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    St Mirren 0 – 1 Motherwell

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    TV: Lasley wants vital win

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    TV: Baraclough excited by Saints opener

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    Muir in charge against St Mirren

  • Archive

    Carve the tunnel in Claret

  • Archive

    Annual calendar signing event

  • Archive

    Forthcoming away games: Ticket information

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

  • Archive

    Motherwell U20s 0 – 1 Falkirk U20s

  • Archive

    U20s face Falkirk tonight

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    St Mirren 0 – 1 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

     Phil McGhee at St Mirren Park

    Ian Baraclough’s first game in charge of the Fir Park side ended with a crucial victory over near rivals St Mirren in Paisley.

    And for the second time this season a solitary goal, this time from John Sutton 18 minutes from time, was enough to give ‘Well all three points.

    It wasn’t a memorable display from Motherwell, especially as Saints were down to ten men for over 70 minutes, but the new ‘Well gaffer won’t mind as his tenure kicked off with a massively important win.

    ‘Well made two changes from the side which had to settle for a point against Ross County last week.

    Lionel Ainsworth started having replaced Iain Vigurs at half time last week, while Craig Reid, back from injury, filled in at left back.

    And both of them were involved in the first ‘Well threat after five minutes, Keith Lasley firing wide after shots from Ainsworth and Craig were blocked.

    Three minutes later Josh Law had a chance inside the Saints box but he headed the ball wide of goal.

    The game changed dramatically after 18 minutes when Saints` captain Steven Thompson was shown a straight red for a high challenge on Mark O’Brien.

    For the remainder of the first half the ‘Well centre back was booed by the home fans. And after he was booked three minutes before the break Baraclough felt it wiser to leave O’Brien, with a head injury, in the dressing room at half-time.

    Ten man Saints had the better chances in the first half and from two corners, Jim Goodwin forced the first save from Dan Twardzik before Law helped out his ‘keeper by clearing a Kenny McLean effort off the line.

    With Fraser Kerr replacing O’Brien and Lee Erwin on for David Ferguson, the Motherwell goal had an amazing escape in the 47th minute. From yet another corner McLean’s header sent the ball crashing down off the crossbar but as the Buddies celebrated the opener, Law booted the ball off the line as referee Alan Muir waved play on.

    Six minutes later the Fir Park side came within inches of taking the lead. Erwin swept a cross low into the six yard box only to elude John Sutton’s outstretched boot.

    There was little else of note until the 72nd minute when ‘Well grabbed the winner with a quite superb team goal. From the left Henrik Ojamaa set off on a strong cross-field run before releasing a wonderful pass in behind the Saints defence. Law, who had a good second half pushing forward from full back, whipped a terrific ball into the six yard box leaving Sutton to guide it over the line.

    Dom Thomas was rewarded for his under 20 performances, coming on for Ainsworth with five minutes remaining.

    The Fir park defence, with Stephen McManus commanding comfortably held out. The only threat came four minutes into injury time when Twadzik made his first real save palming down McLean’s free kick before diving to smother the ball, securing a precious three points and give the ‘Well fans for a very merry Christmas and hope for the upcoming games.

    It certainly wasn’t vintage Motherwell, but Baraclough will be satisfied some of his ideas look to be taking root.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Ally Reilly at St Mirren Park

    A vital three points for The Steelmen!

    FT: St Mirren 0 – 1 Motherwell! #SMFCvMFC

    ..Twardzik gathers at the second attempt! Phew! #SMFCvMFC

    93mins: Free-kick to Saints in a dangerous position….

    91mins: Saints win a corner, which is headed wide by Goodwin #SMFCvMFC

    Into added on time. 4 minutes left. #SMFCvMFC

    89mins: Reid is booked for high feet. Ball was there to be won, though #SMFCvMFC

    84mins: St Mirren sub, Osbourne off for Reilly and for Motherwell, Thomas on for Ainsworth #SMFCvMFC

    83mins: St Mirren sub, McGinn off for Ball #SMFCvMFC

    79mins: Ainsworth’s shot is deflected for a corner. From his delivery, Ridgers gathers easily. #SMFCvMFC

    78mins: St Mirren sub, McLear off for Wylde. #SMFCvMFC

    72mins: Lovely passing move from Ojamaa and Law sets up Sutton who slides it home from 6 yards. 1-0 to ‘Well! #SMFCvMFC

    GGGOOOAALLLL!!!

