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    Inverness CT 3 – 1 Motherwell

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    TV: Black expects Highland tester

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    TV: Lasley’s focus is on the field

  • Archive

    Leitch on the road to recovery

  • Archive

    TV: Reid hopes for positive break

  • Archive

    Tesco Bank Football Challenge

  • Archive

    Cummins set for Ayr United loan

  • Archive

    Away Day Guide: vs Inverness CT

  • Archive

    Madden’s in charge against Inverness

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Inverness CT 3 – 1 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

     Phil McGhee at the Caledonian Stadium

    A lacklustre Motherwell turned in a poor display and were soundly beaten by Inverness CT in the Highlands today.

    After an encouraging and welcome win over Dundee United, hopes were that ‘Well would be able to build, but in truth, Kenny Black’s side failed to get out of first gear for the whole ninety minutes.

    The home side had taken the lead in the 29th minute when Billy McKay ran clear of the Motherwell defence, but the managerless Steelmen levelled just two minutes later through Henrik Ojamaa.

    But Caley Thistle displayed more of the qualities that see them share top spot in the second half as they went back ahead through Marley Watkins close-range header on 70 minutes before Josh Meekings secured the points eight minutes later as he slid in to meet a corner-kick at the back post.

    Black named an unchanged side from the one which defeated Dundee United 1-0 in their last outing, while Caley boss John Hughes welcomed back impressive youngster Ryan Christie into his starting eleven.

    The early stages of the match were fairly uneventful, with Caley seeing most of the ball but with side creating anything of note until the 24th minute when Greg Tansey’s 30-yard free-kick sailed just wide of the post.

    But five minutes later Billy McKay put the home side ahead after being sent clear on the right by Ryan Christie and he finished coolly beyond Dan Twardzik in the Motherwell goal.

    That sparked the game into life – and just two minutes after going ahead, Caley were pegged back to level terms by Ojamaa after the Estonian got on the end of a John Sutton cutback before keeping his composure to blast the ball beyond Dean Brill. It perhaps wasn’t merited, but the visitors would very much take it.

    Ryan Christie almost put Caley back ahead with half-time beckoning, but he was denied by a tremendous Twardzik save to keep the scores level.

    Inverness began the second half well and should have retaken the lead inside two minutes of the restart as the usually deadly McKay again broke clear before rounding Twardzik, but his shot, albeit from an angle, was high over the goal.

    The Northern Irishman wasted yet another chance when he lofted a ball over the bar from just inside the area after escaping the attentions of Craig Reid. The home side kept plugging away however, and they were rewarded with 20 minutes left when Graeme Shinnie sent a ball into the box and it was headed home from close-range by Marley Watkins.

    And on 78 minutes, the points were secured as Josh Meekings got himself on the end of a Tansey corner at the back post to make the game safe.

    There should have been even more for the vast majority of the 3,037 crowd to cheer as Watkins hit the bar from just six yards out after Caley broke at pace and substitute Aaron Doran played him in.

    However, the final whistle signalled a thoroughly merited victory for the home side against a Steelmen side who frustratingly failed to cause the home defence any problems at all.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Ally Reilly at the Caledonian Stadium

    FT: inverness CT 3 – 1 Motherwell #ICTFCvMFC

    91mins: ‘Well get a free-kick 25 yards out which Vigurs fires straight into the wall #ICTFCvMFC

    3 minutes added on #ICTFCvMFC

    84mins: Final ICT change, McKay off for Ibra Sekajja #ICTFCvMFC

    81mins: Off the bar by Watkins! ICT break and the cross found Watkins free at the back post.Should have made it 4. #ICTFCvMFC

    80mins: Vigurs is then booked for hauling Ross down as Caley broke #ICTFCvMFC

    79mins: Doran is booked for a tackle from behind on Vigurs #ICTFCvMFC

    76mins: GOAL! Meekings pokes home from a corner to make it 3-1 #ICTFCvMFC

    75mins: ICT sub, Christie off for Ross #ICTFCvMFC

    73mins: Twardzik reads Watkins’ cross/shot well and manages to gather it in. McKay was lurking #ICTFCvMFC

