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    McLean in to ref Dons clash

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    Moore suffers injury setback

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Inverness CT win in pictures

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    TV: McCall pleased with Caley win

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    Motherwell 2 – 1 Inverness CT

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    TV: Sutton aware of Caley threat

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    TV: McCall asks for fan backing

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    Collum in charge against Caley

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    Season Ticket holders: Free hot drink

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    McLean in to ref Dons clash

    Referee for this Sunday’s SPFL Premiership closer with Aberdeen at Pittodrie will be Steven McLean.

    McLean is handling his seventh Motherwell game of the current campaign – three of the six won’t live long in the memory.

    The first was back in November, when a depleted Steelmen crashed 4-0 at home to Dundee United.

    One month later, as ‘Well were hurting from a Scottish Cup exit, he was the man in the middle for Celtic’s 5-0 win at Fir Park.

    Thankfully, he was the man in the middle for our 5-1 win at Firhill in late December but also the controversial 2-2 draw with Aberdeen at Fir Park.

    ‘Well were holding out in the face of intense Aberdeen pressure and looked to be holding on for the win, but a late (and deserved, it has to be said) Russell Anderson equaliser levelled things up. It looked a clear handball, and a foul on Jack Leitch on the line, neither of which were given unfortunately.

    He also handled the 3-3 draw at Easter Road when ‘Well threw away a two-goal lead but still showed tremendous character to net late on to save a draw.

    Most recently, he officiated the 5-1 demolition at Tannadice when Lionel Ainsworth’s late conciliation goal was the only ray of light in an otherwise horrible afternoon in Tayside.

    His overall record in charge of Motherwell reads ten wins, six defeats and two draws from eighteen matches. In those games, ‘Well have scored 40 and conceded 35. 46 cautions have been dished out, 28 flashed at those wearing Claret and Amber.

    Four people have been sent off, two for ‘Well (Fraser Kerr and Keith Lasley in the same match against Killie last year).

    He has had an extremely busy season – handling twenty-four SPFL Premiership matches.

    He has also had two League Cup matches, both at the Falkirk Stadium, and two Europa League Qualifiers – Omonia Nikosia’s 1-2 defeat by Romania’s Astra Giurgiu and Serbian side FK Vojvodina’s 2-2 draw with Bursaspor.

    He also handled the Europa League Group game between Standard Liège and IF Elfsborg Boras.

    McLean will be ably assisted by Alasdair Ross and Andrew McWilliam with Mat Northcroft on fourth official duties. SPFL Delegate will be George Douglas.

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    Moore suffers injury setback

    Motherwell have been dealt a big blow with the news Craig Moore has ruptured his cruciate knee ligament.

    The injury happened late on in Wednesday’s game against Inverness, with the striker having to be carried off.

    After a review this morning, the worst fears have been confirmed and Moore is now likely to miss the majority of 2014.

    Speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, the 19-year old said: “I am absolutely devastated this has happened, but I am determined to come back bigger and better.”

    [pullquote]I am absolutely devastated this has happened, but I am determined to come back bigger and better.[/pullquote]

    Moore has scored sixteen times for the Under 20s this season, and netted his first senior goal against Hearts back in October.

    His injury completes a thoroughly miserable campaign on the injury front, with John Porteous and Adam Stokes set to rehab their ninth different player back from operations in 2013/14 alone.

    Stuart McCall added: “It looked to be such an innocuous fall, it’s such a blow to learn it is so serious.

    “That being said, with the type of kid Craig is, I am sure he will meet it head on and get himself back better than ever.

    “The club will give him all the support he needs and he’s in the best possible hands with both John and Adam there to guide him through.”

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Extended highlights as Motherwell beat John Hughes’ Inverness Caley Thistle side 2-1 at Fir Park.


    MFC TV

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    Inverness CT win in pictures

    Action pictures from this evening’s nervy 2-1 win over Inverness Caley Thistle at Fir Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”inverness070514″]

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    TV: McCall pleased with Caley win

    Stuart McCall was delighted to take all three points in a hard-fought fixture against Inverness this evening.

    Both teams slugged it out in a horrible Lanarkshire night, as the rain battered down on Fir Park.

