Extended highlights from Fir Park as Motherwell and Partick Thistle play out a dull 0-0 draw in the final league game of the season.
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkSaturday 23 May 2015
Partick Thistle draw in picturesSaturday 23 May 2015
Action pictures from this afternoon’s 0-0 stalemate between Motherwell and Partick Thistle at Fir Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
TV: Baraclough has food for thoughtSaturday 23 May 2015
Ian Baraclough admitted one or two players have given him food for thought ahead of the Play-off Final this coming week.
The Steelmen and Thistle played out a fairly uneventful afternoon at Fir Park, with little in the way of clear cut oppertunities.
However, of the nine changes Baraclough made to his starting eleven, there were some of who may have played themselves into contention ahead of the double-header against Rangers.
[pullquote]“I wanted players to step out and make a claim to be involved in the shake-up on Thursday and the following Sunday.”[/pullquote]
Speaking after the match, the Fir Park boss said: “I wanted players to step out and make a claim to be involved in the shake-up on Thursday and the following Sunday. The game itself had a real end-of-season feel to it.
“There were one or two stand-outs. Luke Watt, for a young lad coming in, did really well.
“He looked composed at full-back and, for the last half an hour, had to go in at centre-back. He can take a lot of good things from that.
“We got a clean sheet for Dan (Twardzik, goalkeeper) and his back four, and the rest of the team.”
Motherwell 0 – 0 Partick ThistleSaturday 23 May 2015
Phil McGhee Fir Park
Motherwell played out an end of season no scoring draw with Partick Thistle to extend their unbeaten home run to seven games.
But in a side which started with nine changes, the game provided little indication of the selection and tactics that Ian Baraclough will deploy in the two Premiership play-off games against Rangers over the next eight days.
For the first time in recent years Motherwell fans had nothing to celebrate after the final game of the league season.
Clearly with a view to resting players ahead of the double header against Rangers, Baraclough made sweeping changes. retaining only two players, Simon Ramsden and Conor Grant, from the side which lost
The changes also gave some recalled players like Dan Twardzik, Louis Laing, Stuart Carswell, Lionel Ainsworth and John Sutton an opportunity to claim a starting place at Ibrox on Thursday evening.
And it was Twardzik, in his first game since January, who caught the eye over the 90 minutes. Twice in the opening 15 minutes the ‘keeper was a forced into low diving saves to push long range drives from Stephen O’Donnell and Gary Fraser away from his goal.
At the other end ‘Well played with a bit more freedom and created a couple of half chances but Scott Fox had to wait until the 22nd minute for his first save, smothering a low cross-cum-shot from Dom Thomas.
There was little to enthuse either set of fans as the game had a genuine end of season feel about it.
Five minutes from half-time home hopes were raised when Craig Moore sprinted towards the Thistle goal but by the time the striker had reached the penalty area, O’Donnell had recovered to make a blocking tackle.
Then just before the end of an uneventful first half, and with almost identical efforts, former Fir Park player Kallum Higginbotham curled a free kick over Twardzik’s goal before Moore did likewise at the other end, the Motherwell striker’s curler clipping the top of the bar on the way over.
Jack Leitch replaced Ainsoworth at half time but it was Higginbotham who had another strike at goal this time down the centre which Twardzik did well to hold the ball at the first attempt.
After 57 minutes Ramsden was replaced by Mark O’Brien, just before Twardzik produced a stunning save twisting in the air to touch a dipping volley from Fraser over his crossbar.
Motherwell were making little impression on the visitor’s goal, but the manager’s intentions were clear when, having completed 62 minutes on his return from injury, Laing was withdrawn from the action and replaced by Josh Law.
After a ‘Well corner was only cleared to the edge of the box Thomas did well to keep his volley on target but it was a comfortable save for Fox.
The Thistle ‘keeper was fully tested, though, in the 65th minute when he dived to his left hand post to palm out Sutton’s low free kick and deny the striker his 13th goal of the season.
Higginbotham then sped into the ‘Well box but his intended cut back for the unmarked Lyle Taylor was cut out by the back tracking Straker.
With 15 minutes remaining ‘Well passed up a great chance to open the scoring. Sutton’s subtle touch released Moore in behind the Thistle defence but after holding off O’Donnell the striker dragged his shot across goal and beyond the post.
