Action pictures from this afternoon’s hugely disappointing 5-0 defeat at New Douglas Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Action pictures from this afternoon’s hugely disappointing 5-0 defeat at New Douglas Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Ian Baraclough says he has learned a lot about his squad following their derby humiliation at Hamilton.
The Steelmen were humbled 5-0 by their local rivals, a score line that, sadly, didn’t flatter the home side.
Motherwell were incredibly poor from the first whistle. Even more frustratingly, they were the architects of their own downfall, with each and every goal preventable in some way, shape or form.
It was a reality check for the new Fir Park boss, who had enjoyed a 100% record since taking over several weeks ago.
Speaking after the match, he said: “We have no grumbles. I’ve told them in the dressing room that we must concentrate on the fundamentals.
[pullquote]I want people who can work hard and roll up their sleeves when the chips are down. I learned one or two things about my players today when that side of the game comes to the fore.[/pullquote]
Motherwell now face Aberdeen on Sunday looking to try and bounce back against the league leaders.
“At any level, when you get done by five it is a tough one to take, but we have to take it and move forward.
“We have a game in three days’ time, so we can’t dwell on it too much. We have to lift the players and make sure we rectify what we’ve done today on Sunday.
“You have to be strong mentality to pick yourself up. I hate the phrase ‘wanted it more’ but at times that’s how it looked. If you don’t win you’re one v one battles physically, you’re going to get done and we didn’t today.”
Phil McGhee at New Douglas Park
Motherwell suffered a derby day drubbing as the Fir Park side made the worst possible start to the New Year.
And after two wins from his first games in charge, Ian Baraclough was left in no doubt about the challenge he faces as his men were played off the park by an energetic and determined Accies.
Having already lost 4-0 at Fir Park, Motherwell fans probably thought it couldn’t get any worse against their old rivals.
But after Hamilton took an eigth minute lead it was a long and miserable afternoon for everyone in claret and amber as the Douglas Park side recorded their biggest win over ‘Well in 80 years.
After being substituted in the last two games, Mark O’Brien’s injuries caught up with him and his starting place in the middle of the defence went to Fraser Kerr.
And facing drving rain and an attacking Accies side the ‘Well rearguard was immediately under pressure.
From two corners in the opeing four minutes Alex Neil’s header was blocked in front of goal before Mickey Devlin’s powerful header was cleared off the line by Josh Law.
With the Fir Park men hemmed in their own half, Baraclough was forced into a seventh minute change when Simon Ramsden limped off with Lee Erwin coming on to join John Sutton up front.
Before the change had time to settle, ‘Well found themsleves a goal behind. Dougie Imrie raced beyond Craig Reid and his low drive sneaked inside Dan Twardzik’s right hand post despite the ‘keeper’s best effort to keep it out.
Motherwell looked to have weathered the early storm and finally forced their way into the Accies box. Henrik Ojamaa did well to cut the ball back to Erwin but his shot on goal was blocked by Grant Gillespie.
Accies pace, coupled with ‘Well’s inability to retain possession, regularly left the visitor’s defence exposed.
In the 26th minute Twardzik was at full stretch to palm away a snapshot from Tony Andreu. The ‘Well ‘keeper was again exposed two minutes later when he got down well to block another Andreu effort but Ali Crawford reacted first to hammer the ball over the grounded Twardzik and put Accies 2-0 up.
The visitors were forced into another change at half-time with Chris Cadden replacing Stevie Hammell and Law dropping to full back.
Within a minute it could have been 3-0 when Mickael Antoine Curier’s shot rebounded from the foot of the post.
Motherwell did look more threatening in attack and after 54 minutes Martin Canning stretched in front of Erwin to cut out Lionel Ainsworth’s ball across goal.
Erwin then had a great chance to pull one back but with Michael McGovern racing to the edge of his box the young ‘Well striker weakly lifted the ball into the ‘keeper’s hands.
Any faint thoughts of a fightback were erased after 65 minutes when Antoine Curier rode his luck and a few challenges inside the 6 yard box to walk the ball into the net to make it 3-0.
