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    TV: McCall wants Caley reaction

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    Thomson to referee Caley Thistle clash

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Kilmarnock defeat in pictures

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    TV: McCall frustrated with home defeat

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    Motherwell 1 – 2 Kilmarnock

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    TV: Sutton wants to finish with a flurry

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    TV: McCall’s Fir Park focus

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    Kilmarnock Magazine Preview

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    Madden in charge of Killie clash

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    TV: McCall wants Caley reaction

    Stuart McCall has challenged his side to bounce back against Inverness CT after Saturday’s disappointing defeat by Kilmarnock.

    The Steelmen took the lead against the Ayrshire side and probably should have extended their advantage before Killie got level and, in the 95th minute, won the match.

    The Fir Parkers now make the long journey north for this rearranged match, looking for a similar sort of result against John Hughes’ side that they enjoyed two weeks ago.

    Speaking to the gathered press at Motherwell’s pre-match news conference, the Scotland assistant boss was in defiant mood and urged his players to finish the season with no regrets.

    [pullquote]It might be, in six weeks time, we look back at a cold, damp night in Inverness on a bobbly pitch and realise that’s what got us where we wanted to be[/pullquote]

    “I saw Yogi’s (John Hughes) comments after their match at the weekend saying Tuesday’s match is a must win, and we’ve got to approach the game in a similar manner,” he said.

    “We were naturally disappointed with how it went on Saturday and we’ve challenged the boys to bounce back. We’ve got to go up there, re-energise ourselves and give it a good go.

    “We are all going to have a break and be on a beach in six weeks, some might go to Rio and some might go to Largs! It’s now time to put our foot down on the gas and not think we’re tired and put everything into this last push.

    “It might be, in six weeks time, we look back at a cold, damp night in Inverness on a bobbly pitch and realise that’s what got us where we wanted to be. We’ve got to be extremely focused, very positive and look to come back down the road with all three points. That’s our aim; we are going there to try and win this match.”

    -WATCH STUART’S PRESS CONFERENCE IN FULL ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    Thomson to referee Caley Thistle clash

    Referee for Tuesday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Inverness CT at the Caledonian Stadium will be Craig Thomson.

    The 41-year old will be handling his second Motherwell game of the current season after being the man in the middle for the 1-0 at St Mirren Park, John Sutton scoring the only goal.

    It would have been his third but, ironically, his last appointment was the postponed clash between ‘Well and Caley back in January.

    Thomson, arguably the highest rated amongst the Scottish officials, regularly hosting Champions League, Europa League and International matches, will be a more than familiar face to ‘Well fans, having being a top-flight whistler for over 12 years.

    He took three ‘Well matches last term.

    His first was the 4-1 demolition of Aberdeen back in December when goals from Tom Hateley, Michael Higdon and a Jamie Murphy swept Craig Brown’s side away.

    The second was the 2-1 win at Tynecastle, when two early goals from Michael Higdon and a Dylan McGowan own-goal was enough to see off the Jambos.

    The third was the 2-0 home victory over Ross County in the last home game of the campaign – James McFadden and Chris Humphrey amongst the scorers.

    His record in charge of the Steelmen is a bit of a mix bag with thirteen wins from 37 matches. There have been sixteen defeats and eight draws too.

    Not included in that list was the 2007/08 Scottish Cup fourth round replay win against Hearts at Fir Park, when he replaced the injured Stuart Dougal midway through the second-half.

    In those games, Motherwell have scored 50 and conceded 49.

    130 players have gone into the book, 63 were wearing claret and amber, while five players, including former and current captains Stephen Craigan and Keith Lasley, have been dismissed.

    Thomson will be ably assisted by Brian McGarry and David McGeachie with Steven McLean on fourth official duties. Referee Observer is Bill Machray and SPFL Delegate is Rod Houston.

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Extended highlights from Fir Park as two second-half goals consign ‘Well to a disappointing 1-2 defeat by Kilmarnock.

    -WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    Kilmarnock defeat in pictures

    Action pictures from this afternoon’s frustrating 1-2 defeat by Kilmarnock at Fir Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”kilmarnock290314″]

  • Archive

    TV: McCall frustrated with home defeat

    Stuart McCall was left frustrated as his side conceded a 95th minute sickener to lose 1-2 to Kilmarnock at Fir Park.

    The Steelmen were on top for the first-half and had a Reid header cleared off the line before Iain Vigurs smashed home the opener.

    The former Ross County man could have doubled the lead after a sublime bit of skill and shot, but the single goal advantage was all ‘Well had to show for their efforts at the break.

    Killie eventually got themselves level thanks to a composed Rory McKenzie finish midway through the second half and Alexei Eremenko thought he had won it for the visitors in stoppage time, but his lob struck the top of the bar.

