Action pictures from the 3-1 defeat by Dundee Utd at Tannadice in the SPFL Premiership.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Action pictures from the 3-1 defeat by Dundee Utd at Tannadice in the SPFL Premiership.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Stuart McCall set aside complaints about the official and instead bemoaned his side’s defending after the 3-1 defeat at Tannadice.
‘Well fans will have left Tayside feeling a little hard done to about a number of decisions that didn’t go the visitors way, but that didn’t interest the Fir Park boss, who was much more agitated by his team’s showing.
Dundee United merited their win in what was a below par performance from the Steelmen, particularly in the first-half.
And McCall wasn’t in the mood to mince his words when he spoke to MFC TV after the match.
“We absolutely cannot afford to give a side as good as Dundee United a two-goal start and that’s exactly what we did,” he said.
[pullquote]We absolutely cannot afford to give a side as good as Dundee United a two-goal start and that’s exactly what we did.[/pullquote]
“It was a basic error from Hutchy (Shaun Hutchinson), but he doesn’t need me or anyone else to tell him that, it can happen in football.
“The second goal’s an even bigger disappointment, we work hard on set pieces and it was a really sloppy goal to lose.
“There were a few harsh words said at half time and to be fair, the lads showed a bit of character in the second half, particularly after losing a goal to a big deflection.
“We got a goal back and at that stage, if there were any more goals to be had, I thought it would be us.
“It wasn’t to be though. We’ll quickly pick ourselves up and get ready for another hard match at St Johnstone this Tuesday.”
Gavin McCafferty at Tannadice
Former ‘Well defender Gavin Gunning returned to haunt his old club with two goals for United in their 3-1 win at Tannadice.
Ryan Dow opened the scoring at Tannadice, before Gunning – sidelined in recent weeks by a knee injury – netted either side of the interval.
Although John Sutton pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, United held on for the three points.
Jackie McNamara’s side were the better team on the night and deserved to record a third successive win against Stuart McCall’s men – but the visitors can certainly feel aggrieved at a number of calls that didn’t go their way.
The hosts were first to threaten when they carved out a genuine scoring opportunity inside five minutes.
Keith Watson’s cross from deep was met by midfielder John Rankin, who let fly but saw his effort go narrowly past Well goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen’s far post.
United made the breakthrough in the 22nd minute after Shaun Hutchinson’s attempted back pass from midway inside his own half fell short. Dow wasted no time in picking up possession and homing in on goal, before steadying himself sufficiently to sweep a shot past Nielsen and into the far corner from 12 yards.
The ‘Well players surrounded Bobby Madden, convinced of a push on Carswell in the build-up, but there was nothing doing from the official.
It was not until the end of the first half that the visitors were evident in an attacking sense, with Radoslaw Cierzniak being forced into his first save in 35 minutes.
Sutton caused some problems with his physical presence inside the United penalty area as he helped the ball onto Iain Vigurs. The former Ross County midfielder’s point-blank shot with his left-foot looked net bound until Cierzniak instinctively palmed it away.
The home side increased their lead in in the 42nd minute and again ‘Well were unhappy with the referee. Dow’s corner was head-flicked on by Nadir Çiftçi, who looked to have manhandled Stevie Hammell, for Gunning was lurking at the far post to stab the ball over the line. Again, nothing doing from Madden.
United were in the ascendency and deserved their lead but ‘Well would again have cause for grievance when Gunning barged Iain Vigurs inside the box. It looked a pretty clear spot kick, but the claims were waved away.
Things were to get worse for the visitors at the start of the second half when they found themselves trailing further.
Vigurs brought down Çiftçi 25 yards from goal and Gunning had only one thing on his mind as he tried his luck from 25 yards, and was fortunate to see his effort take a big deflection off James McFadden before finding the far corner of Nielsen’s net.
There appeared no way back for the Lanarkshire club but things changed somewhat when they were awarded a 56th minute penalty.
Çiftçi was penalised for handball from James McFadden’s free-kick and Sutton sent Cierzniak the wrong way from the spot to reduce the deficit to 3-1.
That goal served to give the visitors some fresh hope, although United had the chance to reinforce their lead on the hour mark but Armstrong could not keep his shot down from 12 yards.
The home defence came under some pressure towards the end, although Gary Mackay-Steven could have sealed things with 10 minutes remaining, only for Nielsen to foil his low shot from ten yards.
