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    Celtic U20s 2 – 0 Motherwell U20s

  • Archive

    Under 20s in Youth Cup action

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    TV: Highlights from McDiarmid Park

  • Archive

    St Johnstone defeat in pictures

  • Archive

    TV: McCall frustrated at missed chances

  • Archive

    St Johnstone 2 – 1 Motherwell

  • Archive

    TV: McManus expecting Saints tester

  • Archive

    Tv: McCall focused on improved form

  • Archive

    Away Day Guide: vs St Johnstone

  • Archive

    Clancy in charge at McDiarmid Park

  • Archive

    Celtic U20s 2 – 0 Motherwell U20s

    Motherwell Under 20s bowed out the SFA Youth Cup after a 2-0 defeat by Celtic at Cappielow this afternoon.

    The scoreline doesn’t tell the full story of the afternoon, with the young Steelmen spurning a number of chances in front of goal, only to be punished by two late strikes from the hosts.

    Higgins, Cadden and Thomas all had real chances to net, but it remained at stalemate until Liam Henderson put Celtic in front before Kieran Tierney’s late goal sealed the victory.

    Jonatan Johansson again made eight changes to the side that won at McDiarmid Park on Monday. McNulty, Hall, Carswell, Leitch, Erwin, McHugh, Moore and Anderson all dropped out, replaced by Watt, Ferguson, McCall, Cadden, Thomas, Higgins, Mackin and MacLean.

    And it was one of those changes, Steven Higgins, who passed up a glorious chance inside seventy seconds. Dom Thomas slipped the front man in but, after breaking clear and bearing down on the goalkeeper, he could only prod his shot wide of the post.

    Stephen Frail’s side regrouped and Henderson flashed a shot wide of target before Joe Thomson tested Ross Stewart with a curling effort that was comfortably saved by the Steelmen stopper.

    Both teams traded half chances, but both ended up with shots over the bar, Henderson for Celtic and Chris Cadden for Motherwell as the game remained at deadlock.

    The hosts did think they had taken the lead on the 18th minute when Joe Thomson converted Henderson’s lovely set-up pass, but the assistant immediately had his flag up with few in hoops complaining.

    Very little else happened for the remainder of the half, until a short flurry prior to the interval provided some noteworthy efforts.

    Dom Thomas smashed a long-range effort high over the crossbar before Celtic’s Paul McMullan flicked over a Calvin Miller cross from the right. Henderson also tried his luck from distance again and Higgins almost wriggled free inside the home penalty box, but was eventually crowded out.

    Incredibly, almost identically to the first-half, ‘Well had a good chance inside sixty seconds of the restart when Cadden again raced in on goal. Just as the midfielder was about to pull the trigger, however, Celtic recovered to make the vital block tackle.

    Henderson, Celtic’s most influential player by some distance, had his side’s first shot on target in the second half, running from deep and taking on the shot, but it was straight at Stewart who comfortably saved.

    Almost right away, the Fir Parkers went immediately on the attack and Thomas again rolled in Higgins who was clear of the green and white defence. Closing in on goal, he opened up his body and slipped the shot past Jordan Hart but it dropped agonisingly wide of the far post.

    Celtic again regrouped and Tiernan flashed a close range shot over the bar before Handerson took on yet another long-range shot, this time the ball rising just over Stewart’s crossbar.

    Tiernan had another low effort just wide before Thomas passed up a great chance to put his side in front. ‘Well won the ball in the middle of the park and when it was eventually spread over to the left for the tricky forward, he beat his marker before curling a shot inches wide from about 12 yards.

    The same player then dragged a low effort wide of target and there was a sense, at that point, the game was Motherwell’s to win.

    However, the sting in the tail would come via Henderson who, slightly against the run of play, put his side ahead. After collecting a pass from substitute Luke Donnelly, the Scotland Youth International made space for himself with a nice turn, before burying a right-footed shot across Stewart into the far corner.

    It was a hammer blow for the young Fir Parkers, who looked deflated, and Celtic doubled their advantage shortly when Tiernan got on the end of a McMullan pass to slot low past Stewart to book Celtic’s place in the 4th Round.

    Motherwell: Stewart, Watt, McMillan, Ferguson, Neill, McCall, Mackin (Anderson – 82mins), Cadden, Higgins, Thomas, MacLean

    Subs Not Used: Currie, Hall, McNulty, R.Leitch

  • Archive

    Under 20s in Youth Cup action

    The Under 20s are in SFA Youth Cup action tomorrow (Sunday) when they take on Celtic at Morton’s Cappielow Park.

