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    Motherwell 2 – 1 St Johnstone

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    TV: Vigurs wants to make amends

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    TV: McCall wants final push

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    Club Statement: New General Manager

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    Clancy to officiate Saints clash

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    TV: Johansson upbeat despite defeat

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    Motherwell U20s 1 – 2 Rangers U20s

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    Club Statement: Leeann Dempster

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    Motherwell confirm deal with Macron

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    Motherwell 2 – 1 St Johnstone

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell edged out top-six rivals St Johnstone 2-1 in a tense afternoon at Fir Park.

    Lionel Ainsworth gave Motherwell the lead early on before Dave Mackay headed Saints level midway through the first half.

    Stephen McManus got the decisive goal in controversial circumstances before half-time, his headed effort adjudged to have crossed the line before being punched clear by defender Steven Anderson.

    The win sees Motherwell tighten their grip on a European spot, sitting third place in the standings with just two games to play and also takes them to within a point of second-placed Aberdeen.

    Motherwell started the match brightly as the aerial prowess of John Sutton caused problems, and they passed up a couple of decent early openings before James McFadden was presented with a great chance to put the Steelmen ahead after nine minutes.

    Great work by Zaine Francis-Angol down the left saw the ball forced back to McFadden on the edge of the area, but with time and space his side-footed effort was tame allowing Alan Mannus to gather.

    St Johnstone had a good opportunity minutes later as they won the ball in midfield and released Stevie May on the right wing. The in-form striker ran at the Motherwell defence who backed off allowing him to get a shot away, but his effort was skewed well wide.

    Ainsworth then had an effort for the home side, cutting in from the right before unleashing a strike that Mannus could only parry, and with the ball bouncing loose in the six-yard area Mackay reacted quickest to get the ball to safety.

    Ainsworth did have the beating of Mannus to open the scoring in the 21st minute, although there may have been a touch of fortune about the winger’s looped finish.

    Sutton laid the ball back to McFadden on the edge of the box, and his quick feet allowed the forward to skip over a challenge before laying the ball wide to Ainsworth. It looked as though the winger attempted to hang a cross up towards the far post, but it looped over Mannus into the net to give the Englishman his 11th goal of the season.

    The lead lasted just five minutes, the visitors getting back on level terms in the simplest fashion.

    An inswinging corner from the right by David Wotherspoon was met by the head of Mackay, who nodded home his third goal of the season unchallenged from the middle of the box.

    There was a moment of controversy as the Steelmen moved ahead again on 35 minutes. Iain Vigurs’ free-kick to the far post found McManus unmarked and his headed effort bounced over Mannus before appearing to be punched off the line by Anderson.

    With the whole stadium waiting for referee Kevin Clancy to point to the spot and send the defender off, assistant referee Andrew McWilliam signalled that the ball had crossed the line before Anderson made contact and the goal was awarded.

    St Johnstone were the brighter side at the start of the second half and had Motherwell pinned back without creating any clear-cut chances, and their frustration was evident as May attempted to win a penalty by going over Keith Lasley’s planted left leg only to be shown a yellow card for simulation. It was hard to tell if ‘Well got a break or not, television pictures will prove one way or another.

    The visitors did carve out a decent opportunity after 70 minutes, Wotherspoon dancing his way along the Motherwell 18-yard line before firing a low left-foot effort wide of Lee Hollis’s left-hand post.

    Motherwell were looking content to sit on their lead and attempt to hit St Johnstone on the break, and the visitors were offering little in the way of a serious threat to the home goal in a largely uneventful second half.

    Saints almost hit the equaliser they may have felt they deserved with four minutes remaining, Hollis’s punch clear being met on the half-volley on the edge of the area by Gary Miller, but the goalkeeper recovered to make a great stop low to his left to ensure the points stayed in Lanarkshire.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 2 – 1 St Johnstone

    3 minutes added on

    88mins: Quality stuff from Hollis to punch clear then get down superbly to gather Miller’s shot!

    85mins: Last St johnstone sub, Dunne off for McDonald

    83mins: Anier wins ‘Well a corner,….doesn’t quite fall for Kerr allowing McKay to sweep it clear

    80mins: St J sub, Hasselbaink on for Wotherspoon

    76mins: Decent deep ball into the box but Kerr does enough to put May off and he heads well wide

    74mins: Motherwell sub, Francis-Angol off for Kerr

    69mins: And a ‘Well sub, McFadden makes way for Anier

    68mins: St J sub, Croft on for O’Halloran

    7,201 here at Fir Park Thanks to all as always!