There was another claim for a penalty late in the game when Gunning appeared to handle the ball away from substitute Henri Anier, but it wasn’t spotted and the game soon ended, with the home side running out deserved winners despite Motherwell’s improved showing in the second forty-five.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Tannadice
FT: Dundee Utd 3 – 1 Motherwell #DUFCvMFC
3 minutes added on #DUFCvMFC
88mins: Dundee Utd sub, Armstrong off for Connolly #DUFCvMFC
86mins: Great little interchange of passes there by McFadden and Lasley then Anier to get a ball in for Francis-Angol. Utd clear, though
85mins: McFadden’s long throw into the box causes some uncertainties but it just won’t fall to a ‘Well player. Chance gone #DUFCvMFC
82mins: Good stop from Nielsen to deny Armstong at his near post. #DUFCvMFC
78mins: Reid wins ‘Well a corner…. McFadden’s delivery is gathered again by Cierzniak #DUFCvMFC
77mins: Dundee Utd sub, Dow off for El Alagui #DUFCvMFC
76mins: Motherwell sub, Anier on for Vigurs #DUFCvMFC
72mins: Ciftci can only find the sidenetting after bursting into the box #DUFCvMFC
70mins: Corner to ‘Well……Vigurs’ delivery is gathered by Cierzniak #DUFCvMFC
65mins: Motherwell sub, Ainsworth off for Reid #DUFCvMFC
Looked like handball? Either way, Sutton has the chance to pull one back…. GOAL! #DUFCvMFC
54mins: Another free-kick in a good area… McFadden…PENALTY! #DUFCvMFC
50mins: Free-kick to ‘Well in a great position 23 yards out. Sutton plays it square to Ainsworth who shoots straight at Cierzniak #DUFCvMFC
49mins: Corner to Utd…..falls to Rankin who blazes over just inside the box #DUFCvMFC
46mins: GOAL- Gunning makes it 3-0 with a low free-kick #DUFCvMFC
HT: Dundee Utd 2 – 0 Motherwell
1 minute added on #DUFCvMFC
41mins: GOAL – Gunning makes it 2-0 with a close range tap-in from a corner #DUFCvMFC
35mins: Should have been the equaliser but for Cierzniak with a great stop to deny Vigurs from close range after Sutton’s knockdown #DUFCvMFC
33mins: Bit of a half-chance for Vigurs. Spun in the box but on his weaker foot, can only drag it well wide #DUFCvMFC
31mins: Corner to ‘Well……..Madden judges McManus pushed his man at the back post and blows the whistle #DUFCvMFC
30mins: United are well on top here. Not able to get the ball and keep some possession #DUFCvMFC
20mins: GOAL! – Dow makes it 1-0 after Hutchinson’s backpass is short leaving him plenty of time to slot past Nielsen #DUFCvMFC
20mins: Corner to Motherwell……..Cierzniak gathers the delivery with ease #DUFCvMFC
18mins: Fantastic last-ditch tackle from Francis-Angol to deny what looked like was going to be a certain goal! #DUFCvMFC
10mins: Cifcti gets past Hammell who brings him down to concede a FK. Delivery is headed clear to Rankin who volleys well over #DUFCvMFC
8mins: Close again for Utd. This time it’s Robertson who shoots from 20 yards out, just past the post. #DUFCvMFC
5mins: CLOSE! Rankin pulls his shot from just inside the box inches past Nielsen’s left post #DUFCvMFC
3mins: Sutton was always stretching to reach Ainsworth’s delivery and can only poke it wide #DUFCvMFC
..Vigurs’ effort is headed over for the first corner of the game #DUFCvMFC
2mins: Free-kick won by McFadden, about 25 yards out……
Lasley and Carswell get the game underway #DUFCvMFC #CYW
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“We were very disappointed with the way we lost the first two goals. They were poor and sloppy ones to lose.
“But we showed lots of guts ands character to come back into things. I know the character is there to come back from this setback.”
Dundee Utd manager Jackie McNamara:
“The first half was about as good as it gets. We were excellent throughout.
“We moved the ball well and had good energy which brought enough chances to put the game to bed.
“It’s another hard match against Hibernian next week but let’s hope it’s another good Friday night result for us.
“If we can play like that then we’ll win more games than we lose or draw.