    72mins Motherwell sub, Ramsden makes way for Erwin #ICTFCvMFC

    70mins: GOAL! Watkins makes it 2-1 tapping home from close range #ICTFCvMFC

    69mins: Raven’s ball into the box is half-cleared to Christie who whips it well over #ICTFCvMFC

    65mins: ICT sub, Doran on for VIncent #ICTFCvMFC

    63mins: Another good save from Twardzik, this time diving low to his left to beat away Watkins’ curling effort #ICTFCvMFC

    59mins: ICT get the break of the in the middle of the field and counter quickly, Christie slid in McKay who curls it just over #ICTFCvMFC

    56mins: Motherwell sub, Ainsworth makes way for Law #ICTFCvMFC

    53mins: Long range shot form Christie but it’s pretty harmless and Twardzik gathers with ease #ICTFCvMFC

    47mins: Incredible chance! McKay skip past Twardzik but somehow, with all the goal to aim for, he scoops the ball well over from 12 yards

    Teams are back out for part two. Watkins and McKay kick-off #ICTFCvMFC

    Half-time in the Highlands and it’s 1-1. ICT largely in charge but could only hold their lead for 2 minutes. #ICTFCvMFC

    HT: Inverness CT 1 – 1 Motherwell #ICTFCvMFC

    44mins: Tansey’s left-footed shot from 22 yards is thankfully deflected just wide of the left-hand post #ICTFCvMFC

    41mins: What a save by Twardzik! Christie cut in from the left and fired it towards the bottom corner but Dan gets down to it! #ICTFCvMFC

    40mins: Entering the final 5 minutes of the first half. Still 1-1, perhaps luckily so for The Steelmen but we’ll take it #ICTFCvMFC

    34mins: Ainsworth is very nearly played through by Ramsden but Brill gets off his line sharply and sweeps it clear #ICTFCvMFC

    31mins: Unbelievable! Ojamaa hammers home Sutton’s cutback to make it 1-1 with our first venture into the ICT box #ICTFCvMFC!

    GGOOOAAALLLLL!!!

    29mins: GOAL! That’s been coming. McKay is slid through 1v1 and he isn’t going to pass that one up, slotting it past Twardzik to make it 1-0

    23mins: Closest chance so far for ICT. A great free-kick from Tansey flashes inches wide of Twardzik’s right-hand post #ICTFCvMFC

    …McKay heads just wide at teh back post #ICTFCvMFC

    21mins: ICT turning the screw. Only a last-ditch interception from Kerr prevented Watkins a clear scoring opportunity then seconds later..

    20mins: Williams finds an opening on the edge of the box but his attempt on goal is poor, blazing it well over the bar #ICTFCvMFC

    18mins: Mistimed tackle by Lasley in centre of the park, maybe lucky to escape a booking #ICTFCvMFC

    …has the sting taken out of it by McManus allowing Twardzik to gather easily. ICT have had the best of the opening exchanges #ICTFCvMFC

    15mins: Slack midfielding from ‘Well allows Shinnie some space to get down the left wing and deliver a cross to Watkins, whose header…

    12mins: Christie whips a good ball into the box but Kerr cooly nods it back to Twardizk with Watkins lurking #ICTFCvMFC

    11mins: Second corner of the game for ICT but there’s no takers for Tansey’s back-post ball #ICTFCvMFC

    10mins: Neat spell of passing there from ICT but Vincent over-hits his through ball to McKay and it goes out for a goal-kick #ICTFCvMFC

    7mins: Christie jinks forward and slides in Watkins on the left wing but his floated cross is easily gathered by Twardzik #ICTFCvMFC

    3mins: ICT win the first corner of the match. They work it short and Tansey delivers, straight to McManus who heads clear #ICTFCvMFC

    Lasley and Ojamaa kick off the action #COYW #ICTFCvMFC

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell caretaker manager Kenny Black:

    “I don’t think the team gave enough in the 90 minutes and 3-1 flattered us.