Ainsworth came within a couple of inches of pulling one back but with the ‘keeper advancing from his line the winger’s touch carried the ball on the wrong side of the post.
Accies were more ruthless in front of goal, although poor ‘Well defending allowed Imrie to tee up the unmarked Andreu who swept the ball home to make it 4-0
There were still chances for ‘Well and after replacing Ainsworth, Dom Thomas set up Ojamaa but in keeping with the ‘Well performance his effort was way off target.
Very few of the impressive travelling support of over 1500 were still in the stadium to see Danny Redmond adding a fifth goal to complete the scoring and a miserable afternoon for ‘Well.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at New Douglas Park
FT: Hamilton Accies 5 – 0 Motherwell #HAFCvMFC
2 minutes added on #HAFCvMFC
88mins: Goal – It’s 5-0 to Accies, Redmond capitilsing on yet more terrible defending #HAFCvMFC
83mins: Final Accies change of the afternoon, Andreu off for Redmond #HAFCvMFC
78mins: Good break forward from Thomas and he finds Ojamaa inside the box but his shot is best forgotten. Well wide. #HAFCvMFC
76mins: Accies sub, Brophy on for Antoine Curier #HAFCvMFC
75mins: Motherwell sub, Thomas on for Ainsworth #HAFCvMFC
69mins: Goal – Andreu makes it 4-0 from a Crawford cut back #HAFCvMFC
65mins: A chance for Ainswwrth to pull one back after he reads a slack backpass but pokes it inches wide of the post #HAFCvMFC
64mins: Goal – Antoine Curier gets all the time he needs and skips past Twardzik to make it 3-0 #HAFCvMFC
62mins: Another free-kick in a good area, this time Canning heads out for a corner #HAFCvMFC
60mins: Free-kick to Motherwell, wide on the right…but once again there is no threat to the Accies goal #HAFCvMFC
54mins: Accies sub, Routledge is on for Neil #HAFCvMFC
53mins: Decent bit of play down the right to get a cross in for Ewrin but Canning gets there first and clears for a corner #HAFCvMFC
46mins: Antoine Curier strikes the post. Cut open way too easily yet again #HAFCvMFC
Accies get the second half underway #HAFCvMFC
Half time sub, Cadden is on for Hammell. #HAFCvMFC
HT: Hamilton Accies 2 – 0 Motherwell #HAFCvMFC
41mins: Free-kick to Motherwell in a decent position. Ainsworth swings it in but Devlin is on hand to clear #HAFCvMFC
29mins: Goal – It’s 2-0 to Accies as Imrie cut it back to Andreu whose shot was parried into the path of Crawford who tapped home. #HAFCvMFC
26mins: Twardzik is forced into a fine diving save to deny Andreu who shot from 25 yards #HAFCvMFC
25mins: Accies work the forward and Andreu sets up Antione Curier just inside the box but he lacks composure and fires well over #HAFCvMFC
21mins: Good burst forward from Ojamaa wins another corner but again it’s too easy for Accies as McGovern gathers #HAFCvMFC
17mins: Quick turn in the box and shot from Erwin earns ‘Well a corner…from the delivery, Hamilton deal with it easily. #HAFCvMFC
10mins: Fair to say it has been a poor opening 10 from the Steelmen. Can’t seem to get any decent spell of possession #HAFCvMFC
8mins: Goal – Imrie breaks clear of the Motherwell defence and powers his shot past the helpless Twardzik. 1-0 Accies #HAFCvMFC
7mins: An early Motherwell sub, Ramsden is off for Erwin. #HAFCvMFC
3mins: Canning heads the delivery goalwards and it is hooked off the line, Not sure who by but desperate defending here #HAFCvMFC
3mins: An early corner for Accies…Neil has a free header and somehow it is scrambled away for another corner. #HAFCvMFC
Lasley and Law get the game underway. COYW! #HAFCvMFC
Out come the teams… #HAFCvMFC
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:
“It’s not nice being involved in that kind of result. We can’t go around feeling sorry for ourselves.