    John Sutton opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Gary Warren turned an Iain Vigurs corner into his own net.

    The visitors rallied in the second half and pulled one back thanks to Graeme Shinnie’s deflected shot, but ‘Well held out, despite a late scare when Billy McKay hit the post in the 94th minute.

    “I am delighted with the three points,” a relieved McCall told MFC TV after the match.

    [pullquote]We obviously get the wee bit of luck right at the death, but the boys deserve that for the way things have gone this campaign.[/pullquote]

    “We started like we have done for many of the matches at Fir Park this season. We got good crosses into the box and created one or two chances.

    “We said prior to the match that it might be a frustrating one as the way they play, with one up and the extra man in midfield, it makes it difficult.

    “There was a little spell before half-time, when we were two ahead, where we started looking after the ball better and using the extra man at the back.

    “We come out second half, we have some ideas in mind for changes then they score with a big deflection.

    “At that point, they have nothing to lose and really go for it. We had to weather that storm but again, we’ve defended well. We obviously get the wee bit of luck right at the death, but the boys deserve that for the way things have gone this campaign.”


    MFC TV

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    Motherwell 2 – 1 Inverness CT

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee at Fir Park

    Motherwell edged out Inverness in a nervy ninety minutes that keeps the Steelmen within touching distance of second place.

    It might have been a miserable Motherwell May evening but the Fir Park fans were celebrating before the kick-off looking forward to another European adventure in July.

    However, despite the dream start of a John Sutton goal after four minutes and a Gary Warren own goal after the half hour mark, ‘Well failed to build on their first half lead.

    And when Graeme Shinnie pulled one back ten minutes into the second half, the Fir Park crowd had to suffer a nervous closing stage as the home side clung on to their slender lead to make Sunday’s trip to Pittodrie worthwhile.

    The weather and the second half performance, though, failed to dampen the spirit of the Motherwell fans who remained after the final whistle to celebrate another fabulous Premiership season as the players returned to the pitch for the final time.

    The fans should have been celebrating a comfortable three points as the home side made the perfect start.

    Warren lost out to Zaine Francis-Angol on the touchline before tripping Sutton as he dragged the ball into the six-yard box. Sutton then calmly swept the resultant spot kick away from Dean Brill to claim his 23rd league goal and put ‘Well in front.

    Francis-Angol then wriggled clear in the box only to curl his shot over the bar as McCall’s men looked to dominate.

    However, it was Inverness who then enjoyed the bulk of the possession although it was 23 minutes before they produced their first attempt at goal, Aaron Doran driving the ball over Lee Hollis’ bar.

    Iain Vigurs had a free kick palmed away by Brill and when Lionel Ainsworth fired the ball across goal Shaun Hutchison leapt highest to head wide.

    Then after 31 minutes and courtesy of an own goal, ‘Well doubled their lead. Iain Vigurs curled a corner into a packed box and as Hutchison and Sutton threatened the unfortunate Warren headed the ball high into his own net.

    ‘Well were out of luck five minutes later when the width of the cross bar saved Caley.

    Francis-Angol laid the ball back into the path of Ainsworth whose measured side foot from 15 yards sent the ball crashing off the underside of the bar and deny him a 12th goal of the season. A third then would surely have killed off Inverness.

    However, Motherwell looked comfortable on their two goal lead until ten minutes into the second half when Graeme Shinnie was allowed to run from the half way line before his trundling shot from 18-yards deflected off Stephen McManus to wrong foot Hollis to make it 2-1.

    McCall immediately sent on Fraser Kerr for James McFadden to shore up the midfield.

    As the rain lashed down and Caley sensed an equaliser, Hollis had to beat down a strike from Greg Tansey. The ‘keeper’s goal was then put under some sustained pressure as Warren headed narrowly past and Billy McKay fired into the side netting.

    With twelve minutes remaining and his men hanging on, McCall made a double substitution bringing on the attack minded pairing of Henri Anier and Craig Moore.

    But it was Inverness who looked more likely to score and a terrific Tansey free kick from 30 yards forced Hollis to block with his foot.

    In a dramatic final minute John Hughes’ men were denied a deserved equaliser when Billy McKay nudged the ball past Hollis only to watch as it rebounded from the inside of the post and roll back across the goal line but stay out.

