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    Motherwell 2 – 2 Stjarnan

  • Archive

    Ticket Office open to kick-off

  • Archive

    Ramsden urges patient approach

  • Archive

    McCall’s Europa League hope

  • Archive

    Europa League Tickets: Still on sale

  • Archive

    Beautiful Sunday fun day

  • Archive

    John Porteous departs for Hibs

  • Archive

    Travel to Iceland with the club

  • Archive

    McCall satisfied with Fulham workout

  • Archive

    Fulham defeat in pictures

  • Archive

    Motherwell 2 – 2 Stjarnan

    [tab:Match report]

    Josh Law scored twice in the first 19 minutes but ‘Well were pegged back by two penalties in a 2-2 draw against Icelandic side Stjarnan.

    Law’s double had ‘Well in a commanding position but when Keith Lasley was penalised for handball in the box 10 minutes before half time, Finsen reduced the deficit at the break.

    Both sides could and perhaps should have added to the scoring, before Lasley once again fell foul of the Danish referee with seconds remaining to balance the tie on a knife-edge ahead of next week’s second leg in Iceland.

    It was a real test of fitness for Stuart McCall’s side in their first competitive match since clinching second place on the final day of last season, to earn tonight’s tie. The Lanarkshire sunshine made Fir Park feel more like Belo Horizonte than Motherwell, adding to the European feel for the game.

    Dan Twardzik retained his place in goal, with a familiar defensive line up of Stevie Hammell, Stephen McManus, Simon Ramsden and Craig Reid in front of him. Josh Law was the only new face in the starting line up, assisting John Sutton in the attack. They were both ably assisted by Keith Lasley, Iain Vigurs and Lionel Ainsworth, with Stuart Carswell scavenging for every available loose ball.

    From the get go, Motherwell used the right wing to carve out opportunities, with Ainsworth and Reid keen to begin the game at pace. However, it was the Icelandic side who almost took the lead in the third minute.

    A fast break down the right looked to have petered out when the crossed ball in evaded everyone in the box. However, Finsen kept the ball alive though and flashed a ball in to the six yard area which the unmarked Veigar Pall Gunnarsson headed agonisingly wide in front of the 22-man travelling support.

    It was a big let off for ‘Well in the opening stages, but soon the hosts got a foothold on the game, with Reid, Lasley and Ainsworth all earning corners from deflected efforts. The early pressure paid off in the ninth minute as Josh Law opened the scoring on his debut.

    An attack down the right found Lasley at the edge of the box. His lofted ball in was headed goal ward by John Sutton, but instead of trapping the ball, Stjarnan ‘keeper Ingvar Jonsson pushed the ball on to the toe of Law who prodded in from a yard out.

    An instant impact, much like his brother Nicky had made at Fir Park previously, Josh had not only netted the first goal of the tie, but Motherwell’s first European goal since Tom Hateley’s last minute free kick in Odense in 2010. While not as spectacular as Hateley’s set piece, it was an early marker for the home side to build on.

    With their tails up, the Fir Parkers searched for a second, with Lasley looking lively in the box after linking up with Law just moments after the goal. Only a last ditch block prevented the skipper from doubling the lead.

    The second goal wasn’t far away though, as Law netted his second of the game in the 19th minute.

    A slip on the left by Nicklas Vemmelund allowed Iain Vigurs to advance to the edge of the box. With Sutton to his left, he opted to pass between two Stjarnan defenders, picking out the run of Law, who dinked the ball deftly over Jonsson and in to the net.

    Two goals to the good, the hosts were in full control and should have added to their tally as the half wore on. A corner on the right bounced around before the ball fell to Stuart Carswell on the edge of the area but he blazed over.

    Had it gone in, Motherwell would no doubt have been on easy street, but the game turned in the 35th minute when the referee awarded the visitors a penalty.

    A ball from the left was fizzed in to the box and awkwardly struck Lasley on the upper arm as he tried to get out of its path. The referee pointed to the spot and booked the ‘Well skipper to little complaint from his teammates. Olafur Karl Finsen stepped up and sent Twardzik the wrong way to halve the deficit and make the Well’s grip on the game a little looser.

