, which we’ve needed off, Stephen McManus has had a minor operation, two of the lads have had injections and only started training yesterday (Thursday), we’ve had another on complete rest due to shin splints, so that was bad enough.

    “Then, on Tuesday at our Under 20s match, Lee Hollis picked up a minor muscle strain – which can happen after a long period out – and to cap it all off, Craig Moore fell over and broke a rib and is out on three weeks.

    “So that’s Fraser Kerr, Simon Ramsden, Lee Erwin, Lee Hollis and Craig Moore all out with another two or three doubtful.

    “That means we’ll have five, possibly six, lads on the bench who haven’t started a match for the club but we’re looking forward to it getting back into things in what will be a difficult match against Partick Thistle.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Partick Thistle Magazine Preview

    The thirteenth domestic Steelmen Matchday Magazine of 2013/14 is on sale when Partick Thistle 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.

    The Fir Park gaffer is desperate for another game after a three-week break and reviews the changes at Thistle during the January Window, whilst the skipper recalls how difficult it was against the Jags the last time the teams met at Fir Park.

    The feature interview is with midfielder Paul Lawson. The former Ross County midfielder talks about how much he is enjoying life at Fir Park, despite facing a battle for a regular spot in the starting eleven.

    ‘Laws’ also features as the next in the centre-page souvenir poster collection.

    There is the usual extensive section dedicated to our visitors, Partick Thistle.

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

    We also report from Firhill and the Thistle and Dundee United shared the points in a 1-1 draw two weeks ago.

    Graeme McGarry’s ‘Us and Them’ feature also returns, speaking to Dunfermline midfielder Ross Forbes.

    Ross talks about how much he enjoyed his time at both Motherwell and Thistle and his tough call to leave both clubs in the search of regular first team football…

    ‘From the Press Box’ returns with regular host, the Herald’s Scott Mullen and the last of our Eggheads ‘Quarter Final’ clashes pits Stuart Carswell against Zaine Francis-Angol.

    We have a tribute to the late, great Andy Paton, who passed away seven days ago as well as a unique story about five ‘Well fans who are living the ultimate dream, signing a contract with the club.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Our match reports section takes a look back at the 2-2 draw with Aberdeen in January as well as the Under 20s 2-1 win over St Mirren

    We have the latest from The Ticket Office, Commercial and Community Departments 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-Sport – CLICK HERE.

    Fans who collect the Steelmen Matchday Magazine should note that the abandoned Inverness magazine has been wrote off as it’s possible the postponed match won’t be for some time. Thanks to the understanding of our partners, Curtis Sport, to keep ‘Well fans as up-to-date as possible, they have kindly offered to underwrite the cost of the print, saving the club a four-figure sum. However, we are also aware that fans, collectors in particular, are always keen to get a hold of these rare issues. To that end, a limited number of 100 will be available in the ‘Well Shop and online at Curtis Sport’s website.

  • Archive

    Norris to ref Jags clash

    Referee for Saturday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Partick Thistle at Fir Park is Euan Norris.

    The 36-year old will be handling his second Motherwell game of the campaign. Ironically, the other was the last time Thistle were at Fir Park back in August with the Steelmen running out narrow 1-0 winners thanks to a John Sutton goal.

    Euan took charge of two matches last season too.

    He was the man in the middle for the 1-1 draw with St Mirren at Fir Park in August 2012 and also the memorable 3-1 victory over Celtic last April.

    Norris, handling his seventh SPFL Premiership match of the campaign, will be a familiar face to Fir Park fans having officiated four matches during the 2011/12 season too.

    He started with the 4-2 away success against Dunfermline at East End Park in late August, the 1-0 win at Easter Road in October, the 3 – 0 defeat at Ibrox in January and the 6-0 demolition of Morton in the Scottish Cup in early February.

    The season previous was also two matches. The first, a 0-0 draw with Inverness was instantly forgettable. However, the other was one that will live long in the memory. Celtic were beaten 2-0 at Fir Park; John Sutton netting a brace.

    His overall record over the last six seasons in charge of ‘Well reads nine wins, two defeats and two draws from thirteen games. ‘Well have scored 22 goals in those games, conceding ten.

