Extended highlights from Fir Park as goals from Erwin, McDonald and Ainsworth gave ‘Well a 3-1 win.
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkFriday 08 May 2015
TV: Baraclough hails battling ‘WellFriday 08 May 2015
‘Well boss Ian Baraclough praised the resilience of his side after the 3-1 win against Kilmarnock at Fir Park.
The Steelmen had roared into a comfortable 2-0 lead at the break and were looking good to see out the match for a vital win.
However, Josh Magennis halved the deficit and there was a spell when you could almost feel the nerves inside the stadium.
However, to their credit, ‘Well were able to regain their composure, regain their ascendancy in the match and eventually added a decisive third late on to confirm the victory.
A pleased Ian Baraclough told MFC TV after the match: “We had to dig in at times, show some character and had do some of the uglier sides of the game tonight. We did that which in turn allowed us to go and play our football when the opportunity allowed for it.
“I enjoyed some of our attacking play. It can be difficult when you’re under a bit of pressure to show that sort of football, but credit to the players.
“The goals all had some nice elements to them and we do carry a threat. We’re creating chances – I think we had 19 shots tonight and that’s certainly an encouraging sign.”
[pullquote]I enjoyed some of our attacking play. It can be difficult when you’re under a bit of pressure to show that sort of football, but credit to the players.[/pullquote]
‘Well now sit three points behind Kilmarnock with two games left to play.
Ross County have the chance to extend that back to six if they beat St Mirren in Dingwall at the weekend, but Baraclough is adamant is side need to finish the season with victories to really ramp up the pressure on others in the fight.
Asked if his side needed six points from their next two, he added: “We’ve got to, otherwise tonight’s win is for nothing. Two wins gives others very little margin for error, but we’ll take it one step at a time.
“We’ve built some momentum over the last ten games, albeit with a few blips along the way; but we need to try and maintain that. I believe in the players and I think they can go and deal with it. It’ll be difficult, but they’ve got the ability
Kilmarnock win in picturesFriday 08 May 2015
Action pictures from this evening’s 3-1 win over Kilmarnock at Fir Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Motherwell 3 – 1 KilmarnockFriday 08 May 2015
Phil McGhee Fir Park
A resounding ‘Well win closed the gap on Kilmarnock to three points and ensures that the fight to avoid the play-offs goes on.
After a slow start, two goals from Scott McDonald and Lee Erwin in the latter part of the first half provided Motherwell with the perfect foundation for what should have been a comfortable and well deserved win.
But when Josh Magennis pulled one back for Killie soon after the break, ‘Well fans had to endure a few missed chances and anxious moments before Lionel Ainsworth came off the bench to make it 3-1 and put the game and the three crucial points beyond any doubt.
Knowing that it really was a ‘must win’ game, Ian Baraclough was forced to make one change from the side which drew with Ross County, Simon Ramsden coming in at right back for the injured Josh Law.
The ‘Well defence had an early escape when a Magennis’ pass somehow found its way to the unmarked Paul Cairney but from12 yards his low shot was blocked by George Long.
Not surprisingly, given the stakes, the Fir Park players were are a little nervous in possession and Killie almost made them pay after 15 minutes when Magennis had time to control the ball before firing an angled drive which Long brilliantly blocked with his feet.
It took the home side 22 minutes for their first threat on goal when Marvin Johnson, who was a constant threat on the left, curled the ball towards Scott McDonald but his header drifted harmlessly over.
In their next attack six minutes later, though, ‘Well found the target and take charge of the game.
Lee Erwin showed tremendous skill just inside the box to evade three tackles. And although Craig Samson got down well to parry the young striker’s shot on the line, McDonald nipped in to ram the ball home for his second goal in two games.
Lee Ashcroft was annoyed when he narrowly failed to head home the equaliser on the half hour mark but the Killie centre back was left bamboozled when the home side made it 2-0 seven minutes from the interval.
