Extended highlights from Cappielow Park as the Under 20s crashed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Celtic.
TV: Highlights from CappielowMonday 30 March 2015
TV: Johansson calls for clinical ‘WellMonday 30 March 2015
Under 20s boss Jonatan Johansson felt the clinical nature of tonight’s opponents was the main difference between the two teams.
Both teams traded chances during an entertaining ninety minutes, played on a heavy pitch at a rain-soaked Cappielow.
Despite the scores being level after an hour, Celtic scored twice in twenty minutes to secure the win, their second over the Steelmen this campaign after Youth Cup success on the same ground last November.
There was plenty of hard work and no shortage of chances for the Fir Parkers, but it wasn’t to be their night.
[pullquote]It might sound like a stupid thing to say, but the only real difference for me was the goals scored. They were more clinical when they needed to be and we can perhaps defend a little better on both goals.[/pullquote]
Johansson told MFC TV after the match: “It was a good game, both teams played well on a difficult pitch; I really enjoyed the game.
“It might sound like a stupid thing to say, but the only real difference for me was the goals scored. They were more clinical when they needed to be and we can perhaps defend a little better on both goals.
“We created enough chances ourselves to score at least one. Our attitude was good, some of our movement was excellent so despite the defeat, there are plenty of positives we can take from tonight’s game.”
Celtic U20s 2 – 0 Motherwell U20sMonday 30 March 2015
Motherwell Under 20s crashed 2-0 to Celtic at a sodden, rain-battered Cappielow this evening.
On a very heavy pitch, both teams deserve credit for what turned out to be an entertaining evening’s football.
The score was level at the break, with both teams passing up chances. However, Jamie Lindsay and Jaison McGrath got on the score sheet during the second forty-five to ensure all three points went to Stephen Frail’s side.
For the second match in succession, Jonatan Johansson made eight changes to the starting eleven. McNulty, McCall, Maguire, Anderson, R.Leitch, Mackin, Higgins and Campbell all dropped out, replaced by J.Leitch, O’Brien, Kerr, Carswell, O’Brien, Moore, D.Thomas and MacLean.
The rain hammered down on Cappielow and the pitch twice passed an inspection before finally been given the go ahead, despite water pooling on the stand side touchline.
Celtic were the first to threaten when Joe Thomson had two shots within quick succession. His first sailed over the bar whilst his second, a curler from the edge of the D, went inches wide. Teammate Lindsay also had a shot from distance that was only a yard or so over Stewart’s bar.
In reply, Dom Thomas had two efforts and on goal, both of them dragged narrowly wide of Leo Fasan’s left hand post.
Both teams were playing good football, in spite of the terrible conditions, but it was the home side that created more of the chances.
Thomson had another low shot well held by Stewart before the ‘Well stopper made an excellent save to deny Callum McGregor, who had raced clear one-on-one, only for his shot to be blocked.
Tom Rogic had a shot deflected into the side netting, McGrath dragged an effort wide and defender Breslin hooked a long-range effort high and wide as the half drew to a close, with neither team able to get their noses in front.
The Steelmen made much the better start to the second half and Thomas posted early intentions with a curling shot that Fasan was comfortable enough to pluck out the air.
The Italian stopper had to look smart to save a dipping shot from Moore and a long-range Lawson strike along the rain-soaked grass.
It took the hosts about ten minutes to find their feet again, McGregor getting their first shot away in anger, although Stewart was content to watch it rise over the bar.
A similar fate befell a Lawson shot on the hour when, after collecting a sharply taken free kick on the edge of the box, he ballooned an effort high and into the terracing behind the goal.
The deadlock was finally broke shortly after and it was a strike of some quality from Jamie Lindsay. He picked up on a headed clearance after McGregor’s whipped corner and, on the volley, smashed home from twenty yards out.
Motherwell immediately looked to get back into it and on-loan Derby defender Mark O’Brien came close with a header from a corner, but it was straight at Fasan who held on.
Celtic looked dangerous on the counter though, McGregor forcing another decent save from Stewart and sub Nesbitt firing a shot wide of target.