    59mins: May booked for taking a dive in the box. Did look theatrical.

    49mins: A let off as May skips past Hollis but the linesman’s flag is up to deny him as he has strayed offside

    Second half now underway #MFcvSJFC

    Having seen the McManus goal back, delay in giving it looked like he was trying to decide if it was a pen and red card for Anderson or a goal as it was over the line. It was well over so correct decision in the end.

    HT: Motherwell 2 – 1 St Johnstone #MFCvSJFC

    42mins: Easton booked for a bad tackle on Sutton. Big man is getting some treatment…

    39mins Tidy bit of footwork from McFadden in the box to set up Lasley but his shot his well closed down and blocked

    It’s 2-1 now anyway!

    35mins: A real strange moment as McManus heads the ball goalwards, and its headed away. Looked to be over the, ref says no, then says yes!


    29mins: ‘Well looking to respond through Hutchinson but his header from Ainsworth’s corner is well over

    26mins: A corner to Saints now, GOAL! McKay heads the delivery into the net 1-1

    24mins: Corner to ‘Well, won by Francis-Angol….headed well clear by Miller

    21mins: AINSWORTH makes it 1-0!! It’s maybe a cross but it’s looped over Mannus and into the bottom corner!!


    17mins: Another superb chance for ‘Well! Ainsworth brings its down on thwe edge of the box and stings the palms of Mannus.Rebound is cleared

    11mins: Counter attack from St J but from a narrow angle, May drags his shot well wide of the far post

    8mins: Great chance for Faddy as he’s set up nicely 10 yards out. Tries to find a corner but fires straight at Mannus

    3mins: Decent start for ‘Well. Some good pressure and Las has blasted on over from range. Bit of internet troubles today….

    Underway here at Fir Park!! #MFCvSJFC


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “My first reaction was penalty kick, he’s off and they’re down to 10 men, which you get quite excited about!” said McCall.

    “I got even more excited when I saw the linesman sprinting towards the halfway line, so I knew he had given a goal, or I thought he had given a goal, and obviously there was a bit afterwards where Anderson got booked and I wasn’t really sure what happened.

    “It was a bit puzzling on the sidelines why the delay took place. I would have been more happy if they had just came back and took the kick-off.

    “I asked the fourth (official) about five minutes later what had happened and he said ‘well the goal was given!’ I said ‘well, yeah, I know the goal was given!’

    “At first I thought that it was a penalty kick and Sutty (John Sutton) has been practising his penalties all week so I was quite confident, and you think ‘here we go, 10 men’, and especially that it was Anderson because I think he’s been a rock for them of late, but we’re obviously happy that was the winning goal.”

    St Johnstone assistant manager Tommy Wright:

    “The controversy is that there’s a foul on Dave MacKay in the build-up to it,” said Wright.

    “I think there’s confusion with what happens after that, but I think it should have been a foul on Dave MacKay.

    “He goes to ground, and I thought actually that was what the referee was pointing to. Then I thought it was a penalty kick, and if it was going to be a penalty kick it was going to be a sending-off and I think that’s maybe what he did, he thought it would be a penalty kick and his assistant’s told him it was over the line.

    “So he’s right then to award the goal, but we’re disappointed that there was a foul on Dave MacKay we thought, he doesn’t just go to ground for no reason, and obviously (McManus) is his man and he’s been blocked.

    “We didn’t do enough in the first half though, so they probably deserved to be ahead at that time.”


    [poll id=”191″]

  • Archive

    TV: Vigurs wants to make amends

    Iain Vigurs insists there is a real desire amongst the Motherwell squad to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat.

    The Steelmen crashed to a disappointing defeat in Dundee to leave the battle for European spots wide open.

    But for former Inverness and Ross County maestro spoke of the determination to get back to winning ways against St Johnstone at Fir Park tomorrow.

    [pullquote]Everyone was really disappointed with last week but we have an opportunity now to put that right over these next three games.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the broadcast press, the midfielder said: “Everyone was really disappointed with last week but we have an opportunity now to put that right over these next three games.

    “It’s a real big one against St Johnstone, but there are no easy games in this league – everyone can beat everyone and you’ve seen that in the last few weeks.

    “They’re a good side, well drilled and hard to beat. Boys that defeat really stung last week and there is a real desire to go out there and try and make amends for what happened at Tannadice last week.”


    MFC TV

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    TV: McCall wants final push

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall wants to finish the season with a hat trick of wins, starting tomorrow against St Johnstone.

    The Steelmen sit in third spot, four points behind Aberdeen and four ahead of Dundee United with three games still to play.