    That was much to the relief of the ‘Well players and fans who thought that the three points and the chance to overtake Aberdeen for second spot had just slipped from their grasp.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 2 – 1 Inverness CT. Three points which sets up a second place showdown at Pittodrie!!

    Unbelievable! McKay hits the post and it rolls back into play!!

    3 minutes added on.

    90mins: Moore’s been slumped on the ground for the last minute after a tackle but ICT refuse to put the ball out.

    88mins: Corner to ‘Well, opted to keep it in the corner but possession lost

    85mins: An nervy last 5 minutes then…

    84mins: Free-kick to ICT in a dangerous looking position…..Tansey denied by the feet of Hollis!!

    81mins: Warren heads just over but the ref says he had fouled in the process anyway

    79mins: Double ‘Well sub, Anier and Moore on for Francis-Angol and Ainsworth

    76mins: Vigurs finds his way into the ref’s book. Booked.

    75mins: ICT sub, Christie on for Watkins

    67mins: A bit of a let off there as McKay breaks into the box but can only find the side-netting from 16 yards

    65mins: ICT sub,Doran off for Williams

    62mins: Warren should have made it 2-2. Deep free-kick into the box and he heads inches wide.

    56mins: Free-kick about 25 yards out for ‘Well…..Sutton scoops it well over the bar.

    55mins: Motherwell sub, McFadden off for Kerr.

    54mins: GOAL! Shinnie pulls one back for ICT. Game on. 2-1

    49mins: Corner to ICT……low ball in swept clear by Vigurs

    McKay and Shinnie get the action back underway

    Teams are back out…..ready for the second half. #MFCvICTFC

    HT: Motherwell 2 – 0 Inverness CT

    41mins: McFadden lays it off to Vigurs 25 yards out but he balloons his effort well into the Maxim Office Park Stand

    37mins: Ainsworth crashes a shot off the bar after a teasing ball across from Francis-Angol finds him 12 yards out

    35mins: Ainsworth’s ball into the box gives Brill something to think about. The ‘keeper opts to claw it away

    31mins: An own goal from Warren by the looks of it, headed high into the net

    30mins: Ainsworth’s cross is deflected wide. Corner….GGGOOOAAALll!!

    29mins: Tremarco rises highest to meet a deep ball to the back post but his header lacks the power needed to trouble Hollis.

    26mins: Lovely sliding challenge by McManus to clear from McKay as he raced through on goal

    24mins: Good effort from McKay. From just inside the box on the left hand side, he curls it inches over the bar.

    23mins: Vigurs takes the free-kick and Brill has to react quickly to tip it by the post.

    22mins: Tansey booked for a foul on Hammell right on the edge of the box

    20mins: Close one as McKay is ruled to be offside with only Hollis to beat.

    11mins: Dogged defending from Hammell and McManus as they combine to stop Watkins cutting the ball back to McKay

    10mins: Francis-Angol cuts in on his right foot, on his weaker side, it’s a decent effort but floats harmlessly over.

    Plenty of colour on show in the “Bois” section! Superb vocal backing as well. “We’re all going on a European tour!”

    6mins; Hollis races off his line to gather at the feet of Tansey

    4mins: GOOOAAALLL!!!! Sutton slots it home from the spot. 1-0!


    3mins: Tansey with what you’d call a tactical foul, impeding Reid as he looked to break away.

    1min: First sign of intent from ‘Well.Francis-Angol curls in a great ball into a dangeroue area but no takers!

    Vigurs and Lasley kick-off #COYW


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “Tonight wasn’t the prettiest but we got the job done and we got that little bit of luck at the end. I think we have merited that over the season.”

    McCall added: “We have taken it to the last game, we are proud to be in Europe and the only downside is wee Craig Moore looks like he has tweaked his cartilage and will probably need that out.”

    Inverness CT manager John Hughes:

    “The full-back stopped a cross like a goalkeeper, so for me that’s a penalty. But we put enough into it, dominated the whole second half, had them right on the back foot, played with a little more hunger and desire.

    “Everything I’m looking for from an Inverness team. We played with more purpose and pace in the second half.

    “I felt we were the better team, especially in the second half, but goals win games and if we keep conceding like that, we’ll not win many.”