Then, with their next attack, Celtic doubled their lead and secured the points when McGrath got on the end of a Darnell Fisher cutback to poke home at the near post.
There was still time for Fasan to deny Craig Moore with a wonder save, at full stretch turning his rasping drive onto the post before the Hoops defence hoofed it cleared.
Motherwell: Stewart, Watt, McMillan (Mackin – 82mins), Leitch, O’Brien, Kerr, Carswell, Lawson, Moore, Thomas, MacLean
Subs: Currie, McNulty, McCall, Hall, Anderson, Higgins
Easter Soccer Camp returnsMonday 30 March 2015
Youngsters aged 5-14 are bring urged to get fit and healthy, improve their football skills and have fun by taking part in the 2015 MFC Community Trust Easter Holiday Camp.
The Camp will be held on the Fir Park Astroturf from 6th-10th April and 13th-17th April. Running from 8:30- 3:30 each day and delivered by SFA accredited coaches, sessions will focus on a range of skills such as shooting, passing and dribbling.
Kids will then have the chance to put their new skills into practice through penalty competitions and small-sided games.
As part of our expanding and extremely popular Girls performance Centre, we will also be introducing a Girls Only Easter Camp.
MFC First team players, Under 20’s players, and MFC Ladies players will also be popping in to offer pointers and advice to the McDonald, Lasley and Pearson’s of the future.
Motherwell FC manager Ian Baraclough said: “Our Community Trust are doing a fantastic job.
“There are now over 350 players registered with our Community Teams and playing in Claret and Amber every week, as well as 200 children playing in our Soccer Centres.
“The Easter Holiday programme is a fantastic opportunity for the boys and girls to come along and have fun, and remember, we’ve always got our eye open for talented youngsters too so there are plenty of reasons to get involved.”
Places are available at only £11 per day and £50 per week. Group bookings are also being taken. Drop off will be from 8.30am to help those busy working mum’s and dad’s, however, call the office to arrange a later drop off time if more convenient.
For further information on times as well as bookings phone Motherwell Football Club Community Trust on 01698 239 926 or alternatively visit www.motherwellsoccerschools.com.
Helen Templeton’s Blog #12Saturday 28 March 2015
Success in the City of Discovery
It was a very convincing win for our ladies squad as they swept Dundee City aside in the second round of the League Cup last weekend.
Another difficult pitch didn’t make conditions easy for either side, but Motherwell were quick to dominate play and test the young City keeper.
City did threaten the ‘Well goal however but Linda Gibson was quick to shut the door.
‘Well ladies netted the first goal and continued in fine form to see the first half out 6-0. The second half begun much like the first. Dundee showed a lot of resilience to beat off an onslaught of ‘Well attacks, however they weren’t able to hold off the ‘Tiki taka’ style of ‘Well play that saw several quick breaches of their defensive line.
Gaffer McArthur, spoilt for choice, then looked to the bench to utilise some of the excellent young talent he has in the squad… that proved highly successful. Fresh legs and fresh faces brought a change the City players weren’t able to counteract, with goals 7, 8 and 9 coming in quick succession.
A late penalty shout saw City with a chance to claw one back for the home side, which they did successfully with a coolly converted kick from the spot.
Final score: Dundee City 1, Motherwell Ladies 9.
Goals: Liddell (3), M.Burns (2) Mason (1), McInally (1) T.Burns (1) Gallagher (1)
This week’s Player Focus sees us get all the low down on former Scotland Internationalist, Stacey Cook, pictured below celebrating her 50th International cap several years ago.
Full name: Stacey Cook
Nickname: Staceo or Cookie
Preferred position: Centre Midfield
Years in the game: 24
Motherwell Rovers 1994
Ayr Utd 1996
Motherwell FC – Present
Women’s A squad 1997-2007
Q) What team do you support?
I grew up a Rangers fan, I am now a Motherwell Ladies fan of course!
Q) What is your trademark phrase?
“There’s yer dinner!”
Q) What is your best sporting memory?