Lee Erwin appeared to have little options as he chased a long ball at the edge of the box closely marked by Ashcroft. But the striker twice turned his opponent before dragging the ball towards the centre of the box, finishing off a fantastic solo goal by drilling the ball across Samson to put ‘Well in the driving seat.
And a with Killie dazed McDonald almost made it 3-0 but his header from Johnson’s cross was well saved by Samson at the foot of his post.
In attempt to stave off a another crushing defeat Gary Locke made two changes at the interval and within seven minutes they had pulled a goal back.
The ‘Well defence failed to deal with a Jamie Hamill corner and after the ball had floated across the six yard box a few times, Magennis forced it home to give the visitors a lift.
The third goal which would have eased the home fans almost came on the 70th minute. Erwin’s headed flick found McDonald who rolled the ball in front of Conor Grant and his rising shot was netbound until Samson palmed the ball over.
That gave the ‘Well players a spark to their play and another swift move ended with Keith Lasley drilling his shot wide from 20 yards.
Firstly Erwin and then Johnson skied efforts over the bar as the game entered the final 10 minutes on a bit of a knife edge.
With five minutes remaing, Baraclough brought on Lionel Ainsworth and Anthony Straker just in time to see McDonald curl a 25 yard free kick just outside Samson’s right hand post.
But it was left to Ainsworth to make certain of the points in the final minute of normal time. McDonald carried the ball towrds the box before playing in the sub who stepped inside Daryl Westlake before sweeping the ball past Samson for a great finish.
John Sutton then came on for the five minutes of added on time but it was McDonald who might have added another when he raced through the expose Kille defence before forcing a fine diving save from Samson.
However, despite his heroics the Kilmarnock ‘keeper couldn’t prevent his side from slipping to their seventh consecutive defeat and gives the Steelmen hope they can get out of the bottom two.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
Great performance and an enormous three points. COYW!!!!
90′ | 3-1 | #MFCvKFC
Almost 4 as McDonald bursts clear but Samson stands tall and diverts it wide for a corner.
90′ | 3-1 | #MFCvKFC
Motherwell sub, Sutton on for Erwin.
90′ | 3-1 | #MFCvKFC
Ainsworth drills it past Samson after being played in McDonald!! Great goal!
87′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
McDonald curls his free-kick from 25 yards just wide of the post with Samson beat!
86′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Motherwell subs, Grant and Hammell off for Ainsworth and Straker
85′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Westlake booked for a late challenge on Erwin….
82′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Erwin cuts past Ashcroft but his shot from just outside the box is high and over the bar.
Young ‘Well fans can vote now for their Man of the Match by using #MatchAttaxMOTM. #MFCvKFC
76′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Barbour is bandaged up and will continue, Johnson back on too.
75′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Sore one for Barbour an Johnson who clash heads going for a header. Both down receiving treatment.
73′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Nice bit of play by Hammell and McDonald sets up Lasley who fires well wide from 25 yards.
71′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Kilmarnock sub, Pascali off for the bearded Connolly
70′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Good save by Samson to beat Grant’s powerful shot over the bar from 15 yards. Corner….cleared by Killie.
68′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Hamill and Pearson booked. Looked like it got a bit heated between the two.
64′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Pascali booked for a late challenge on Pearson. Grant’s delivery is too deep and goes out for goal kick.
63′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
McDonald picks the ball up on the left and crosses high to Erwin but he can only head wide. Awkward chance.
Tonight’s match attendance at Fir Park is 3,986. Thanks as always for joining us. #MFCvKFC
59′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Free-kick to ‘Well in decent area, Johnson delivers and it’s nodded wide by what looked like a Killie player.No corner.
52′ | 2-1 | #MFCvKFC
Goal, Magennis pulls one back for Killie, tapping home from close range
49′ | 2-0 | #MFCvKFC
Killie free-kick in a good wide position,taken short then cleared by Lasley
46′ | 2-0 | #MFCvKFC
Johnson and Lasley get the second 45 underway. COYW!
