Highlights from New Douglas Park as the Under 20s go down 1-0 to Hamilton Accies in the new SPFL Development League.
Highlights from New Douglas ParkTuesday 05 August 2014
TV: Johansson wants ‘Well to learnTuesday 05 August 2014
U20s boss Jonatan Johansson has demanded his young side to learn from tonight’s defeat to Hamilton Accies.
Injury and suspensions carrying from last season meant the former Finnish International had little to choose from and his squad was made up of seven players still eligible to play for the Under 17s.
Hamilton’s side was certainly more familiar and played with a little bit more savvy, demonstrated by player-boss Alex Neil in the middle of the park.
The hosts deservedly won the match with Stephen Hendrie’s goal after just five minutes.
In truth, it perhaps could have been more with the form of Scotland Youth stopper Ross Stewart the real bright spark from an otherwise disappointing night at the office for the Claret and Amber men.
[pullquote]Across the team, we need to be a little smarter. Our decision-making at various stages was sloppy but it’s a learning curve for the players and that’s what we’ll try to take from the match.[/pullquote]
Speaking to MFC TV, now free-to-air on Motherwell’s You Tube Channel, Johansson said: “I was disappointed that we looked indecisive the whole night. I felt our reaction to things that were happening on the pitch wasn’t good.
“They were much sharper than us, they reacted quicker to second balls and throw-ins and stronger than us in set-pieces; all the so-called smaller things that perhaps a young player takes for granted.
“There were a lot of first-years in the team tonight and they’ve got to quickly learn that this is the standard they are going to be up against on the physical side.
“Across the team, we need to be a little smarter. Our decision-making at various stages was sloppy but it’s a learning curve for the players and that’s what we’ll try to take from the match.”
Hamilton U20s 1 – 0 Motherwell U20sTuesday 05 August 2014
Motherwell U20s started the season with a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Hamilton Accies at New Douglas Park this evening.
Despite starting the game in a positive fashion, the visitors were a goal down inside five minutes when left-back Stephen Hendrie thundered a low shot across goal and into the far corner
It finished that way but Accies spurned a number of opportunities thanks to some excellent goalkeeping from Ross Stewart and some slack finishing, including an 85th minute penalty miss.
‘Well failed to really trouble Blair Currie in the home goal, with a Dylan Mackin shot in the 90th minute the best the Steelmen could muster.
In fairness, it was an extremely young side that was listed by Jonatan Johansson with four players in the starting eleven still eligible to play for the Under 17s.
Experience did come in the shape of Iain Vigurs, who only lasted 37 minutes before having to be withdrawn and Bob McHugh who was replaced the interval.
Accies had the recognisable face of manager Alex Neil in the middle of the park, but he too subbed himself at the break.
‘Well made a positive start and looked up for things in the very early exchanges; Dom Thomas posting early intentions with a nice piece of skill and cross that was cleared.
However, it didn’t take Accies long to settle and they were ahead on the fifth minute. A move across the park landed at the feet of Hendrie on the left flank and he took a touch to set himself before drilling an unstoppable shot into the far corner.
It could have been worse for ‘Well three minutes later and only a superb double-save from Stewart kept the score at 1-0.
Danny Armstrong’s cross was headed goalwards by Andy Ryan, which the Steelmen stopper somehow blocked from point-blank range. Incredibly, he was up like a flash to block Greg Docherty’s rebounded shot with his legs.
Johansson’s men looked rattled at this point, with Accies creating and passing up several chances with Eamonn Brophy, Ryan and Armstrong all denied by Stewart with Docherty firing a shot wide.
It took Motherwell until the midway point to create; Craig McCall seizing on Neil’s headed clearance but his hung up cross for Dylan Mackin was headed over by the big striker.
As the half wore on, both teams had half chances. Brophy fired high and wide and Thomas had Motherwell’s only effort on target during the first forty-five with a low shot comfortably held by Currie.
The hosts did have the ball in the net again before the interval; Armstrong’s curling shot was palmed out by Stewart only for Ryan to tuck home the rebound. However, assistant referee Matthew MacDermid’s late flag ensured the game remained at 1-0.
