Extended highlights from Fir Park as a freak Dundee goal hands the visitors all three points.
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkSaturday 21 February 2015
TV: Reality check for ‘Well bossSaturday 21 February 2015
Ian Baraclough hopes the “stark reality” of seeing their name at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership will elicit a response from his players.
A 1-0 defeat by Dundee at Fir Park, albeit by a freak Paul McGinn goal after 12 minutes, meant Ross County’s 3-1 win at Partick leapfrogged the Staggies over the Steelmen and St Mirren, who lost 3-0 at Aberdeen.
All three teams in the relegation zone are on 18 points but Baraclough, with home games against Inverness and Kilmarnock coming up, is hoping his side respond to their lowly position, a product of just one draw in their last eight matches.
He said: “This club has had success for the last two or three years, maybe longer, so seeing the stark reality of it hopefully kicks us into action.
[pullquote]This club has had success for the last two or three years, maybe longer, so seeing the stark reality of it hopefully kicks us into action.[/pullquote]
“Nobody wants to be bottom but there are three teams on 18 points and it is in our hands. If we go into our shells for the next two games then we are going to make life difficult for ourselves.
“Those are home games that we should be producing better chances in than we did today. Certainly, the onus is on you at home to go forward and make things happen, to get the crowd off their seats and we didn’t do that enough.
“It is fine doing it Monday to Friday but it is not great having training ground players, we have to transfer that into games. I think that game was there for us to take but we didn’t grasp the game by the scruff of the neck, although the only difference was the freak goal.
“There is enough to get us out of that but it is breaking down that fear factor. There is a fear. No one wants to be the one that makes the mistake, maybe loses it and feels he has let the team down.
“But we need those players, the game-changers. We have them in the squad and it is finding the right personnel at the right time.”
Motherwell 0 – 1 DundeeSaturday 21 February 2015
Phil McGhee Fir Park
Motherwell slumped to another disappointing defeat at home to Dundee, consigned the Fir Park side to the foot of the table.
And although the hosts carried little luck losing to Paul McGinn’s fortunate 13th minute winner, Ian Baraclough and his players have much to improve on to get themselves out the mire.
The ‘Well boss made three changes to the side which started at Dingwall. Free from suspension Louis Laing lined up alongside Stephen McManus at the heart of the home defence. And in an attack minded line-up, Craig Moore and new addition Marvin Johnson took their places in a four-man midfield.
It was also the home fans first chance to see on loan signings, ‘keeper George Long and Everton midfielder Conor Grant.
Given all these changes it was anticipated that the ‘Well players would take time to settle. And not surprisingly Dundee, unbeaten in their last seven league games, were the more positive in the opening stages.
However, it was fluke goal that gave the Taysiders the only goal of the game. Paul McGinn from far out on the right, shaped to cross the ball into a packed box but instead his sliced effort drifted high over Long and inside the ‘keepers’ far post to give Baraclough’s boys a major setback.
Lee Erwin responded immediately, but his 30-yard drive swerved off target. The young striker came closer in the 26th minute when Moore picked him out on the penalty spot but having turned with the ball, he then hammered his shot off James McPake.
The bumpy pitch prevented flowing football but a poor first half was summed up with the first and only save arriving after 35 minutes when Long got down well to push Greg Stewart’s angled drive beyond the post.
Motherwell’s cause wasn’t helped five minutes from the interval when Johnson limped off to be replaced by Nathan Thomas.
Some smart footwork from the impressive Grant a minute after the restart earned a free kick at the edge of the box but Erwin curled his shot over the Dundee defensive wall and the crossbar.
Stewart was on target at the other end but his low drive was comfortably saved by the diving Long. The home goal then a narrow escape when a cut back from Alex Harris squirmed across the face of the goal.
To a buzz of expectation from the home crowd Dom Thomas came on for Moore after 58 minutes. Sadly that change had little effect on the proceedings and with just over 15 minutes remaining ‘Well made their final substitution with Lionel Ainsworth replacing John Sutton.
But while Scott Bain in the Dundee goal was still waiting to make his first serious save, Long who looked assured throughout, was forced to make another stop from Stewart.
