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    Motherwell U20s 2 – 2 Hibs U20s

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    Nathan Thomas joins from Plymouth

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    Steelmen net Harrier Johnson

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    Toffee’s Grant joins on loan

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    ‘Keeper Long joins from Sheff Utd

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    Cash Converters’ January POTM

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    St Johnstone draw in pictures

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    TV: Baraclough lauds youngsters

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    Motherwell 1 – 1 St Johnstone

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    Motherwell U20s 2 – 2 Hibs U20s

    Motherwell U20s fought back from going 0-2 down to earn a deserved share of the spoils against Hibs this evening.

    Lewis Allan and Taylor Hendry had the visitors in the driving seat, but Dylan Mackin reduced the deficit before a last-second penalty from Dom Thomas earned his side a point.

    Jonatan Johansson made four changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Dunfermline last week. Brett Long, Adam Cummins, Craig McCall and Craig Moore all dropped out, replaced by Ross Stewart, Danny McNulty, trialist Paul George and Dylan Mackin.

    Both teams had early shots at goal, Hendry firing a shot over the bar from distance for the visitors before George saw his low shot comfortably held by former Hamilton stopper Tomáš Černý.

    The first half really failed to get going though and it took until 26 minutes for the first shot on target; Hibs’ Connor Duthie stinging low effort forcing Ross Stewart to save low to his left.

    ‘Well did flash a terrific ball across the six-yard back but there were no takers and that would be significant as the Greens would take the lead with their next attack on 32 minutes.

    The Steelmen didn’t win a loose ball in midfield and when Aaron Dunsmore got free on the right, he picked out Allan with a neat cut back and the striker’s close-range shot beat Stewart despite the ‘Well stopper getting a good hand to it.

    Both sides traded long-range efforts, Duthie again for Hibs and Cadden for the Fir Parkers, but neither troubled the goalkeepers. Allan’s turn and shot on the stroke of half time was the only other effort in a fairly timid, low-key first half.

    Hibs certainly started the second half much brighter though and almost took the lead through sub Sam Stanton, who managed to beat the grounded Stewart only to watch David Ferguson hook his shot off the goal line.

    Allan had another swivel and shot saved by Stewart before Hibs did eventually double their advantage. Stanton sent a terrific ball over the top of the defence, allowing Hendry a run at goal. Despite the angle being acute and Stewart dashing off his line, the forward finished with some aplomb to make it 0-2.

    To their credit, Motherwell summoned a spirit and character and led by Dom Thomas, they forced their way back into the match. The winger really stepped it up a notch and almost reduced the arrears with a curling effort that forced Černý into an acrobatic save at the expense of a corner.

    Ten minutes later, the Hibs keeper was at it again, denying Cadden from distance and then Ross MacLean, who had been set-up by the trickery of Thomas. It was a hat trick of quick saves when the Czech stopper blocked another Cadden shot from 25 yards.

    The resistance was finally broken on the 72nd minute though and it was that man Thomas who was right at the heart of it again. With four Hibs defenders close to him, he managed to hare away and into the box before squaring it for Mackin. A ricochet off Forster spun the ball onto the bar, only for Mackin to follow up and head home from close range.

    That gave the Claret and Amber men hope and they threw everything at it in search of a leveler. Danny McNulty can within inches of doing just that, but his cross-cum-shot hit the underside of Černý’s crossbar and spun out to safety.

    With Johansson’s men throwing bodies forward in numbers, they were getting picked off on the counter and Stanton should’ve made the game safe with a chance six minutes from time, but his shot, after a neat cut back from Scott, was well blocked by Stewart.

    ‘Well may have thought their chance of a draw had gone when they passed up an unbelievable chance for a second. Thomas was again the man, leading his team forward before teeing up Higgins. The little striker was crowded out, but still managed to poke it square for the supporting George, but with the goal at his mercy, Hibs somehow managed to scramble back and block the shot for a corner.

    However, ‘Well wouldn’t be denied when McNulty won a penalty with a piece of quick feet, following a patient build-up move from the hosts. Despite it being virtually the last kick of the game and coming up against an experienced stopper, the 18-year old strode forward and comfortably slotted it home to earn a point for his team.

    Motherwell: Stewart, McNulty, McMillan, Hall, Ferguson, MacLean, Mackin, Cadden (R.Leitch – 85mins), Higgins, D.Thomas, George

    Subs Not Used: Currie, Campbell, McCall, Anderson, Watters

  • Archive

    Nathan Thomas joins from Plymouth

    Plymouth Argyle attacker Nathan Thomas is Motherwell’s fourth signing of Transfer Deadline Day.