    John Sutton almost gave the perfect reply, when Lasley and Hammell combined down the left to tee up last season’s top scorer inside the box. The power and poise was there, but somehow, Sutton’s finish flashed just last the post.

    Up the other end, Twardzik did well to keep out Finsen on a three on three break away, saving well with his legs as Stjarnan looked to level just before the half time whistle.

    The second half started similarly to the first, with the home side making all the running down the right, but it took a while for the first chance of note to materialise. It came when Jonsson had to react well to a Law volley to prevent the former Alfreton Town man from grabbing a hat trick on his first start.

    While the ‘Well looked good going forward, they were almost picked off at the other end when Finsen was picked out in the box from Bjorgvinsson’s cross, it looked certain that the Icelanders would level but the hosts escaped.

    As the game swung from end to end, Vigurs had the ball in the net after a neat one-two with Law at the edge of the box, but the offside flag ruled the well worked strike out.

    Fraser Kerr and Lee Erwin soon replaced Lionel Ainsworth and goalscorer Law as McCall looked to freshen things, but it was Finsen once more for Stjarnan who was next to threaten.

    The tricky number 17 went on a diagonal run from left to right, unleashing a shot back across goal which thankfully whistled past Twardzik’s right hand post.

    As the game reached the 90th minute, Motherwell appealed in vain for a penalty when Simon Ramsden looked to be taken down as he swung at a lose ball eight yards from goal. Play raged on though as the decision was not given by the referee.

    He did however award a second penalty to the Icelanders in stoppage time, a stramash in front of goal saw Lasley adjudged to have pulled sub Toft down during the melee. Finsen duly sent Twardzik the wrong way again, to secure a 2-2 draw in the latest of fashions.

    It was a bitter and unfortunate pill for the home side to swallow. It’s all to play for in Iceland next Thursday.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 2 – 2 Stjarnan

    GOAL! A sickener as Finsen sends Twardzik the wrong way to make it 2-2

    91mins: Another Stjarnan penalty!

    4 minutes added on…

    88mins: Stjarnan sub, Toft on for Gunnarsson.

    85mins: Erwin looking busy on his debut. He’s unlucky to see his snapshot from 25 yards drift just over.

    83mins: Good stop from Twardzik to deny Bjorgvinsson who had cut inside from the right

    79mins: Great cross in from Hammell finds the head of Erwin but he’s stretching and can only head just over.

    77mins: Lasley is denied by the foot of Jonsson after he shot from Vigurs’ slid through pass. A great chance!

    74mins: Finsen drags a good effort just past the post from a narrow angle.

    73mins: Looks a bad one, but he’s only off temporarily by the looks of it.

    71mins: Corner to ‘Well, ball breaks to Reidy who takes a sore one to the face. Play has stopped for treatment.

    69mins: Motherwell subs, Ainsworth and Law off for Erwin and Kerr

    64mins: Now Præst is booked for a cruncher on Vigurs

    63mins: Ainsworth swings the ball in from the left to the head of Sutton but he can’t quite get enough on it to trouble Jonsson

    61mins: Arnason gets a yellow for a bodycheck on Ainsworth.

    59mins: Vigurs has the ball in the net but linesman put his flag up too early, ruling Sutton offside, Vigurs was onside

    57mins: Up the other end, Finsen passes up a glorious opportunity, slicing his volley just past when a goal looked certain.

    As the ball drops to McManus he gets plenty on his volley but Jonsson is equal to it and makes a good stop.

    55mins: Præst heads Vigurs’ inviting ball in out for a corner.

    52mins: Ainsworth shoots from range but it’s held up in the turf and trickles into the hands of Jonsson.

    It’s clipped in to the back post but Arnason heads clear ahead of Ramsden

    47mins: Vigurs wins a free-kick in a decent area. 35 yards out, central….

    Punyed and Gunnarsson get the second half underway.

    HT: Motherwell 2 – 1 Stjarnan

    43mins: Ramsden is booked for a late tackle on Michael Præst

    42mins: ‘Well are cut open and only the foot of Twardzik denies Bjorgvinsson!

