Extended highlights from Excelsior Stadium as Motherwell 20s and Rangers U20s play out a 1-1 draw.
TV: Highlights from Excelsior StadiumWednesday 25 February 2015
Motherwell U20s 1 – 1 Rangers U20sWednesday 25 February 2015
Motherwell and Rangers U20s shared the spoils this afternoon in an end-to-end game at the Excelsior Stadium.
Chris Cadden gave the young Steelmen a second half lead before being pegged back by a Ryan Hardie striked only eight minutes later.
Motherwell went into the game on the back of a commanding 4-1 victory over Inverness CT last week and looked like continuing that form, dominating the opening twenty minutes. ‘Well had the bulk of the possession but took fouteen minutes to test Kelly in the Gers goal.
The busy MacLean sent Higgins through with a great pass from midfield but Kelly stood up and got a foot to Higgins’ shot, as a goal looked inevitable.
A minute later and he was called into action again, from similar circumstances. This time it was Dom Thomas who harried Ryan Sinnamon as they raced onto MacLean’s long ball. He got in front of his man but his first-time shot was straight at the ‘keeper, and the recovering Sinnamon swept it clear.
Rangers took heed of those warning shots and started to cause problems of their own.
Tom Walsh picked out Calum Gallagher with a fine diagonal ball but the winger seemed to lack composure with his finish, after bringing the ball down well, and Currie gratefully pounced on it.
Moments later Rangers passed up another good opportunity to get themselves in front. Hardie got on the end of Gallagher’s cutback and after a few twists and turns, set up Walsh who hooked his shot just past the post.
As the half-hour mark approached, it seemed incredible neither side had made the breakthrough and despite good chances for McHugh and Ramsay, the sides went into the interval at 0-0.
Rangers looked the most likely but it was ‘Well who drew first blood, after 54 minutes.
Steven Higgins broke clear from a Rangers corner and gave it to MacLean who played a perfectly weighted ball to Cadden. As Kelly raced off his line, Cadden showed enough composure to slide the ball under him to complete the counter-attack.
Unfortunately the lead didn’t last long.
Eight minutes later Hardie got on the end of Gallagher’s hopeful through ball and his first-time shot from 18 yards looked harmless enough but somehow squirmed away from Currie and into the back of the net.
Both sides traded blows, going in search of a winner and in the 80th minute, Chris Cadden had a series of chances to grab it.
Firstly, he did well to get to the front post and meet Thomas’ shot but could only suceed in hitting the side netting from an awkward position.
Then came a more clear-cut chance as he got on the end of MacLean’s and with plenty of time tried to find the bottom corner but saw his shot go just past.
With five minutes to go he found himself on the edge of the box and unleashed a great curling effort which unfortunately flew just wide, and proved to be the last chance as both sides came away with what looked like a fair point.
Muir takes charge against Inverness CTTuesday 24 February 2015
Referee for this Saturday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Inverness CT at Fir Park is Alan Muir.
It will be Muir’s third Motherwell game of the campaign and only hid fourth in the last 25 months.
The first was a disappointing 0-1 home defeat to St Johnstone, when a late Brian Graham header secured all three points for the Perth side.
Most recently, it was Ian Baraclough’s first match and a 1-0 win in Paisley thanks to John Sutton’s second half goal.
The other in that almost two-year run was a 2-0 win against Inverness last March, Lionel Ainsworth and John Sutton getting the goals that fired the Fir Parkers into second.
Despite the lack of matches, the 39-year old will be a familiar face to Fir Park fans after taking charge of two matches during the successful 2012/13 season.
The first that season was the league opener at Ross County as the Steelmen played out an uneventful 0-0 draw with the then league’s new boys.
His other was a 1-0 home defeat by Dundee United in November 2012, a late Johnny Russell header giving Peter Houston’s side all three points.
He also handled five matches the previous season (2011/12). It started with Celtic’s 4-0 win in early September 2011, then a 1-0 win over Aberdeen, Bob McHugh scoring the winning goal some fourteen days later.
The third was a resounding 3-0 victory of St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park before Dunfermline were swept aside 3-1 at Fir Park in a re-arranged game from Boxing Day.
The last that season was when Motherwell memorably beat Hearts 3-0 on their way to securing third in the SPL and a spot in the UEFA Champions League..
His overall record in charge of Motherwell is pretty mixed. The Steelmen have won nine, draw four and lost seven from twenty games. ‘Well have netted 24 times whilst conceding 27.
In all those games he has produced 60 yellow cards, 30 of which were shown to a player in claret and amber, and five dismissals; Paul Quinn, Michael Higdon, Stephen Craigan and Keith Lasley of Motherwell and Stephen Thompson of St Mirren in his last ‘Well match.
Alan will be ably assisted on the day by Ross Haswell and Graeme Steewart with Alan Newlands on fourth official duties. Kevin Toner is the referee observer and John Connolly is the SPFL Delegate.
20s back in action on WednesdayMonday 23 February 2015
Jonatan Johansson’s Under 20s are in action on Wednesday when they take on Rangers at Excelsior Stadium .
The young Steelmen go into the game on the back of two draws and most recently, a fine 4-1 win over Inverness CT last week.
A win could take the Fir Parkers above their Glasgow opponents, whose last outing was a 4-1 defeat to Hibs last week.
The match takes place on Wednesday . Kick off is 2pm.
Dundee defeat in picturesSaturday 21 February 2015
Action pictures from today’s 0-1 SPFL Premiership defeat by Dundee at Fir Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
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.”