In the end Motherwell, with their new acquisitions, failed to impose themselves on a Dundee side who, without really getting out of first gear, comfortably made it a hat-trick of wins over ‘Well this season.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
FT: Motherwell 0 – 1 Dundee #MFCvDFC
Bain gathers with ease #MFCvDFC
93mins: Corner to ‘Well…
4 minutes added on #MFCvDFC
86mins: Succession of Motherwell corners, but can’t muster anything on the Dundee goal #MFCvDFC
82mins: Dundee sub, Stewart off for Clarkson #MFCvDFC
80mins: Dundee sub, McGowan off for Harkins #MFCvDFC
73mins: Motherwell sub, Sutton off for Ainsworth #MFCvDFC
62mins: Stewart takes the ball in on his chest and shoots on the bounce. Again, straight at Long. #MFCvDFC
57mins: Motherwell sub, Dom Thomas is on for Craig Moore #MFCvDFC
56mins: Harris gets the better of Straker and gets a low cross in which is swept away in the nick of time by Ramsden #MFCvDFC
53mins: Ball is cut back to Stewart just inside the box. He volleys first time, straight at Long. #MFCvDFC
52mins: Ramsden booked for a heavy challenge on McAllister. #MFCvDFC
49mins: McGinn’s shot is fired straight at Straker and is deflected wide for a corner.
47mins: Fancy footwork from Grant wins a free-kick in the edge of the box…Erwin curls the free-kick over the bar #MFCvDFC
McAlister and McGinn get the second 45 underway #MFCvDFC
Both teams are out for the second half. #MFCvDFC
HT: Motherwell 0 – 1 Dundee #MFCvDFC
..but this time Grant’s free-kick is straight into the wall #MFCvDFC
44mins: Thomas wins a free-kick in a great area…
40mins: Motherwell sub, Johnson limps off on his home debut. Replaced by Nathan Thomas #MFCvDFC
36mins: Long is called into action as Stewart finds room on the right and gets a low shot away. Corner to Dundee. #MFCvDFC
26mins: Frustration as Moore crosses to Erwin who can’t shake off Konrad inside the box as he tried to find room to shoot. Defender clears.
17mins: McGowan pics up a loose ball and tries his luck from 22yards. Flies just past the post! #MFCvDFC
12mins: Goal – McGinn’s cross somehow ends up in the back of the net. 0-1
9mins: First effort on goal for ‘Well. Johnson whipped in an early ball which asked a lot of Sutton but he got it on target. Bain gathers.
Not much in the way of talking points in the opening 8 minutes. Both sides just trying to settle into the game #MFCvDFC
Moore and Lasley get the game underway. #MFCvDFC
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:
This club has had success for the last two or three years, maybe longer, so seeing the stark reality of it hopefully kicks us into action.
“Nobody wants to be bottom but there are three teams on 18 points and it is in our hands.
“If we go into our shells for the next two games then we are going to make life difficult for ourselves.
“Those are home games that we should be producing better chances in than we did today.
“Certainly, the onus is on you at home to go forward and make things happen, to get the crowd off their seats and we didn’t do that enough.
“It is fine doing it Monday to Friday but it is not great having training ground players, we have to transfer that into games.
“I think that game was there for us to take but we didn’t grasp the game by the scruff of the neck, although the only difference was the freak goal.
“There is enough to get us out of that but it is breaking down that fear factor.
“There is a fear. No one wants to be the one that makes the mistake, maybe loses it and feels he has let the team down.
“But we need those players, the game-changers. We have them in the squad and it is finding the right personnel at the right time.”
Dundee manager Paul Hartley:
“I felt we controlled the game and some of our play was excellent.
“We wasted some good chances but overall I thought we deserved to win the game.
“The goal was a cross, there’s no doubt about it, but sometimes you need that little bit of luck.”
TV: Baraclough goes back to basicsFriday 20 February 2015
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough has revealed he has went back to basics in his approach to Saturday’s game against Dundee.
The Steelmen are being tipped for relegation in some quarters after a 3-2 defeat by Ross County left them three points off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership.
Baraclough admits he has gone back to basics this week in training after their Dingwall disappointment but he feels the signs have been positive.
The former QPR defender said: “Training has started to ramp up,”
“Maybe the different way of training has taken one or two by surprise. The tempo is higher so they have to start looking after themselves a bit more maybe.