Half-time | 2-0 | #MFCvKFC
Two Killie subs, McKenzie and Clingan off for Obadeyi and Kiltie.
HALF TIME | #MFCvKFC
Motherwell 2 – 0 Kilmarnock
42′ | 2-0 | #MFCvKFC
Johnson whips in a deep cross which McDonald gets his head to but can’t generate enough power to beat Samson.
41′ | 2-0 | #MFCvKFC
Samson called into action again, this time getting his foot onto Johnson’s powerful low drive. All Motherwell now!
39′ | 2-0 | #MFCvKFC
Hammell does superbly to release Erwin, who shows enough strength and finishes past Samson to make it 2-0!!!!
36′ | 1-0 | #MFCvKFC
Great bit of wing play from Johnson as he skips past Barbour but his drive cross has nobody on the end of it.
35′ | 1-0 | #MFCvKFC
Good play down the left wing leads to a ‘Well corner but Miller and Cairney combine to clear the danger.
30′ | 1-0 | #MFCvKFC
Ashcroft has a free header 6 yards out but somehow fails to hit the target!
26’| 1-0 | #MFCvKFC
Samson can only beat Erwin’s powerful shot out to McDonald who was on hand to tap in from 2 yards!!! 1-0!!
17′ | 0-0 | #MFCvKFC
Strong, strong claim for a penalty there! Westlake appeared to move his arm towards to the ball to clear from Grant.
16′ | 0-0 | #MFCvKFC
Magennis gets a low shot away from a tight angle which ricochets off Hammell.Long does excellently to get a foot on it!
9’| 0-0 | #MFCvKFC
Erwin wins a corner off Pascali…great Conor Grant delivery but nobody on the end of it.
2′ | 0-0 | #MFCvKFC
Big chance for Cairney who gets on the end of a low cross but Long is equal to it and O’Brien mops up!
2′ | 0-0 | #MFCvKFC
Ball falls nicely for Cairney about 25 yards out and he tries his luck. Thankfully it whizzes well wide.
Kick-off | 0-0 | #MFCvKFC
Hamill and McKenzie get the game underway. COYW!!
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:
“The win drags us closer to Kilmarnock. What happens in those situations, all of a sudden players get edgy, make decisions that you probably wouldn’t do normally, fans get edgy.
“I feel as though we are a side that are in the ascendancy but it’s all to play for. There are two massive games now for both us and Kilmarnock and it gets us closer and they know we are on their tails.”
Kilmarnock manager Gary Locke:
“We knew if we got a result tonight we were okay. The fact that Motherwell have beaten us, we are right in the mix.
“No point feeling sorry for ourselves, we have got to make sure we respond. We have been on a terrible run and we have to rectify that next week.”
Final day details confirmedThursday 07 May 2015
The SPFL has confirmed the final round of bottom six fixtures in the Premiership will all take place on Saturday 23rd May.
There was an option for matches to be switched to Friday night for live television coverage on BT Sport, but the league has confirmed the games will go ahead on the Saturday as originally planned – with kick-off 3pm.
The Steelmen are due to take on Partick Thistle that day in a fixture that could prove to be vital in the bid to avoid the bottom two.
TV: Law has positive mindsetThursday 07 May 2015
Josh Law reckons the mood in the Motherwell camp is positive ahead of three crunch games to end the season.
The Steelmen sit in the Premiership’s play-off spot, six points adrift of Ross County and tomorrow’s opponents Kilmarnock, but a win is going to be vital to peg back the Ayrshire side and set-up a dramatic climax to the season.
Law, who has settled into his role of right back, believes his side can prove the doubters wrong and find their way out of eleventh place.
Speaking to the broadcast press at today’s press conference, he said: “The mood in the camp is good and although last week we wanted all three points, a point keeps us within distance of Ross County and Kilmarnock, which makes tomorrow’s game massive for us.”
