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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    TV: Johansson anger at below par ‘Well

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    Motherwell U20s 1 – 3 Aberdeen U20s

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    Under 20s to face the Dons

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    TV: McCall angered at Caley defeat

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    Inverness defeat in pictures

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    Motherwell 0 – 2 Inverness CT

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    Inverness Magazine preview

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    TV: Ojamaa thrilled to be home

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    TV: McCall expects tight affair

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Highlights from Fir Park as the Under 20s lose 1-3 to Aberdeen in the new SPFL Development League.

    MFC TV

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    TV: Johansson anger at below par ‘Well

    Jonatan Johansson was left frustrated as sloppy goals cost his side dearly against Aberdeen this evening.

    Lawrence Shankland had put the Reds ahead but Jack Leitch cancelled that out with his first of the season.

    However, two Joe Shaughnessy goals, both from corner kicks, would lead to ‘Well’s downfall and the 106-times capped former Finnish International spoke of his anger at gifting a good side such an easy way to goal.

    Speaking to MFC TV on Motherwell’s Official You Tube channel, Johansson said: “I am disappointed; the first half in particular was poor. We didn’t do enough to get on the ball and that’s why we had so many bad passes.

    [pullquote]However, if we concede goals like we did then we’re always going to struggle. I thought all three were poor from our point of view.[/pullquote]

    “We gave away the ball far too easily to a counter-attacking side, which plays into their hands. We scored a goal, but that aside we didn’t have any other real chances.

    “The second half was a little bit better; we looked a bit angrier and were more aggressive in the tackle and created more chances.

    “However, if we concede goals like we did then we’re always going to struggle. I thought all three were poor from our point of view. Two from corner kicks and the first was bad marking.

    “We’ve got a lot to work on and that begins tomorrow.”

    MFC TV

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    Motherwell U20s 1 – 3 Aberdeen U20s

    Motherwell Under 20s lost 1-3 at home to Aberdeen at Fir Park in the SPFL Development League this evening.

    The Dons took the lead early on through Lawrence Shankland but Jack Leitch levelled the scoring shortly after. However, the Dons were back in front thanks to a Joe Shaughnessy header before the same player sealed all three points late in the game.

    Jonatan Johansson was able to call on a relatively experienced team with new signings Mark O’Brien and Henrik Ojamaa joined in the starting eleven by over-aged players Lionel Ainsworth, Bob McHugh and Paul Lawson. Over and above that, Ross Stewart, Chris Cadden, Jack Leitch and David Ferguson could all count on first-team experience.

    It was Motherwell who would have the game’s first shot when Ojamaa and Thomas combined to tee up Lawson on the edge of the area, but he scooped his effort high and wide of target.

    Nicky Low replied quickly for the Dons with a long range shot straight at Stewart before Shankland forced the ‘Well stopper into a good low save with his feet and subsequent stop from a swerving volley.

    However, he was powerless to stop the next attack as Shankland opened the scoring for Paul Sheerin’s side . The former Queen’s Park hitman had Scott Wright to thank, the midfielder jinked past a few challenges before squaring it for Shankland who smashed it home into an unguarded net.

    The Steelmen were only behind for seven minutes though as Leitch levelled things. It was Leitch himself who started the move, releasing Thomas down the left flank. After cutting in, the ball ricocheted out to the skipper who curled home from twenty yards.

    The game began to stretch and incredibly, with their next attack of note, the Dons got their noses in front once again. ‘Well were forced into conceding a needless corner when Morgyn Neill took the ball off the gloves of Stewart. Low’s delivery was inch-perfect for Shaughnessy who got above his marker to bullet a header home at the back post.

    Jonatan Johansson was forced into a change with another defensive injury – David Ferguson was caught in a 50/50 challenge and was carried off the park, replaced by young Jack McMillan.

    The game flowed back and forth, Craig Murray fired over the bar from distance and Cammy Smith should’ve made it 3-1 with a strike from just inside the area, but the hosts survived.

    At the other end, McHugh had a pop from the edge but it sailed high over the bar and into the Maxim Office Park South Stand.

    Motherwell started the second half on the front foot and Ojamaa teed up McHugh for a shot from the edge but once again he curled it over.

