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    TV: Baraclough pleased despite defeat

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    Motherwell 1 – 2 Preston North End

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    Preston NE match prices

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    Well Society appoints new manager

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    TV: Highlights from Sligo

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    Sligo Rovers 1 – 2 Motherwell

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    Scott McDonald signs on again

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    TV: Baraclough content with progress

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    TV:Highlights from Livingston

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    Livingston 0 – 2 Motherwell

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    TV: Baraclough pleased despite defeat

    ‘Well boss Ian Baraclough was pleased with his side despite losing 1-2 to Preston North End this evening.

    Motherwell were impressive throughout, moving the ball well and creating numerous chances only to be denied by an inspired Jamie Jones in the Lillywhite’s goal.

    Louis Moult did grab a goal near the end but it wasn’t enough to get level but even although his team lost on the night, Baraclough was satisfied with what he watched.

    [pullquote]That was as good we’ve been pre-season; we’re getting better, we’re getting stronger and sharper and some of our play was a delight to watch at times.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV, he said: “That was as good we’ve been pre-season; we’re getting better, we’re getting stronger and sharper and some of our play was a delight to watch at times.

    “I’m really pleased we ended up with a goal and something to show for our efforts by the way of a goal. We created several chances on goal and their keeper made a few decent saves and in all areas we looked competitive.

    “Our shape was excellent, we broke at pace and caused them problems and for me, from where we were at the start of pre-season, we’ve been improving. It was a positive evening.”

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    Motherwell 1 – 2 Preston North End

    Despite an impressive performance, ‘Well went down 1-2 to Preston in their last game before the SPFL Premiership kick-off.

    After being the better team for the opening twenty-five, Preston hit a quick-fire double against the run of play through Joe Garner and Neil Kilkenny.

    Preston stopper Jamie Jones pulled off numerous impressive saves before summer recruit Louis Moult scored his first for the Steelmen with a neat finish with 90 seconds left on the clock.

    Although the match ended in defeat, Ian Baraclough would head back along the M8 Motorway to Motherwell with plenty of positives from the sixth and final pre-season fixture of the summer.

    The ‘Well boss named Dan Twardzik in goal with the recognised back four of Josh Law, Louis Laing, Stephen McManus and Stevie Hammell. A midfield five of Marvin Johnson, Keith Lasley, Stephen Pearson, Joe Chalmers and Scott McDonald supported Wes Fletcher in attack.

    The Fir Parkers started the match in positive fashion and Johnson fired an early shot over the crossbar.

    The former Kidderminster man was causing the Lillywhites all sorts of problems and a marauding run and shot forced Jones into the first save of the evening.

    It was Johnson again on sixteen minutes, bursting at pace from deep, but his low shot hit a deflection and spun wide of target for a corner.

    Preston managed to settle it and skipper Tom Clarke almost got his side in front with a back post header that the home defence had to scramble clear. Two minutes later, Jermaine Beckford had the ball in the net but the assistant’s flag was up for offside.

    Forty seconds later Motherwell burst clear and almost got ahead when Law’s tantalising near post cross fell for Fletcher but it was scrambled behind at the expense of a corner.

    For all Motherwell looked the more threatening, it was Simon Grayson’s side that took the lead with their first shot on target. And it was Scotsman Paul Gallagher who was the creator, sending over a teasing cross from the right that allowed Joe Garner to get across his man to head home from close range

    Just over two minutes later, Preston extended their lead further. A long diagonal ball allowed left fullback Calum Woods to collect in an advanced position. His squad pass inside was perfect for Neil Kilkenny who unleashed a devastating 25-yard dart into the top corner.

    ‘Well lost their way for five minutes but a low stinging drive from Chalmers brought about the first of numerous excellent saves from Jones, who tipped the effort around the post.

    The second half kicked off with both teams flashing shots off target, Chalmers for the Steelmen and Garner for the Lancashire side.

    On loan Man Utd striker Will Keane came close with a header after a good cross from the right before Jones again denied Motherwell with a super stop to deny Johnson, who had found himself in acres of space after a nice Chalmers pass.

    Then, four minutes later, Jones was at it again, making another superb stop to deny Scott McDonald from close range, pushing the Aussie striker’s shot onto the frame of the goal.

    To be fair, down the other end, Dan Twardzik was keen not to be outdone and despite having little to do, he was sharp off his line to deny Beckford who had spring the ‘Well offside trap.

    However, it wasn’t long before Jones was again in the spotlight, denying sub Lionel Ainsworth’s stinging drive at full stretch as the ball was heading for the top corner.

    Motherwell continued to push, showed some excellent passing movement and attacking presence and finally got the goal their play deserved on the 89th minute. Jack Leitch’s clever ball over the top picked out Moult’s intelligent run, allowing the former Wrexham man to take and touch and finish beyond the seemingly unbeaten Jones.

    It was the very least ‘Well deserved, but sadly there wasn’t enough time to get level as John Beaton soon brought the game to an end.

    Motherwell: Twardzik, Hammell, Laing, McManus (Watt – 64mins), Pearson, Fletcher (Moult – 73mins), Johnson (Ainsworth – 68mins), Lasley (Clarkson – 73mins), Chalmers (Moore – 78mins), Law, McDonald (Leitch – 60mins)

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    Preston NE match prices

    Ticket prices and information for Friday’s pre-season friendly match against Preston can be confirmed.

    Motherwell vs Preston North End
    Friday 24th July 2015
    The Energy Asset Arena, Livingston
    Kick-off: 7pm

    Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and juveniles, available on the gate at the stadium on the day of the match. ‘Well fans will be housed in the Main Stand at Livi.


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    Well Society appoints new manager

    We are delighted to announce the appointment of Craig Hughes as the Well Society’s first full-time manager.