Achieving A-category with the National team, meaning we would take part in the World Cup and European qualification matches.
Q) Who are your favourite players?
Kim Little and Steven Gerrard
Q) It’s great to have you as part of the squad Stacey, what brought about your move to Motherwell Ladies FC?
Well to be honest, Linda Gibson (Gibby) had been texting me back and forth, I then arranged to meet Charlie and to be honest, after five minutes in the room I knew this was the team I wanted to play for. The vision and ambition of Motherwell ladies is quite incredible for a team that is only in its second season, from grass roots right through to the ladies. I also started my career back in 1994 at Motherwell Rovers so thought it quite fitting to finish my career at the mighty ‘Well.
Q) You’re obviously a very experienced player. I remember when I first started playing for Guiliano’s in the premier league (when I was young and fresh faced!) maybe 11 years ago now, you were the one to watch when it was a Hibs fixture. Who inspired you when you first came into the game?
When I first started playing I remember getting to a final with Ayr Utd, we were playing against Cumbernauld Cosmos who were made up mainly of Internationalists; I watched one player during our warm-up keep the ball up from the half way line right up to their goalkeeper, Pauline Hamill. I was later lucky enough to play alongside her at Hibs and Scotland, who to this day remains a very good friend of mine.
Q) You have achieved the highest accolade in Scottish Women’s football and one the majority of players can only dream of achieving and that is to represent your country! Tell us more…
Pulling on a Scotland jersey, walking onto the park and singing my national anthem for the very first time is something I will never forget. I have 72 caps for my country and each and every one of them will always remain one of my proudest achievements in football. Being part of the National squad took me all over the world and for a young girl from Coalburn, this allowed me to fulfil most of my ambitions in football.
Q) Its very clear to see you still have a real passion for football. What is it that still draws you to playing the beautiful game after all these years?
Still to this day, every Sunday, I wake with butterflies in my tummy, knowing that I’m playing football that day and to be honest the minute that changes I’ll know the boots are ready to be hung up. I also like a good carry-on at training when Graham and Malky are not looking!
Q) All at MLFC is sorry to hear that you are out just now with an injury, is it difficult being stuck on the sidelines and not being able to play?
I’m not a good fan to be honest as I always want to be on the park but having suffered a few injuries during my career, I know how important it is to show and give my teammates support. I only have this attitude through age, if you’d asked this in my 20s there would have been a few naughty words in this answer.
Q) I would imagine the frustration it’s made even worse being right at the start of the season, I would imagine you are kicking and heading every ball from the stands! Have you been pleased with how your team mates have been performing so far?
I’m so proud and pleased with the way the girls have performed in our first two games. 21 goals in two games is phenomenal. I’m going to have to work really hard once fit to get back into the team, which it something I am looking forward to.
Q) What is the worst injury you have suffered in your long and successful career?
I ruptured my ACL whilst playing with Hibs which put me out for 6 months. The surgeon had to take part of my hamstring out of my opposite leg to repair my cruciate. That was the toughest injury I had to overcome.
Q) Do you think the mental struggle of recovery is harder to get your head around than the physical side?
After my ACL repair I spoke to a friend who was a sports phycologist, she helped me understand that any injury is 90% mental and 10% physical. That one sentence helped me so much in my recovery process. I realised it’s not just about the wound healing, it’s everything you do right down to the food you eat, the way you think, accepting what happened and moving onto the healing process. This mind-set helped me recover quicker; I was back playing 6 month later when I was told it would be a minimum 9months.
Q) When do you hope to be back training?
I enjoyed my first road run this week and look forward to getting run number two under my belt this week also! Really hoping I will get a run out at some point on Sunday as I was really gutted to miss the start of the season.
Q) This season sees an entirely new league, playing a lot of different, but challenging opponents…which opponent do you look forward to playing the most and why? …or is there no-one you fear?
To be honest many of the teams in our league are new to me, I know any challenging team we come up against this season we are fully equipped to deal with them…. Bring it on!
Q) Okay, so your team mates past and present have let me in on a few of your secrets…in your opinion, what’s been your most embarrassing football moment?