    Two minutes later, the Estonian would shoot himself but his low poked effort dropped a foot or so wide of target. Ojamaa and Shaughnessy were both carded for a skirmish in the build-up , it looked like nothing more than handbags and a talking too would’ve sufficed, but after advice from the stand side assistant, both were cautioned.

    Both teams continued to look dangerous on the break but it was the hosts who were creating; Ojamaa again going close after Ainsworth’s floated cross wasn’t cleared properly by Shaughnessy.

    Shortly after, Thomas danced around a few tackles in the box only to watch his powerful low shot expertly turned around by Robbie Mutch in the Reds goal.

    Motherwell continued their attacking intent and Ainsworth came within an inch of levelling, latching on to a loose ball only to drag his shot narrowly wide.

    The home side were doing all the pressing but, typically, it was Aberdeen who extended their lead with a sucker-punch at the other end. Smith brought about a decent save from Stewart, turning around a stinging effort. ‘Well failed to properly clear the resulting corner and Shaughnessy was afforded too much time to slot home his second of the night from ten yards.

    The home side continued to plug away and were so unlucky not to half the lead when Ainsworth rocketed a shot off the bar. There was a claim for a penalty when sub McLean was tugged at the rebound, but there was nothing doing from the referee.

    McHugh saw a late shot blocked at the expense of a corner but that was the end of the scoring as the Dons headed back north with all three points.

    Motherwell: Stewart, Cadden, Ferguson (McMillan – 36mins), O’Brien, Neill, Leitch (McCall – 73mins), Ainsworth, Lawson, McHugh, Ojamaa (McLean – 73mins), Thomas

    Subs Not Used: Currie, Hall, Mackin, Higgins

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    Under 20s to face the Dons

    The Under 20s return to action tomorrow (Tuesday) when they take on Aberdeen at Fir Park.

    Jonatan Johansson’s men made a disappointing start to the campaign with a 1-0 defeat across the River Clyde at New Douglas Park two weeks ago.

    The Dons, on the other hand, kicked off with an impressive 4-0 win at home to Hibernian, so it’s sure to be a tough game for the young Steelmen.

    ‘Well had the upper hand at home last season, winning 3-0 with goals coming from Craig Moore and a Bob McHugh double.

    Kick-off at Fir Park is 6pm.

    PRICES:

    Adults and Concessions:
    Season book holders or Well Society membership: £2
    Standard: £3

    Under 16s:
    Season book holders or Well Society membership: £1
    Standard: £2

  • Archive

    TV: McCall angered at Caley defeat

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall described his side’s performance against Inverness Caley Thistle as “absolutely rotten”.

    And although the Steelmen are missing a number of key players, the Fir Park boss was in no mood to find excuses.

    Caley were by far and away the better team on the day and took the lead minutes before the half-time interval when Tansey’s effort bounced past the outstretched Twardzik.

    It stayed that way until the 88th minute when substitute Aaron Doran sealed the win with a curler from inside the area.

    “To sum it up, it’s quite simple; we were absolutely rotten,” McCall told the press after the match.

    “I thought they were very good. Basic stuff today we couldn’t do, we couldn’t pass from A to B. We’ve got a lot of work to do next week.

    [pullquote]I thought they were very good. Basic stuff today we couldn’t do, we couldn’t pass from A to B. We’ve got a lot of work to do next week.[/pullquote]

    “Again, we couldn’t name the side today until just before the game, but that’s no excuse, we were really poor in all departments today and I don’t think we mustered an attempt at goal if I’m honest. There were two good goals from them today, no doubt about it, Tansey and Doran with two quality finishes.

    “Certainly they deserved it massively and we’ve under-performed, and we have done really, we’ve not been up at it.

    “You look at big John Sutton up there, he’s not got anything to feed on, we’ve not created anything from wide areas, and all over the park they moved the ball better, controlled it better, passed it better and we were poor.

    “I said at half-time that at least it could only get better because we were woeful on the ball in the first half and I don’t think we were much better second half if I’m honest. That’s probably one of the poorest performances we’ve had, certainly here.

    “If you look at creating chances, possession of the ball, quality of play, it was really poor but I’m the manager and I take responsibility for that.

    “We’ve got to make sure we improve, and with the character of the players in there I’m very confident we will improve, but we need to start doing it quickly. We need to find form individually, there are a lot of individuals nowhere near the level they were at last season, and we’ve got to get it up.