    “It could have been more and as much as I enjoyed the game against Dundee United a fortnight ago it was the total opposite today.

    “It wasn’t good enough – simple as that. I didn’t think we caused Inverness any problems at all and at times it was like some of our players had never seen a ball before.

    “The better team won on the day. I thought they were far better, far brighter and they passed the ball better than we did.

    “You are looking to try to cause them problems, and our only attack in the first half resulted in the goal – and it was probably the only time we strung three or four passes together.

    “It was hard work watching that today and I feel for the supporters that travelled up. They showed a lot more enthusiasm than some of our lads.”

    Inverness CT manager John Hughes:

    “We knew that coming off a win the other week they would be galvanised and they would have that siege mentality.

    “In the first half it was a wee bit sticky and it took us a while to break the game down.

    “We didn’t really get started until we changed the shape and made a few substitutions, but after that we played well and dominated the football. I’m delighted we picked up the three points.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”209″]

  • Archive

    TV: Black expects Highland tester

    Kenny Black expects another tough test as ‘Well once again go toe-to-toe with SPFL Premiership high-fliers.

    Two weeks ago, the caretaker boss, who five days previous picked up the reigns from the departed Stuart McCall, locked horns with then top-of-the-table Dundee United, running out 1-0 winners thanks to Iain Vigurs’ goal.

    The job doesn’t get any easier for Black, with joint leaders Inverness CT next up on their own patch.

    But whilst the former Steelmen midfielder concedes his side has a tough match ahead against a team who haven’t lost at home all season, he insists the squad travel north with optimism after that excellent result against the Terrors.

    Speak to the broadcast press at Motherwell’s pre-match news conference, the 50-year old said: “Going up to Inverness is never easy at the best of times, they’re playing with a lot of confidence and consistency, which makes the job really tough.

    “They’ve benefited from Big Yogi (John Hughes) having a summer with them and you can see them starting to reap the rewards from that.

    “They’ve also managed to keep virtually the same starting eleven for most games this season, that has helped them win games which breeds confidence.

    “From our point of view, we’re going there to give it our best shot. “

    [pullquote]Going up to Inverness is never easy at the best of times, they’re playing with a lot of confidence and consistency, which makes the job really tough.[/pullquote]

    Black is also hopeful the players will respond to a slightly calmer week that the turbulent few days leading to the match against United.

    “The week leading up to the Dundee United game was a difficult one for us all,” he admitted.

    “We have had a couple of weeks now to digest that and we know exactly what is required now.

    “The commitment was what I was happy with against Dundee United. They are totally focused. They realise they have to continue put in these performances.

    “We don’t know what is going to happen, a new manager or a new owner is going to come in, whatever. However, we will be professional as we can be and concentrate completely on the job at hand.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: Lasley’s focus is on the field

    Skipper Keith Lasley is adamant events off the field will have no negative effect on the team.

    Former boss Stuart McCall resigned prior to the Dundee United match after almost four years at the helm at Fir Park.

    The club announced at the start of this week that it has been agreed to delay the appointment of a new manager until the issue of ongoing ownership of the club is resolved and that Kenny Black would continue on as Caretaker.

    That gave some clarity to all concerned and although the new appointment is not far off, experienced Captain Lasley insists it won’t impact at all and the players remain firmly behind Black on the quest for more victories.

    “As players we can’t control anything behind the scenes; a takeover and the management situation,” he told the press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference.

    [pullquote]What we can do is go out there and put on a performance like we did against Dundee United. We spoke about it as players, all we can control is out on that park at three o’clock on a Saturday.[/pullquote]

    “There is a little bit of uncertainty around the club, but we will try to provide a bit of certainty on the park at least to try to get as many good results until things are resolved.

    “Initially the week Stuart left was a difficult week, it was an unexpected turn of events.

    “We made a point of speaking as players and saying that it’s football – bad people come and go for different reasons, but good people come and go as well.