    20-year old Thomas has signed a deal until the end of the season, with the club having the option to extend for a further year.

    The pacey winger came through the youth ranks at Newcastle before joining North East rivals Sunderland in 2011.

    He spent some time at Darlington before joining on at the Pilgrims in 2013. Despite being a bit of a fans-favourite, he agreed his release from the Home Park side today, allowing the Steelmen to snap him up.

    ‘Well boss Ian Baraclough said: “Nathan is another player I have being keeping tabs on for some time.

    “Like Marvin, he’s very quick and can be a match winner. We now have different options and different ways to play.

    “He can be effective on both flanks or even through the middle, so the versatility will be a real bonus for us. Like the others we’ve signed, he has a point to prove and we hope to take advantage of someone with fire in his belly.

    “With the seven new faces we’ve signed during the window and players returning from injury, we hope to have more options and competition for places in the last few months of the campaign.”

  • Archive

    Steelmen net Harrier Johnson

    Motherwell FC is delighted to confirm the signing of winger Marvin Johnson from Kidderminster Harriers for an undisclosed fee.

    Johnson, 24, is described by Harriers as a ‘quick-footed pace merchant’ and has already netted ten times from the flanks this campaign.

    His deal was set to expire at the end of the current campaign but ‘Well have beaten off stiff competition from English Championship and League One sides to secure his signature.

    ‘Well boss Ian Baraclough said: “We are absolutely delighted to get Marvin and I am really excited to see him play in the Scottish Premiership.

    [pullquote]“He is extremely hungry and will be out to show everyone just exactly what he can do. He is what we need in that he is dynamic, extremely quick and can both create and score goals.[/pullquote]

    “We have been tracking him for some time so we are thrilled to get him.”

    After flying up to Scotland, Johnson told MFC TV: “I’m very pleased to be here and I get the gut feeling that I am heading in the right direction.

    “The manager and staff have given me the backing and confidence that I need so that is pleasing and I’m ready to get going straight away.

    “People say I’m an exciting player and I hope that is what I can bring. Normally I set players up but this season I have found myself in the right position at the right time and when I find myself in that position I go for goal and have ended up scoring 10.”

    MFC TV

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    Toffee’s Grant joins on loan

    Motherwell have taken young Everton starlet Conor Grant on loan until the end of the season.

    Grant, 19, is an energetic, ball-playing midfielder with an eye for goal and has played a large part in Everton’s Development side for the last few seasons.

    He has appeared in several pre-season games for the Toffees, but hasn’t as yet turned out for Roberto Martinez’s team, although he was on the bench for their Europa League match against FC Krasnodar.

    Highly thought of at Goodison Park, he’ll provide competition to Motherwell’s midfield for the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign.

    Speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, Ian Baraclough said: “Conor is an exciting young talent who I’ve seen and watched on several occasions with the Everton Development side.

    “He’s held in very high regard by the hierarchy and Joe Royle backed up our thoughts by giving the lad a glowing reference.

    “He can play in a number of midfield positions and has great energy, exactly what we require for the last few months of the campaign.”

    On signing for the Steelmen, Conor added: “It’s a great challenge and I’m looking forward to getting some first team action.

    “I’ve been playing in Everton’s development squad and it’s going to be good to experience first team football, playing in a competitive league.  I watch the games on TV and know a few players up here so I know what to expect.

    “I want to bring some creativity to the side and will give 100% to hopefully help them climb the table.”

  • Archive

    ‘Keeper Long joins from Sheff Utd

    Motherwell have signed England U21 goalkeeper George Long on loan from Sheffield United until the end of the season.

    The 21-year old 6ft 4 inch stopper has played 80 times for the Blades first-team, including in the English Championship, as well as being a regular at England youth level.

    He also spent time on loan at Oxford United this term and will provide competition to Dan Twardzik, Gunnar Nielsen and Ross Stewart for the number one role at Fir Park.

    Speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, ‘Well boss Ian Baraclough said: “George will increase the competition in a crucial position for us.

    “His pedigree is undoubted having had recognition through the England Youth set-up, up to and including the Under 21s team.

    “Hopefully he can continue the tradition at this football club of taking goalkeepers from England and developing them on.”

    Long added: “I’m really looking forward to it and it’s a new challenge for me to play in Scotland.

    “It will be great to get back playing and hopefully help push the team up the table.

    “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club and the manager so I can’t wait to get started.”

     

  • Archive

    Cash Converters’ January POTM

    Every month this season, Cash Converters will be giving you the opportunity to present your Motherwell Player of the Month with his trophy.

    All you need to do is vote for the Well player you think has been the stand-out performer for January and you could be chosen at random to congratulate our star man in person and win a pennant signed by the individual himself.

