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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Partick Thistle win in pictures

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    TV: Baraclough demands more

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    Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle

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    Partick Thistle Magazine Preview

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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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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

     Extended highlights from Fir Park as John Sutton’s penalty gives Motherwell a 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.

    MFC TV

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    Partick Thistle win in pictures

    Action pictures from this afternoon’s 1-0 SPFL Premiership win over Partick Thistle at Fir Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”partickthistle271214″]

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    TV: Baraclough demands more

    Ian Baraclough praised his team’s resilience after they earned a second successive victory – but left them in no doubt that he expects more following a narrow 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.

    Motherwell were well worth their half-time lead after playing some decent football following John Sutton’s 14th-minute penalty, but they were pegged back for the vast majority of the second half at Fir Park.

    However, goalkeeper Dan Twardzik was largely untroubled thanks to some committed defending and home substitute Lee Erwin missed the best chance of the half on the counter-attack.

    Motherwell clung on to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season to give Baraclough a good platform which he is looking to build on.

    “It was hard-earned. It probably wasn’t pretty in the second half but I felt the first-half performance was very good,” Baraclough said. “We created a lot of good chances, good movement, good use of the ball.

    [pullquote]There’s a lot more to come, we are not kidding ourselves that that was the perfect performance because (the) second half was far from it. We have told them that but the players understand that.[/pullquote]

    “The second half was probably the total opposite. Credit to the opposition, they came and had a go. We probably sat back, there was an anxiousness that we are trying to get out of the players. You are not there to protect a lead, go and replicate that first-half performance then you make it a lot easier for yourselves.

    “We got a bit stretched and, when we did win it back, we didn’t use it so well.

    “But you can’t fault the players’ endeavour and will to win, and willingness to throw themselves in front of the ball. I don’t think Dan has actually had to make too many saves.”

    Baraclough started his Motherwell career with a 1-0 win at St Mirren Park and their latest victory moved them three points off the Jags, who sit ninth in the Scottish Premiership.

    “They are good players,” Baraclough said. “You don’t get the positions they have in last three years without having talent. We have tried to organise them and get them to understand their roles and responsibilities and started from scratch again.

    “But there’s a lot more to come, we are not kidding ourselves that that was the perfect performance because (the) second half was far from it. We have told them that but the players understand that.”

    MFC TV

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    Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee Fir Park

    For the second consecutive game, a John Sutton goal was enough to give ‘Well a slender 1-0 win.

    And while Sutton’s penalty after 14 minutes was all that separated the teams, Ian Baraclough would be delighted with his side’s commitment and determination which earned the new manager a dream start to his Fir Park career.

    The ‘Well line-up had a more experienced look about with Stevie Hammell retrurning for his first start since October to add added proficiency to a solid looking defence, which held firm for a second consecutive clean sheet.

    Simon Ramsden, free from suspension, came in to bring a much needed bite and drive from the middle of the park.

    After some early defensive work dealing with acouple of corners from Stuart Brannigan, the Fir Parkers were gifted the lead in their first attack after 13 minutes.

    A swift move ended with Josh Law playing in Lionel Ainsworth at the angle of the box. But as raced past Brannigan, the Thistle defender pulled him back to needlessly concede a penalty. John Sutton showed little sympathy for the visitors as he confidently sent the ‘keeper the wrong way for his third goal in three games.

    The goal unnerved Thistle and for the reminader of the half ‘Well dominated the play.

    Minutes after scoring Sutton might have made it two but after robbing Danny Seaborne at the edge of the box he steered his shot just beyond the post.

    With the home side building in confidence, Henrik Ojamaa tried his luck with a low curling shot from the edge of the box which Paul Gallagher palmed away at full stretch.

    For a spell Ainsworth’s blistering pace gave Brannigan a roasting, and a series of runs and inviting crosses from the winger found no takers in front of goal.
    With the home side playing with a lot more freedom, Craig Reid ventured forward to fire a shot straight at Gallagher.

    It took until injury time for Dan Twardzik to make his first save getting down at his left hand post to force Stephen O’Donnell’s snapshot behind.

    Thistle started the second half in determined fashion and for long spells they put the ‘Well defence under some pressure. Despite have the majority of the possession, the Jags were largely restricted to long range efforts and 20 yard drives from former ‘Well pair Steven Lawless and Kallum Higginbotham sailed wide with little threat to Twardzik’s goal.

    In an attempt to take some pressure off the defence, Lee Erwin replaced Sutton after 74 minutes. With Thistle still looking the more likely to score, Fraser Kerr then took over from Mark O’Brien in the heart of the home defence.

    As the game entered the final 10 minutes the ‘Well players threw themselves into tackles around the box, none better than Keith Lasley who bravely blocked Kris Doolan twice in quick succession.

    With six minutes remaining ‘Well should have killed off the game when Erwin, on a run from the halfway line, held off Conrad Balatoni, but with the goal in his sights the young striker pulled his shot wide of Gallagher’s right hand post.

    And with the home side confidently playing out injury time, a burst upfield and left foot drive from Ojamaa brought a save from Gallagher as ‘Well closed the gap on Thistle to three points.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Ally Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle #MFCvPTFC

    FULL TIME!!

    93mins: Bannigan booked for chopping down Erwin. ‘Well free-kick on the edge of the box #MFCvPTFC

    4 minutes added on.

    88mins: Corner to Thistle…….defended resolutely again by ‘Well. #MFCvPTFC

    87mins: Motherwell sub, Hammell is off for Ferguson #MFCvPTFC

    86mins: Glorious chance for Erwin as he is sent through 1 on 1 but fires wide! #MFCvPTFC

    82mins: Final Partick sub, Eccleston on for Fraser #MFCvPTFC

    ..McManus heads clear. Still 1-0 going into the final 10 mins… #MFCvPTFC

    79mins: Free-kick for Thislte on the edge of the box. Good Area….