Motherwell introduced Higgins for McHugh at the break and he caused immediate problems with his pace. After just three minutes, he latched onto a short back pass but after cutting it back for Mackin, Accies had managed to get enough men behind the ball to block.
However, it wasn’t long before Stewart was back in action and he had to look smart to tip over Armstrong’s swerving effort. Four minutes later, the Scotland Youth International was at it again, this time denying Docherty from distance.
The game ten hit a lull with neither side creating much in the way of clear-cut chances. Both had some sniffs, Ross McLean almost connecting with Chris Cadden’s ball into the area at one end, Jesus Garcia Tena bringing out another smart stop from Stewart with a bouncing free kick from twenty yards.
With ten minutes left, Accies again spurned a golden chance from the penalty spot when Adam Cummins was adjudged to have tripped Ryan. Docherty stood up to take but his low shot came back off the base of the post and spun clear.
That should have provided ‘Well with the shot in the arm that they needed to rescue the match but, in truth, only a ninetieth minute turn and shot by Dylan Mackin caused Currie any concern.
It was a flat opening for Johansson’s side who admittedly were up against it in terms of experience and numbers, with several key players injured or suspended. Frustratingly, there is a two-week gap until Dundee United’s youths visit Fir Park.
Motherwell: Stewart, Cadden, McMillan, Cummins, Watt, McCall, Thomas, McLean, McHugh (Higgins – 46mins), Vigurs (R.Leitch – 37mins), Mackin
Subs Not Used: Currie, Campbell, Watters
Additional Summer Soccer CampsMonday 04 August 2014
Due to popular demand Motherwell Football Club Community Trust have added an extra week to the successful Summer Soccer Camps.
The final week will take place from Monday 11th August – Friday 15th August from 8:30am till 3:30pm for boys & girls aged 5-15 years and will be held at Fir Park with coaching sessions taking place on the Fir Park AstroTurf & in the Maxim Office Park South Stand Gymnasium.
The coaching sessions will be delivered by SFA accredited coaches & will focus on passing, shooting, tackling as well as fun competitions and small sided games.
Participants will also have the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the Motherwell FC first team players as they prepare for the start of the Scottish Premiership 2014/2015 season.
Prices for the Soccer Camp are £11 per day & £50 for the week.
McCall reflects on Real Betis testerSaturday 02 August 2014
‘Well boss Stuart McCall took plenty positives from this afternoon’s friendly despite defeat to Real Betis.
Rubén Castro Martín, Cedrick Mabwati and Vincenzo Rennella were all on target for Julio Velázquez’s side but despite the scoreline, there were certainly a lot of positives for the Fir Parkers.
The Steelmen had six recognised defenders missing either through injury of personal circumstances, which meant a young and inexperienced back-line, pierced only by trialist Darren Barr.
They all coped well with the likes of Dom Thomas, Jack Leitch, Lee Erwin, Morgyn Neill, David Ferguson and Chris Cadden all featuring.
[pullquote]For long periods of the game we were on top but the second goal for them, which was really well worked, killed us off. We can take a lot out of it and it was a game we certainly needed.[/pullquote]
And McCall was upbeat, despite the disappointment of losing the match in what were dreadful conditions at Fir Park.
Speaking to MFC TV on Motherwell’s official You Tube channel, the Fir Park boss said: “It was a defeat but there were certainly positives to take from it.
“Naturally we were disappointed to lose but I think 3-0 flattered them and we certainly did enough to score a goal.
“We had a very young defence and came through with no injuries, which is a positive considering the injury list we have right now.
“For long periods of the game we were on top but the second goal for them, which was really well worked, killed us off. We can take a lot out of it and it was a game we certainly needed.”
Motherwell 0 – 3 Real BetisSaturday 02 August 2014
Despite a decent showing, Motherwell lost 3-0 to a ruthless Real Betis at a rain-soaked Fir Park this afternoon.