Five minutes later the home side scorned an even better chance. This time Moore was the provider and having nicked the ball off Ben Richards-Everton at the corner of the box, he played the ball to Sutton in the centre of the area. But after swivelling on the penalty spot, he screwed his shot wide of a begging target.
Thomas then wriggled along the bye-line before his attempt to pick out Moore was blocked. From the resultant corner Straker found Sutton rising high six yards out but his header was straight at the ‘keeper as ‘Well’s determined push in the second part of the half failed to produce a winner.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
FT | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Motherwell 0 – 0 Partick Thistle
86′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Straker floats in a great ball to the head of Sutton but it’s easy for Fox. Straight at him from 9 yards.
81′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Thistle sub, McLaughlin on for Higginbotham.
80′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Great chance for Sutton as Moore squares it to him but with the goal gaping, he gets the finish all wrong.
76′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Partick sub, Craigen on for Wilson.
75′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Great ball from Sutton sets Moore clear but under pressure from the defender, fires just wide of the post.
69′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Higginbotham races through on goal and opts to cut it back to Taylor but Straker is there and somehow intercepts!
66′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Thistle sub, Doolan off for Lyle.
65′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Moore wins a free-kick, 25 yards out. Ideal position….Sutton shoots low and forces a good save from Fox.
62′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Final Motherwell sub, Law on for Laing.
58′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Great effort from Fraser from 30 yards out which forces a spectacular stop from Twardzik!
55′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Motherwell sub, O’Brien on for Ramsden.
52′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Chance for Thistle, again it’s from range. This time Higginbotham shoots straight at Twardzik.
45′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Partick get the second 45 underway.
HT | #MFCvPTFC
Half-time sub for Motherwell, Jack Leitch is on for Lionel Ainsworth
HT | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Both sides back out for the second half…
HT | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Motherwell 0 – 0 Partick Thistle
44′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Free-kick to Motherwell in a good area, 20 yards out….Moore fires just wide of the post.
43′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Higginbotham strikes a free-kick from 25 yards just over the bar.
41′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Moore almost bursts clear through by O’Donnell gets back and is eventually bowled over by the striker. Free-kick.
40′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Very, very little in the way of chances here.
38′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Sutton gets down the side of the Thistle defence and squares to Moore who can’t get the ball under control. Cleared.
22′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Quick feet from Thomas gets him past O’Donnell but his low cross/shot is easily gathered by Fox.
14′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Twardzik called into action again, this time Fraser lets fly with a powerful shot from 25 yards. ‘Keeper did well!
9′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
O’Donnell daws the first save of the game with a long-range drive which looked awkward for Twardzik.
7′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Another Motherwell, corner after a good spell of possession. Fox punches Ainsworth’s delivery clear though.
2′ | 0-0 | #MFCvPTFC
Moore wins an early ‘Well corner…..Sutton wins the header but there’s a Thistle body in the way and they clear
Kick-off | #MFCvPTFC
Moore and Carswell get the game underway. COYW!
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:
“I wanted players to step out and make a claim to be involved in the shake-up on Thursday and the following Sunday. The game itself had a real end-of-season feel to it.
“There were one or two stand-outs. Luke Watt, for a young lad coming in, did really well. He looked composed at full-back and, for the last half an hour, had to go in at centre-back. He can take a lot of good things from that.
“We got a clean sheet for Dan (Twardzik, goalkeeper) and his back four, and the rest of the team.”
Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald:
“We had a changed team as well, three guys making their starting debuts, so that was pleasing from our point of view.
“We were really, really pleased with them. We have lost a few boys so it lets us know there are a few boys coming through.”
TV: Baraclough to mix it upFriday 22 May 2015
‘Well boss Ian Baraclough says he is likely to make changes ahead of tomorrow’s match with Partick Thistle.
The Steelmen take on the Jags in what is the last regular game of the SPFL Premiership season, before a Play-off Final double-header against either Rangers or Hibernian.
And with that in mind, the Fir Park boss will provide an opportunity for those who perhaps haven’t played much in recent times to stake a claim for those games late next week.
Speaking to MFC TV ahead of the Jags match, he said: “The match will give one or two the real chance of staking their claim for a starting berth in the Play-off.
“Some of these lads will have felt they should’ve been in the starting team for some time. They may have knocked on my door and asked for a chance so this is their opportunity.
“I’m looking for a good performance, one full of energy; that we take the game to our opponents and ensuring I have one or two headaches going into the match against either Hibs or Rangers.”