    The Scottish FA Youth Cup is Scotland’s premier youth tournament.

    Formed in 1984, the under-20 tournament is open to all senior clubs in Scotland.

    A truly national competition, the Scottish FA Youth Cup starts with regional rounds covering North, South and Central Scotland, and ends with a showpiece final at The National Stadium, Hampden Park.

    Despite most other SPFL clubs having played in either the first or second round, ‘Well enter at the third round stage with arguably the hardest draw possible against a Celtic side who have lifted the trophy in four of the last five years.

    Celtic currently sit fourth in the SPFL Development League, four places and four points better off than Jonatan Johansson’s side, having played one game less.

    The teams have met in recent years in this competition, with the Hoops coming out the victors. However, with both teams going into the match on the back of victories, it’s all to play for.

    The match will take place at Cappielow Park, Greenock with kick-off set for 2pm. Entry to the match is free.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from McDiarmid Park

    Highlights from McDiarmid Park as ‘Well slip to another defeat despite taking an early first-half lead.

    MFC TV

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    St Johnstone defeat in pictures

    Action pictures from this evening’s frustrating 2-1 defeat by St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park in the SPFL Premiership.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”stjohnstone311014″]

  • Archive

    TV: McCall frustrated at missed chances

    Stuart McCall blamed numerous missed chances for his side’s defeat at McDiarmid Park this evening.

    The Fir Park boss has spent the week talking about carrying more of an attacking threat after a sturdy performance at Pittodrie last Friday.

    And, to be fair, ‘Well obliged, creating six or seven decent chances in the opening half that should have seen the game dead and buried by the break.

    The opening goal came via Lionel Ainsworth, but with the Steelmen failing to extend their advantage, Michael O’Halloran levelled after a quick counter before taking advantage to an accidental collision between Fraser Kerr and Stephen McManus to net the winner nine minutes from time.

    [pullquote]The harsh reality is we have lost a game that, if we take our chances, we win.[/pullquote]

    It was a harsh blow for ‘Well, who deserved at least a point for their efforts and McCall said: “The harsh reality is we have lost a game that, if we take our chances, we win.

    “For a team down where we are, supposedly lacking in confidence, I thought we played some great football.

    “We had a good chance and the goalie makes a diving save with his legs, and they break away and score.

    “We have had good chances to go ahead. The second half was more even but I thought it was unjust to go into half-time level.

    “The winner sums it up, Fraser Kerr ends up sliding into (Stephen) McManus and takes him out and the boy O’Halloran dances around us and puts it in.

    “I can’t be critical of the players whatsoever. I’ve been banging on all week about creating chances, and we did, but just didn’t take them.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    St Johnstone 2 – 1 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Gavin McCafferty at McDiarmid Park

    Despite taking a first-half lead, Michael O’Halloran scored twice to earn St Johnstone a 2-1 victory over Motherwell this evening.

    O’Halloran gifted Motherwell possession before Lionel Ainsworth powered home a 13th-minute equaliser but the Scottish Premiership contest turned with five minutes left of the first half.

    Ainsworth came close to a second but his shot was saved by Alan Mannus and Saints went straight up the park for O’Halloran to score following a one-two with Lee Croft.

    An improved Motherwell missed some decent chances but their season of woe continued in the 80th minute when O’Halloran netted a brilliant solo effort, although only after Motherwell defenders Stephen McManus and Fraser Kerr collided in the box.

    Motherwell remain second bottom in the league and their misery was compounded by the fact former talisman James McFadden had a hand in both goals as they suffered a fifth consecutive league defeat in front of only 2,531 fans at McDiarmid Park.

    William Hill Scottish Cup winners St Johnstone and Motherwell, runners-up two years running, came into the game as the two lowest scorers in the league with only 13 goals between them in the first 11 matches.

    There were plenty of chances though and Saints created two before Motherwell took the lead, Dan Twardzik getting down to hold O’Halloran’s shot before Frazer Wright glanced a header just wide from McFadden’s free-kick.

    Motherwell benefited from a break to open the scoring with Henrik Ojamaa helping the ball on to Ainsworth after O’Halloran was dispossessed on the edge of his box. The winger got a free shot after a ricochet and blasted the ball into the roof of the net from 10 yards.