    39mins: Finsen almost sneaks in as he rounds Twardzik but Reid is there to cover with an important interception

    37mins: Almost an immediate reply. Great effort from Sutton on his left foot after Lasley cut it to the edge of the box

    35mins: GOAL! Finsen slots it home. 2-1. A penalty from nowhere, ref says Lasley handled….

    Penalty to Stjarnan!

    33mins: Bit ambitious from Vigurs as he attempts a right footed volley after some keepy-uppies. Well over.

    30mins: free-kick to Stjarnan about 35 yards out…..Gunnarson shoots well over.

    28mins: Great chance for Carswell just inside the box but he was leaning back and his shot blazes over the bar!

    25mins: Corner to Motherwell…..safely gathered by Jonsson.

    Lovely play from Vigurs who dispossessed Vemmelund and clipped it to Law who finished with a delicious chip over Jonsson!! 2-0

    It’s that man JOSH LAW again!!!!!

    GGOOOOOAAALLLL!!!!

    16mins: Great covering slide tackle from Carswell as Gunnarsson looked to break. Vital.

    14mins: Lasley finds some space on the edge of the box but his shot is blocked by Rauschenberg

    A goal in Europe….feels good, eh? :p

    JOSH LAW breaks the deadlock!! A tap-in after Sutton’s header was saved by Jonsson. 1-0!!

    8mins: Reid’s cross is deflected just over the bar, From the corner……GGGOOOOAAALLLLLLL!!

    ..McManus is judged to have fouled Rauschenberg.

    6mins: Up the other end, it’s another ‘Well corner…

    5mins: What a let off! Gunnarsson somehow heads wide from 6 yards out!

    3mins: Craig Reid wins ‘Well a corner…but Vemmelund heads clear.

    Formalities over, it’s time to get down to business. Lasley and Sutton kick the action off. ‘Mon the ‘Well!! #MFCvSFC

    Counting down the minutes to kick-off on a great night for football. It’s lovely here at Fir Park.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “Where we’ve been unfortunate is that both penalties have come from unbelievable ricochets and deflections back into the box.

    “They could’ve gone one up quite easily and missed a good chance. Then we took control of the game and played some really good football.

    “At 2-0, we’re looking to go and add to that. In the second half they’ve had good chances and so have we.

    “But listen, it’s our first competitive game and I think you could tell that we’re rusty in a lot of areas.”

    Stjarnan  manager Runar Pall Sigmunsson

    Coming Soon

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”194″]

  • Archive

    Ticket Office open to kick-off

    The Motherwell FC Ticket Office will open up to kick-off tonight for fans wishing to buy Europa League Tickets.

    Fans should also note that, for the first time, two cash turnstiles will be available in both the East and Davie Cooper Stands with the aim of cutting down on queuing and speeding up the entry process.

    Full season ticket information can be found by CLICK HERE.

    Europa League ticket information is here: CLICK HERE

    Regular Ticket Office opening times: CLICK HERE

  • Archive

    Ramsden urges patient approach

    Simon Ramsden has called for patience when the Steelmen face Stjarnan in the Europa League on Thursday.

    Ramsden makes his comeback on Thursday from knee surgery in January that was meant to keep him out for four weeks, only for a complication in surgery to force another two operations and end his season.

    But the 32-year-old will not make any rash bursts forward against the Icelandic side in the second qualifying round at Fir Park.

    Ramsden said: “It’s probably a totally different outlook this match compared to the games we’ve played in previously where we weren’t necessarily the favourites.

    “It’s swung round a bit where the onus is on us to go out there and get a victory to take to Iceland. But, as anyone saw in the Celtic game last night, it’s not always as straightforward as people presume.

    “No doubt they will be coming to sit in and make it difficult for us to get the victory so we might have to be very patient and when we get the chance to capitalise on space we need to make the most of it and get some goals to take over there.”

    Motherwell have not scored in their last seven European matches but Ramsden will not worry if a goal does not come quickly.

    “People have said they are going to sit in but it’s up to us to break them down,” he said.

    [pullquote]The game doesn’t have to be won in the first five minutes. The game is over two legs and whether it takes to halfway through the second half or even if it’s in the second leg, we just need to be focused and patient and wait for the chances to come.[/pullquote]

    “But the game doesn’t have to be won in the first five minutes. The game is over two legs and whether it takes to halfway through the second half or even if it’s in the second leg, we just need to be focused and patient and wait for the chances to come.”