    77mins: Second ‘Well sub, O’Brien off for Kerr #MFCvPTFC

    74mins: Motherwell sub, Sutton off for Erwin #MFCvPTFC

    73mins: Half chance for Thistle there as Lawless does well to control a ball that is fizzed into him at the front post. Twardzik gathers.

    70mins: 20 minutes left and you get the feeling there is a goal left in this one…. #MFCvPTFC

    67mins: Partick Thistle sub, Stevenson off for Doolan #MFCvPTFC

    66mins: Great persistence from Ainsworth wins a corner but Thistle head clear and counter. #MFCvPTFC

    61mins: Stevenson booked for dissent. Felt ha should have had a penalty but ref says no. #MFCvPTFC

    57mins: Long range effort from Fraser drifts harmlessly wide. Thistle look dangerous now #MFCvPTFC

    55mins: Partick on top in the opening 10 mins of the second half. ‘Well are pushed in deep #MFCvPTFC

    52mins: Partick sub, Craigen off for Lawless #MFCvPTFC

    51mins: Half chance there as Law reads a Sutton flick-on, however he is beaten to the ball by Balatoni who nods back to Gallagher #MFCvPTFC

    We are back underway at Fir Park #MFCvPTFC

    HT: Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle #MFCvPTFC

    45mins: Great low save from Twardzik to deny O’Donnell at his near post! #MFCvPTFC

    Thankfull he is back on his feet after treatment from the physio and the club doctor.#MFCvPTFC

    37mins: It’s a Motherwell corner….O’Brien heads wide and goes down. with a head knock. #MFCvPTFC

    35mins: Poor effort from Fraser, who has a shot from 25 yards but was always leaning back. Well over in the end #MFCvPTFC

    25mins: Could have been 2! Lovely through ball by Reid to Ainsworth who cut it back to danger area. Balatoni gets across to cover #MFCvPTFC

    25mins: Reid goes a little run forward and with no other options opts to shoot. Routine save for Gallagher though #MFCvPTFC

    19mins: Good pressure from ‘Well! Ojamaa has a a snapshot on the edge of the box pushed away ‘Well by the diving Gallagher #MFCvPTFC

    18mins: Inches past the post from Sutton! Ref says its a corner after his shot from 18 yards whistled just past. #MFCvPTFC

    Sutton sends Gallagher the wrong way to make it 1-0 to The Steelmen #MFCvPTFC

    13mins: Sutton steps up…GGGOOOAALLL!!

    PENALTY! Ainsworth pulled down in the box!

    11mins: Stevenson forces a second Partick corner. I’s a great delivey from Bannigan which is headed wide by Reid for another corner #MFCvPTFC

    8mins: Both sides just trying to settle into the game. Neither ‘keeper troubled as yet #MFCvPTFC

    2mins: Partick start on the attacking foot and win a corner….. headed just over by Seaborne at the front post! #MFCvPTFC

    Lasley and Law get the game underway. COYW! #MFCvPTFC

    Minute’s silence impeccably observed as always. #MFCvPTFC

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:

    “It was hard-earned. It probably wasn’t pretty in the second half but I felt the first-half performance was very good. We created a lot of good chances, good movement, good use of the ball.

    “The second half was probably the total opposite.

    “Credit to the opposition, they came and had a go. We probably sat back, there was an anxiousness that we are trying to get out of the players. You are not there to protect a lead, go and replicate that first-half performance then you make it a lot easier for yourselves.

    “We got a bit stretched and, when we did win it back, we didn’t use it so well.

    “But you can’t fault the players’ endeavour and will to win, and willingness to throw themselves in front of the ball. I don’t think Dan has actually had to make too many saves.”

    Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald:

    “I thought our second-half performance merited at least a point. We were in the final third a lot and it is concerning that we are taking the wrong option too often.

    “I have no complaint about Motherwell’s penalty as I thought it was a foul. We just weren’t sure if it was inside the box as the boys felt the first contact was outside.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”214″]

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    Partick Thistle Magazine Preview

    The tenth domestic Steelmen Matchday Magazine of 2014/15 is on sale when Partick Thistle visit Fir Park on Saturday.

    But what is inside?

    Ian Baraclough pens his first ever programme notes and talks about what he hopes to achieve at Motherwell and his view on the recent win over St Mirren and what to expect from Partick Thistle.

    The skipper, Keith Lalsey, also returns with his usual column. The veteran midfielder chats about the confidence the team have taken from last weekend’s results and the hopes and aspirations for 2015.

    The feature interview is with goalkeeper Dan Twardzik. The former Bayern Munich stopper chats about the season so far, finally making it to a ‘number one’ position and overcoming doubts and his stature to make it in the professional game.

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

    But that’s not where the features stop!

    There is an in-depth section dedicated to our visitors, Partick Thistle.

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

    The big features keep coming…

    ‘From the Press Box’ returns with regular host, the Herald’s Scott Mullen and ‘Voices from the East Stand’ blogger Eddie McGuigan once again gives a fans viewpoint on recent happenings.

    Eddie Ferguson’s fascinating feature looking at every Motherwell manager in history continues and focuses on the turbulent year Jock Wallace took charge at Fir Park and the dismantling of Davie Hay’s all conquering First Division winners.

    Our match reports section takes a look back at the important 1-0 win at St Mirren last weekend…

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

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

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

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

  • Archive

    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.

  • Archive

    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

  • Archive

    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.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Station Park

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

    MFC TV