As most of the experienced (see older) players in my team know I do love to carry on and I am usually always the one being told off for acting the clown, so I have collected a few embarrassing moments during my playing career but I’m afraid they are much too naughty to put down on paper…. Sorry!! I will just say one thing… “Mash potatoes”
Q) Tell me a secret no one knows about one of your team mates…
Ahh, see! …I am more than happy to dish the dirt on other people though! One of the funniest moments for me and embarrassing moments for her was during a World Cup qualifier. We were at our last training session before the big game and you could tell the mood in the camp was one of extreme nerves. Vera Pauw shouted us all over for one of her inspiring team talks, so we all sprinted over apart from one girl who was kneeling down…we all thought she was praying or injured. Vera kept asking; “What is she doing?” …to our astonishment we found out she was ”peeing” in the centre of the park! Haahaa, she will kill me! This girl, well woman now has just given birth to twins, so shall remain nameless! ***cough Mhari Gilmour cough***
Q) What are your hopes for the season and cup campaigns ahead?
There is no doubt in my mind that we (MLFC) are one of the strongest team in the league, so my hopes along with the rest of the girls I’m sure is to win the league and League Cup….. Plain and simple! We have had great preparation during pre-season and have started out campaign off very strongly. It’s a privilege and honour to be playing for Motherwell Ladies, so I would love to repay the coaches and Charlie by helping my team achieve these goals… “Well, Well, Super Well”
Thank you so much for letting us get to know you better Stacey! You have had an amazing career so far and we are very happy to have you here to continue it at our club! Welcome to the ‘Well Family. We wish you a lightning quick recovery and are very much looking forward to seeing you back on the pitch in the coming weeks!
This week’s league fixture sees MLFC take on Blackburn Utd this Sunday, 2pm kick off. After a horrendous act of vandalism to the ‘Well ladies home pitch in Carluke, this game will now take place at Ravenscraig on the 3G outdoor pitch. We welcome you along to watch the ladies in action.
For more info and up to date happenings at MLFC, follow me on twitter: @dibsy_
David Ferguson joins Alloa on loanFriday 27 March 2015
Youngster David Ferguson has today joined Championship side Alloa Atheltic on loan until the end of the season.
Ferguson, 19, has been a mainstay for Jonatan Johansson’s Under 20s side this campaign and made his first-team debut against Dundee Utd at Tannadice last August.
He has subsequently gone on to play top team football on six separate occasions, including three starts against Inverness, Ross County and St Mirren.
Comfortable across the back four and in midfield, he will look to help Paddy Connolly’s men as they battle with Cowdenbeath and Livingston at the foot of the Championship table.
[pullquote]Playing in the Championship with Alloa will benefit him enormously, particularly being in a first-team when the pressure is on, as opposed to playing Development League football every Tuesday.[/pullquote]
‘Well boss Ian Baraclough said: “David has performed really well in recent matches for the Under 20s, but with Louis Laing, Stephen McManus, Simon Ramsden, Mark O’Brien, Fraser Kerr, Josh Law and Luke Watt all battling for a spot in a similar position, it’s been difficult for him to get in.
“However, playing in the Championship with Alloa will benefit him enormously, particularly being in a first-team when the pressure is on, as opposed to playing Development League football every Tuesday.
“Like the other three players out on loan (Morgyn Neill, Chris Cadden and Adam Cummins), we’ll monitor his progress from now until the end of May.”
Partick Thistle 2 – 1 Motherwell U20sFriday 27 March 2015
A youthful Motherwell Under 20s conceded twice in the last fifteen minutes to lose 2-1 to Partick Thistle this morning.
The Steelmen had gone in front courtesy of Dylan Mackin’s tenth goal of the campaign, but Jordan Leyden levelled from the penalty spot after seventy-five minutes.
Then, with just three minutes remaining, Michael McMullin tucked home from close range after some neat built-up play to win all three points for his side.