    To cast your vote, simply visit our Cash Converters SPL Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.

    Competition closes at midnight on Sunday 8th February.

    The player of the month presentation will take place on the week commencing 9th February.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

     Extended highlights from Fir Park as 10 man Motherwell earn a point against St Johnstone

    MFC TV

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    St Johnstone draw in pictures

    Action pictures from today’s hard-fought 1-1 SPFL Premiership draw with St Johnstone at Fir Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”stjohnstone310115″]

  • Archive

    TV: Baraclough lauds youngsters

    Ian Baraclough praised the impact of his young substitutes as they helped injury-ravished ‘Well earn a point against St Johnstone.

    The Steelmen, who have nine first-team players injured including Pearson, Lasley, McManus, Hammell, Vigurs, Lawson and others, went a goal down early on before being rather harshly reduced to ten men when Louis Laing was sent packing on his ‘Well debut.

    It was a torrid first half, however, the introduction of Fraser Kerr, then Dom Thomas and Craig Moore lifted the side and the crowd, as the Fir Parkers came roaring back into things.

    Thomas had a stinging shot of his own before beating three players to tee up John Sutton who smashed home from just inside the box, his seventh of the campaign.

    A point was no less than the team deserved and Baraclough lauded the contribution from the bench.

    [pullquote]They’re all young, fresh-legged and eager to get on the ball and impress and show what they can do. That’s what the crowd want to see, some energy, positivity and having a go.[/pullquote]

    He said: “All three showed the right character you want and they drove us on.

    “They’re all young, fresh-legged and eager to get on the ball and impress and show what they can do. That’s what the crowd want to see, some energy, positivity and having a go.

    “All of sudden the place is lifted, the drum starts to bang and we’re in a game.

    “It’s Thomas’ trickery that created the goal and that’s what you ask from people who you bring on. Can you get on there and change the game for us?

    “We need to take the confidence from the way we reacted today and with the addition of a few new faces and hopefully some back off the treatment table, we’ll be in good shape in two weeks time.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Motherwell 1 – 1 St Johnstone

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee Fir Park

    Motherwell showed great determination and team spirit to grab a point and halt their losing run against St Johnstone today.

    However, John Sutton’s sensational second half equaliser to cancel out Murray Davidson’s early opener for Saints, only tells half the story.

    The arrival at the club of a new owner Les Hutchison and two new players had intended to change Motherwell’s fortunes after a losing run of five games.

    But crippled by an incredible injury list, including at least six first eleven choices, ‘Well’s bad luck and woes continued when Louis Laing’s debut was curtailed to 25 minutes when the Nottingham Forrest defender was shown a red card.

    After a poor first half, though, and against the odds a tremendous second half from a gutsy 10 men ‘Well earned them a deserved point.

    With an ever growing injury list Anthony Straker and Laing, who both signed on-loan in midweek, were pitched into a vastly changed home side.While Mark O’Brien returned from suspension, Stephen Pearson and Stephen McManus, who missed his first game of the season, joined Keith Lasley on the side lines. Without the departed Henrik Ojamaa, Lee Erwin partnered John Sutton up front.

    The feel good factor of the new regime lasted only eight minutes when the young and inexperienced ‘Well defence was breached. Steven McLean slipped the ball to the unmarked Murray Davidson and from 12 yards the Saints midfielder calmly guided the ball beyond Dan Twardzik and inside the ‘keeper’s post.

    With St Johnstone on an impressive run of form the Fir Park men faced a difficult task.

    And their job was made almost impossible after 24 minutes when Laing was rather harshly shown a red card. Referee Willie Collum, who marked his last appearance at Fir Park by controversially sending off Stephen McManus, had no hesitation in doing like wise when Laing stumbled into the back of Chris Kane as the Saints striker headed for the box.

    That riled the home fans and although ten man ‘Well stuck to their task for the remainder of the first half they never threatened Alan Mannus in the visitors’ goal.

    Four minutes from the break Davidson almost made it 2-0 but Twardzik’s strong right hand pushed the ball round the post.

    There was yet another change to the back four at half-time with Fraser Kerr replacing O’Brien alongside Craig Reid in the centre of defence.

    It was at the other end, though, that Kerr almost made an impact when his measured header from Josh Law’s corner was nodded off the line by Gary Miller.

    The home spirits and confidence increased and two crosses intended for Sutton caused some anxiety in the Saints’ defence.

    After 58 minutes Ian Baraclough made his second and positive substitution bring on Dom Thomas for Luke Watt.

    And ten minutes later Thomas tested Mannus with a low drive from 25 yards after being set up by Straker, who showed some good touches from left back in the second half.