“It’s one way you see the character of a player when the chips go down.
“They outworked us. They didn’t outplay us as such. They got in about the midfield and won challenges, that should be a fundamental. We decided to play backwards and it put us in trouble and it gave us a mountain to climb.
“I know more about the players now. I need to get more from them.”
Hamilton Accies manager Alex Neil:
“It’s a magnificent result. I thought the performance merited the scoreline.
“We created a lot of chances. To score five goals at home against your local rivals and to keep a clean sheet is so pleasing for everyone involved with Hamilton. The lads work so hard. We know what we are doing, we are organised and we saw that today.
“Obviously, when the opposition are on the ball we want to get it back. When we get it, the front five or six players have got a free licence to attack and get at the opposition. I couldn’t be any happier with them. Their work ethic and everything it takes to be a good team and a good player, they’ve got.”
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Ian Baraclough says he and his squad continue to work hard on bettering their game despite two consecutive wins.
The Fir Park boss is trying to get his players to pass the ball with less anxiety than they did in the second half of their 1-0 win over Partick Thistle on Saturday.
Even against St Mirren, his side surrendered the ball all too easily at times but with improvement comes added confidence and the former Sligo boss can see a marked difference already.
“We spoke about the Partick Thistle game on Sunday morning after I had reviewed it,” he said.
“I get the players to discuss things at team meetings as well – they are the ones that are actually playing it – and there were good points that came out of that.”
[pullquote]I get the players to discuss things at team meetings as well – they are the ones that are actually playing it – and there were good points that came out of that.[/pullquote]
Motherwell will aim to take those ideas into the Lanarkshire derby as they bid to avenge a 4-0 Fir Park defeat against Accies, who sit 16 points above the Fir Parkers in the Scottish Premiership after a terrific first half of the 2014/15 campaign.
“They have set their stall out to be physical, to be quick around the park, to close you down and not give you the chance to get into your rhythm,” Baraclough said. “And it’s working for them.
“We have to be prepared for that and impose our style of play on them, and have the confidence to go and play that way. I saw flashes of it at the weekend, certainly not for 90 minutes, but for longer periods than the first week.
“So hopefully we can build on that and have sustained periods of possession and be creative when we have got that.”
Motherwell fans should note the following ticket information ahead of Thursday’s Lanarkshire Derby with Hamilton at New Douglas Park.
As of close of business on Tuesday, Motherwell have sold approximately 1,100 tickets from a 2,200 allocation in the Spice of Life North Stand, behind the goal.
Tickets are on sale (prices listed below) up until 1pm on Wednesday 31st December 2014. What is left, if any, will be returned to New Douglas Park and sold on the day of the match at the turnstiles.
Visiting supporters who buy on the day, and tickets will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis, should enter via Turnstiles 7, 8 or 9 at the North Stand.
‘Well fans who have already pre-purchased tickets (or do so before 1pm on Wednesday) should enter via turnstiles 10, 11 or 12 at the North Stand.
There will be no overspill facility in the temporary stand, as was the case in the League Cup match back in September, as Accies are utilising this area for community ticketing initiatives.
Referee for Thursday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Hamilton Accies will be the experienced Crawford Allan.
It will be Crawford’s second Motherwell match of the 2014/15 season, the other being the narrow 1-0 defeat at Pittodrie when Jonny Hayes’ early goal separated the sides in a fairly uneventful game.
Allan is a vastly experienced figure though and will be a familiar face over the years, including two games last term.
The first was a narrow 1-0 win over Hibs in November 2013 when a Stephen McManus header gave the 10-man Steelmen all three points.
The other, five weeks later, was the important 1-2 victory at Ross County, which kicked off an incredible six game winning run. A brace from John Sutton was enough to edge out the Staggies and got ‘Well back to winning ways after the disappointment of an early Scottish Cup exit and a thumping from Celtic.
Crawford, one of the country’s best referees for over a decade, handled two matches the previous season too.
His first was the goalless draw with Hearts last November, which will be remembered for the collision between Darren Randolph and Calum Paterson.