“I thought in the second half it was horrible, a bit stop-start with lots of free-kicks. The penalty gave them a bit of a lift in the second half but we were worthy winners.”
Motherwell FC is pleased to announce the signing of former Celtic and Morton right-back Craig Reid.
Reid, 27, spent time at the club during the summer and was part of the pre-season trip to Spain. He also played 90 minutes against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium, turning in a solid performance.
A deal looked likely, but Stephen McManus’ decision to choose Motherwell over Hibs meant there was no budget to bring the Irvine-born defender to Fir Park on a permanent basis at that time.
The former Scotland Youth International, who has experience playing European football with Queen of the South against FC Nordsjælland back in 2008, spent time on trial down south, but signed a short-term deal with his pervious club Morton that finished in late January.
[pullquote]I am delighted to be here, it’s great to have finally signed. I came in during the summer and I am familiar with the place, the boys and the management here.[/pullquote]
And with Motherwell in the midst of an injury crisis, Reid’s addition to the end of the current season provides a welcome and timely boost to Stuart McCall’s squad.
Speaking exclusively to MFC TV, Reid, who goes straight into the squad for tonight’s game at Tannadice, said: “I am delighted to be here, it’s great to have finally signed.
“I came in during the summer and I am familiar with the place, the boys and the management here.
“I was disappointed things didn’t work out in the summer as I really wanted to come here, but Stuart McCall was always honest with me and I understood and appreciated that.
“I am here now though, I feel fit and I am looking forward to getting to started.”
Stuart McCall admits his injury crisis has deepened since last weekend’s win over Partick Thistle.
‘Well were missing five players for the match against Alan Archibald’s side, but Paul Lawson has joined them and there are serious doubts over captain Keith Lasley, Henri Anier and Stuart Carswell.
With Adam Cummins and Bob McHugh out on loan, that could leave Stuart McCall with just nine outfield players from his first-team squad to call upon.
That means the ‘Well boss will have to utilise players from Jonatan Johansson’s Under 20s squad.
Speaking to the gathered press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference, the 40-times capped former Scotland midfielder said: “We’re going to go and have a go, but we have some major injury concerns in the squad.
[pullquote]Sometimes it’s this sort of opportunity one of them needs to make the step up and there’s always a bit of excitement around that. We’ll certainly have a real good go at it, regardless of who is out there.[/pullquote]
“There are six out and Lasley, Carswell and Anier haven’t done any training all week and are major doubts if I am honest.
“The hardest part for the coaching staff and I, this week, has been to curtail training. We’ve been down to seven or eight bodies and those that are involved want to do so at a good tempo, but we’ve had to restrict it to avoid more injuries.
“I now need to look to the Under 20s and the likes of Jack Leitch, Dom Thomas, Dale Shirkie and Chrissy Cadden, who have all trained with us. Other than a few minutes for Leitch, none of them have had any game time, but they are all fresh-faced and desperate for a chance.
“Sometimes it’s this sort of opportunity one of them needs to make the step up and there’s always a bit of excitement around that. We’ll certainly have a real good go at it, regardless of who is out there.”
Experienced fullback Stevie Hammell hopes ‘Well have learned lessons from the last time the Steelmen faced Dundee United.
The Fir Parkers, missing three of their regular back four, were routed 4-0 by a rampant Arabs side back in November.
Once again ‘Well have a crippling injury list to contend with but Hammell, who is just nine matches away from an amazing 500 in Claret and Amber, insists the team travel to Tayside looking for all three points.
[pullquote]Their attacking players can really hurt you, but we’ve been working hard in training to combat that, allowing us to play our own game[/pullquote]
Speaking to the broadcast press at ‘Well’s pre-match news conference, the 32-year old said: “Although that game [vs Dundee United in Novemeber] was quite a while ago, we learned from it and quickly moved on.
“Despite the fact we’re short of bodies, no matter who is out there, we are going there looking for all three points.
“Some might call it revenge; it’s not like that for us. We respect them a lot, they are a good side as you seen on that day we played them.
“Their attacking players can really hurt you, but we’ve been working hard in training to combat that, allowing us to play our own game.”
Referee for this Friday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Dundee Utd at Tannadice is the highly-rated Bobby Madden.
The match will be Bobby’s fourth in charge of the Steelmen this campaign. The first was the SPFL opener against Hibs at Easter Road, Henri Anier coming off the bench to net the winner on his league debut.