    68mins: Great first touch from McLean from Ridgers punt gives him a bit of space. Opts to shoot from distance but never troubles Twardzik

    55mins: Great ball in from Erwin from the right wing which eludes Sutton by inches. #SMFCvMFC

    51mins: Bizarre penalty shouts there from the St Mirren fans. As fair a tackle as you’ll see, surely!? #SMFCvMFC

    47mins: Drama! Saints convinced they had scored after McAusland’s header bounced of the bar and line twice. Ref/linesman say no! #SMFCvMFC

    Teams are back out for the second half. 2 ‘Well subs, Erwin and Kerr on for Ferguson and O’Brien #SMFCvMFC

    HT: St Mirren 0 – 0 Motherwell #SMFCvMFC

    42mins: O’Brien is booked, presumably for climbing on McLean #SMFCvMFC

    40mins: Naismith is booked for dissent. Needless, really, as it was clearly a Motherwell ball. #SMFCvMFC

    39mins: Deep cross from Reid finds Law unmarked. He controls it on his chest and volleys it but it is straight at Ridgers. Still 0-0.

    30mins: Naismith forces another Saints corner, McAusland’s header is well saved by Twardzik! #SMFCvMFC

    27mins: St Mirren corner falls to Goodwin at the back post. He gets his shot on target but it’s comfortable for Twardzik to gather #SMFCvMFC

    25mins: McLear dribbles forward and with no options ahead of him, opts too shoot but it’s well over from the St Mirren debutant #SMFCvMFC

    18mins: O’Brien is down injured. On first look, hard to tell how bad the tackle really was. Saints down to 10 men.

    18mins: RED CARD! Thompson is given his marching orders for a tackle on O’Brien…

    10mins: The ‘Well defence switch off completely allowing Naismith in behind. Thankfully the angle is too narrow for him to trouble Twardzik.

    8mins: Sutton chases what looked like a lost cause and crosses to the edge of the box. Law can only head it and it goes well wide #SMFCvMFC

    6mins: First corner of the game for St Mirren. Mallan delivers, Ferguson hooks well clear #SMFCvMFC

    6mins: Decent chance there as the ball broke to Lasley 20 yards out. Doesn’t connect cleanly enough and it goes harmlessly wide. #SMFCvMFC

    St Mirren kick the game off. COYW! #SMFCvMFC

    Here come the teams, usual colours for both sides. Almost ready to start the Baraclough era. #SMFCvMFC

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell  manager Ian Baraclough:

    It’s credit to the concentration and the work-rate of the players that they have gone and got themselves the three points.

    “It’s never easy against 10 men, and speaking to a few people from St Mirren, they probably raised their game and it shows you that when the odds are against you just what a team can do. But we had to move the ball quickly, smartly and be patient as well until we found a chink in their armour with a fantastic goal.

    “I don’t think there will be too many better goals scored this weekend. It was a great team goal and I’m delighted for the players.

    “I thought we were a little timid – and that’s why we made a couple of changes at half-time to try and put them on the back foot a little more, and we managed to get the crucial goal.”

    St Mirren caretaker manager Gary Teale:

    “I’m extremely proud. The boys gave me everything but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. It was just one wee lapse of concentration. We’d been so resolute and dogged in keeping to the shape we obviously had to go to after the sending off but that one wee lapse has cost us.

    “For desire, effort and everything I asked of them before the game I can’t ask for any more.

    “We made it very difficult for them to break through us. They’ve got players that can go and hurt us, like Lionel Ainsworth and Ojamaa, and if you give them the space, especially when you go down to 10 men, they’ll find areas where they can really get at us.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”213″]

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    TV: Lasley wants vital win

    Keith Lasley acknowledges Saturday’s match with Saints will be big for a squad of players looking to get their season going.

    The Steelmen have struggled to come close to the success of last season, sitting in tenth place with just eleven points.