    Thankfully, FIFA referee Norris usually likes to keep his cards in his pocket with only 44 cautions handed out in all those games, with an even 22 flashed at a ‘Well players.

    He had only produced one red to a player wearing Claret and Amber and that was Shaun Hutchinson for a second bookable offence in that match with St Mirren last season.

    Euan will be ably assisted by Derek Rose and Ross Haswell with George Salmond on fourth official duties. Gerry Evans is the referee observer and George Douglas is SPFL delegate.

  • Archive

    Possible fan assistance on Saturday

    Motherwell FC is looking for volunteers to help assist the groundstaff on Saturday morning, prior to the Partick Thistle game.

    Safety & Facilities Manager Alan Marshall explained, “Forecasters are predicting heavy rainfall on Thursday, but dry for most of Friday and Saturday, which is encouraging.

    “The pitch is wet after a weeks of almost uninterrupted rain, but is in much better shape than it was prior to the Aberdeen game in late January.

    “Looking back, club staff had to work extensively on the morning of that match to ensure the game went ahead.

    “It’s very possible we will not require the volunteers, but we are planning and preparing for the worst, and additional bodies to help work on the pitch (and surrounding areas) would be of great help to Mikey Ellis and his team.

    “It is very much a precautionary request at this stage, but we don’t want to be caught short if the forecasts are wrong.

    “If we do need the help, we’ll make sure people who put themselves forward get a complimentary ticket for the match.”

    Fans would be required to be at the ground at approximately 9am. If you feel you can help, then please email your contact details (mobile phone number) to

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

    Extended highlights from the Excelsior Stadium as a late Cadden strike earns ‘Well all three points against St Mirren.


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: Johansson hails Steelmen character

    Jonatan Johansson praised the character of his side as they battled to beat St Mirren at Airdrie this afternoon.

    The Steelmen, picking themselves up from their first defeat of 2014 last week, took the lead early in the second half, but were quickly pegged back by a more experienced Saints side.

    However, the youngsters regained their composure and finished stronger, eventually netting a ninetieth minute winner to secure the three points.

    Although identifying areas for improvement, the Finn commended his players for taking all three points.

    [pullquote]Full credit to the lads, they steadied the ship, lifted themselves and finished the game really strong, and it proved important with the late winner from Chris Cadden.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV after the match, Johansson said: “It wasn’t our best performance, but the win is massive for us.

    “Although we scored twice, our second half wasn’t great. We got ourselves ahead via a set piece, which was pleasing, but for the next twenty-five minutes, it was all St Mirren all they deservedly equalised.

    “But full credit to the lads, they steadied the ship, lifted themselves and finished the game really strong and it proved important with the late winner from Chris Cadden.

    “We’ll take all the positives and confidence from the win and prepare for what will be a good test next Tuesday against Rangers.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    St Mirren U20s 1 – 2 Motherwell U20s

    Chris Cadden’s ninetieth minute winner helped Motherwell Under 20s to a hard-fought 2-1 win over St Mirren this afternoon.

    After an entreating but ultimately goalless first-half, ‘Well got themselves ahead shortly after the interval, Morgyn Neill heading home his first ever for the Under 20s, meeting a Jack Leitch corner.

    Saints battled back and deservedly leveled when on-loan Aberdeen front man Josh Magennis smashed a cut back high past substitute Max Currie.

    But, as the game ticked into stoppage time, 17-year old Cadden collected the ball and curled a lovely shot low past McGowan to secure all three points.

    Jonatan Johnasson made two changes to the side that lost to Hibs seven days ago.

    Ross Stewart dropped out and was replaced by Lee Hollis in goals. Steven Higgins had to be content with a place amongst the substitutes with trialist Ryan Finnie slotting in at full-back. That meant regular right-back Cadden moved to centre midfield, with Dale Shirkie partnering Craig Moore in attack.

    Saints have an experienced looking side with Josh Magennis, Adam Campbell and Gary Teale named amongst their starting eleven.

    And it was two of those three who combined to create the first chance after ten minutes, Campbell’s ball from the right perfect for the Irishman but he could only head over from eight yards.