    Motherwell have been caught out in their last two European adventures by counter-attacks after dominating large periods of home games against Panathinaikos, Levante and Kuban Krasnodar.

    “That’s the difference at this level, when you do get a chance you have got to take it,” he said. “We did have some great periods against Panathinaikos when we were well on top, and then the sucker punch came and they hit us on the break.

    “I don’t think you can afford to give some of these European sides too many chances because they will hurt you.

    “We want to be positive and get a lead and take some goals into the second leg but we also have to be very wary that they don’t hit us on the counter-attack.”

    Ramsden, who is likely to line up at centre-half following the departure of Shaun Hutchinson, is eager to make up for lost time after an impressive run at right-back was cut short last season.

    “Everybody at the club can’t wait for the game , it’s been in our minds all pre-season but this is my first competitive game for six months so I’ve been looking forward to getting that buzz of playing competitive football again,” he said.

    “It was a frustrating time but a lot of footballers have been in that boat and I intend to bounce back from it.”

  • Archive

    McCall’s Europa League hope

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall hopes he can get off the mark in Europe after three years of disappointment.

    The Steelmen have been handed extremely tough draws in recent times with Greek giants Panathinaikos, La Liga cracks Levante and super-rich Russians Kuban Krasnodar the last three opponents, leading to consecutive eliminations.

    Although tomorrow’s challengers might not have the same European reputation as the aforementioned, McCall is certain his side face a very difficult task.

    Unbeaten Stjarnan sit second in the Úrvalsdeild after eleven matches, with six wins and five draws to their name.

    And although the Fir Park boss has sounded a note of caution, he is desperate for his side to progress from the tie.

    [pullquote]People will have us down as favourites but they are certainly no mugs. They are a well-drilled, fit, disciplined side. I’ve read in the paper that they will come here and sit-in, but they have attacking players who are more than capable of hurting us.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the gathered press at ‘Well’s pre-match news conference, he said: “We want to improve on the results we’ve had of late in Europe, however the standard of teams we have faced has been top notch.

    “Having watched Stjarnan play, we all know it will be a tough, tough game.

    “People will have us down as favourites but they are certainly no mugs. They are a well-drilled, fit, disciplined side. I’ve read in the paper that they will come here and sit-in, but they have attacking players who are more than capable of hurting us.

    “We have got to learn our lesson from previous European games where we have been on top, then have been picked off on the counter-attack. Stjarnan are top scorers in the league and certainly possess a threat. Whether they want to sit-in or not, it’s part and parcel of the game, especially in European football.

    “That said, we’re at home and the onus is on us to go and try to win the match. At this stage, I would take any sort of victory, regardless of the scoreline.”

  • Archive

    Europa League Tickets: Still on sale

    -TICKET OFFICE IS OPEN TO 7.30pm WEDNESDAY AND TO KICK-OFF ON THURSDAY-

    Europa League Second Qualifying Round 1st Leg tickets are still on full general sale.

    The draw was made in Nyon, pitting ‘Well against Icelanders Stjarnan FC after they disposed of Bangor City 8-0 in the First Qualifying Round.

    ‘Well will be at Fir Park on Thursday 17th July with the return leg in Iceland one week later – CLICK HERE FOR CLUB CHARTER INFORMATION.

    Tickets had been on sale to Season Ticket holders for several weeks but that exclusivity period finished and they are now on full general sale.

    Fans renewing their Season Ticket will also be able to purchase their European ticket at the same time, if they so choose.

    Prices for the match have been set at:

    Adult:  £25
    Concession:                              £15
    Juvenile:  £10
    Family 1:  £30
    Family 2:  £40
    • Concessions are listed as Over 60s and Full Time Students with a valid matriculation.
    • Juveniles are listed as Under 16s.
    • A Family 1 ticket consists of x1 Adult and x1 Juvenile.
    • A Family 2 ticket consists of x1 Adult and x2 Juveniles.
  • Archive

    Beautiful Sunday fun day

    Motherwell FC is all set for another fun-day in Motherwell Town Centre, with Club partners Cash Convertors, on Sunday 20th July.