    MFC TV

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    Inverness defeat in pictures

    Action pictures from this afternoon’s disappointing 2-0 by Inverness CT at Fir Park in the SPFL Premiership.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”invernessct160814″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell 0 – 2 Inverness CT

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee at Fir Park

    Motherwell slipped to a disappointing 0-2 home defeat at the hands of Inverness Caley.

    A Greg Tansey goal just before the break and a second from Aaron Doran two minutes from the end was sufficient to give the Highlanders all three points against a home side which never looked like breaking down the well-organised visitors.

    Eighteen-year-old David Ferguson made his home debut covering at left back for the injured Zaine Francis-Angol and Jack Leitch dropped to the bench and was replaced by Lionel Ainsworth.

    The Mothwerwell bench looked a bit healthier, though, with Iain Vigurs and Paul Lawson on the way back from injury. There was also a seat amongst the substitutes for Henrik Ojamaa after returning to the club on loan in midweek.

    Inverness, largely unchanged from last season, were the more settled and controlled throughout the match although ‘Well almost snatched the lead after eleven minutes.

    Dean Brill, who was not forced to make a save of any note, raced from his goal but under pressure from Lee Erwin sent his clearance to Lionel Ainsworth. From 30 yards and wide of goal the winger curled a fabulous effort over the stranded ‘keeper only to watch Gary Warren head clear from under the cross bar.

    Sadly, that was the closest Inverness came to conceding their first goal of the season as Sutton remained isolated and the home attack toothless.

    Instead most of the action was towards the home goal and Dan Twardzik produced his first save of the afternoon after 20 minutes diving low to his left to push away a Tansey drive from the edge of the area.

    The ‘Well ‘keeper again denied the Liverpudlian six minutes later when he brilliantly beat away a thumping angled shot. But when the ball was returned across goal it was Ferguson’s superbly timed block on Ryan Christie, ten yards in front of goal, which prevented the opening strike.

    However, four minutes from half-time, Thistle took a deserved lead when Tansey was allowed to run towards the home box before his shot skimmed off the surface and beyond the diving Twardzik.

    The home fans were less than pleased at the half-time whistle but their mood changed after the break with Ojamaa coming on at the expense of Ainsworth.

    Suddenly the Fir Park players had a bit more energy about them and a couple of strong runs beyond the visitors defence from Stuart Carswell and the tireless Erwin provided some promise of a fightback.

    After 72 minutes Vigurs replaced John Sutton allowing Erwin to play through the middle of the home attack in the hope of unsettling the visitors defence.

    But while ‘Well pushed forward in hope of an equaliser they stood the risk of Thistle nicking one on the break and only the pace of Fraser Kerr matched Aaron Doran strong run to deny the Caley sub.

    John Hughes’ men were not to be denied a second goal though and two minutes from time, Doran curled an effort from the corner of the box high beyond Twardzik to wrap up the points and round off a miserable afternoon for Stuart McCall’s side.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 0 – 2 Inverness CT #MFCvICTFC

    90mins: 3 minutes added on.

    89mins: GOAL! Doran wins it for Caley. 2-0.

    86mins: Vigurs booked for a clumsy challenge on Draper in the ICT half.

    84mins: Motherwell sub, Lasley off for Leitch

    81mins: Ball falls to Warren at the backpost. Ferguson does enough to put him off and he can only slice wide

    80mins: ICT sub, McKay makes way for Ross.

    And 2 ICT subs,Williams and Christie off for Doran and Polworth

    72mins: Motherwell sub, Sutton off for Vigurs.

    69mins: Williams hacks down Erwin 30 yards out. Decent position for a shot but the wall does it’s job to deny Lasley

    68mins: Law swings in a free-kick from wide on the left but Caley head clear. No way through for ‘Well.

    58mins: ‘Carswell well shows a good turn of pace to get past Shinnie but his cut back is deflected high above the head of Sutton

    56mins: Kerr is fouled on the edge of the box but ref waves play on. Stuart McCall is raging, and on first look, rightly so!

    53mins: Erwin wins a corner which Law delivers….McManus heads it goalwards from 15 yards but ICT clear easily.

