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    Colvin takes charge tomorrow

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    TV: Baraclough plays numbers game

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    TV: Law at home on the flank

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    Twardzik wins monthly award

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    TV: Highlights from Station Park

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    Aberdeen U20s 5 – 1 Motherwell U20s

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    TV: Highlights from St Mirren Park

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    St Mirren win in pictures

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    TV: Baraclough praises ‘Well spirit

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    St Mirren 0 – 1 Motherwell

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    Colvin takes charge tomorrow

    Referee for this Saturday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Partick Thistle at Fir Park is Brian Colvin.

    Brian is a late replacement for Craig Thomson, who was originally scheduled to handle the match but will now be the man in the middle for Hamilton Accies’ match at Kilmarnock.

    It will be Colvin’s third Motherwell fixture of the 2014/15 campaign thus far.

    The first was the controversial point at Celtic Park, when Kris Common’s disputed penalty earned the hosts a point after John Sutton had put the Fir Parkers in front.

    The other was the disappointing 1-3 defeat at home to Dundee, when Henrik Ojamaa’s second-half consolation goal wasn’t enough to stop Paul Hartley’s side running out comfortable winners.

    He also handled two during the 2013/14 season.

    The first was the League Cup Third Round clash at Livingston one year ago. Bob McHugh put the Fir Parkers ahead before James McFadden made it two with a deft back-heel flick. Livi reduced the deficit late into stoppage time but it wasn’t enough as ‘Well progressed to the Quarter Finals with a 2-1 win.

    The other match came three weeks after that success at Almondvale when ‘Well edged out Hearts 2-1 at Fir Park.

    Ryan Stevenson, now at Saturday’s opponents, gave the visitors the lead but Craig Moore scored a cracker on his league debut to level things before Shaun Hutchinson powered home a header to secure all three points.

    It was two ‘Well matches the previous season, too.

    The first was his first ever in charge of the Steelmen – a 3-1 win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. Jamie Murphy had put Motherwell in a commanding lead with two goals before the break. Nicky Law added a third with a cheeky dink over the goalkeeper before Saints pulled one back late on.

    The second was a 2-2 draw with St Mirren at Fir Park. Michael Higdon opened the scoring for the Steelmen only for Connor Newton and Lewis Guy to put the visitors ahead.

    Step forward James McFadden with another piece of brilliance from a dead ball, curling a free kick high past Craig Samson to rescue a point.

    In those six matches, he has produced just nine yellow cards, four of which were flashed at players in Claret and Amber, and one red for Livi’s Jason Talbot for a reckless lunge at Stevie Hammell.

    He will be assisted by Andrew McWilliam and Gordon Crawford with Alan Newlands on 4th Official duty.

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    TV: Baraclough plays numbers game

    Steelmen boss Ian Baraclough has welcomed the sight of more and more of the club’s injured players returning to training.

    A flood of injuries has really hamstrung the Steelmen in recent weeks, with as many as nine players unavailable for last Saturday’s win in Paisley.

    However, with Stevie Hammell, Craig Moore and Zaine Francis-Angol all returning to training, Adam Cummins now back available after his 30-day loan and Simon Ramsden free from suspension, it’s been a busier week at Dalziel Park.

    Baraclough has welcomed the increased numbers and wants to encourage increased competition for starting spots, including the emergence of players from the Under 20s, who are desperate to make the step up.

    [pullquote]I’m pleased to see one or two of the more experienced lads coming back giving us more competition for places, making sure we have good options all over the park.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the broadcast press at Motherwell’s weekly news conference, the Fir Park boss said: “We had five Under 20s on the bench last weekend and one starting in David Ferguson.

    “The youngsters are going through an education process, being involved in matchdays will aid that.

    “I’m pleased to see one or two of the more experienced lads coming back giving us more competition for places, making sure we have good options all over the park. Senior players are important and the likes of Stevie Hammell joining back in training this week has been a big boost.

    “We’ve also had Zaine Francis Angol involved, Craig Moore has rejoined this week, but we won’t rush him back too quickly and Adam Cummins is also back with us after his loan at Ayr United, so it all helps.

    “I want these guys, like Adam, to come in and say: ‘I want to do well and catch the manager’s eye’. I want others to put Stevie Hammell under pressure to say he’s not a shoe in to start again as soon as he’s fit.

    “I want the younger guys like Ferguson and Dom Thomas to be demanding a place because of their performances in training and games. We need that competition, it drives players forward and keeps people on their toes.”

    MFC TV

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    TV: Law at home on the flank

    Josh Law says he is more than comfortable filling in at fullback if the manager wants him to play there.

    The 25-year old arrived from Derbyshire side Alfreton Town in the summer, but signed more as a forward thinking central midfielder.

    However, during Saturday’s 0-1 win at St Mirren Park, boss Ian Baraclough shifted him to the right side of Motherwell’s back four at the half time interval, a position he was able to play a huge part, eventually setting up the winning goal for John Sutton.

    It’s no an unfamiliar role for the Nottingham born player, he spent a full season at right back at his previous club and admits to enjoying the role.

    [pullquote] I actually don’t mind it. From fullback, you get a more expansive look at the game from a little deeper. It maybe gives you a better idea of when you can make runs and when to stay wide.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to the gathered press at ‘Well’s weekly news conference, Law said: “The manager was quick to stress at half-time just exactly what he wanted in the second half and we made some changes.

    “I felt we controlled the game a bit better, got bodies forward and made the pitch a little bigger. A part of that was me moving to right back, a position that isn’t foreign to me given I’ve played there before.