    “But it’s what inside the dressing room that counts. All we can do is stick together and do what we can on the pitch. The performance against Dundee United hopefully showed that we are all behind Kenny.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Leitch on the road to recovery

    Jack Leitch says he will use Craig Moore as motivation as he battles back from his cruciate ligament surgery.

    The 19-year old, who has featured 18 times for the Fir Park first-team, ruptured his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) against St Johnstone Under 20s at McDiarmid Park just over three weeks ago.

    Orthopedic surgeon at Ross Hall hospital in Glasgow, Professor Gordon Mackay, has developed an innovative new procedure, the internal brace, designed to stabilise the internal joint, thus allowing tissue to recover without traumatic and invasive surgery.

    Early results were extremely positive and in May of this year, Leitch’s teammate Craig Moore became the first pro footballer anywhere in the world to undergo the new technique.

    The results were staggering – Moore was back available for selection just eighteen weeks later and it would’ve been even quicker but for a minor unrelated rehab setback.

    Now Leitch, son of club legend and current Academy Director Scott, has undergone a similar operation and hopes to use Moore as his inspiration.

    Speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, the midfielder said: “Obviously no-one likes to get injured, but I am feeling upbeat about things.

    “The surgery has gone well and to plan, and I can’t wait to start the recovery process now.

    [pullquote]I can definitely draw inspiration from Moorey. He did fantastically well to get back so quickly and but for a setback, he would’ve been back a few weeks ago.[/pullquote]

    “He worked extremely hard and I need to follow that lead, mirror what he did and hopefully get the same results.”

    It was an innocuous incident at a rain-soaked McDiarmid Park that actually caused the trauma.

    Seconds after the whistle had blown to start the second half of a Under 20s game ‘Well eventually ran out 0-1 winners, Leitch went in to challenge near his own corner flag.

    However, the fall was awkward and the screams alerted to something serious, as did the universal sign of a serious injury, when a stricken player lies virtually motionless, but for a single arm raised towards the bench.

    He was carried off and within days, after the swelling had subsided, he was in Glasgow for a scan to reveal the extent of the damage.

    “It’s an unusual one,” he said, with a calm assurance.

    “Craig (Moore) did his ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) but my problem was around the back, the PCL, and the surgeon said it wasn’t a usual football injury, but something more common in snow boarding or car accidents.

    “This is probably the first major injury I’ve had to deal with so it will probably test my character a little bit, but I am sure I will be strong enough to come through it.

    “I will now work with Adam Stokes, who is a fantastic physiotherapist, and try and use the time to improve my overall fitness. I am absolutely targeting to be back as soon as possible and want to play as much a part of the current season as possible.”

  • Archive

    TV: Reid hopes for positive break

    Craig Reid hopes the International break will prove a help, not a hindrance, as his side prepare to meet Inverness on Saturday.

    Managerless ‘Well edged out then table-toppers Dundee United at Fir Park thirteen days ago, before the International break for Scotland to take on both the Republic of Ireland and England.

    And whilst Reid admits the preference would have been to get more games in thick and fast, the time away did allow the squad to clear their heads after a turbulent week in the lead up to that game against Jackie McNamara’s side.

    The 28-year old former Celtic man will take his place in the squad that heads to Inverness tomorrow and although he concedes another mightily tough game lies in wait, says the Steelmen travel north looking for maximum points.

    [pullquote]It’ll be another hard game, but we’ll get stuck in. We’ve got a fairly decent record up there so we go to Inverness looking for the three points, trying to build on the win in the previous match.[/pullquote]

    Speaking at the Tesco Bank Football Challenge, held at the Ravenscraig Sports Facility this afternoon, the defender said: “The (International) break maybe came at the wrong time, as we were desperate to take the momentum into the next game.

    “In saying that, there was a lot happening off the pitch with the manager leaving, so it might have helped to clear some of those cobwebs away as well as work on some things with Kenny Black on the training ground.