Helen Templeton’s Blog #14Thursday 21 May 2015
This week’s blog features experienced midfielder Kirsty McBride the proud holder of 50 Scottish International caps and a host of honours during her time with Hibernian and Arsenal.
It’s fair to say that Kirsty was one of Manager Graeme McArthur’s biggest signing targets for the 2015 season.
Having watched her throughout the 2014 season, the decision to try and sign the left winger was cemented when the Fir Park side played Renfrew in the last game of the season and Kirsty won a penalty and scored with a peach of a volley to earn her former team a draw.
Thankfully the former Scotland star signed on the dotted line for the Fir Park team.
Name: Kirsty McBride
Preferred position: Left midfield
How many years have you been playing: 21
All previous clubs (and dates):
Leith Athletic 1998-1999
Hibs u17 2000
Hibernian 2001 – 2005
Renfrew – 2014
Motherwell – current
International duty (from/to): A squad 1997 – 2010
What team do you support: Hibs
Trademark phrase: Being from Edinburgh, it would have to, “aye ah Ken”
Best sporting memory: All my years and success at Hibs Ladies; the best years of my life
Favourite male player: Ryan Giggs
Favourite female player: Stacey Cook
Q: What made you make the move from Renfrew Stallions to the mighty ‘Well?
A: The foundations, structure and vision for the future at Motherwell is fantastic and something I wanted to be part of.
Q: You have played top-level football in Scotland for a while now Kirsty. I know I am just a smidge off your age, but I do remember playing against you when I was at Raith Rovers and I was most certainly done down their left wing a fair few times! It was Hibs you played for in those days, but 9 years on and it’s apparent at training you have still managed to hold onto your pace and tricky feet! What is it that motivates you to train and play?
A: I absolutely love playing football and I think enjoying it is the key. Once you stop enjoying it, you lose the motivation to train hard and keep fit. My advice to the youngsters that are the future of the club and the future of the women’s game is to always want to be the best, don’t settle for anything less. Train hard, eat well and ENJOY IT!
Q: You have experience playing for Scotland too, what’s it like to represent your country?
A: It’s the best feeling in the world, pulling on the strip and singing the national anthem gives you goosebumps. There’s no feeling like it.
Q: It was a tough preseason for you as you suffered an injury early on that has kept you out until very recently. How has it been not being able to play and watching the girls take to the pitch every Sunday?
A: I’ll be honest, I HATE watching. Every bit of me wants to run on the pitch and join in. Being injured is the most frustrating thing in the world. The team has been playing fantastic though which is great to see. I’m definitely happy to be back though to fight for my place again 🙂
Q: Are you fully fit now and ready to tackle the rest of the season?
A: Yes, I am fully fit and feeling great. I’m looking forward to the season ahead with a fantastic bunch of girls and fantastic management and coaching staff.
Q: What is the worst injury you have suffered in your long career?
A: I tore my ACL; tore my Cartlidge so bad it couldn’t be repaired (so I don’t have any) and put a hole in my bone just below the knee. I know the exact date because it was the worst day of my life. It was such a horrific injury, which put me out for 4 years. I was actually told I wouldn’t play again however me being me, I wouldn’t accept that and here I am back playing at Motherwell, feeling great and loving it again! On that note I’d like to pass on a bit of advice: Do NOT wear blades! If I was wearing round studs that day my injury wouldn’t have happened!
Q: After injury, do you find it can be difficult committing to big challenges or are you able to block out the ‘what if’s’?
A: Honestly, yes I was afraid at the start but as soon as the first challenge was out the way it was all gone. I knew it was all in my head.
Q: You played with Renfrew Stallions last season. This season it’s the same division, but a completely new league. Which opponent do you look forward to playing the most and why? …or is there no-one you fear?
A: I don’t fear anyone… If you fear someone or something you are already beaten!
Q: Now we’ve all had our moments, but can you let us into a little secret? What’s been your most embarrassing football moment in your long successful career?
A: The first time I experienced a “FACEBALL” I completely misjudged the flight of the ball when I was playing for Scotland against Finland. It caught me square in the face at full pelt and knocked me for six! A bust nose the lot!! Much to miss Stacey Cook’s amusement!!
Q: All the Well fans have been asking me to tell them some team secrets…can you let me into a wee secret no one knows about one of your team mates?