    “I actually played a full season at Alfreton there, and quite a lot when I was younger. I actually don’t mind it. From fullback, you get a more expansive look at the game from a little deeper. It maybe gives you a better idea of when you can make runs and when to stay wide.

    “I enjoy it, but I’ll play wherever the team needs me. The main thing is we’re winning and looking to move up the table as soon as possible.”

    MFC TV

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    Twardzik wins monthly award

    Motherwell club sponsor Cash Converters is delighted to announce that Goalkeeper Dan Twardzik has won the Player of the Month award for November.

    During November ‘Well played three games, and despite being on the losing side twice, Twardzik shone on many occasions, with a particularly memorable display in the Scottish Cup defeat to Dundee Utd where he made save after stunning save to try and keep the Steelmen in the game.

    The Player of the Month is voted for by the ‘Well fans on Cash Converters’ official SPFL Facebook page and Dan was handed the trophy by Kaz Ferguson and her son, Dylan McCristall.

    Look out for the next vote at the end of December to be in with a chance of presenting the award to the winner. Simply visit our Cash Converters SPL Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.

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    TV: Highlights from Station Park

    Extended highlights from Station Park where Motherwell U20s were hammered 5-1 by Aberdeen.

    MFC TV

     

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    Aberdeen U20s 5 – 1 Motherwell U20s

    Motherwell U20s were soundly beaten by Aberdeen in Forfar this afternoon.

    The Dons controlled most of the game and ran out deserved 5-1 winners in a game that turned into the Lawrence Shankland show with the former Queen’s Park man bagging a hat-trick before being controversially sent off.

    Johansson’s youngsters went into the game on the back of a one-nil defeat to Falkirk last week and were looking to bounce back with three points but from the first whistle, it was clear The Steelmen would have a hard task against a dominant Aberdeen.

    It took ten minutes until any real goal-mouth action occured. Monakana pulled a high ball out of the air which set-up Campanile 10 yards out but the lacked composure, lashing at the ball and skewing it into the side netting.

    Motherwell then had Faroese goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen to thank as he pulled off a wonder save to deny Shankland. From six yards his bullet header was sailing in but the big stopper showed great reflexes to palm it over, which left Shankland looking stunned.

    Up the other end, Ben Hall had an incredible chance just 6 yards out from Luke Watt’s inviting free-kick delivery. He should have burst the net but volleyed well over the bar.
    On the half hour mark, Shankland got his first of the game.

    Scott Wright darted forward and as he chopped inside the sliding Morgyn Neill, the ball appeared to strike the centre back on the hand. it looked harsh and certainly wasn’t deliberate. Shankland didn’t care thougb as he cooly slammed the slid the ball past Nielsen.

    Three minutes later it was 2-0.

    Again, it was Shankland on the scoresheet after fine work from Smith on the wing left him with an open goal, an opportunity no striker worth their salt would pass up.
    As half-time approached, ‘Well almost snatched a goal back.

    Erwin threaded the ball though the Ross McLean and he managed to poke it goalwards. With Dylan Mackin screaming for a square pass, the ball harmlessly went into the side-netting and ‘Well went into the interval with it all to do.
    Within five minutes of the restart it was all over.

    Motherwell had a free-kick in the Dons half which was played short to Erwin who had failed to spot Wrighton his shoulder. After dispossessing Erwin, he slid a great through ball to the impressive Smith who grabbed his first of the afternoon, slotting across Nielsen from fifteen yards.

    It was 4-0 two minutes later when Campanile jinked his way to the edge of the box. With seemingly enough cover McNulty’s tackle unfortunately fell into the path of Shankland who prodded the ball home for his hat-trick.
    Motherwell huffed and puffed and pulled a consolation goal back with eighteen minutes remaining.

    Erwin drove at Rose and managed to get into the box where he unleashed an unstoppable shot past Langfield. It was a moment of real quality, which was sadly lacking from the bulk of the ‘Well’s play.
    Hat-trick man Shankland was then involved in a moment of controversy with ten minutes to go. An innocuous looking tussle with Neill ended with a red-card, with the referee ruling he had deliberately used his elbow as he went to win the header.

    It looked somewhat harsh but it didn’t stop Aberdeen adding a fifth when Monakana clipped a high ball over the ‘Well defence. It wasn’t dealt with and Smith raced onto it, cooly finishing past the onrushing Nielsen and completing a miserable afternoon for the young Steelmen.

    Motherwell: Nielsen, McNulty, Watt, Hall, Neill, Cadden, Higgins (McCall) , Erwin, Mackin, Thomas, MacLean (Anderson)

    Unused subs: Currie, McMillan, R. Leitch, Watters, Campbell

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    TV: Highlights from St Mirren Park

    Extended highlights from St Mirren Park where John Sutton fired Motherwell to a 1-0 victory over St Mirren.

    MFC TV

     

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    St Mirren win in pictures

    Action pictures from this afternoon’s 0-1 SPFL Premiership win over St Mirren in Paisley.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”stmirren201214″]

  • Archive

    TV: Baraclough praises ‘Well spirit

    Ian Baraclough praised the spirit his side showed to grind out an important 0-1 win over St Mirren today.

    John Sutton’s strike eighteen minutes from time separated the sides after St Mirren’s experienced skipper Steven Thompson was ordered off early in the first half.

    To their credit, Saints rallied after going down to ten men and make it a difficult afternoon with a high intensity pressing game.

    But ‘Well kept their composure, continued to plug away and eventually got a winner with a stunning team goal.

    It wasn’t a vintage Motherwell showing by any means, but the three points were by far the biggest priority against a team very much in the scrap.

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

    Baraclough said afterwards: “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.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    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″]