    “We’ve been fully focused on this Saturday’s game against a good Inverness side. They are up at the top of the table on merit, they play football the right way and we seen from the game at Fir Park, when they won 0-2, we struggled to get the ball off them.

    “It’ll be another hard game, but we’ll get stuck in. We’ve got a fairly decent record up there so we go to Inverness looking for the three points, trying to build on the win in the previous match.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Tesco Bank Football Challenge

    Today (Thursday 20th November), local primary school children from across Motherwell had a brilliant morning of football, as the Tesco Bank Football Challenge visited the area for an action packed festival at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, attended by Craig Reid.

    Pupils from 10 schools are the latest to have taken part in six weeks of coaching with qualified Scottish FA coaches, before participating in regional festivals across the country, many of which are held at high-profile venues including St Mirren Park, Rugby Park, and Tynecastle Stadium. A national festival at Hampden Park brings the school year of football to a memorable close.

    The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is an eight-year community programme run in partnership with the Scottish FA. The initiative introduces football to Primary Two and Primary Three children (six to eight years old) across Scotland to help get them engage in a healthy and active lifestyle.

    The last four years of the programme have been an overwhelming success, with over 82,000 children across more that 2000 primary schools in Scotland taking part. The next four years will focus on continuing to grow participation.

    A new objective between Tesco Bank and the Scottish FA will ensure relationships are built and strengthened between schools and football clubs so that there is a clear way for pupils to progress and build on their enjoyment of playing football.

    To that end, the Scottish FA and Tesco Bank will announce significant further developments to the programme in 2015.

    Teachers and volunteers continue to enjoy the Scottish FA’s in-service programme with over 3,500 now trained to support the growth of football in schools.

    Scottish FA Football Development Officer Stephen Hamilton said: “Our coaches have been with these children over the last six weeks and it has been great to see them improve. What better way to celebrate their Tesco Bank Football Challenge success than by meeting Motherwell star Craig Reid.”

    Adele Mills, Community Investment Manager at Tesco Bank, added: “The Tesco Bank Football Challenge has had a successful four years with over 82,000 children across Scotland benefiting. Now our new partnership has been finalised we can look forward to another four years of promoting health and wellbeing to youngsters through fun filled festivals like the one at Ravenscraig today.”

    The primary schools attending the festival were: Sacred Heart PS, Ladywell PS, Netherton PS, St Thomas’ PS, St Theresa’s PS, Berryhill PS, Clencrian PS, Logans PS, Muir Street PS, and New Mains PS

  • Archive

    Cummins set for Ayr United loan

    Adam Cummins has joined Scottish League One side Ayr United on a temporary 30-day loan.

    The Liverpudlian hasn’t featured in the first team at Fir Park for almost a year.

    He spent the first half of 2014 on loan at Dundee and injury setbacks have curtailed his efforts at the start of the 2014/15 campaign.

    However, the former Everton Academy graduate came through a full ninety minutes and impressed against Celtic Under 20s last Monday and will now head for Sommerset Park looking for some game time.

    The 21-year old, who has played for ‘Well in both the Champions League against Panathinaikos and the Europa League against Levante U.D, has featured 33 times in Claret and Amber, scoring once.

    [pullquote]It’s been a hugely frustrating time for me of late, so I am looking forward to going out on loan and, hopefully, playing some games.[/pullquote]

    He told motherwellfc.co.uk: “It’s been a hugely frustrating time for me of late, so I am looking forward to going out on loan and, hopefully, playing some games.

    “I am looking forward to the challenge that playing for Ayr United will bring. They are only a few points off a play-off spot, so if I can help in any way, that’ll work for everyone.

    “I know a few of the lads there already like Dale Shirkie, Nicky Devlin and Craig Beattie, so I hope it won’t take long for me to settle in.

    “Most importantly though is that I get back to playing regular football on a Saturday and get as sharp as I can be.”

    Adam signed all the relevant paperwork this morning and, subject to the normal registration formalities, will join in time for the weekend’s match with Forfar at Station Park.