[pullquote]”It’s easy when you are winning games to get into a lull and say everything’s fine and you switch off to certain things.[/pullquote]
“It highlights facts when you are not winning games that there are certain deficiencies. That confidence is something they have to find for themselves as well as coaches and managers driving them.”
“We’re all in that same boat. I’m no different to them, I am trying to forge a career that can benefit me and my family and make sure we enjoy our life.
“Players shouldn’t be any different. They shouldn’t rely on ‘I’ll get a contract for next year or someone else will come and take me or we’ll get out of it this year, no problem’.
TV: Robinson reveals Craigan adviceFriday 20 February 2015
New Assistant boss Stephen Robinson has told how Steelmen legend Stephen Craigan sold him on the club.
Former Motherwell skipper Craigan was Robinson’s assistant with the Irish youth teams and was close at hand when Ian Baraclough made the first phone call.
And the former Spurs player has revealed Craigan, who notched up 378 appearances for the Steelmen and 54 international caps whilst with the club, offered a glowing reference.
Robinson said: “I had a very good job with the Irish Football Association both with the senior team and the youths, but this presented a real challenge in senior football at a good level.
[pullquote]He’s (Craigan) clearly still got a lot of affinity for the club and spoke so highly of it and the people involved and that’s actually the first thing I noticed when I got here.[/pullquote]
“That’s certainly what lured me here. It was a big decision for sure.
“Stephen Craigan, who obviously played here for a ling time and is a legend in these parts, sold the club to me. He was actually with me in Iceland when Ian phoned me for the first time, so I obviously turned to him for advice.
“He’s (Craigan) clearly still got a lot of affinity for the club and spoke so highly of it and the people involved and that’s actually the first thing I noticed when I got here.
“We’ve not got a big staff of people at Fir Park, but there’s folk doing three and four jobs, everyone pulling together, and that’s the sort of spirit that will help us get out the situation we’re in.”
Society sound the rallying callFriday 20 February 2015
In the last three weeks, Motherwell Football Club has undergone major change.
The financial injection from Les Hutchison and ‘Well Society members has saved the club from either the uncertainty of foreign ownership or extremely serious financial danger.
Since then, a number of new initiatives and improvements have begun off the field, as detailed in the Chairman’s blog on Wednesday. On the park, the club has made seven new signings to help an injury-ravaged squad out of their predicament at the foot of the Scottish Premiership. Those signings could not have been made without the recent financial input and were made to protect our top-flight status.
Now, we need the wider Motherwell support to back the developments and buy into the ethos of a community-centred football club. The best way to start is by getting along to Fir Park for tomorrow’s massive game against Dundee, the first of three consecutive home matches. For financial reasons, and to help the team get out of trouble, we need a bigger support than recent games.
What we are asking you as individuals to do is to get along yourself and to actively encourage others to attend. If every ‘Well Society member encourages a friend, the crowd will be boosted by more than 1,200. This is where the collective strength of a fan-based club can come into play.
We have had many memorable days in recent years – a Scottish Cup final, Champions League qualifiers, last season’s second-place decider at Pittodrie, numerous European trips to the likes of France, Spain and Wales. There were 17,000 Well fans at Hampden for the cup final. We need them more than ever now, over the next three games.
Only Celtic and Aberdeen fans have enjoyed top-flight football longer than Motherwell supporters. That proud record cannot be maintained without the odd battle against the drop. This is one of those battles, and it comes at a time when the club needs everyone’s financial backing.
That’s why we need everyone to get behind the club and the players, many of whom have helped us enjoy good times in recent years, some of whom are young guys starting out in the game, others who will be making their home debuts.
Please do your bit by boosting the crowd over the next three games, whatever way you can, starting tomorrow against Dundee.
The Society and the Football Club. Together we are stronger.
Robertson to take Fir Park bowThursday 19 February 2015
Referee for this Saturday’s SPFL Premiership match against Dundee at Fir Park is Donald Robertson.
There will be a bit of history made as Saturday’s game is not only the first time Don has handled a senior match at Fir Park, but his first ever in charge of the Steelmen.
He is a little more familiar with our opponents today though, having handled their 1-3 defeat to St Mirren back in late December as well as two Scottish Championship matches last term, a pair of 0-2 away wins at Raith Rovers and Livingston respectively.