    Motherwell defender Simon Ramsden had a header saved and the visitors were looking comfortable apart from a few deep corners from McFadden.

    Steven Hammell and Dave Mackay both came close from 30 yards at either end before the key moment of the game.

    Ainsworth looked like he might double his tally when he turned a man on the edge of the box after Ojamaa had twisted and turned and fought for the ball before laying it back.

    But the shot was too close to Saints goalkeeper Mannus, who blocked with his feet and inadvertently set up a counter-attack. McFadden fed O’Halloran who rode Ramsden’s challenge inside the centre circle and kept charging forward.

    The former Bolton player played the ball out for Croft who cut it back for his team-mate to slot into the corner from 10 yards.

    Ojamaa set up two chances for Motherwell to regain the lead before half-time but John Sutton took a poor touch six yards out and Ainsworth steered a shot wide of the far post.

    Ainsworth set up a couple of chances himself after the break but Kerr wasted a shooting chance by chipping a cross over the bar and Ojamaa shot straight at Mannus from the right channel with the keeper’s fumble proving harmless.

    O’Halloran had a long-range strike held and Saints came closer in the 72nd minute after Croft’s cross found Wright.

    The defender got a good head on it but Twardzik got down well to parry and Gary McDonald sliced the rebound wide under pressure.

    The hosts were lifted by the chance after a quiet start to the second half and O’Halloran grabbed the winner after McFadden shimmied on the left wing and cut the ball back to the edge of the box.

    O’Halloran went past both McManus and Kerr as the Motherwell pair collided and then took it round another defender before dinking the ball over Twardzik from the edge of the six-yard box.

    O’Halloran soon had a shot blocked when McFadden was screaming for a return pass following a counter-attack before the latter went off to a standing ovation from both sets of fans as Saints held out comfortably for their first win in six games.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Ally Reilly at McDiarmid Park

    FT: St Johnstone 2 – 1 Motherwell #SJFCvMFC

    3 minutes added on #SJFCvMFC

    And a St Johnstone sub, Miller on for Croft #SJFCvMFC

    87mins: Motherwel sub, Vigurs off for Law #SJFCvMFC

    And a ‘Well sub, O’Brien on for Hammell #SJFCvMFC

    83mins: St Johnstone sub, McFadden off for Caddis #SJFCvMFC

    82mins: Corner to ‘Well, again Saints counter it and should have made it 3! #SJFCvMFC

    81mins: Motherwell sub, Francis-Angol off for Erwin #SJFCvMFC

    80mins: GOAL – O’Halloran makes it 2-1 to St Johnstone. Very unfortunate slip in defence #SJFCvMFC

    73mins: St Johnstone counter attack quicly but Graham isn’t direct enough and that allows Francis-Angol time to get back and clear #SJFCvMFC

    71mins: Great save by Twardzik to deny Fraser Wright’s close range header! #SJFCvMFC

    69mins: Safe hands from Twardzik to gather in O’Halloran’s shot from distance #SJFCvMFC

    Vigurs opts to shoot but curls wide and over #SJFCvMFC

    67mins: Free-kick to ‘Well in a dangerous looking position…. #SJFCvMFC

    64mins: Vigurs is booked. #SJFCvMFC

    63mins: Good Motherwell counter sees Mannus deny Ojamaa with his foot. Good chance! #SJFCvMFC

    57mins: Great, inviting ball in by Ainsworth but no takers. Curls not far wide at the back post. #SJFCvMFC

    53mins: Kerr could show some more composure as he overlaps on the right but blazes his cross into the stand #SJFCvMFC

    51mins: Ojamaa is booked for hauling down O’Halloran #SJFCvMFC

    Second half is underway… #SJFCvMFC

    Great first half from ‘Well. Plenty of chances and in complete control but picked off by a good counter attack. #SJFCvMFC

    HT: St Johnstone 1 – 1 Motherwell #SJFCvMFC

    45mins: Another great chance for ‘Well but this time Ainsworth can’t get enough bend on his shot from a narrow angle. #SJFCvMFC

    43mins: Again, great work by Ojamaa but his cutback just doesn’t settle for Sutton who had the goal gaping #SJFCvMFC

    39mins: GOAL! O’Halloran slots home Saints counter attack, seconds after Ainsworth had a shot well saved by Mannus. 1-1 now #SJFCvMFC

    35mins: Great effort by MacKay whose long-range free-kick flies just inches wide of Twardzik’s left post. #SJFCvMFC