A: Stacey Cook used to play football true Scotswoman style…if you know what I mean 😉
Q: Describe your hopes for the season and cup campaigns ahead…
A: It’s simple, to win them both!
Thanks so much Kirsty for taking the time to answer a few questions for the fans, welcome to the ‘Well family! We are really pleased to hear your season starts here! Stay fit and keep the goals coming!
This week I thought I’d give you, the readers a chance to pose any questions you may have to the squad? Let me know and these and the responses from the squad will feature in a future Bio.
Follow me on and feel free to pose any questions to: @dibsy_
Follow Motherwell Ladies on Twiiter here:@MotherwellLFC
McLean to officiate Thistle clashThursday 21 May 2015
The Referee for Saturday’s SPFL Premiership game with Partick Thistle at Fir Park will be Steven McLean.
It will be McLean’s fourth ‘Well appointment of the season have previously handled the 0-2 home defeat to Inverness in mid August and the win at Ross County in early September, John Sutton and Iain Vigurs getting the goals that day. He also officiated ‘Well’s 1-0 win over Dundee Utd back in November, where Iain Vigurs’ second half strike gave Motherwell all three points.
Incredibly, he was in charge of seven Motherwell matches in the SPFL Premiership last year – three of the seven won’t live long in the memory; one will be cherished forever.
The first of those to forget was back in November, when a depleted Steelmen crashed 4-0 at home to Dundee United. One month later, as ‘Well were already hurting from a Scottish Cup exit, he was the man in the middle for Celtic’s 5-0 win at Fir Park.
Thankfully, he handled our 5-1 win at Firhill in late December but also the controversial 2-2 draw with Aberdeen at Fir Park.
‘Well were holding out in the face of intense Aberdeen pressure and looked to have saw the match out, but a late Russell Anderson equaliser levelled things up.
He also handled the 3-3 draw at Easter Road when ‘Well threw away a two-goal lead but still showed tremendous character to net late on to save a draw.
He also officiated the 5-1 demolition at Tannadice when Lionel Ainsworth’s late conciliation goal was the only ray of light in an otherwise horrible afternoon in Tayside.
The last was the final game of last season at Pittodrie when Craig Reid’s 91st minute winner game Motherwell the win they needed to seal second and spark incredible celebrations that will rival any moment in Motherwell’s recent history. Maybe decisions do even themselves out over a season after all?
His overall record in charge of Motherwell reads thirteen wins, six defeats and two draws from twenty-one matches. In those games, ‘Well have scored 44 and conceded 36. 55 cautions have been dished out, 34 flashed at those wearing Claret and Amber.
Four players have been sent off, two for ‘Well (Fraser Kerr and Keith Lasley in the same match against Killie last year).
McLean will be ably assisted by Brian Templeton and Joseph Lawson with Alan Newland on fourth official duties.
Play-off Final Ticket InformationThursday 21 May 2015
Motherwell Football Club can today confirm ticket details for the Play-off Final second leg at Fir Park on Sunday week (31st May).
The club’s view remains that the match should have formed part of current 2014/15 Season Ticket holders entitlements and made representation to that effect.
However, following communication made from the SPFL and their legal representatives, the Board considered their position carefully, examining what our fellow clubs in a similar position have taken forward.
Given the 50% levy imposed by the league, which doesn’t include an allowance for the cost of running the match, the Board agreed that charging £10 for adults and £5 for concessions for everyone in all four stands, would assist the club to it’s target of a break even for the game.
Tickets go on full general sale from 2pm today (Thursday, May 21). Current 2014/15 season ticket holders will have their seats reserved until Friday 29th May.
Ticket information for the first leg at either Ibrox or Easter Road (on Thursday 28th May) will be confirmed at the conclusion of the Semi Final second leg tie this weekend.
Scott McDonald ban overturnedThursday 21 May 2015
Motherwell FC is pleased to confirm the appeal to overturn Scott McDonald’s red card has been successful.
The former Aussie International was ordered off against St Mirren last weekend after match referee Brian Colvin, taking advice from his colleagues, adjudged him to have clashed with Saints’ Thomas Reilly.
Television replays appeared to indicate the match officials had made an error and after a hearing of the Judicial Panel at a Fast Track Tribunal hearing at Hampden Park this morning, the card was reduced to a yellow.