    The Fir Parkers have been boosted this week with the arrival of new boss Ian Baraclough, and it’s easy to sense a lift in spirits now the club has some clarity on the managerial front.

    And the experienced skipper is hopeful it will be ‘Well who can look forward to upcoming games with the confidence of an away win.

    [pullquote]Hopefully it’ll be a good atmosphere, hopefully we have a good travelling support and it is us who can take the three points into the Christmas period.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the gathered press, the 35-year old said: “We looked at this period before and you see Ross County, St Mirren and Partick Thistle, then a derby against Hamilton.

    “Those are big games for us with most of them being in and around us in the league. That dreaded ‘six pointer’ cliché will no doubt come in to play. This was always likely to be a big game for both teams, given our start to the season, and it obviously has that little bit more spice with different management teams from when the last time we met.

    “We’re in no doubt Gary Teale will get them going. I heard him speak very well during the week about how this is his chance to impress the St Mirren board. We know what to expect, but we’re also looking forward to trying to stamp our own authority on the match.

    “Hopefully it’ll be a good atmosphere, hopefully we have a good travelling support and it is us who can take the three points into the Christmas period.”

    MFC TV

     

  • Archive

    TV: Baraclough excited by Saints opener

    New Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough spoke of his excitement as he prepares to lead the Steelmen for the first time tomorrow.

    The former Scunthorpe and Sligo Rovers boss officially took charge on Monday and has worked on the training pitch with the players all week.

    And the 44-year old has seen enough to give him confidence ahead of the match and says he and his side travel to Paisley in a buoyant mood, looking to take all three points.

    Speaking to the Broadcast press at Motherwell’s pre-match news conference, Baraclough said: “The week has gone so quickly, I don’t know where it has gone in actual fact.

    “All of a sudden it’s Friday afternoon, we’ve got matchday tomorrow and there’s an excitement in my stomach for sure; I can’t wait.

    [pullquote]I’ve picked a side full off energy, is technically good with strength in good areas. We’re going there confident and really looking forward to it.[/pullquote]

    “We have had a real good week’s training. It has been lively, the tempo has been good and the quality has certainly been good. I can only judge it on what I see, but I can’t understand how we are on so few points after this amount of games and the quicker we start climbing the table, the better.

    “I’ve not looked at tomorrow’s game as two teams in the bottom three. For me, it’s more measured. It’s all about setting things in stone for players, giving them guidance, giving them roles and responsibilities. We’ve gone through last week’s game, and how we can improve.

    “Yes, we have pointers on St Mirren but my focus is always on how we play and the focus for us is going there to get three points. I’ve picked a side full off energy, is technically good with strength in good areas. We’re going there confident and really looking forward to it.”

    MFC TV

     

  • Archive

    Muir in charge against St Mirren

    Referee for this Saturday’s SPFL Premiership clash with St Mirren at St Mirren Park is Alan Muir.

    It will be Muir’s second Motherwell game of the campaign and, indeed, only his third in charge of the Steelmen over the last 23 months.

    The one earlier this season was the disappointing 0-1 home defeat to St Johnstone, when a late Brian Graham header secured all three points for the Perth side.

    The other in that almost two-year run was a 2-0 win against Inverness last March, Lionel Ainsworth and John Sutton getting the goals that fired the Fir Parkers into second.

    Despite this, the 38-year old will be a familiar face to Fir Park fans after taking charge of two matches the 2012/13 season.

    The first was the league opener at Ross County as the Steelmen played out an uneventful 0-0 draw with the then league’s new boys.

    His other was a 1-0 home defeat by Dundee United in November 2012, a late Johnny Russell header giving Peter Houston’s side all three points.

    He also handled five matches the previous season (2011/12). It started with Celtic’s 4-0 win in early September 2011, then a 1-0 win over Aberdeen, Bob McHugh scoring the winning goal some fourteen days later.

    The third was a resounding 3-0 victory of St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park before Dunfermline were swept aside 3-1 at Fir Park in a re-arranged game from Boxing Day.

    The last that season was when Motherwell memorably beat Hearts 3-0 on their way to securing third in the SPL.