[pullquote]There is obviously tension but there is also a confidence and a determination that we can get out of this position and a win tomorrow gives us a chance.[/pullquote]
“We’ve got to stick together and get through this; it’s our only option and we’ll be looking to get the three points to get things rolling again and set up a tense finish to the season.
“It’s win or bust, with three games left and six points off safety. If we can win tomorrow it may make Ross County and Kilmarnock a little nervous, so a win is essential.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve been here for ten months or ten years, we all have pride in ourselves , our team mates and who we are working for and we owe it to the fans to come together as a group and stay in this division.”
TV: Baraclough wants ‘Well winThursday 07 May 2015
Despite numerous possible permutations for survival, Ian Baraclough concedes his side need to take maximum points tomorrow to be in with any chance of avoiding eleventh place.
The Steelmen play their seventh Friday night game of the season tomorrow when they take on Kilmarnock, who have lost their last six games, a run which the Fir Park boss is sadly familiar with.
The Englishman told the assembled press: “We’ve been on the run they are on and it is difficult to get yourself out of it. It’s difficult to suddenly switch from six defeats to thinking we are a decent side.
“Players have doubts, in themselves and each other. We’ve had that period and managed to get some decent results off the back of it by understanding that we are a good team and have good ability.
[pullquote]We’ve been on the run they are on and it is difficult to get yourself out of it. It’s difficult to suddenly switch from six defeats to thinking we are a decent side.[/pullquote]
“Hopefully we can play on the fact they are on a poor run themselves. There will be nerves and an edginess to the game. Supporters can get edgy and sometimes that can transmit onto the players but if we can attack it, we can eradicate those nerves and there will be a confidence in the way we can go and play and that is when you can get the best of the players.
“We’ll have to go for it as we have to win the game. We’ll have to put in a lot of effort to go and get the chances and we’ll have to be creative and defend well. They won’t come here to just pick up a point and they have their threats, which we know all about, but for me the way we play best is by taking the game by the scruff of the neck, playing on the front foot and trying to play in their half.
“Of course we need favours from other sides but we’ve got to concentrate on ourselves and we can’t worry about what happens elsewhere or in another weeks time. It’s here and now, it’s a Friday night game and we can make sure we can put teams above us under a certain amount of pressure if we go and win our game.”
Curry Night returns this FridayThursday 07 May 2015
Friday football is back at Fir Park yet again and we want you to join us for a ‘Curry Night’ in the Centenary Suite.
‘Well face Kilmarnock on Friday 8th May (7.45pm KO) in what will be another vital SPFL Premiership match.
Join us from 5.30pm onwards to enjoy our tasty three-course curry event with full service and a Pay bar facility pre and post match.
On your table will be a plentiful supply of Poppadoms and spiced onions. We’ll start with mixed pakoras, served with fresh salad and dipping sauce, followed by your choice of either a Chicken or Vegetable Curry (served with basmati rice and mini naan breads).
Legendary defender Brian Martin will be the host with your chance to meet first team players and club staff throughout the evening.
Remember, all hospitality packages at Fir Park also include your match ticket, programme, teamsheet and half time tea too.
The package is priced at £60 for adults and £45 for concession (both inclusive of VAT). Season Ticket holders can upgrade their regular stand ticket from just £25.
If you would like to book your seat or table, please phone the Commercial Department on 01698 333333 or email email@example.com
Under 20s squad updatesThursday 07 May 2015
Motherwell Football Club today confirmed to its Under 20s which players would be offered extended deals.
David Ferguson, Ben Hall, Chris Cadden and Dylan Mackin have all been offered new contracts to stay with the club.
In addition, seven players have been promoted from the club’s Elite Academy Under 17s to be first-year full time professionals for 2015/16.