The second was the 3-1 win over Ross County back in September when the Fir Parkers came back from a goal down to win courtesy of goals from Bob McHugh and a John Sutton double.
The most recent was the 3-0 defeat at Celtic Park last month, when a Kris Commons double and a McManus own-goal handed Celtic all three points.
That was only his seventh ever Motherwell match. His first was back in January of the 2011/12 season as the ‘Well slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Inverness, Grégory Tadé grabbing the game’s only goal.
His second was the thrilling 5-1 win over St Johnstone as Motherwell reaffirmed their grip on third spot in the old SPL. Goals that day from Higdon, Law, Murphy and Henrik Ojamaa’s double all but ended Saints’ hopes of nicking the best of the rest gong that season.
Last season he also handled two matches. The first was an entertaining 3-3 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Motherwell had raced into a 3-1 lead courtesy of goals from Higdon, Hutchinson and Law but a late Aberdeen fightback handed Craig Brown’s men a draw.
His second, two months later, was a fine 2-1 win at Tannadice. Michael Higdon opened the scoring before Chris Humphrey rocketed in a second goal of the season contender. Jon Daly pulled one back with his customary goal, but it wasn’t enough as Motherwell held on for the three points.
The 35-year old has been fourth official on a number of occasions, including Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup last season and the Semi Final with St Johnstone at Hampden.
The whistler has busy already this campaign, with busy domestic duties topped up with games in the Europa League with Esbjerg fB vs AS Saint-Étienne, KRC Genk vs FC Thun and Lazio vs Apollon Limassol.
In addition, he handled two UEFA Champions League qualifiers: CS Fola Esch vs GNK Dinamo Zagreb and Austria Vienna vs FH Hafnarfjördur.
His most recent SPFL appointment was last weekend when Hibernian edged out Ross County 2-1 at Easter Road. He was also the man in the middle for Morton’s shock 1-0 win over Celtic in the League Cup back in September.
Bobby will be ably assisted by Andrew McWilliam and Douglas Ross with Andrew Dallas on fourth official duties. Referee observer is Alan Freeland with Bert Donald as SPFL Delegate.
Tonight’s Under 20s match with Rangers has been postponed due to recent bad weather.
The surface was inspected by a local referee at 11am this morning and the match will now not go ahead.
The Under 20s are next in action next Wednesday (26th February) when the take on Aberdeen at Arbroath’s Gayfield – 1pm kick-off.
Four groups were the latest to to take advantage of the ‘Free Tickets for Youth Clubs’ scheme against Partick Thistle on Saturday.
The Steelmen announced back in October that they were offering free tickets to various youth groups throughout Lanarkshire and it has been very popular since then.
Over 100 youngsters from the Douglas Cubs & Beavers, Milton Rovers 2002’s, St Aidan’s Youth Club and Wishaw Wycombe all watched on as Stuart McCall’s men twice came from behind to beat the Jags 4-3, in what was a pulsating afternoon.
Marc Welsh from St Aiden’s Youth Club told us, “On behalf of my colleagues, the kids and I at St Aidan’s, I would like to thank the club for there fantastic gesture of the tickets we received for Saturday’s win over Partick.
“The kids had a fantastic day out and, after a great display, hopefully it will encourage some of them to get along to more ‘Well games in the future.”
Blair Paterson from Milton Rovers added: “Arriving at Fir Park, the boys were a bit apprehensive as some of them had never been to a Premiership game before.
“What a game they witnessed; a seven-goal thriller, one which I don’t think they will forget in a hurry. I bet they couldn’t wait to get to school to tell all their friends on Monday morning; it was an emotional roller coaster, especially for me as a Season Ticket holder.
“When ‘Well scored two late on, every one of my team were jumping and cheering loudly, even some of them that support other rival teams. (That was) Fantastic to see, and a terrific lesson learned by my boys at the game was to never, ever give up until that final whistle is blown.
“I want to thank Motherwell Football Club for the opportunity. Everyone really loved it.”
If you or your youth group would be keen to build a partnership with Motherwell Football Club and claim complimentary group tickets, contact the Ticket Office Manager Wendy MacFarlane on 01698 333 333 or email email@example.com.
Extended highlights from Fir Park as two late goals gave ‘Well the win in a seven-goal thriller against Partick Thistle.