McDonald said: “I’ll be honest, I’ve been devastated since it happened. I couldn’t believe the ref brandished the red card, as I genuinely didn’t think I had made any contact.
“The officials made a decision and I was angry with them at the time. I know they’ve only got a split second to make the call but I’m glad they’ve seen it for what it really was.
“All my focus is now on trying everything I can to keep Motherwell in the SPFL Premiership.”
General Manager Alan Burrows added: “I would like to once again thank the Compliance Officer Tony McGlennan and his staff for arranging the hearing so swiftly along with the members of the panel who sat and considered our case.
“It’s another satisfying conclusion, similar to our McManus appeal last January and Scott can now fully focus on some big games for the club over the next ten days.”
Season Tickets: A message from LesTuesday 19 May 2015
Dear ‘Well fans,
We are launching our Season Tickets in the same week as two significant anniversaries for Motherwell Football Club.
On May 17th 1886, this football club was formed and as we enter our 130th year, we reflect on some of the fantastic highs and the achievements of our Club over the years. One of those highs is another significant anniversary – the 18th May 1991 – the club’s greatest moment in the modern era.
I reflect on those because they are significant to what it means not only to be a Motherwell fan, but a Season Ticket holder. You will see throughout our Season Ticket campaign the tag line ‘through thick and thin’. That isn’t some fancy marketing gimmick – it’s actually the epitome of what it means to be a Motherwell fan and what a Season Ticket holder is all about.
Yes, we’re launching on the back of what has been a disappointing season despite some recent success. We also have some uncertainty about what league we might compete in for 2015/16. But it is my view, being a Season Ticket holder is more than just winning or losing, more than Premiership or Championship; it represents a bond between you as an individual or family, and this institution that was formed long before any of us were born, and will be here long after all of us are gone.
Being a season ticket isn’t just about getting additional value, although that is important, it’s about your friends, your family and those memories that will last forever. Those moments in time, shared in joy, jubilation, triumph or disaster. It might be the link to your parents or your children, your friends or colleagues. It’s in your DNA and right now, more than ever, your club needs you to stand with us as we soldier through this tough time.
We have been here before, this football club has faced immense challenges but all through it, the resilience of the supporters and the people of this area has been there for all to see. We need that same spirit again if we’re to rebuild ourselves.
Although things haven’t gone the way any of us would have liked on the park, there are huge amounts to be proud and positive of off it. We have a new scouting system, one of the most robust in Scotland, a new sports science and conditioning programme, a pipeline of young talent has been created and we have one of the most successful Community Trusts in Scotland.
[pullquote]Being a Season Ticket holder is more than just winning or losing, more than Premiership or Championship; it represents a bond between you as an individual or family, and this institution that was formed long before any of us were born, and will be here long after all of us are gone.[/pullquote]
We are hiring more staff in the areas of Sales and Marketing as we look to remind everyone what Motherwell Football Club is all about, and that is we’re much more than what happens between 3pm and 4.45pm on a Saturday – this club is a 24/7 operation that touches the lives of so many people, I am sure you are immensely proud to be associated with this famous Club.
Our Community Trust touches the lives of more than 37,000 different individuals, many of whom have fell on very hard times and THAT is what Motherwell Football Club is about. A pillar of this local community, a source of strength in darkness and that’s what you, as a Season Ticket holder, will represent.
The Board has decided that this year, it will completely freeze Season Ticket prices. There will be no rise either in the Early Bird or the Regular Price.
To continue our policy of trying to attract the Motherwell fans of tomorrow, we are also pleased to confirm that we have kept the prices for youngsters the same.
The ‘WELLevate’ initiative, which has ran at the club for more than five years and indeed, in the last year, had over 1,000 participants, has massively impressed me. Forthose that don’t know, that’s when a parent or grandparent can take two kids to every match in the Cooper for the equivalent of just over £5 each per game.
The fantastic Season Ticket offers which can be used to earn a host of discounts in a number of well-known businesses also returns.
The likes of Barrett and David Wilson Homes, First Bus, Subway and Peter Vardy all return on a strong list which also contains the likes of McDonalds, KFC, LivingWell Health Club, Evans Halshaw, M&D’s and many, many more.
As a Season Ticket holder, this last season has been immensely difficult, particularly coming on the back of what had been a tremendous period of success. However, together we can rebuild, make this club sustainable and I am personally asking you to place your faith in the Board and I as we look to do that over the coming year.
Motherwell Football Club