    ‘Well will meet Saints and Inverness at home, before a final day fixture against the Dons at Pittodrie

    And the Steelmen boss wants his side give themselves the best possible chance of a European finish by repeating their achievement from earlier in the campaign.

    [pullquote]However, we’ve got three games left and the marker is there for us. We’re not asking the players they’ve not already done this season.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the gathered press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference, McCall said: “We’re against an in-form side in St Johnstone; they’ve had fantastic results of late and are playing with a lot of confidence and belief.

    “I have watched their last few games and we are under no illusions as to what we will be up against. However, we’ve got three games left and the marker is there for us. We’re not asking the players to so anything they’ve haven’t already this season.

    “We’ve played St Johnstone at home and performed really well to win. We’ve beat Inverness at home already and we have also been to Pittodrie and won.

    “It’s a big ask of the lads, but it’s not impossible and we go out tomorrow to try and kick that off.”


    MFC TV

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    Club Statement: New General Manager

    Motherwell FC is today pleased to confirm Alan Burrows has been promoted to the role of General Manager, replacing Leeann Dempster.

    Burrows has worked at the club for over six years as head of the Press and Media department, winning numerous awards whilst significantly increasing the role of his department within the club.

    In his time at the club, Alan has worked closely with Leeann and a handover process has begun and will continue until the end of May 2014, when he will take on the role on a full-time basis.

    The board sees the appointment as continuation of the excellent work that has gone on in recent years, much of which Alan has played a pivotal and central role in.

    Commenting, Alan Burrows said: “Needless to say, it is a huge honour for me to be asked by the board to take up this role at the club.

    [pullquote]Needless to say, it is a huge honour for me to be asked by the board to take up this role at the club.[/pullquote]

    “I have been a full-time member of staff at Fir Park since September 2007 and have enjoyed some really fantastic times.

    “For the majority of that period, I have worked closely with the Leeann, I have a good understanding of the club and its needs, whilst working hard to improve my own department at the club.

    “Whilst my aim is to keep that continuity, I also have fresh ideas that I feel can help improve not only the club, but the experience for supporters too.”

    Outgoing Chief Executive Leeann Dempster added: “Once my own position was clear, the board asked me to work towards recommending a strong successor.

    “Alan’s commitment to Motherwell is second to none and he is extremely intelligent, very capable and more than willing to learn. All of which are qualities that will be indispensable. I genuinely wish him and the club, every success.”

  • Archive

    Clancy to officiate Saints clash

    Referee for this Saturday’s clash against St Johnstone at Fir Park is Kevin Clancy.

    It will be Kevin’s fourth ‘Well appointment of the current campaign after previously taking charge of the swashbuckling 2-2 draw with Dundee United in September.

    Henri Anier had ‘Well ahead at the interval but two quick-fire goals from United had McNamara’s men ahead. Step forward substitute Lionel Ainsworth, who smashed home a brilliant leveller to give the Steelmen a deserved point.

    The second was the excellent 1-0 win at Pittodrie on Boxing Day when a resolute Steelmen came away with all three points thanks to Henri Anier’s winner.

    The third, and most recent, was against today’s opponents at McDiarmid Park back in February when Tommy Wright’s men ran out convincing 3-0 victors.

    It would have been his fifth game, but John Beaton replaced him at the last minute ahead of the Aberdeen match back in August, after a hectic midweek European jaunt.

    Prior to this season, his last Motherwell match was against Aberdeen at Pittodrie (again), back in March, when the teams drew a blank in a 0-0 draw.

    It was one of two ‘Well fixtures the 30-year old took charge of last season, his other being the 2-1 away win at Dundee when Michael Higdon bagging a double as Stuart McCall’s men came back from a losing position to pick up all three points.

    His only other Motherwell match was in the 2011/12 Scottish Cup, where he was the man in the middle as the Fir Parkers demolished Queen’s Park 4-0, a certain Henrik Ojamaa smashing home a debut goal.

    His overall record in charge of Motherwell reads six matches in total, Motherwell winning three, drawing two and losing one. ‘Well have scored nine and conceded six.

    There have been eighteen cautions dished out in those five matches, eleven of them to a man wearing Claret and Amber and zero dismissals.

    He’s had a busy season in 2013/14, with some high profile matches including on Europa League duty when he handled Lokomotiva Zagreb’s match with Dinamo Minsk, managed by ex ‘Well defender Bob Maaskant. The Belarusian side ran out 3-2 winners.

    Coincidentally, Kevin was in Russia the same time ‘Well faced Kuban Krasnodar. He was appointed to take charge of FC Rubin Kazan vs Randers in the second leg tie of the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Europa League.

