Action pictures from this this afternoon’s incredible 1-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Action pictures from this this afternoon’s incredible 1-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Stuart McCall couldn’t hide his delight as his side took all three points to secure second place in a dramatic showdown against Aberdeen this afternoon.
‘Well went into the encounter knowing only a win would do for them to take second place and with a goalless draw on the horizon, Craig Reid popped up with the crucial strike to send Motherwell into dreamland with only seconds left on the clock.
“It was an incredible finish and I have to pay tribute to the staff, the players and the supporters; it’s a fantastic day for everyone connected to the club.” said a proud McCall to MFC TV after the match.
“This season we have had criticism, and rightly so. We have had some poor days on the park but what we’ve always managed to do is bounce back. Last season everyone saw us as a really good team when we got eighteen victories but this season we have won twenty-two games.
[pullquote] To win the last three games, which we needed to do, is fantastic. We knew we could do it but we knew we would all have to be in it together and we were. [/pullquote]
“We’ve lacked a slice of luck for the majority of the season but we got our share today. The goal may have been given as a foul but whatever we got today, we have deserved over the course of the season.
“I’m delighted and what a fantastic way to end what has been a fantastic season.”
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.”
‘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.”
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.
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.
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.”
Extended highlights as Motherwell beat John Hughes’ Inverness Caley Thistle side 2-1 at Fir Park.
Action pictures from this evening’s nervy 2-1 win over Inverness Caley Thistle at Fir Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
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.”