    46mins: ‘Well have a free-kick in a great position which Sutton takes. Warren takes a sore one to the…well, he takes a sore one.

    Half-time sub for ‘Well, Ojamaa is on for Ainsworth. Second half underway. COYW!!!

    HT: Motherwell 0 – 1 ICT

    44mins: Law wins a corner as ‘Well search for an equaliser..

    41mins: GOAL! Tansey fires a shot from distance low past Twardzik to make it 1-0 to Caley!

    36mins: Corner to ‘Well, Caley clear and break which leads to Reid being booked for bringing down McKay.

    30mins: Free-kick to ‘Well 30 yards out. Ainsworth takes it on but drills it into the ICT defence.

    26mins: Twardzik then Ferguson to the rescue! Twardzik did well to deny Watkins Ferguson slid in to deny Christie. ICT on top here.

    21mins: Close for Caley! First Tansey forces Dan into a good save, then McKay pokes a shot just past from 8 yards!

    15mins: Christie does well to work some space in midfield. He shoots from 30 yards but see’s it fly well past the post.

    …a shot from 25 yards towards goal but Shinnie got back to head it off the line! Unlucky!

    11mins: Great effort from Ainsworth! Brill had charged off his line to clear from Erwin and it landed at Lionel’s feet. He curled…

    10mins: Raven wins a free-kick on the edge of the ‘Well box which Shinnie blasts well over the bar.

    6mins: ICT win a second corner, this time it is headed inches wide by Draper!

    5mins: ICT get the first corner of the game. Williams swings it in, McManus leaps and heads clear.

    1min: Game is underway… ‘mon the ‘Well! #MFCvICTFC

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “To sum it up, it’s quite simple; we were absolutely rotten.

    “I thought they were very good. Basic stuff today we couldn’t do, we couldn’t pass from A to B. We’ve got a lot of work to do next week.

    “Again, we couldn’t name the side today until just before the game, but that’s no excuse, we were really poor in all departments today and I don’t think we mustered an attempt at goal if I’m honest. There were two good goals from them today, no doubt about it, Tansey and Doran with two quality finishes.

    “Certainly they deserved it massively and we’ve under-performed, and we have done really, we’ve not been up at it.”

    Inverness CT manager John Hughes:

    “The first half performance was very good, very slick.

    “Ball retention, total domination, moving the ball around, but we never scored. Then we got our wee break just before half-time and it settled us down.

    “No two halves are ever the same, but we were wise to that. We knew that Motherwell would change shape, they put (Henrik) Ojamaa up top, so we had to be a bit more compact and play on the counter attack, but we can do that because we work at it, it doesn’t just happen, but it took us right to the last minute to get that second goal.

    “The pleasing things; first half performance was very, very good, we were pleasing on the eye, and we kept a clean sheet.

    “I can’t speak highly enough of these boys, they’ve had a great buy-in to our philosophy.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”197″]

  • Archive

    Inverness Magazine preview

    The second domestic Steelmen Matchday Magazine of 2014/15 is on sale when Inverness CT visit Fir Park this afternoon.

    But what is inside the 68-page issue?

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall and Captain Keith Lasley both return with the regular columns. McCall speaks about building on a good midweek performance and Las chats about the threat posed by today’s opponents.

    The feature interview is with midfielder Stuart Carswell, who talks in-depth about his ‘unglamorous’ role in the Fir Park first-team and his aims for the coming season.

    Carsy also features as the next in the centre-page souvenir poster collection.

    But that’s not where the features stop!

    There is an in-depth section dedicated to our visitors, Inverness CT.

    As ever, Ray Morrison introduces the Highlanders and talks through four vital characters in the Caley Jags side likely to cause issues.

    Charles Bannerman also pays tribute to John Hughes’ men, almost twenty years from their inception into the Scottish League.

    The big features keep coming…

    Graeme McGarry returns and has caught up with the recently departed Henri Anier after the Estonian’s move to Germany. The striker remembers fondly his time in North Lanarkshire and admits he hopes to be back soon.

    ‘From the Press Box’ returns with regular host, the Herald’s Scott Mullen and there’s a new column from ‘Well fan Eddie McGuigan, who heads up the ‘Voices from the East Stand’ blog, who gives a fans viewpoint as the new season gets underway.