    The event will take place between 1-3pm with music, special give-aways, prizes and lots of fun. Our objective is to highlight and raise money for “Dreams Come True”, a charity for terminal and seriously ill children.

    The event will culminate with a community flash dance in which kids, mums, dads, grannies and grandads will all be able to take part. We hope that we can involve as many adults and children as possible to take part ‘en-mass’ and get everyone in the Town Centre to do The Slosh!

    The Motherwell ‘flash dance’ will be shown via You Tube and other media broadcasting agencies in an effort to promote the fact that we ALL have a responsibility to safeguard and protect every child in our community and is set to be shown after the summer holidays.

    Adults and kids alike can also take part in the fans favourite, Giant Football Challenge.

    In order to raise funds for this worthwhile cause there will be a bucket collection on the day and anyone taking part in the activities will be asked for a small donation.

  • Archive

    John Porteous departs for Hibs

    Motherwell FC can today confirm physiotherapist John Porteous has left the club in order to take up a similar role at Hibernian.

    John, more affectionately known at Fir Park as ‘JP’, joined the club under Tommy McLean in 1991 and has been a fantastic servant for almost twenty-three unbroken years.

    He served eleven managers in that time – the aforementioned McLean as well as Alex McLeish, Harri Kampman, Billy Davies, Eric Black, Terry Butcher, Maurice Malpas, Mark McGhee, Jim Gannon, Craig Brown and latterly, Stuart McCall.

    Everyone at Motherwell Football Club would like to thank John immensely for his unrivalled service and wish him continued success with his future career in the Capital.

    As a replacement, the club is pleased to announce John’s colleague, Adam Stokes, has been promoted and a new assistant physiotherapist will be recruited.

    An extremely hard-working, conscientious and talented physio, Adam has been working as understudy for three years at the club and his appointment provides real continuity within the department.

    Adam takes up his role immediately with the full support of everyone at Fir Park.

  • Archive

    Travel to Iceland with the club

    Motherwell face Icelanders Stjarnan in the Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round, Second Leg and the club is running a charter.

    The package costs £595 inclusive of accommodation, all transport to and from the stadium and a match ticket.

    If you are interested, we can assure you of a really great experience travelling on the official charter flight and with the group at large.

    Previous trips have been well organised, with many already pre-booked having travelled before with the club. The flight would leave Glasgow early on Wednesday and return to Scotland immediately after the match.

    Essentially all you have to do is turn up on the day and we’ll look after the rest for you.

    To book your spot in yet another Motherwell European adventure then please contact Jennifer Reston on 01698 333333 or email jennifer.reston@motherwellfc.co.uk.

  • Archive

    McCall satisfied with Fulham workout

    Stuart McCall was pleased with aspects of today’s friendly with Fulham despite ‘Well’s 0-2 defeat at Fir Park.

    The Cottagers merited their victory but in their first ‘official’ pre-season fixture of the campaign, there was enough positives to take from the game.

    ‘Well enjoyed spells of good possession, looked tidy on the ball and created several decent half-chances throughout.

    Fulham, to their credit, created a little more in front of goal and worked Twardzik more to run out deserved winners.

    However, the 40-times capped for Scotland midfielder was satisfied with the match ahead of Thursday’s Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round clash with Icelanders Stjarnan.

    [pullquote]Obviously you don’t want to lose football games but we played some nice stuff. At times they dominated but I also thought we had spells when we were on top as well.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV, he said: “I enjoyed large spells of the game but we knew it would be a stern test. It’s disappointing to lose a set-piece goal but, otherwise, we played some really nice football and got into some good areas.

    “The bigger picture is that it’s another 90 minutes under the belts which we needed prior to Thursday’s game.

    “Obviously you don’t want to lose football games but we played some nice stuff. At times they dominated but I also thought we had spells when we were on top as well.

    “Focus now turns to Thursday. We haven’t discussed them too much but certainly come Thursday everyone will know about their strengths and weaknesses.”

  • Archive

    Fulham defeat in pictures

    Action pictures from this afternoon’s 2-0 pre-season friendly defeat by Fulham at Fir Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”fulham120714″]