    His overall record in charge of Motherwell is pretty mixed. The Steelmen have won eight, draw four and lost seven from nineteen games. ‘Well have netted 23 times whilst conceding 27.

    In all those games he has produced 55 yellow cards, 27 of which were shown to a player in claret and amber, and four red cards. (Paul Quinn, Michael Higdon, Stephen Craigan and Keith Lasley).

    Alan will be ably assisted on the day by Willie Conquer and Mark McLean with Craig Charleston on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    Carve the tunnel in Claret

    Motherwell FC is pleased to announce a new product which will make the perfect Christmas present for any ‘Well fan in your life.

    In the final few moments before a crucial game, footballers face a tense wait as they psyche themselves up for the 90 minutes of battle ahead.

    Now the Steelmen are to have some extra help achieving a winning frame of mind – with a wall of support and memory to inspire players set to be unveiled in the tunnel at Fir Park Stadium.

    Amongst other improvements, the plan will see the drab walls of the current passage leading from the dressing room to the pitch transformed in to a motivational tile mosaic featuring messages of support or memories of fans past and present.

    Each white tile will be 25x20cm in size and will carry your own personal message or memory (A maximum of four rows, with a 16 character limit per row) and the Motherwell logo, carved in claret for all time.

    You’ll also receive your official certificate of authenticity at the point of sale, followed by a letter offering a choice of dates for you to come along and visit the tunnel to see your special message in place.

    The price for this memento is just £25.

    If you want to be amongst the first to put that special mention in the tunnel and give the players that little bit of extra motivation, contact us on 01698 333333, commercial@motherwellfc.co.uk or buy online now by clicking the link below.

  • Archive

    Annual calendar signing event

    The special pre-Christmas calendar-signing event will take place at Fir Park tonight.

    It’s your chance to meet with your heroes at our annual event, which will take place in the Centenary Suite as usual between 6.30pm and 8pm.

    You can purchase the calendar prior to the event at the ‘Well Shop and take it along with you or you can buy one at the event on the evening.

    And this year, anyone who purchases anything from the ‘Well Shop today will be entered into a free prize draw to win a framed match worn Motherwell strip signed by your favourite player.

    There will also be an option to buy other Christmas gifts, including Tunnel tiles, Flexi-Tickets, vouchers and Cooper Bricks.

  • Archive

    Forthcoming away games: Ticket information

    Tickets for the St Mirren match this Saturday and Hamilton Accies game on New Year’s Day are on sale now from the ticket office.

    Tickets for Saturday’s game can be purchased from the Fir Park Ticket Office until 4pm on Friday. After that, tickets will only be available from the Away ticket booth on Greenhill Road at St Mirren Park.

    Tickets are priced at:

    ADULTS:   £20
    CONCESSIONS:                           £10
    JUVENILE:   £5
    • Concessions are listed as Under 18s, Over 65s and Wheelchair Users
    • Juveniles are listed as Under 12s.
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact Sharon or John McCaskie on 07745494631 / 07711 992161 or email disabledfans@motherwellfc.co.uk.

    Tickets are also now on sale for our New Year’s Day derby with Hamilton Accies at New Douglas Park.

    Fans are advised that, at the moment, this is an all ticket game and it unlikely there will be a cash gate. There is also no overspill area so tickets sold for this game will be purely for the Spice of Life Stand, located behind the goals.

    The prices are as follows:

    ADULTS:   £22
    CONCESSIONS (over 65):                           £10
    JUVENILE (under 18):   £10
  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

    Extended highlights from Excelsior Stadium where Motherwell 20s lost 1-0 to Falkirk.

    MFC TV

     

  • Archive

    Motherwell U20s 0 – 1 Falkirk U20s

    The U20s crashed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Falkirk at a sodden Excelsior Stadium.

    Motherwell arguably created the better chances but fell behind to a Thomas Grant goal and couldn’t find a reply.

    Jonatan Johansson made two changes to his side from his that drew 2-2 with Ross County a fortnight ago, goalkeeper Max Currie dropping out for Ross Stewart and David Ferguson being replaced by Ben Hall.