    He was also the man in the middle for the UEFA Under 21 Qualifier between Montenegro and Germany as well as the UEFA Youth Champions League matches Real Madrid vs FC Copenhagen and Man Utd vs Real Sociedad.

    Kevin will be ably assisted by Alan McWilliam and Billy Baxter with Kevin Graham on 4th Official duties. The referee observer is Eddie Smith and the SPFL Delegate is George Douglas.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Extended highlights from Fir Park as Motherwell U20s slip to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of top-of-the-table Rangers.


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: Johansson upbeat despite defeat

    Jonatan Johansson was proud of his team despite their narrow defeat to Rangers this evening.

    The Steelmen had gone behind when Callum Gallagher headed the visitors in front, only for Lee Erwin to draw ‘Well level from the penalty spot.

    And despite going down to ten men when Chris Heggarty was sent off, Rangers won it late on with a goal from Ryan Sinnamon.

    [pullquote]It was a sore one for us to take, but there was a lot of good things from us to take from the game.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV after the match, the Finn said: “I am disappointed with the result but proud of our performance.

    “It was a sore one for us to take, but there was a lot of good things from us to take from the game.

    “Ironically, after going a man up, that was our poorest spell of the match. We lost our way a little and started doing silly stuff.

    “Prior to that, and for the majority of the match, we were good and that’s what we’ll take from tonight.”


    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Motherwell U20s 1 – 2 Rangers U20s

    Motherwell Under 20s conceded late on to lose 1-2 to ten-man Rangers at Fir Park this evening.

    The visitors took the lead midway through the first-half, but Lee Erwin brought the Steelmen back level before the break with a stinging penalty.

    However, despite going down to ten men when Chris Heggarty was given his marching orders as the game entered it’s final quarter, Rangers won it with a goal from full-back Ryan Sinnamon nine minutes from time.

    Jonatan Johansson made two changes to the side that put five past Partick Thistle last week. Ross Stewart and Lee Erwin were introduced in place of Max Currie and Steven Higgins, who would take his place amongst the ‘Well substitutes.

    Rangers started with intent and both Darren Ramsey and Charlie Telfer fired low shots narrowly wide of Ross Stewart’s right hand post.

    Left-winger Ramsey appeared in the mood and he would curl another effort from distance, this time it drifted wide of the far post. Chris Heggarty also saw his header from a corner drop inches wide as the visitors looked to make an early impression.

    It took ‘Well eighteen minutes to register an effort at goal and it turned out to be the match’s first on target. Lee Erwin collected from deep and, after striding forward, smashed a low effort that was well held by Kelly low to his right.

    Two minutes later, Sinnamon almost inadvertently diverted into his own net after a teasing Cadden cross, but Kelly was again on his toes to make the stop.

    It would prove a crucial double-save from the Gers stopper as the Ibrox side took the lead with their next attack. Callum Gallagher met Robbie Crawford’s cross from the left and he rose above Euan Murray to steer a header beyond Stewart and into the far corner.

    The same player was at it again ten minutes later; this time meeting a Ramsey cross on the stretch but could only nod over the bar from close range.

    Although Rangers were creating the better of the openings, ‘Well were certainly very much in it in and almost drew level on the half-hour, McCafferty getting on the end of Morgyn Neill’s knock down only for his low shot to be saved well by Kelly.

    Gordon Durie’s side certainly looked the more threatening though and Gallagher came within an inch of grabbing his and Rangers’ second. A direct ball over the top had the striker in and although he beat Stewart to the ball, he could only prod it wide.

    However, it would be ‘Well who would score from the game’s next chance. A ball into the box allowed Moore to get wrong side of Heggarty who was forced to push him to the ground. Referee Lowe had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Lee Erwin stepped up and blasted home, despite the best efforts of Kelly, who got a decent hand to it.

    ‘Well made a blistering start to the second half and Rangers had Kelly to thank for keeping it level after he made an excellent point-blank save to deny Erwin his second of the night. Seconds later, the Fir Parkers followed that with a hit from Chris Cadden but it drifted wide.
    Rangers soaked it up and immediately went back on the attack. Ramsey’s effort from distance was straight at Stewart before Telfer fired a shot of his own that deflected inches wide.

    Rangers introduced substitute Jamie Burrows and the forward almost made an immediate impact, but could only watch on in despair as his low shot cannoned back off the post and into the grateful arms of Stewart.

    Both teams traded chances in the search for a winner, Erwin headed wide before dragging a shot across goal for the Steelmen, whilst Ramsey and Andy Murdoch went close for the light blues.