Don has officiated in the senior game for the last four years, but only made his Premiership berth this season; his first match in the top flight being Inverness’ 0-2 away win at Hamilton on the opening day.
He has subsequently handed another five matches at McDiarmid Park, St Mirren Park, Rugby Park and that aforementioned Saints win on Tayside two months ago.
He has also been the man in the middle for big Championship games at Tynecastle, Ibrox as well as Hibernian’s trip to Starks Park, three Scottish Cup fixtures including the recent draw between Spartans and Berwick Rangers and Hibs’ late comeback win against Dumbarton in the League Cup.
The whistler had the tragic misfortune to handle the Morton versus Queen of the South match at Cappielow last season where a long-standing fan sadly passed away during the game, forcing the match to be abandoned. To his credit, the young referee drew widespread praise for his handling of those difficult circumstances.
Don has handled 97 Scottish professional matches in his four years. In those matches, he has booked 74 players and sent off just five. He has given three eight penalty kicks over his four-year stint, interestingly almost half of them coming this season in the SPFL Premiership.
Willie Conquer and Raymond White will run the line and George Salmon is on fourth official duties. Referee Observer is Gerry Evans with Tim Love as SPFL Delegate.
Erwin wins monthly awardThursday 19 February 2015
Motherwell club sponsor Cash Converters is delighted to announce that young striker Lee Erwin has won the Player of the Month award for January.
The Steelmen played six games during January and despite only picking up one point, Erwin shone in his six apppearances, always looking lively and dangerous, especially in his two starts against Dundee Utd and St Johnstone.
The Player of the Month is voted for by the ‘Well fans on Cash Converters’ official SPFL Facebook page and Lee was handed the trophy by fan Lee Anthony.
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.
BLOG: An update from the Chairman #1Wednesday 18 February 2015
Fellow fans, sponsors and residents of the area,
I would like to provide you with an update on what is happening in and around the club and the progress we have made in the last fortnight or so.
As you probably know, the deal to transition the majority shareholding in Motherwell FC from Mr John Boyle to Mr Les Hutchison was completed on Friday 30 January with agreements in place to move to fan ownership within five years if we achieve certain objectives.
We have established three board sub-committees to take action on the agreed business plan with each member of the board having an individual portfolio of responsibility.
Chaired by Derek Weir with new board members Ian Reid and Peter Kellie, the key objectives of the committee are to raise additional revenue in the transfer market and help the club remain in the SPFL Premiership.
They have already appointed a new Head of Recruitment, set out a scouting organisation to cover Scotland, Ireland and parts of England. The new scouting team will be using Scout 7 software to help manage their activity. We will explain in a bit more detail about this hugely positively development in the coming days when everything is ratified.
After a review of the recent spate of injuries, it was clear that better training and conditioning was required and a new physical conditioning specialist, who is based at Stirling University, will be recruited together with the addition of stretching and yoga programmes which will significantly reduce the number and seriousness of injuries. A new assistant manager, Steve Robinson, has been appointed who has experience of the new programmes now in place.
The committee approved a number of new signings during the January transfer period to support the Manager in his efforts to remain in the Scottish top flight. I can assure you the Manager, his staff and players are working extremely hard to achieve this objective.
Chaired by Jim McMahon with new board member Leanne Thomas and myself. The committee have already introduced a new financial reporting system which will allow results to be known five days after the end of each month compared with the previous 4 to 6 weeks.
In addition, better forecasting techniques are being introduced to allow better financial planning. An additional part time member of staff is being employed to support the improvements.
Sales and Marketing Committee
Chaired by myself with Alan Burrows, Robert Montgomery and Doug Inglis. They have identified the need for a dedicated sales and marketing manager with interviews taking place this week. Work has commenced on working with the MFC Community Trust to secure grant funding to create a Motherwell FC museum which will include lots of FC memorabilia but also pictures and information on the local area.
The objective of the committee is to increase revenue from the Function Rooms, matchdays, better use of the various stands and other club assets.
This is where you play your part!
Starting with the next three home games, I would ask you to bring a friend to a game, help us raise the much needed funds to achieve our objectives but also support the team during the crucial stage of the season.
Give the Club a call on 01698 338012 and book your next function which we will do everything we can to make sure is a great success.