    ‘Well started the more likely side and almost broke the deadlock in the eighth minute.

    Dom Thomas and Jack McMillan combined well down the left wing to create some space for Steven Higgins who tried the spectacular from 25 yards but his effort flew well wide.

    The young Steelmen continued to press and looked dangerous on the flanks. Again, McMillan worked the ball down the left, fed it into McCall who, with the outside of his boot, wonderfully slid in Higgins who this time was denied by Bowman, who dived low to his left to palm the ball away.

    From the resulting corner, the ball broke to MacLean who shot from an extremely narrow angle on his left foot. He did well to get it on target but Bowman was equal to it, acrobatically tipping over for another corner.

    It took until the half hour mark for Falkirk to try and test Stewart in the Motherwell goal.

    Grant turned and drove at the ‘Well defence and from 30 yard unleashed a great effort with his left foot. It flew just past, although Stewart looked to have it covered.

    This was to prove a warning sign as Falkirk began to come into the match.

    Robbie McNab spun Cadden with a clever pass to Grant deep in midfield. He spotted the run of Shepherd but from an all too narrow angle, all he could find was the side netting.

    Minutes later Dylan Mackin had the ball in the net, but the linesman had already flagged for offside as the big striker had strayed beyond the centre back when looking to get on the end of Watt’s deep ball in. This would be the last action of a largely uninspired first half and a freezing and soaking wet Excelsior Stadium.

    Johansson’s men appeared to come out with some fire in their bellies in the second half and within five minutes had three good chances.

    Firstly the energetic Chris Cadden did well to get to the byline but his deflected cross was eventually dealt with by the Falkirk defence, despite Bowman spilling it.

    A minute later, some Neill did well to find Thomas just inside the Falkirk box. He jinked forward looking to get a shot away before opting to pass to Higgins whose shot was bravely charged down by Eadie.

    From the resulting corner, Mackin rose highest and was unlucky to see his header cleared off the line by Dick, who was well placed to sweep to safety.

    By now it seemed like it was only a matter of time until Motherwell scored but it was The Bairns who took the lead and disappointingly it came from a Motherwell corner.

    Thomas had tried to find Morgyn Neill on the edge of the box Martin got to it first and nodded it to Grant well inside the Falkirk half. He managed to skip past Watt which left only McMillan to deal with O’Hara. The Falkirk man held it up and eventually squared to Grant who, with fifty-four minutes on the click, was left with an easy finish.

    After that, Falkirk sat in and it took ‘Well until the seventieth minute to get another sniff of goal.

    Steven Higgins won a free-kick twenty yard out which Mackin took. He caught it sweetly and, with Bowman beaten, saw it crash off the top side of the bar, a sign that perhaps this wasn’t going to be Motherwell’s night.

    With The Steelmen pushing forward for the equaliser, Falkirk should really have been two goals up. The busy Grant made it look all too easy as he jinked down the left wing before squaring to Shepherd. From eight yards he somehow could only succeed in hitting the post.

    With time ticking away, ‘Well were desperately looking for a leveller and it very nearly came in stoppage time.

    Luke Watt launched a long throw to Mackin who flicked it into the danger area. After a stramash in the middle of the box, the ball fell kindly to substitute Liam Anderson. However he was always off balance and blazed his shot well over the bar.

    Motherwell U20s: Stewart, Watt, McMillan, Hall, Neill, McCall, Cadden, Mackin, Higgins, Thomas, MacLean (Anderson)

    Subs Not Used: Currie, McNulty, Anderson, R. Leitch, Watters

  • Archive

    U20s face Falkirk tonight

    Jonatan Johansson’s Under 20s are in action tonight when they take on Falkirk at The Excelsior Stadium.

    The young Steelmen’s bounced back from 0-2 to draw 2-2 with Ross County a fortnight ago and last week’s game against Partick Thistle was postponed due to bad weather .

    A win could take the Fir Parkers level with tonight’s opposition, albeit Falkirk have a game in hand and they themselves will be keen for three points after their 2-2 draw at home to to Hibs last time out.

    The match takes place tonight (Tuesday 16th December). Kick off is 6pm.