    There would be a sting in the tail though when Craig Slater’s shot from the edge of the area hit a massive bobble off the turf and spun over Nielsen and into the net.

    [pullquote]It’s that little bit of bad luck that’s done us. I think a point would have been a fairer reflection on the match, even although we didn’t play too well in the second half and looked leggy in spells.[/pullquote]

    A disappointed McCall told MFC TV after the match: “I’m naturally bitterly disappointed.

    “I thought we deserved our half-time lead; we played some decent stuff and got some good crosses into the box.

    “Second half Kilmarnock stepped it up and battled away. The real sickening thing is when you watch the goal back. Not only is it the last kick of the ball, but it hits the biggest bobble ever inside the penalty box and there’s nothing Gunnar can do about it.

    “It’s that little bit of bad luck that’s done us. I think a point would have been a fairer reflection on the match, even although we didn’t play too well in the second half and looked leggy in spells.

    “We’ve got to lick our wounds, pick ourselves up and get on with it as we have a big game on Tuesday night and for me now, it’s all about how we react.”

     -WATCH STUART’S INTERVIEW IN FULL ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    Motherwell 1 – 2 Kilmarnock

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee at Fir Park

    Motherwell slipped to their first home defeat since December as Kilmarnock score late to win 2-1.

    A decent first half which was rewarded by an Iain Vigurs goal which should have provided the platform for a third consecutive home win.

    Some sloppy play in the second half, though, gave Kilmarnock hope of taking something from the game and when Rory McKenzie equalised, it looked like ‘Well would have to settle for a point.

    However, as both teams chased a winner in the five minutes of injury time, Killie struck with a killer second goal when Craig Slater’s shot cruelly bobbled over Gunnar Nielsen to give the Rugby Park side all three points.

    James McFadden failed to recover from the hamstring he strained against Ross County, allowing teenage striker Craig Moore to make his third start of the season.

    The Rugby Park side, hovering only three points above the relegation play-off spot and without an away win since December, started the game quite confidently as both teams were intent to play possession football.

    After a couple of early efforts from Jackson Irvine and Iain Vigurs went high and wide, the first save came from Craig Samsom after 13 minutes but he was well positioned to hold Lionel Ainsworth’s curling free kick.

    Gunnar Nielsen produced his first save at full length to beat away a shot from Robbie Muirhead. The ‘Well ‘keeper then raced off his line to punch the ball away at the edge of his box as McKenzie got in front of Stevie Hammell.

    A trip on Moore at the edge of the Killie penalty area allowed Sutton to drill in a free kick which Samson spilled but Craig Reid, who had a very impressive 90 minutes, was unable to force the loose ball inside the post.

    The activity around the visitor’s goal was increasing and diminutive Moore leapt the highest to meet a Vigurs free kick only to direct the ball over the goal.

    Minutes later Samson’s goal had a narrow escape when Reid’s header from Ainsworth’s corner was sneaking inside the post until Muirhead cleared it off the line.

    The pressure on the visitor’s goal finally paid off five minutes from half-time. Vigurs first attempt from the edge of the box was blocked but when Moore rolled the ball back to the former Ross County man he smacked a ferocious low drive and although Samson got a hand to the ball the Killie ‘keeper couldn’t prevent the ball finding the corner of the net.

    Three minutes later a terrific piece of footwork took Vigurs beyond two defenders only for him to drive his shot high into the side netting. A second goal then would have surely killed off Killie.

    Motherwell might have made it two five minutes after the break Samson struggled to deal with a swerving shot from Moore but after the ‘keeper palmed the ball out Lee Ashcroft mopped up the danger booting the ball high over his own cross bar.

    Keith Lasley then returned the ball into a packed six-yard box but Sutton’s glancing header sent the ball just outside the post.

    However, after a period of pressure towards the ‘Well goal, the Ayrshire side found themselves level after 65 minutes when Rory McKenzie calmly steered the ball beyond the advancing Nielsen.

    Stuart McCall immediately made a double substitution bringing on Henri Anier and Jack Leitch. And within minutes ‘Well had penalty appeals waved aside as Anier fell inside the box as he attempted to get beyond Ashcroft and get a shot on goal.

    It was an open game after that and with both teams searching for a winner play raced to both ends of the pitch.

    ‘Well had chances to seal all three points and from a Stephen McManus cross Zaine Francis-Angol headed the ball straight at Samson. A wicked free kick from Vigurs was palmed out by Samson but with Francis-Angol and Sutton racing in neither player could get a touch to send the ball into the empty net.

    As the fourth official indicated five minutes of injury time, play became frenetic and with defensive gaps at either end both sides had chances.

    Alexei Eremneko should have netted the winner but his lob sent the ball over the advancing Nielsen only to bounce off the cross bar.