    Campbell had a shot of his own shortly after, but dragged it wide. Motherwell’s first effort didn’t come until the 21st minute, when Jack Leitch fired a shot wide of the post.

    That sparked an end-to-end chance-fest with Lewis Morgan and Campbell both forcing Hollis into saves. At the other end, Leitch fired wide and Moore lifted a lob over the bar.

    Both teams continued to create, Dom Thomas fired high over before Barry Cuddihy went close with an shot just over Hollis’ bar.

    Then, with twelve minutes to the break, Motherwell created the best chance of the half.

    Cadden released Finnie who burst down the right. His excellent near post cross fell for Craig Moore who sent a volley crashing towards goal, only to watch on as McGowan somehow tipped it around for a corner.

    Before the interval, Morgan had another effort for Saints that drifted wide and Moore almost got in on the end of a nice McCafferty return ball, but could get no real purchase on the sliding shot.

    It was a first half full of missed chances but, with about seventy seconds of the second period gone, ‘Well got themselves in front.

    Jack Leitch’s corner was perfect for Morgyn Neill and he leaped well to power home a header off the underside of the bar.

    Both teams had made changes at the interval with Max Currie coming on in place of Lee Hollis and Lewis McLear was introduced for Gary Teale, and both were involved as Saints looked to level quickly.

    The winger was sent scampering down the right and although he had good options in the middle, he opted to take the shot on, Currie tipping around. Thirty seconds later, the same player was again denied when his striking shot was tipped over by the 16-year old stopper.

    Saints were really turning the screw by this point and Currie had to again look smart to deny Campbell, before blocking from McLear for a third time.

    However, the hosts would eventually get themselves level. McLear collected on the flank, knocked it inside to Adam Brown who squared it to Magennis. The striker took one touch inside his marker before lashing it high past a helpless Currie.

    Both teams introduced a flurry of substitutes, which interrupted the flow of the match.

    Indeed, it took until the 85th minute for the next chance to come, Euan Murray heading a Leitch corner just wide of the post.

    A minute later, sub Steven Higgins almost won it for ‘Well when he created space in the area with a beautiful flick, but his low shot was expertly blocked by McGowan.

    Then, as the match ticked into stoppage time, ‘Well got the crucial and match-winning second. McCafferty collected on the right, cutting in, he squared the ball for Dale Shirkie. He flicked it forward to Cadden who took one touch before curling a low shot into the corner, kicking off wild celebrations from the Claret and Amber men.

    Incredibly, Saints could have leveled in the fifth minute of stoppage time. A long free kick from the back was headed on by Magennis, sending Campbell through one-on-one with Currie. Fortunately, the on-loan Newcastle hitman lacked composure, and his shot was weak and straight at the ‘Well stopper.

    It was the last action of a pulsating ninety minutes. ‘Well move up at least one spot with the win and now face a stiff test against league-leaders Rangers next week.

    Motherwell: Hollis (Currie – 46), Finnie*, Ferguson, Murray, Neill, Leitch, McCafferty, Shirkie, Moore (Anderson – 78mins), Thomas (Higgins – 85mins), Cadden

    Subs Not Used: Hall, McCall, Johnstone, Mackin


  • Archive

    Keith Lasley wins January award

    Motherwell club sponsor Cash Converters is delighted to announce that the January Player of the Month is Keith Lasley.

    Lucky ‘Well fans Kazz Ferguson and Chelcie Burt won the Cash Converters Player of the Month competition and they presented Keith with the award at Fir Park this morning.

    Speaking to MFC TV, the skipper said “I am absolutely delighted, I want to thank everyone who voted for me and Cash Converters for hosting the award, along with Kazz and Chelcie for coming in this morning to present the trophy.

    “The Christmas and New Year period was kind to us and that continued into January, with the result at Celtic Park the obvious disappointing exception.

    [pullquote]The Christmas and New Year period was kind to us and that continued into January, with the result at Celtic Park the obvious disappointing exception.[/pullquote]

    “We hope to build on that in February with two important games at Partick Thistle and Dundee United.”

    Look out for the next vote at the end of February to be in with a chance of presenting the award to the winner. Simply visit our Cash Converters SPL Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.

    The Cash Converters Football 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.