    27mins: A rare one as Hammell ventures forward and tries his luck with a low shot from range. Not far wide! #SJFCvMFC

    23mins: Corner to Saints, finally headed clear by Ramsden #SJFCvMFC

    16mins: Kerr can’t get enough power in his header from 15 yards to test Mannus. Positive start by Motherwell #SJFCvMFC

    Ainsworth blasts home from 10 yards after some sloppy St Johnstone defending. 1-0 to ‘Well! #SJFCvMFC


    11mins: McFadden floats in a free-kick which is headed on by Anderson. Flashes just wide of the post #SJFCvMFC

    9mins: Two corners in a row for Saints, both of which come to no harm #SJFCvMFC

    8mins: First sign of intent from Saints. O’Halloran created some space just outside the box but his shot is dealt with by Twardizk #SJFCvMFC

    6mins: Vigurs delivery is headed clear and eventually comes back to him but hus shot from the edge of the box is scuffed wide #SJFCvMFC

    6mins: Francis-Angol forces a second ‘Well corner…….taken short and is headed out for another corner #SJFCvMFC

    5mins: Francis-Angol picks up a loose ball on the edge of the box but Mannus safely gathers his cross/shot #SJFCvMFC

    4mins: Good spell of passing results in a corner for ‘Well…..but Vigurs’ delivery is headed clear #SJFCvMFC

    Ojamaa and Lasley kick the action off. COYW!!! #SJFCvMFC

    Out come the teams, ‘Well in claret and amber, Saints in blue and white #SJFCvMFC

    Minutes away from kick-off here at McDiarmid Park. Right on cue, the rain has just started…. #SJFCvMFC


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “The harsh reality is we have lost a game that, if we take our chances, we win.

    “For a team down where we are, supposedly lacking in confidence, I thought we played some great football.

    “We had a good chance and the goalie makes a diving save with his legs, and they break away and score.

    “We have had good chances to go ahead. The second half was more even but I thought it was unjust to go into half-time level.

    “The winner sums it up, Fraser Kerr ends up sliding into (Stephen) McManus and takes him out and the boy O’Halloran dances around us and puts it in.

    “I can’t be critical of the players whatsoever. I’ve been banging on all week about creating chances, and we did, but just didn’t take them.”

    St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright:


    [poll id=”207″]

  • Archive

    TV: McManus expecting Saints tester

    Former Scotland International Stephen McManus knows ‘Well will need to up their game to get anything from McDiarmid Park.

    Perth was a big of a graveyard for the Fir Parkers last season, losing both games and not scoring.

    Both sides have made a below par start to the 2014/15 campaign, making tonight’s BT Live match vital.

    The former Celtic and Middlesbrough stopper said: “Last year St Johnstone got the better of us at McDiarmid Park; we know how tough this fixture is likely to be.

    [pullquote]The most important thing is to concentrate on your own performance and try to get to the level we know we are capable of[/pullquote]

    “Tommy Wright and the players there have done a tremendous job.

    “They work hard for each other and they seem to have a really good team spirit; you seen that last year with how successful they were.

    “But when you’re in a run that we are, the most important thing is to concentrate on your own performance and try to get to the level we know we are capable of.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Tv: McCall focused on improved form

    Stuart McCall says he senses a real desire amongst the players to turn Motherwell’s poor start to the season around.

    ‘Well have made a hugely disappointing start to 2014/15, winning two games in the opening round of matches.

    However, a more encouraging and sturdy performance at Pittodrie, albeit without carrying much in the way of a goal threat, has given McCall and the squad cause for optimism.

    The Steelmen now face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park and the former Scotland midfielder wants to kick-off the second ‘third’ with maximum points.

    [pullquote]I know people will say ‘talk is cheap’, but I think there is a desire within the club; the players the staff and everyone who works here to turn things around[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the broadcast press, the former Scotland midfielder said: “We can’t keep talking about what we want to do, the time is now to start producing results.

    “We’ve got to look at the next block of games, the next eleven, and we want to obviously win more than what we lose and that starts tomorrow night in Perth.

    “I will admit to feeling a bit lost and helpless after the Dundee match but after last week’s performance, the attitude shown and we had a talk afterwards and I really sense people are right behind this cause.

