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    Aberdeen 0 – 1 Motherwell

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    TV: McCall hopes for big occasion

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    New Macron kits: 2014/15

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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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    Aberdeen 0 – 1 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Gavin McCafferty at Pittodrie

    Motherwell snatched second place in the SPFL Premiership in the most dramatic circumstances after Craig Reid scrambled an injury-time winner against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

    The visitors had rarely threatened to get the win they needed in a cagey encounter but they stole a 1-0 victory with almost the last kick of the ball after Keith Lasley’s free-kick from just inside his own half caused chaos in the Dons box.

    Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield appeared to be impeded by Motherwell striker John Sutton, and the ball bounced over him and off the crossbar. An almighty scramble ensued with Fraser Kerr denied on the line but Reid followed up to force the ball home.

    The goal punctured the anticipated celebrations for the majority of the 17,016 crowd but sparked wild celebrations among the Motherwell players and their 1,500 fans.

    Both teams had already qualified for Europe but there was plenty at stake other than the prestige of runners-up spot. The difference in prize money is £240,000 while there was extra time off available for the players, with a third-place finish meaning a July 3 start in the Europa League rather than July 17 for second spot.

    Despite their need for a win, Motherwell manager Stuart McCall brought in defender Kerr for forward James McFadden and played with a 3-5-2 formation rather than the more typical 4-4-2.

    Lionel Ainsworth, who scored the only goal when the clubs last met at Pittodrie on Boxing Day, was employed in a central role alongside Sutton to provide pace on the counter-attack but he lasted only 17 minutes before being replaced by Henri Anier after taking an early kick from Jonny Hayes.

    Ainsworth had been controversially flagged offside after being sent through but Motherwell otherwise sat back for most of the first half-hour, surviving without major scare.

    Hayes caused problems with an early run and cross which Lee Hollis pushed away but the goalkeeper was otherwise untroubled, saving a deflected Niall McGinn shot. Barry Robson had a free-kick blocked by the wall and Scott Vernon just missed a Ryan Jack cross.

    Motherwell did not really threaten on the break although Anier got their first shot on target in the 42nd minute after Lasley played the ball into the left channel, Langfield making a comfortable save at his near post.

    Motherwell were the first on the attack after half-time and Jack tripped Lasley right on the edge of the box, but Iain Vigurs hit a weak free-kick straight at the wall.

    Mark Reynolds glanced a Robson free-kick wide at the other end and Shaun Hutchinson made two goal-saving tackles on McGinn, the second after the Motherwell defence expected a flag following Shaleum Logan’s ball forward.

    Hollis then prevented Russell Anderson heading home when he punched clear following a corner and saved Reynolds’ headed follow-up.

    Aberdeen were continuing to push Motherwell back and, although McCall made a change in the 72nd minute, it was an enforced one which did not affect their tactics. Jack Leitch replaced Vigurs, who was struggling with a hamstring strain.

    The tactical switch came with 14 minutes left as McFadden replaced Stephen McManus and Motherwell pushed the play up, but they were almost caught on the break with only a contentious offside decision stopping Peter Pawlett finishing off Vernon’s through-ball.

    A goal continued to look unlikely until the sensational finale, which sealed a second consecutive second-place finish for the visitors.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Ally Reilly at Pittodrie

    Unbelievable scenes here at Pittodrie as ‘Well nick second place with the last kick of the ball!!


    FT: Aberdeen 0 – 1 Motherwell!!!!

    REID MAKES IT 1-0!!!


    Only 1 minute added on

    88mins: Just two minutes left and still 0-0.

    83mins: Pawlett is a yard onside there but the linesman’s flag goes up! A real let-off as he was through 1v1 #AFCvMFC

    76mins: Motherwell sub, McManus off for McFadden #AFCvMFC

    75mins: Jack whips in another dangerous ball but thankfully it’s too high for Vernon and it drifts wide #AFCvMFC

    70mins: Motherwell sub, Vigurs hobbles off for Leitch. #AFCvMFC

    From the corner, a bit of a scramble ensues, but Hollis gathers eventually #AFCvMFC

    61mins: Another superb last-ditch tackle from Hutchy, again to deny McGinn #AFCvMFC

    58mins: Corner to Aberdeen swung in by Robson, punched clear by Hollis #AFCvMFC

    54mins: Superb last-ditch slide tackle from Hutchinson to deny McGinn an easy scoring oppportunity #AFCvMFC

    53mins: Reynolds’s header loops just wide of the post from Robson’s inswinging free-kick #AFCvMFC

    50mins: Danger averted as Hayes bursts into the box however Reid does enough to put him off and it rolls out for a goal kick #AFCvMFC

    47mins: Free-kick to ‘Well right on the edge of the box…Vigurs fires it straight into the wall #AFCvMFC

    Lasley and Vigurs get the second half underway. #AFCvMFC

    Players back out for the final 45 minutes of the season. Second place still on a tightrope. #AFCvMFC

    HT: Aberdeen 0 – 0 Motherwell #AFCvMFC

    1 minute added on

    41mins: ‘Well get their first shot on target. An Anier snap shot from just inside the box on his left foot. Gives Langfield a test.