Randolph was later handed a two match suspension following an enquiry by the then SFA Compliance Officer Vincent Lunny, Motherwell did appeal the decision, however were unsuccessful in their attempts to have the ban overturned.
The second will be remembered for the on-field exploits as Motherwell and Kilmarnock shared a 2-2 draw just after Christmas last year.
Kenny Shiels’ Killie had raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Perez and Heffernan but a close-range goal from Jamie Murphy and a Henrik Ojamaa stunner levelled things up.
Tragically, Allan took charge of the ‘Well game on the 29th December 2007, forever etched in history as the date when Phil O’Donnell tragically passed away in the 5-3 victory over Dundee United.
Speaking publically, Allan admitted Phil’s death had a profound effect on the whistler but won heartfelt praise for the way he handled what was an extremely difficult situation and his sensitive approach will be forever appreciated by everyone at Motherwell Football Club and is recognised each time he returns to Fir Park.
In another twist of fate, Crawford is only one of two referees to have ever taken charge of a Motherwell away game at Fir Park as the Steelmen faced hosts Gretna during the 2007/2008 campaign.
His record in charge of the ‘Well is a fairly decent one, with the Fir Parkers winning eight, drawing six and losing five of the nineteen games in total. In those games, 55 players have seen yellow, 32 in Claret and Amber, whilst four have been sent for an early bath including Shaun Hutchinson in that match against Hibs last term.
Allan will be ably assisted by John McCrossan and Raymond Whyte with Des Roache on fourth official duties.
Stevie Hammell says ‘Well are out to try and exorcise the demons of the last Lanarkshire derby.
The Steelmen, who had crashed out on penalty kicks at New Douglas Park the midweek previous, were soundly beaten 0-4 by Alex Neil’s side at Fir Park.
It was Accies biggest win at the home of the nearest rivals in over 80 years and a real painful one to take for anyone of a Motherwell persuasion.
Hamilton have enjoyed a terrific season so far and go into the match as firm favourites, but Hammell insists there is a real desire amongst the playing squad to try and right the wrongs of that particular afternoon in late September.
[pullquote]We want to make a massive improvement on that game and performance and we’ll go into this match quietly confident.[/pullquote]
Speaking to the gathered press at ‘Well’s pre-match news conference, the experienced fullback, who has recently returned from a long-term injury, said: “It’s always hugely difficult to watch from the sidelines, particularly if your teammates are struggling.
“That game against Hamilton was probably about as poor as we’ve been, exacerbated by the fact that it’s your rivals, a derby.
“That shows you exactly what they are capable of if you’re not on your game but we want to make a massive improvement on that game and performance and we’ll go into this match quietly confident.”
Motherwell FC remembers the late, great Phil O’Donnell, who tragically passed away seven years ago today.
O’Donnell came through the youth ranks at Fir Park before eventually making his senior debut against St Mirren 24 years ago.
He would go on to famously score in the iconic ’91 Cup Final against Dundee United, which ‘Well eventually won 4-3 in such dramatic circumstances.
Phil continued to develop, won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award in 1992 and 1994, and earned one cap for the Scottish national team, playing for 15 minutes as a substitute against Switzerland in September 1993.
His form attracted the attention of bigger clubs and Tommy Burns and Celtic eventually paid £1.75m (still a Motherwell club record to this day) for his services in September 1994.
He spent five years in Glasgow, winning the Scottish Cup again and formed part of the Hoops side that famously denied Rangers ten-in-a-row under Wim Jansen back in 1998.
He would later join Sheffield Wednesday and spend four years at Hillsbrough before returning home to Fir Park under Terry Butcher in 2004.
After being named Captain, he enjoyed a real resurgence in form, particularly under Mark McGhee in the Autumn of 2007, before being tragically taken before his time in a game against Dundee United seven years ago today.
The thoughts of everyone at Motherwell FC on this sad day are always with his wife Eileen, four children Megan, Olivia, Christopher and Luc and the rest of the close and extended O’Donnell family.
Phil O’Donnell, brave as a lion. Forever 10.