The Community Trust continues to do fantastic work with school kids, teens, woman and retired folks like me. They have worked with over 35,000 people in the local community. You should be rightly proud to be associated with the most successful community organisation in Scotland. To help this great work, Les Hutchison has donated over £30,000 toward a new programme to assist teens into work.
As you can see, it has been hugely busy time and a lot has been achieved in less than three weeks. We have plans in place and lots of other areas are bubbling away out of the spotlight. It’s an exciting time at the club and we feel we are making great strides off the park. I sincerely hope that feel-good factor can be translated onto the pitch.
To you, the fans, I wish to convey my thanks for your continued support for the players and manager who are working very hard to secure our continued presence in the top flight. Despite recent disappointing results they remain upbeat, fully committed and optimistic that they can move up the league in the weeks ahead.
I would like to make a special mention of the Well ‘Bois’. They continue to provide a touch of magic at games with their choreographed singing and clapping. Last Saturday they travelled in goodly numbers to Dingwall and I was most impressed by their new song, Twist and Shout, which added a bit extra colour and volume to the proceedings. I know the players and manager are most grateful for and appreciate their contributions.
I would like also to publicly pay tribute to them for organising the food bank for local people at a recent home game. They are a credit to the local community and fully deserve its thanks.
We also hope you can join the Well Society, or if you area already a member, upgrade your membership to allow it to support the club financially and help it repay the 5-year loan.
The Society is finalising the details of a membership revamp that will completely transform the way we engage with members and how fans can play their part, regardless of their circumstances. Every single Motherwell fan has a part to play in this journey. Together, we can make our club the best fan-owned, community focused, and fully engaged entity in Scotland.
The hard work continues apace…….. We need your help!
Inverness CT U20s 1 – 4 Motherwell U20sTuesday 17 February 2015
Motherwell U20s continued their unbeaten start to 2015 with a comfortable 4-1 win over Inverness CT this afternoon.
First half goals from Steven Higgins and Craig Moore had the Steelmen in cruise control before Ross MacLean added a third early in the second half.
Liam Polworth pulled one back as Thistle searched for a way back into the game but with twenty minutes left, Dom Thomas sealed the three points with a fine individual effort.
Jonatan Johansson made three changes to the side that fought back to earn a point against Hibs fourteen days ago. Danny McNulty, Dylan Mackin and trialist Paul George dropped out, replaced in the starting eleven by Craig McCall, Craig Moore and Luke Watt.
The young Steelmen had drawn their other two games of 2015 and signalled their intent to grab all three points in the twelfth minute when Chris Cadden shot from 25 yards hit a deflection and came crashing off the bar, much to Caley’s relief.
Eight minutes later ‘Well made eventually the breakthrough and it’s not one young Daniel Hoban in the Caley goals will want to see again.
Steven Higgins tried his luck from the edge of the box and watched on as the ball agonisingly flew through keeper’s hands and trickled over the line.
Caley huffed and puffed but failed to trouble Stewart in the ‘Well goals and were eventually broken down again.
Higgins slid in Moore, who with very little in the way of options, deliciously scooped the ball over the onrushing Hoban from twenty yards to give ‘Well a commanding 2-0 lead going into the break.
They continued the second 45 in the same vein and within eight minutes were 3-0 up. Thomas jinked in from the right and got a shot away which somehow Hoban spilled, allowing MacLean to tap in from five yards, showing good awareness to follow Thomas’ shot in.
‘Well were in total control when, almost out of the blue, Caley pulled one back in the 61st minute. Polworth found his way through the defence and slid the ball past Stewart. It was a rare lapse in concentration in the ‘Well defence, possibly switching off after having virtually nothing to do for the previous.
Any hopes of a home comeback were dashed with with 20 minutes to go when ‘Well killed the game in style.
Thomas picked the ball up 40 yards out and showed great feet to jink past two Caley defenders. He played a neat one-two with Cadden and cooly finished past Hoban to make it 4-1 and send the Steelmen home with all three points.
Motherwell: Stewart, Watt, McMillan, McCall, Hall, Ferguson, Higgins, Cadden (Campbell, 81), Moore (Mackin, 75), D.Thomas (Anderson, 85), MacLean
Unused subs: McNulty, Leitch, Watters