In an empty stadium, the hosts saw plenty of the ball and created numerous chances, but the clinical tourists ran out comfortable winners thanks to goals from Rubén Castro Martín, Cedrick Mabwati and Vincenzo Rennella.
Stuart McCall was forced into several changes with key defensive players missing through injury. Stevie Hammell, Simon Ramsden, Craig Reid, Fraser Kerr and Zaine Francis-Angol were all sidelined with knocks and Stephen McManus sat it out for personal reasons.
That meant an unfamiliar back four of David Ferguson, Morgyn Neill, Adam Cummins and trialist Darren Barr, with Gunnar Nielsen playing behind them.
Josh Law, Stuart Carswell, Keith Lasley and Lionel Ainsworth made up the midfield with Bob McHugh and John Sutton spearheading the Steelmen attack.
Betis were at full strength with only Álvaro Vadillo the only recognisable name missing through injury and they started well; only a smart stop by Nielsen after four minutes denied Rubén Castro after he weaved his way through the ‘Well rearguard.
McHugh fired wide before Xavi Torres did likewise at the other end, with Neilsen relieved to watch his stinging effort cannon back off the advertising boards.
However, with their next attack, Julio Velázquez’s side took the lead. Rubén Castro was the creator and scorer, dancing past several challenges, after running from deep, before slotting it coolly past Nielsen from just inside the box.
As the half wore on, ‘Well certainly made a good fist of it. McHugh had the Steelmen’s first shot on target, well held by the experienced Dani Giménez.
The same player had another chance six minutes later but again dragged it wide before Ainsworth’s cross-cum-shot almost caught out the visiting goalkeeper but the swirling wind would take it just wide.
Betis showed good touches and were always comfortable in possession and they almost doubled their lead ten minutes from the break when Chuli curled a shot inches wide.
At the other end, McHugh again had a chance when a good ball had him in space just inside the area but, on the stretch, he could only force his effort inches over the crossbar.
‘Well introduced Jack Leitch at the interval and he almost made an immediate impact, fizzing a shot from twenty yards that went a yard over.
Former Liverpool wide man Daniel Pacheco had a shot comfortably held by Nielsen and Law thought he was in one-on-one with Dani only to be halted by the assistant’s flag.
Minutes later, Law turned provider to send McHugh in on goal but despite beating the out-rushing keeper to the loose ball, he wasn’t able to control and it spilled behind for a goal kick.
Play raged on with Motherwell looking likely, although Betis passed up a glorious chance when substitute Javier Matilla collected a neat cut back but somehow blazed over from six yards.
Motherwell could sense something from the match and McCall introduced more attacking firepower via Vigurs and Thomas, but unfortunately it would be Betis who would kill the game with a wonderful finish.
Half-time substitute Cedrick got on the ball on the right flank and, cutting in on his left foot, beat two players before rocketing a thunderbolt into the top corner leaving Nielsen completely helpless.
McCall introduced more youngsters but it was away side that would grab a third when Rennella broke clear of the defence and coolly lifted his effort over the diving Nielsen and into the net.
In the dying seconds, ‘Well again spurned a chance when sub Cadden’s cross from the right found McHugh but he could only lift his shot over the bar again.
It was a really good work out for McCall’s team. They played well for long spells, created chances but were punished by an experienced side that showed no mercy in the final third.
Motherwell: Nielsen, Cummins, Ferguson, Carswell, Barr, Neill (Leitch – 46mins), Ainsworth (Cadden – 80mins), McHugh, Sutton (Erwin – 46mins), Law (Vigurs – 70mins), Lasley (Thomas – 70mins)
Subs Not Used: Twardzik
MFC TV goes free via You TubeFriday 01 August 2014
Motherwell FC is pleased to announce our subscription service – MFC TV – is moving to free-to-air.
For the past three years, the club has worked alongside Perform to provide a subscription service averaging at about £50 per year.
However, the club is launching a new free-to-air service via our official You Tube channel, where the features you would normally enjoy will be at your fingertips at no cost.