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  • Archive

    TV: Sutton aware of Caley threat

    Top scorer John Sutton is under no illusions as to the task ahead as John Hughes’ Inverness are again the visitors tomorrow.

    The Steelmen are battling it out with Aberdeen and Dundee United for European spots with two games left of the current campaign but face the Highlanders tomorrow.

    It’s the third time in seven weeks that the two teams have locked horns and Sutton says his teammates know exactly what to expect.

    Speaking to the gathered press, the former St Mirren and Hearts front man said: “We’re always confident going into games but Inverness are a very good team and with the way John Hughes has the side playing, they might just be a tougher opponent on your own patch as opposed to the Highlands.

    [pullquote]We’ve faced them twice in recent weeks and it’s a much changed side from the start of the campaign. It’s still a very difficult fixture, just a different type of game.[/pullquote]

    “We’ve faced them twice in recent weeks and it’s a much changed side from the start of the campaign. It’s still a very difficult fixture, just a different type of game.

    “But we’ve got to concentrate on what we do well and if we do, there is no reason why we can’t win the match.

    “Hopefully we will have another good crowd in. I know there was an offer on Saturday, but having four stands almost full was a real boost to the player. More of the same tomorrow would be brilliant.”


    MFC TV

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    TV: McCall asks for fan backing

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has called for the Fir Park fan base to get out and roar the team on against Inverness tomorrow night.

    The Steelmen are in a three-way battle for a European spot, a point behind second-placed Aberdeen and six ahead of Dundee United in fourth, with two games left to play.

    Wednesday is the last home match of the 2013/14 campaign and the former Scotland midfielder has urged the ‘Well support to come out in their numbers.

    Speaking to the gathered press at the pre-match news conference, the 49-year old said: “We’ve got to try and put ourselves in the position where we can go to Pittodrie on the final day of the season and for it to mean something.

    [pullquote]It would be nice if we could finish the season with a good victory, with a big crowd behind us. It could be that little edge that we need to win.[/pullquote]

    “We said to prior to Saturday that we needed to win all three games and there is no doubt they will be tough opponents, both Inverness and Aberdeen.

    “Fir Park has been a good venue this season, with the amount of goals we score and, unfortunately, concede.

    “I just hope we can get a big crowd along tomorrow; as big as we can. It would be great if the fans that only watch us on occasions come out and give the lads the backing, as they really deserve it.

    “It would be nice if we could finish the season with a good victory, with a big crowd behind us. It could be that little edge that we need to win.”


    MFC TV

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    Collum in charge against Caley

    Willie Collum will take charge of Wednesday’s Scottish Premiership meeting with Inverness CT at Fir Park.

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

    His first was a 3-0 win over St Mirren back in December when Lionel Ainsworth and a Henri Anier double separated the sides.

    The other was at Tynecastle a few weeks later, John Sutton scoring the game’s only goal.

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

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

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

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

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

    Motherwell were handed a lifeline in injury-time when Michael Higdon netted from the penalty spot, however Craig Brown’s side held firm in the final minutes.
    He was also the man in the middle for the narrow 3-2 win over St Johnstone in January; Michael Higdon’s hat-trick sealing a terrific three points and also the disappointing 3-0 defeat at Ross County shortly after.

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

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

    In those games, Motherwell have scored 35 and conceded 43.

    48 players have gone into the book, 22 wearing Claret and Amber, while four players have been dismissed – Ian Murray of Hibs at Easter Road five years back, Jerard Aafjes at Falkirk four seasons ago, Paul Dixon at the end of 2009/10 and, most recently, Henrik Ojamaa in that game at Caley last season.

    Stuart Stevenson and Stuart Hodge will run the lines with George Salmond on fourth official duties. The referee observer is Gerry Evans and the SPFL Delegate is Kevin Collins.

  • Archive

    Season Ticket holders: Free hot drink

    Season Ticket holders heading to the Inverness CT game on Wednesday can claim a free tea or coffee.

    All you need to do to claim your free drink is produce MFC Matchday Kiosk Voucher #5 when buying any hot food item (Pie / Hotdog).

    Please note this offer does not include other hot drinks such as Soup or Bovril.