    But in the final move of the match Slater raced unchallenged towards the home box before drilling a shot across the diving Nielsen, taking a bounce over the ‘keeper before nestling in the corner of the net to give Kilmarnock a dramatic winner and leave the Fir Park players and fans well and truly sickened.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 1 – 2 Kilmarnock #MFCvKFC

    94mins: GOAL! Killie surely win it wit a last second Slater strike from 20 yards #MFCvKFC

    94mins: Eremenko lobs Nielsen but strikes the bar #MFCvKFC

    Into added time, still 1-1 #MFCvKFC

    88mins: Nielsen has to pluck the ball off the line after a scramble in the box from a corner#MFCvKFC

    88mins: Motherwell sub, Francis-Angol off for Fraser Kerr #MFCvKFC

    83mins: Pause in pay as McKenzie is treated and stretchered off….Nicholson replaces him #MFCvKFC

    80mins: McKenzie wins Killie a free-kick next to the right-hand corner flag. #MFCvKFC

    76mins: Anier wins a free kick about 25 yards out…..Vigurs strikes it at Samson who beats it out to Sutton who can’t convert #MFCvKFC

    70mins: Anier trips at the vital moment when if he had got a shot away it looked like he’s score! #MFCvKFC

    67mins: Motherwell subs, Anier on for Moore and Ainsworth off for Leitch  #MFCvKFC

    66mins: GOAL! McKenzie puts Killie on level terms after a clever through ball left him 1v1. 1-1  #MFCvKFC

    60mins: Corner to Killie..Niesen has to punch clear from Eremenko as they work a a short corner #MFCvKFC

    59mins: Wonderful slide tackle from McManus to clear from Eremenko as he pulled the trigger from 20 yards #MFCvKFC

    54mins: Killie sub, Clohessy off for Barbour #MFCvKFC

    51mins: Another corner to ‘Well…Lasley picks it up at the backpost and puts it back for Sutton who heads inches past! #MFCvKFC

    49mins: Moore’s strike causes problems for Samson as it swerves all over the place. ‘Well win a corner from it. #MFCvKFC

    Second half underway #MFCvKFC

    Would have been a goal of the season contender on the stroke of half time as Vigurs roulettes into the box but strikes just wide :O

    HT:Motherwell 1 – 0 Kilmarnock #MFCvKFC

    43mins: Vigurs smashes it in from 18 yards past Samson who got a hand to it! 1-0! #MFCvKFC

    GGGGOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!

    39mins: Corner to Killie, headed wide by Irvine who got the run on Reid #MFCvKFC

    36mins: Yet another corner to ‘Well…Reid’s header is cleared off the line!! #MFCvKFC

    31mins: Clohessy tries to dribble out of defence but concedes a corner…..and again Boyd heads it clear #MFCvKFC

    28mins: From the free-kick, Moore rises well but head over from 12 yards #MFCvKFC

    28mins: Finally Madden reaches for the yellow card and books Clohessy for tripping Francis-Angol #MFCvKFC

    26mins: Sutton opts for power and Samson has to react quickly to palm away his effort #MFCvKFC

    26mins: Moore wins a free-kick on the edge of the box after a lovely flick from Vigurs sets him free #MFCvKFC

    20mins: Corner to ‘Well, delivered by Ainsworth, again headed clear by Boyd #MFCvKFC

    19mins: A scare there as Eremenko floats a ball over the top and as McKenzie takes a touch by Nielsen,he gets a hand to it to clear #MFCvKFC

    16mins: Reid runs the length of the pitch and wins a corner, which is finally cleared by Boyd #MFCvKFC

    14mins: Great save from Nielsen as he dives low to his left to beat away Muirhead’s strike #MFCvKFC

    …Ainsworth strikes straight at Samson #MFCvKFC

    13mins: Francis-Angol is wipe out on the edge of the box by Muirhead. FK in a good position on the left…

    11mins: Free-kick to Motherwell out wide on the right. Vigurs delivers…but it sails well wide of the top corner #MFCvKFC

    7mins: First corner of the game for ‘Well…..which is headed clear by Irvine #MFCvKFC

    6mins: First chance of the game goes to Slater. Cuts in from the left but drags a weak shot well wide #MFCvKFC

    Underway at a sunny Fir Park! #MFCvKFC

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “I’m naturally bitterly disappointed. I thought we deserved our half-time lead; we played some decent stuff and got some good crosses into the box.

    “Second half Kilmarnock stepped it up and battled away. The real sickening thing is when you watch the goal back. Not only is it the last kick of the ball, but it hits the biggest bobble ever inside the penalty box and there’s nothing Gunnar can do about it.

    “It’s that little bit of bad luck that’s done us. I think a point would have been a fairer reflection on the match, even although we didn’t play too well in the second half and looked leggy in spells.

    “We’ve got to lick our wounds, pick ourselves up and get on with it as we have a big game on Tuesday night and for me now, it’s all about how we react.”

    Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston:

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”186″]

  • Archive

    TV: Sutton wants to finish with a flurry

    John Sutton has set his sights on a European spot to complete his best ever season in football.

    The big striker already has nineteen goals to his name this term and has formed a crucial part of Motherwell’s impressive run of eighteen league wins in thirty outings.

    The former Wycombe man is quick to acknowledge the part played by his teammates and says his aim now is to finish amongst the teams qualifying for Europe, marking his best campaign so far.

    Speaking to the gathered press at the pre-Kilmarnock press conference, the 30-year old said: “I have managed to score a few more goals than in previous seasons but that is probably to do with the fact that I am playing more.

    [pullquote]If we can try and push for European places, it would be the highest I’ve manage to finish as a player and that’s our aim.[/pullquote]

    “I’ve also got to acknowledge that football is a team game and you always rely on service. You aim to make good runs and hope people can pick you out and fortunately I am playing in team with lots of ability on that front.

    “My job is to try and score goals, that’s obvious, but the most important thing is the team is doing well.

    “If we can try and push for European places, it would be the highest I’ve manage to finish as a player and that’s our aim.”

     -WATCH JOHN’S INTERVIEW IN FULL ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    TV: McCall’s Fir Park focus

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall insists his only focus is at Fir Park, despite two of his side’s nearest rivals going head to head this weekend.

    Motherwell take on Allan Johnston’s side whilst, at the same time, Aberdeen square off against Dundee United as the race for European places begins to boil.

    However, the Fir Park gaffer is adamant what happens at Pittodrie is of no relevance until after the final whistle, with the most important element being trying to continue the good run of home form in 2014.

    Speaking at a busy press conference twenty-four hours ahead of the match, the 49-year old said: “We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing and that is winning as many matches as we can.

    [pullquote]If we can take three points, then we might look elsewhere to see where it has left us but our main, and only, focus is on our own game and trying to win a very difficult match against Kilmarnock.[/pullquote]

    “If you look at the top six teams, everyone is playing well and getting results.

    “People might say Caley have dipped, but they were unfortunate to lose against us and I was at Tannadice on Wednesday and they were probably a little unlucky there too.

    “They are all in form so it’s important we maintain our recent results. Obviously Aberdeen play Dundee United at the weekend and something needs to give there, but we need to come off the park here at ten-to-five having done our job.

    “If we can take three points, then we might look elsewhere to see where it has left us but our main, and only, focus is on our own game and trying to win a very difficult match against Kilmarnock.”

     -WATCH STUART’S INTERVIEW IN FULL ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Kilmarnock Magazine Preview

    The sixteenth domestic Steelmen Matchday Magazine of 2013/14 is on sale when Kilmarnock visit this 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 looks back at recent results, chats about what he expects from Killie and evaluates targets as the season draws to a close.

    The skipper talks about the feeling amongst the squad as ‘Well prepare for their third home game on the spin.

    The feature interview is with former Celtic and Queen of the South defender Craig Reid. The 28-year old talks about his determination to succeed at the top level after working hard to get back following his release from the SPFL Champions five years ago.

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

    There is the usual extensive section dedicated to our visitors, Kilmarnock Football Club.

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

    Graeme McGarry’s ‘Us and Them’ feature also returns, speaking to St Johnstone defender Tim Clancy.

    The Irishman talks about his time at both clubs, recalling how his move to Killie came about and the enjoyable and successful year he spent in North Lanarkshire.

    ‘From the Press Box’ is also back with regular host, the Herald’s Scott Mullen and Graham Barnstaple’s two new columns make it again…. They Wear Claret and Amber focuses on Italian giants AS Roma and his ‘Programmes through the Years’ looks back at some of the editions from the 1970s.

    We also have the Eggheads final – with James McFadden taking on Simon Ramsden for the prize of the footy quiz mark.

    ‘This Week in Motherwell History’ focuses on 27th March to 2nd April with an infamous Semi Final defeat to Rangers and a certain Mr JPR Gordon as well as the signing of an old adversary back in 2004.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Our match reports section takes a look back at the 2-1 win over Ross County as well as the Under 20s 3-2 defeat to Dundee United.

    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.

  • Archive

    Madden in charge of Killie clash

    Referee for this Saturday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Kilmarnock at Fir Park is Bobby Madden.

    The match will be Bobby’s fifth 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 third 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. The most recent was the 3-1 defeat at Tannadice in February when John Sutton’s second half penalty wasn’t enough to take any points.

    That match in the City of Discovery was only his eighth 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 Friday as Dundee United ran out 2-1 winners at Tynecastle. 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 Gavin Harris and Graham McNellie with Gavin Duncan on fourth official duties. Referee observer is John Young with John Connolly as SPFL Delegate.