    Twenty minutes from time ‘Well went for broke bringing on Craig Moore for Stuart Carswell. At the same time Saints brought on James McFadden who received a warm welcome from the home fans.

    It was Thomas, though, who showed the old McFadden magic after 75 minutes when he wriggled through three Saints players. He then played the ball in front of Sutton who wheeled and unleashed a terrific drive high past Mannus from the corner of the box for a deserved equaliser and set up a dramatic last 15 minutes.

    Despite the encouragement of the renewed home support ‘Well couldn’t find a winner but their second half performance and a two week break to get first team regulars fit augers well for the all important trip to Ross County.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Ally Reilly at Fir Park

    10 man Motherwell battle back to draw 1-1. Deserved in the end #MFCvSJFC

    FT: Motherwell 1 – 1 St Johnstone #MFCvSJFC

    2 minutes added on #MFCvSJFC

    86mins: McFaddens shot from 20 yards trickles harmlesssly past the post #MFCvSJFC

    82mins: Scobbie slips as he tries to clear and that leaves Erwin inches away from beating Mannus to the ball #MFCvSJFC

    79mins: Double St J sub, MacLean and Croft off for Graham and O’Halloran #MFCvSJFC

    75mins: WHAT A GOAL!!! Thomas skips past 3, plays in SUTTON who hammers into the top corner from 16 yards

    GGOOAALLLL!!

    70mins: Motherwell sub, Carswell off for Moore #MFCvSJFC

    70mins: St Johnstone sub, Kane off for McFadden #MFCvSJFC

    69mins: Straker brings the ball down and plays in Thomas who drills a low shot from range which Mannus gets down to #MFCvSJFC

    59mins: Erwin swings in a great cross from the left which Scobbis just manages to get to first ahead of Sutton #MFCvSJFC

    58mins: Erwin does well to turn Easton and swing in a cross but its just a bit too long for Sutton #MFCvSJFC

    58mins: Motherwell sub, Watt is off for Thomas #MFCvSJFC

    53mins: Anderson concedes a corner, Kerr’s header is cleared off the line by Miller! Great chance! #MFCvSJFC

    50mins: Miller gets to the byline and hooks a ball across goal which MacLean gets his head to. Flies inches wide #MFCvSJFC

    Second half is underway. 10 man ‘Well with it all to do #MFCvSJFC

    Half time sub for ‘Well, Kerr on for O’Brien #MFCvSJFC

    HT: Motherwell 0 – 1 St Johnstone #MFCvSJFC

    41mins: Kane capitilises on sloppy ‘Well defending and Twardzik is forced to beat his shot wide for a corner #MFCvSJFC

    25mins: Red Card! Laing is sent off on his debut. Took down MacLean, denying a goalscoring opportunity #MFCvSJFC

    22mins: MacLean is played through about 20 yards out and takes on the shot. Doesn’t trouble Twardzik, who gathers with ease #MFCvSJFC

    16mins: St Johnstone win a corner, and it’s a let off as Scobbie sneaks in at back post and pokes it just past #MFCvSJFC

    12mins: Free-kick to ‘Well wide on the left. Law takes….Anderson heads clear from 4 yards #MFCvSJFC

    8mins: Goal – Davidson puts St J 1-0 up, slotting past Twardzik from 12 yards. They got through all too easily #MFCvSJFC

    7mins: MacLean is slid in against Twardzik but linesman has his flag up. Twardzik saves, anyway #MFCvSJFC

    5mins: A quiet opening 5 minutes here at Fir Park…no chances so far. #MFCvSJFC

    Pre-match formalities over, Carswell and Law get the game underway. COYW! #MFCvSJFC

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:

    “Any point is pleasing after the run of results we have had but the way we earned it and the way we went about it second half was good for me to see and good for the supporters and hopefully good for the group to realise they can play, they can be effective when they are positive and get on the ball and when they want to make things happen.

    “The first half was a stark contrast to that. There was a fear and reluctance to get on the ball and make something happen. And that can’t happen in this situation.

    “At half-time it could have gone one of two ways and they came through it.

    “They have shown to me there is a desire there, when the chips are down.

    “They could have felt sorry for themselves, 10 men, goal down, nothing going for us. But we didn’t and that’s full credit to the players that they picked themselves off the floor, because we all know first half wasn’t good enough at all.”

    St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright:

    “We have dropped two points because we totally controlled the game from first whistle to last. We probably wasted too many opportunities in the first half.

    “We didn’t start the second half particularly well, didn’t move the ball as well. When it went to 1-1 we looked more likely to score again.

    “But we are disappointed with the goal. We missed two or even three chances to tackle and gifted them the goal by doing that.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

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