Jonatan Johansson made as many as eight changes to the team that beat Dundee Utd on Tuesday and named his youngest ever side at this level. Included in the squad were six players still eligible for the Academy U17s side, with the average age of the squad just 17.1 years, goalkeeper Ross Stewart the most experienced at 19-years old.
Thistle themselves had a young team too and it told, with both sides a little naive at times, but with plenty of effort and endeavour during the first period.
So much so, after 30 minutes there had been just one effort at goal, and that’s when Leyden robbed 16-year old Barry Maguire and charged in on Stewart, only to scoop his effort over the crossbar.
Motherwell’s first effort of the game came from Liam Anderson, who broke the lines to get on the end of a Danny McNulty throughball, only for his low shot to be comfortably held by Conner Cullen.
Leyden had a thirty-yard effort sail over and McMullin perhaps could’ve done better with a back post header as Thistle looked to get ahead, but nothing that caused Stewart many problems.
Down the other end, the Fir Parkers were equally shy in front of goal, with a Robbie Leitch shot that fizzed wide the only noteworthy effort in an otherwise tame first half.
However, Johansson’s men came out the traps after the restart and the former Charlton striker would’ve been scratching his head at how his team didn’t take the lead after just 45 seconds.
Anderson capitalised on some hesitant defending before smashing a shot that Cullen blocked. It fell back out to the winger, but his second shot was saved again. When it landed at Robbie Leitch, a goal looked certain but his shot was saved again, before being hooked off the line by Matthew McInally.
Mackin spurned two free headers inside the penalty box before eventually grabbing the goal he and Motherwell deserved.
Luke Watt, who was the best player on the park, was the creator, sending a lovely long diagonal pass towards the striker, who held off his marker before slotting past Cullen.
After their goal the Claret and Amber men continued to create, albeit Thistle were having more of the ball.
Mackin curled a shot high and wide of target and Higgins smashed a shot over from the edge of the box and you felt a second goal would be enough to secure the victory.
However, somewhat against the run of play at the time, the Jags drew level from the penalty spot after Craig McCall tripped McCarthy in the area. Leyden stepped up and coolly knocked the ball down the middle to level things up.
‘Well introduced a number of subs including Ryan Watters and 15-year old Dylan Falconer and it was one of those, Watters, who almost put the visitors back in front.
He latched on to a loose ball inside the area, only for his low shot to deflect behind. From the resulting corner, the same player crashed a header narrowly wide of the post.
However, it was the Thistle who looked the most likely after Stewart had blocked well to stop Andy McCarthy, he was left with little chance as the hosts nabbed all three points late on.
It was a good flowing Jags move, that started deep in their own half, but after McLaughlin and Lamont had combined, they slipped McMullin who tucked it away from close range.
It was a cruel blow for the youngsters, although with the average age of the team that finished the match just 16.8 years, there is plenty to be encouraged about with some youth products gaining valuable experience at a higher level.
Motherwell: Stewart, McNulty, McMillan, McCall, Watt, Maguire, Anderson (Watters – 66mins), R. Leitch, Mackin, Higgins (Falconer – 80mins), Campbell (J.Moore – 73mins)
Subs Not Used: Currie
Quiz the board & watch ScotlandThursday 26 March 2015
Come along to Fir Park this Sunday (29th March) for a fun packed day in the Centenary Suite.
Open from 12.30pm, visitors will have the opportunity to visit the tunnel to see their new tiles in place in our new-look tunnel wall. For those who have not yet purchased, there will be a facility to buy yours and carve your name in history.
At 2.30pm you’ll have the chance to test your knowledge in our MFC Pub Quiz, answering questions about all things Motherwell throughout the ages.
For the kids, we will have FIFA15 set up and will be running a tournament all afternoon, provided by our friends from GAME.
Chairman Brian McCafferty and General Manager Alan Burrows will be in attendance and at 3.30pm they will be hosting a fans’ Q&A, answering all your questions about MFC.
Come 5.00pm, Scotland take on Gibraltar in EURO 2016 Qualifying action and we’ll be showing the game live and providing free pies at half-time too.
The bar will be open until after the game, with free soft drinks available for kids.