They are: Dylan Falconer, Jake Hastie, David Turnbull, PJ Morrison, Barry McGuire, Josh Moore and Adam Livingstone.
Sadly, Max Currie, Morgyn Neill, Danny McNulty, Craig McCall, Liam Anderson and Steven Higgins will leave when their contracts expire at the end of the month.
Motherwell Football Club would like to sincerely thank each and every player who is leaving for their contribution and wish them every success in the future career.
Collum to officiate Killie clashWednesday 06 May 2015
Willie Collum will take charge of Friday’s Scottish Premiership meeting with Kilmarnock at Fir Park.
One of Scotland’s most recognisable officials, Willie will be handling his sixth ‘Well game of the campaign.
The first was at Rugby Park in late August, the home side running out comfortable 2-0 winners. The game didn’t pass without controversy, with Stuart McCall left frustrated at a number of decisions involving Manual Pascali and a missed handball in the box.
The second was the instantly forgettable 0-4 reverse against Hamilton Accies at Fir Park. When goals from Mickael Antoine-Curier, Tony Andreu and a double from Ali Crawford gave the Accies their biggest win at Fir Park in over 80 years,
He was the man in the middle for the 2-2 draw with Ross County when Tony Dingwall’s double, including a 94th minute equaliser, cancelled out John Sutton and Henrik Ojamaa’s goals.
In January, he took charge of Motherwell’s 2-0 defeat to Aberdeen, in which he controversially sent off Stephen McManus; a decision which was later rescinded after an appeal.
Most recently, he officiated ‘Well’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone at Fir Park in January. Murray Davidson gave Saints and early lead before Louis Laing saw red on his debut. 10-men Motherwell battled back and equalised through John Sutton, who fired spectacularly into the back of Alan Mannus’ net.
He took charge of three during the 2013/14 season too.
His first was a 3-0 win over St Mirren back in December when Lionel Ainsworth and a Henri Anier double separated the sides.
The second was at Tynecastle a few weeks later, John Sutton scoring the game’s only goal.
The last was the 2-1 win over Inverness back in May with goals coming from Sutton and a Gary Warren OG.
Willie is no stranger to ‘Well fans having been a top-flight whistler for a number of years, taking charge of six Motherwell matches the previous term too.
The first was the 1-0 defeat to Hearts in October 2012 when Danny Grainger’s long-range effort separated the sides.
He also took charge of both William Hill Scottish Cup clashes with Aberdeen in December.
In the first meeting at Pittodrie, Niall McGinn headed home a late equaliser to cancel out Jamie Murphy’s opener 10 minutes from time.
There would be disappointment for the Steelmen in the replay as goals from Rory Fallon and Joe Shaughnessy helped the Dons progress to the next round.
Motherwell were handed a lifeline in injury-time when Michael Higdon netted from the penalty spot, however Craig Brown’s side held firm in the final minutes.
He was also the man in the middle for the narrow 3-2 win over St Johnstone in January; Michael Higdon’s hat-trick sealing a terrific three points and also the disappointing 3-0 defeat at Ross County shortly after.
He also handled the James McFadden-inspired 4-1 victory over Hibs in March and, finally, the 4-3 defeat to Inverness Caley in the Highlands in May.
His overall record in charge of the Steelmen reads eight wins, fifteen defeats and seven draws from thirty matches (in all competitions).
In those games, Motherwell have scored 40 and conceded 55.
59 players have gone into the book, 30 wearing Claret and Amber, while six players have been dismissed – Ian Murray of Hibs at Easter Road five years back, Jerard Aafjes at Falkirk four seasons ago, Paul Dixon at the end of 2009/10, Henrik Ojamaa in that game at Caley and Fraser Kerr down at Rugby Park. Stephen McManus was shown a red card against Aberdeen but that was later rescinded after an appeal and Louis Laing was given his marching orders in January.
Willie will be assisted by Gary Hilland and Graeme Stewart with Craig Charleston listed as fourth official.