    Then, with seventeen minutes left, Chris Heggarty was sent off for Rangers, tripping Moore as the striker broke clear. It was his second caution, after being booked in the penalty incident and it looked then as if it was Motherwell’s would go on to take all three points.

    However, it was the away side that would win the game thanks to a goal from fullback Sinnamon. He latched on to a neat Telfer through ball and kept his composure to fire high into the net.

    It was a cruel blow for Johansson’s side, who battled hard throughout and probably merited a point from the match. The result means ‘Well will finish fifth in the SPFL Under 20s table, despite still having a game to play.

    Motherwell: Stewart, Cadden, Ferguson, Murray, Neill, McCall (Johnstone – 72mins), McCafferty, Erwin, Moore, Thomas, Shirkie (Higgins – 81mins)

    Subs: Long, Hall, Mackin

  • Archive

    Club Statement: Leeann Dempster

    Motherwell Football Club can today (Tuesday) confirm CEO Leeann Dempster will leave the club to take up a similar role at Hibernian.

    Leeann, who joined the club in the autumn of 2008 initially as General Manager then to Chief Executive, will start her new role at Easter Road on June 1st 2014.

    The club will confirm her replacement in due course.

    Commenting, Leeann said: “It is with a real heavy heart that I bring my time at Motherwell to an end; I have enjoyed every single minute of it.

    [pullquote]It is with a real heavy heart that I bring my time at Motherwell to an end; I have enjoyed every single minute of it.[/pullquote]

    “It’s a real infectious place, Fir Park. It’s hard not to fall in love with it. I think everyone can be proud of what we have achieved over the last six years, but I feel the time is right for me, and the club, to move on.”

    Fellow board member Derek Weir added, “We are obviously sad to see Leeann leave and sincerely thank her for her efforts during her long period with the club.

    “The club were made aware of the discussions as they have developed and have worked closely with a view to our future plans, of which we will announce shortly.”

  • Archive

    Motherwell confirm deal with Macron

    Motherwell FC is today (Monday) delighted to announce a new partnership with Italy’s leading sportswear label Macron.

    Motherwell will be Macron’s first and only professional club in Scottish football, joining a wide-ranging and impressive portfolio which currently includes the likes of Lazio, Napoli, Bologna, AS Monaco, Aston Villa, Leeds Utd, Perth Glory, AZ Alkmaar, Real Betis and Mallorca.

    Macron will supply the club with official match kit and training apparel for players and management staff from 2014/15.

    Macron will also offer a full range of fashion and leisurewear that will be available from the ‘Well Shop and via

    Motherwell Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said: “We are incredibly excited to bring such a prestigious and expanding brand such as Macron to Motherwell and the Scottish Premiership.

    “We have been extremely impressed by the quality of strips and the designs, along with the pro-active approach shown by Macron to take the clubs’ playing and training wear to a new level.”

    Club retail manager Alan Provan added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Macron to supply kit to Motherwell players and supporters. We are very much looking forward to launching both the new playing kit and training wear.

    “Macron kit is of the highest quality and we have a very wide range of training kit and leisurewear to choose from. I think the supporters will be very happy with next season’s range.

    “Having seen the new jerseys, we are very exited about this years launch. The new designs are very cutting edge but retain the passion and history of Motherwell Football Club.

    “Also available to our adult supporters this year is the Elite Matchday jersey which is an exact replica of the body fit jersey which will be worn by the players. These jerseys contain 8% spandex material which keeps the shirt tight to the body allowing moisture to be wicked away from the skin, giving the players the very latest in performance technology.”

    Gianluca Pavanello, CEO at Macron said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce this partnership with Motherwell Football Club. It is our first professional club in the SPFL and we feel privileged that Macron will be associated with a club that has such history.

    “This is an exciting moment for Macron and we appreciate the importance of each kits to both players and fans. Our goal is always to create both technical and stylish product for players to perform their best in, and that fans are proud to wear.”

    Fabio Malipiero, Country Manager (UK & Ireland) said: “Macron’s unrivalled service is based upon our strong commitment to deliver quality products while meeting the individual needs of each club or customer.

    “We have worked very hard with the staff at Motherwell to design smart, modern and unique kits which we hope will inspire the team and the fans to great performances in the next season.”


    The new kits will launch in late June/early July with the exact date to be confirmed. We will be accepting pre-orders for the kit from Friday 2nd May both online and instore. Look out for the Early Bird offer which will give those who order before 31st May a discount on the retail price and also the chance to get their kit the day before general sale.