    40mins: Vigurs booked for a clumsy challenge on Flood. #AFCvMFC

    39mins: Decent bit of build-up play from ‘Well but as Anier backheels it to Kerr, Anderson gets in ahead of him to clear. #AFCvMFC

    36mins: Bizarrely, Hayes’ deep ball into the box deceives everyone and comes back out off the post :O #AFCvMFC

    32mins: Lasley dispossesses Robson on the edge of the box but as it falls to Vigurs, he shoots high and wide #AFCvMFC

    30mins: Aberdeen have been on top in the opening half hour. ‘Well struggling to even test Langfield. #AFCvMFC

    19mins: Vital interception from Hammell to stop Hayes’ cross to McGinn who was free inside the box #AFCvMFC

    17mins: Motherwell sub, Ainsworth off for Anier. Lionel looked to have picked up a knock. #AFCvMFC

    16mins: Bit of a defensive mix-up allows Jack some space to cross for Vernon who is inches away from connecting with his head. A let off.

    13mins: McManus penalised for a foul on Jack on the edge of the box. Dangerous position…..phew, the wall does it’s job! #AFCvMFC

    10mins: Reid gets enough on Pawlett’s 25 yard shot to take the sting out of it. Hollis gathers with ease #AFCvMFC

    7mins: Ainsworth is an inch or so offside, otherwise he was clean through on goal! #AFCvMFC

    4mins: Hayes drills in a low ball across goal which Hollis does well to get a hand to, to clear the danger #AFCvMFC

    Pawlett and McGinn get the game underway! #AFCvMFC

    Out come the teams at a packed and noisy Pittodrie….


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “I’ll be honest, I’ve only seen it once and not from a good angle, and it’s possibly a free-kick but whatever we’ve got today, Sutty’s goal a yard onside in the League Cup would have made a massive difference, the goal Russell Anderson scored in the last kick of the game at Fir Park, when he forearm-smashes it over and takes Leitchy out on the line.

    “They say swings and roundabouts, and it evens itself out, and whatever we got here we more than merited it.”

    Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes:

    “There were a couple of mistakes I feel from the officials that led to it. I think he was right to call the foul back, because he had tried to play on. I’ve no complaints about that.

    “It may well seem a small thing, but in the context of what happened, it’s a big thing – there was a considerable distance from where the foul was committed and where it was taken.

    “And then there is a foul on Jamie Langfield. I’ve seen it several times and Sutton barges into him and doesn’t get any connection on the ball and takes Jamie Langfield out, and they have scored on the back of it. It’s a decision we feel has cost us the game.

    “But I need to say congratulations to Motherwell because over the course of the season they have done well. I don’t want to sound as if it’s sour grapes because I have to recognise the effort from them.”


    [poll id=”193″]

  • Archive

    TV: McCall hopes for big occasion

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall hopes all the talk after Sunday’s match with Aberdeen is about matters on the field.

    The Steelmen boss feels his side have been a little hard-done by in some of the previous fixtures this campaign, although concedes that in the majority of cases, Aberdeen got what they deserved from the match.

    And with second place the reward for the winner of the match, the former Scotland midfielder says he can’t wait for the big game.

    “I’ve got two hopes and wishes going into the match,” McCall told the press at ‘Well’s pre-match news conference.

    [pullquote]I obviously would dearly like to win the game, but I just hope no one is having to moan or winge about calls from the official[/pullquote]

    “We’ve been unlucky enough to be on the end of a few bad calls against the Dons, albeit in two of those matches in the league, they deserved their win and draw respectively; they played well.

    “The League Cup still really rankles with me as we should have been awarded a goal after they were reduced to ten men; it might have made a huge difference to the match.

    “That all being said, it’s a fascinating fixture and we’re delighted to be involved. We’ll give it our very best and let’s see where it takes us.”


    MFC TV

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    New Macron kits: 2014/15

    Motherwell Football Club is delighted to showcase the new Macron home and away kits for 2014/2015.

    It is Motherwell’s first ever season with the Italian sportswear giant and the fourth with principal sponsors Cash Converters.

    The club has retained a traditional look to the home kit with a return to claret shorts. The away kit is a return to all white, last seen back in 2010.

    In addition, and for the first time ever, adult supporters have the option to purchase ‘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.

    The kits are available to pre-order online now by clicking here. Pre-orders will be taken in store at the ‘Well Shop from this coming Monday (12th May).

    The ‘Early Bird’ offer 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.

    The kits are expected to launch in July 2014.

  • Archive

    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.

  • Archive

    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.”

  • Archive

    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″]

  • Archive

    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

  • Archive

    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.”


    [poll id=”192″]

  • 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