What is more, you will now be able to enjoy via your smartphone, tablet and other devices.
Perform will be issuing refunds to subscribers who have paid for the service upfront over the coming days and any direct debit mandates will be cancelled accordingly.
General Manager Alan Burrows said: “We have enjoyed a really fruitful relationship with Perform over the last three years and I wish to thank them for all their hard work and assistance during that period.
“When the contract expired, we wanted to try something a little different and we believe we’re the first club in the top league to offer fans a completely free online TV service.
“We go into a transition stage in the short term and we’re work on the best way to facilitate things like live audio commentary from matches, but more will be announced in due course.
“But there exciting developments will come from increased content due to the more flexible nature of the platform, the switch to full HD, live streaming of certain events like press conferences and other areas we want to work into.
“We hope by making things free-to-air via You Tube, our exclusive content will reach a far greater audience and increase engagement with our supporter base.
“We are also in the process of completely redeveloping our website, with the focus on usability and responsiveness, and that should be launched in the early Autumn.”
Ramsden wants ‘Well reactionThursday 31 July 2014
Simon Ramsden is confident the characters within the changing room will help ‘Well get over the disappointment of last week’s Euro exit.
The Steelmen were disappointingly eliminated by Stjarnan in the Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round and it’s a defeat that has played heavily on the minds of both players and fans.
However Ramsden, who played his first two matches since injury ended his season last January, is sure ‘Well can draw on the inspiration of last season when, following a disappointing Scottish Cup exit, the Fir Parkers went on to break numerous records to finish runners-up in the SPFL Premiership table.
Speaking exclusively to MFC TV on Motherwell’s Official You Tube channel, the experienced defender said: “It was a massive blow and you can sense the real deflation and frustration in the changing room; we’re really kicking ourselves at being eliminated.
[pullquote]Like any blow in football, you’ve got to move on and react positively. There is a real character in the squad. It’s up to us now to put things right as we let ourselves down, the club down and the supporters down.[/pullquote]
“Over both matches, there were points where we found ourselves in a good position and everything was going to plan, only for it to not work out.
“However, like any blow in football, you’ve got to move on and react positively. There is a real character in the squad. It’s up to us now to put things right as we let ourselves down, the club down and the supporters down.
“You think back to the Aberdeen game at the end of last season and compare that to how we’ve felt in the last seven days, that’s football.
“All our focus has to be geared towards the St Mirren game on Saturday week and getting a good start to the new SPFL Premiership season.”
Bounce game on SaturdayThursday 31 July 2014
Motherwell will take on a Real Betis Balompié XI this Saturday as they prepare for the forthcoming SPFL Premiership campaign.
The club were keen to have the match made open for ‘Well fans, but with the commitments of the local Police force, stewarding companies and other contractors currently elsewhere, the match will have to be played behind closed doors.
It will be Motherwell’s eighth fixture of the summer after bounce games against Livingston, Morton, Peterhead and Arbroath, an open door fixture against Fulham and two Europa League qualifiers against Stjarnan.
Under 20s to start at New Douglas ParkTuesday 29 July 2014
The Under 20s first match of the season will be a Lanarkshire derby against Hamilton Accies at New Douglas Park this Tuesday.
Jonatan Johnasson’s young Steelmen side finished fifth in the SPFL U20s table last season, but the competition has undergone another revamp during the summer.
The league will be known as ‘The SPFL Development League’ and it will include all Premiership clubs alongside Rangers, Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Falkirk and Dunfermline.
There is a second division optional for all other clubs, which will be regionalised south & west and north & east to minimise the expense involved for clubs participating at that level.
Other changes include an increase of up to five over-age players being able to be included in the match day squad of eighteen, as well as two trialists (who would also be deemed to be over-age players and counted within the five mentioned above, irrespective of their actual age).
The new season will kick-off with a Lanarkshire derby. Accies had the better of it last season with an impressive 4-2 win at Fir Park before a 0-0 stalemate across the River Clyde the week before Christmas.
The match will kick-off at 6pm with admission free of charge.