  • Archive

    Away Day Guide: vs Inverness CT

    The Caledonian Stadium

    Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club

    Inverness CTThe Caledonian Stadium
    East Longman
    Inverness

    Tel: 01463 222880
    Web: www.ictfc.com
    Opened: 1996
    Capacity: 7,800

    Sat Nav: IV1 1FF
    Distance from Fir Park: 173.3 miles (3 hr 46 mins)

    Tickets

    ADULTS:   £21  
    CONCESSIONS:                       £16
    UNDER 16s:   £10
    • Concessions are listed as Over 65s and young adults aged between 16 and 25.
    • 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 in the Longman area of Inverness, next to the Kessock Bridge, and so is very easy to find.

    Head towards Perth on the M9 and take the first exit at Broxden roundabaout on to the A9. Then take the second exit at Inveraimond roundabout (signposted Inverness).

    Continue on the A9 towards Inverness and take the third exit at Longman roundabout. The stadium will be clearly visible on the left.

    Parking is available for visiting fans behind the South Stand, priced at just £1.00 per car.

    Supporters Association

    The Central Branch will run a bus that leaves the Bentley Hotel at 9.30am. To book seats, contact Jim on 01698 299650 or tweet Christopher Hutton

    By bus

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

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

    By train

    Inverness station is served by trains from Glasgow and is within walking distance of the ground.

    Upon leaving the station, follow the signs for the car park and bus station. Cross through the car park, keeping the bus station on your left and on your right you can see a bridge crossing the railway line. Go across the bridge and then continue straight ahead along Longman Road. Eventually you will reach the stadium on your left.

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

    [mappress]
  • Archive

    Madden’s in charge against Inverness

    Referee for this Saturday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Inverness CT at the Caledonian Stadium is Bobby Madden.

    The match will be Bobby’s second in charge of the Steelmen this campaign, the other being the disappointing 3-1 defeat at Firhill when Lionel Ainsworth’s wonder strike proved no more than a consolation against Alan Archibald’s team.

    Madden is becoming an altogether more recognised face in Scottish football as he works his way to the top and ‘Well fans will be familiar given he handled five matches last term.

    The first was the SPFL opener against Hibs at Easter Road, Henri Anier coming off the bench to net the winner on his league debut.

    The second was the 3-1 win over Ross County back in September when the Fir Parkers came back from a goal down to win courtesy of goals from Bob McHugh and a John Sutton double.

    The third was the 3-0 defeat at Celtic Park, when a Kris Commons double and a McManus own-goal handed Celtic all three points.

    The fourth was also a loss, 3-1 at Tannadice in February when John Sutton’s second half penalty wasn’t enough to take any points.

    The last was another disappointing defeat, a 1-2 home reverse against Kilmarnock in late March when Craig Slater’s 94th minute winner inflicted Motherwell’s first home defeat of 2014.

    His overall record in charge of the Steelmen reads four wins; five defeats and one draw from ten games. The Fir Parkers have netted 19 times, and conceded 18. In those ten games, he has booked 20 players, ten of those cautions flashed at players wearing Claret and Amber.

    Only one player has been sent for an early shower, Anthony Stokes for a lunging tackle on Keith Lasley at Celtic Park last season.

    The whistler has already been extremely busy this campaign, with hectic domestic duties topped up with games in the Europa League with FC Zürich’s home fixture against Spartak Trnava as well as the Group Stage game between PSV Eindhoven and Estoril and Sevilla versus Standard Liège.

    In addition, he handled the UEFA Champions League qualifier between Red Bull Salzburg and Azerbaijani side Qarabağ Ağdam FK as well as the UEFA 2016 European Championship qualifier between Latvia and Turkey last month.

    Bobby will be ably assisted by Graham Chambers and Douglas Ross with Mat Northcroft on fourth official duties. Referee observer is Bill Machray with Jim Neill as SPFL Delegate.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Extended highlights from Fir Park as a goal in each half from Dom Thomas gives ‘Well U20s a win against Champions Celtic.

    MFC TV