    “As I’ve said, I know people will say ‘talk is cheap’, but I think there is a desire within the club; the players the staff and everyone who works here to turn things around.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Away Day Guide: vs St Johnstone

    St JohnstoneSt Johnstone Football Club
    McDiarmid Park
    Crieff Road

    Tel: 01738 459 090
    Web: www.perthsaints.co.uk

    Opened: 1989
    Capacity: 10,696
    Sat Nav: PH1 2SJ
    Distance from Fir Park: 61.8 miles (1 hr 06mins)


    ADULTS:   £22 
    OVER 65s:   £12
    AGED 13-18:                          £11
    UNDER 12s:   FREE*
    • ‘Well fans will be housed in the Main Stand.
    • Kids Under 12 go free but must be accomapnied by an adult.
    • Saints also offer a reduced price ‘mixed’ family Stand behind the goal (Ormond Stand) where one adult and up to two children aged 12 or under can gain admission at a cost of £15.
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact Sharon or John McCaskie on 07745494631 / 07711 992161 or email disabledfans@motherwellfc.co.uk.

    By car

    The stadium is located close to the A9 and is relatively straightforward to get to – although please be aware of new average speed cameras installed between Dunblane and Perth.

    Head towards Perth on the M9 and take the first exit at Broxden roundabaout (signposted Football traffic) on to the A9. Then take the fourth exit at Inveraimond roundabout so you have turned back on yourself.

    Exit on to the slip road and turn left at the roundabout on to the A85 (Crieff road). The stadium will be clearly visible on the left.

    Parking is available for visiting fans behind the Main Stand, priced at £5.00 per car. Street parking is also available on numerous streets around the ground.

    Supporters Bus

    The Central Branch plans to run a bus (numbers permitting), leaving from the Bentley Hotel. Please phone Jim 01698 299650 to book.

    By bus

    Several operators run buses to Perth, departing every hour from Buchanan Station in Glasgow city centre.

    Further information and timetables are available online at www.citylink.co.uk.

    By train

    Perth station is over three miles away from the ground, although frequent bus services run throughout the city.

    Further information and timetables are available online at www.scotrail.co.uk.


  • Archive

    Clancy in charge at McDiarmid Park

    Referee for this Friday’s SPFL Premiership match against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park is Kevin Clancy.

    It will be Kevin’s second Motherwell appointment of the new season; the other was back in August when he handled the tight 1-0 defeat at Tannadice when Mario Bilate’s late wonder strike separated the teams.

    He’ll be a relatively familiar face, despite being a new referee, given he handled four matches last term too.

    The first was the swashbuckling 2-2 draw with Dundee United at Tanandice in September 2013.

    Henri Anier had ‘Well ahead at the interval but two quick-fire goals from United had McNamara’s men ahead. Step forward substitute Lionel Ainsworth, who smashed home a brilliant leveller to give the Steelmen a deserved point.

    The second was the excellent 1-0 win at Pittodrie on Boxing Day when a resolute ‘Well came away with all three points thanks to Ainsworth’s winner.

    The third was against Friday’s opponents, again at McDiarmid Park last February when Tommy Wright’s men ran out convincing 3-0 victors.

    And, finally, he was the man in the middle for the vital 2-1 win over Saints (again) with Ainsworth and Stephen McManus on the score sheet, helping to avenge that earlier defeat and put the Steelmen on the road to SPFL Premiership runners-up.

    It would have been his fifth game, but John Beaton replaced him at the last minute ahead of the Aberdeen match back in August, after a hectic midweek European jaunt to Russia.

    Prior to last season, his last Motherwell match was against Aberdeen at Pittodrie (again), back in March, when the teams drew a blank in a 0-0 draw.

    It was one of two ‘Well fixtures the 31-year old took charge of during the 2012/13 season, his other being the 2-1 away win at Dundee when Michael Higdon bagging a double as Stuart McCall’s men came back from a losing position to pick up all three points.

    His only other Motherwell match was in the 2011/12 Scottish Cup, where he was the man in the middle as the Fir Parkers demolished Queen’s Park 4-0, a certain Henrik Ojamaa smashing home a fabulous debut goal.

    His overall record in charge of Motherwell reads eight matches in total, Motherwell winning four, drawing two and losing two. ‘Well have scored eleven and conceded eight.

    There have been twenty-five cautions dished out in those seven matches, fourteen of them to a man wearing Claret and Amber and zero dismissals.

    Kevin will be ably assisted by John McCrossan and Dougie Potter with John Beatonon 4th Official duties. The referee observer is George Clyde and the SPFL Delegate is Alan Dick.