    Eddie Ferguson’s new feature looking at every Motherwell manager in history continues and focuses on the great George Stevenson.

    Our match reports section takes a look back at the 1-0 win over St Mirren seven days ago and that unlucky defeat at Tannadice on Wednesday. Dylan Mackin is the U20s in focus and there’s an update from the Prostate Cancer – MEN UTD – campaign.

    We have the latest from The Ticket Office, Commercial and Community Departments, and update from the Well Society as well as the latest stats, facts and figures from the 2014/2015 campaign.

    We also take a statistical look at the match official and the new GIRFEC sponsored ‘Junior Steel’ kids page returns and is sure to test the youngster’s quiz minds with puzzles and ‘Did you know’ facts.

    The programme is available for £3 and is will be on sale from the Club Shop as well as the usual sellers located in and around the ground pre-match.

    You can also order back editions or take a season-long subscription to the magazine by visiting the website of our publishers – Curtis-Sports – CLICK HERE.

  • Archive

    TV: Ojamaa thrilled to be home

    Henrik Ojamaa has spoke of his delight at being back at Motherwell fourteen months after leaving.

    The Estonian International had a successful time in Warsaw in his first season, winning the Championship.

    However, in most of those games he was utilised in wide areas and not through the middle, a position he played to great effect at Fir Park alongside Michael Higdon.

    And now the 23-year old can’t wait to get back playing again in front of the Claret and Amber faithful.

    “It feels great,” he said, smiling, after being asked how it felt to be back at Fir Park.

    “I’m also very appreciative to the Legia manager [Henning Berg] for letting me come on loan.

    “I had a conversation with him at the end of last season, after we had secured the title, about my future because I wasn’t quite happy with my position on the field.

    [pullquote]”When the option with Motherwell came up, it made sense in a lot of ways. I know the manager really well and the majority of the team, people in general in Motherwell were great to me and I haven’t forgotten that and I really appreciate it.”[/pullquote]

    “Its still very familiar I don’t think it’s going to take long to get use to the surroundings, the team and the way the manager works. For me right now I need to get my fitness up it’s not quite what I’d like it to be having missed a lot of pre season because of injury

    The former Derby County youngster will be in the squad against Inverness tomorrow but he remembers all too well just how tough it is against the Highlanders.

    “It’s going to be a tough and interesting game,” he added.

    “From what I understand they’ve managed to keep their core players which is going to help them. I’m looking forward to playing a part and hopefully getting a good turnout from the Motherwell fans as well.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: McCall expects tight affair

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall is sure tomorrow’s Caley clash at Fir Park will once again be nip-and-tuck.

    The Steelmen managed to win three of the four encounters against the Highlanders last term, but everyone one of them was by the odd goal.

    John Hughes’ side have made an impressive and unbeaten start to the new campaign and visit Fir Park in confident mood.

    They have a bunch of real honest players mixed in with some really good players as well,” McCall told the broadcast press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference.

    “We managed to beat them three times last season but they were all really tight and could have gone either way.

    “Our supporters might have to be a little patient because they might have a lot of the ball in certain areas. I’m sure it will be a tight game.”

    [pullquote]Our supporters might have to be a little patient because they might have a lot of the ball in certain areas. I’m sure it will be a tight game.[/pullquote]

    McCall hosted his press conference the day after Motherwell announced Henrik Ojamaa’s five-month loan deal from Legia Warsaw.

    Although the Estonian has missed a fair bit of pre-season, he is in the squad for tomorrow’s match.

    McCall added: “I have to say a big thanks to the board for making it happen and I’m delighted, even though it may only be short term, to have him at the club.

    “Hopefully we can get him up and running soon, he missed a bit of pre-season. But he definitely gives us an extra dimension in the forward area with his pace, tenacity and he created a lot of opening for other players as well. And he’s a handful.

    “Certainly centre-halves know they’ve been in a game when they play against him. There’s no guarantee it will be as successful as it was previously, we need to get him up and running and he needs to get himself in the side.

    “I mentioned to Henrik when he left us that a lot of clubs in Europe play with a solitary striker and a lot of strikers get pushed out wide. Henrik’s assets are his pace and willingness to get in behind. We have brought him to compete for a position down the middle.”

    MFC TV