    Craig has this week joined us from sports scholarship experts First Point USA, where he has been working as a sports consultant.

    Craig, who plays for junior side Kilsyth Rangers, has also been working on a voluntary basis for the Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA), which is a keen advocate of fan-ownership.

    His new job will comprise three main strands:

    • Marketing and recruitment of new members. Recruiting new members is our top priority and Craig will be supported by board member Douglas Dickie and a team of volunteers as part of our new telephone recruitment campaign. You can help the team by helping recruit a new member yourself – if everyone does so we will reach our target of 2,000 adult members.
    • Effective communication, ensuring that members and stakeholders are kept informed of developments and conveying the society’s vision and key messages. Craig will be the main point of initial contact for members. He can be reached on 01698 338006 or Well.Society@motherwellfc.co.uk
    • Administration of systems and databases to ensure the society is run on a professional, business-like manner and that members get efficient service.

    As a philanthropic gesture to the society, for which we are most grateful, half of Craig’s salary will be paid by Les Hutchison.

    Well Society Board

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    TV: Highlights from Sligo

    Extended highlights from the Sligo Showgrounds as a late Wes Fletcher goal gives Motherwell a 2-1 win over Sligo Rovers.

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    Sligo Rovers 1 – 2 Motherwell

    A late Wes Fletcher goal sealed a 2-1 win for the Steelmen over Sligo Rovers tonight.

    The Fir Parkers made the best possible start when Dom Thomas swept the team into the lead after eight minutes.

    However, the home side were soon level through Keith Ward and it stayed that way until virtually the last kick of the ball when summer recruit Wes Fletcher slotted home his second goal of pre-season.

    Ian Baraclough, back at the scene of his greatest managerial achievements, started with a trialist ‘keeper, Law, Laing, McManus and Hammell. A midfield four of Thomas, Leitch, Cadden and Johnson with Moult and Clarkson leading the line.

    And the visitors made a strong start, Clarkson stinging the palms of Richard Brush before Johnson and Hammell combined on the left flank but a low searching ball wasn’t converted.

    However, it wouldn’t be long before ‘Well got their noses in front. Clarkson and Moult combined on the edge of the area. The former was afforded too much time inside the area and he picked out Dom Thomas who swept home from eight yards.

    The lead would last just four minutes thought when the Bit O’ Red levelled with their first attempt of the match. Jack Leitch conceded what could only be described as a very soft foul on the edge of the area. Keith Ward was in no mood for mercy, as he curled home a beauty to level things up.

    Although pegged back, it was ‘Well who were creating all the chances. Clarkson almost went through one-on-one after a loose back pass, but Brush was out and cleared his line.

    Eight minutes later and Clarkson had another shot saved by the keeper, following by a Johnson shot, which was again stopped by Brush.

    The second half started much in the same way the first ended, with ‘Well creating chances. Clarkson teed up Thomas with a terrific through ball but with Moult the better option, the winger took on the shot but it was saved by Brush.

    Clarkson passed up another chance when Johnson set up him with a nice square cross only to turn the shot wide of target, Thomas shot straight at Brush and sub Wes Fletcher’s first touch was a low drive well held by the Sligo keeper.

    Another sub, Craig Moore, was quickly involved in the action when he fired a shot straight at the goalkeeper and then headed an Ainsworth free-kick over.

    More chances came and went, Laing had a header saved, McManus fired wide from distance and Moore hit the bar from 35-yards when his attempted lob was palmed onto the frame of the goal by the recovering keeper.

    However, with virtually the last touch of the match, ‘Well levelled. Ainsworth collected on the edge and when he unleashed a low effort, the keeper could only push it towards Wes Fletcher who kept his composure to slot home.

    Mothewell: Trialist, Hammell (Chalmers), Laing, McManus, Law (Watt), Johnson (Moore), Cadden (Pearson), Leitch, Thomas (Ainsworth), Moult (Fletcher), Clarkson (McDonald)

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    Scott McDonald signs on again

    Motherwell Football Club is this morning delighted to confirm the re-signing of striker Scott McDonald.

    McDonald, 31, joined the club for a second spell back in February and played a huge part in the club retaining its SPFL Premiership status, netting five goals in ten SPFL Premiership league matches.

    Despite several lucrative offers from various clubs around the globe, the 26-times capped Aussie International has chose to a return to North Lanarkshire and has penned a one-year deal with the option of a second.

    McDonald joins Lionel Ainsworth and Louis Laing in committing from last term, with five other new faces arriving in the shape of Joe Chalmers, David Clarkson, Wes Fletcher, Louis Moult and Kieran Kennedy.

    And McDonald, who was first a Steelman back in 2004 before subsequent spells with Celtic, Middlesbrough and Millwall, can’t want to get his teeth into a full campaign in Claret and Amber once again wearing the number 77 jersey..

    He told MFC TV: “I’m delighted it’s all been sorted as there had been a bit of speculation. It’s great to have joined and I can’t wait until the start of the season.

    “ I have nothing but good memories from my time at Motherwell and the warmth from this football club and what it gives me, and vice-versa, was a big attraction for me coming back.

    “It’s a family orientated club and my family is ever growing, with a new arrival on the way, so a lot of that was taken into consideration. and where we would be happy as a family as well as where I would be happiest playing my football.

    “I really enjoyed the end of last season and am hoping for some success here this season.”

    ‘Well boss Ian Baraclough added: “We’ve been talking to Scott for most of the summer and we’re obviously delighted he will form part of our squad for at least one more year.

    “He carries a threat, that was proven in the last few months of the season, but we also think he can help assist in the development of other strikers at the club too.

    “Whilst Lee Erwin finished the 2014/15 season fantastically well, it would be remiss to not acknowledge the role Scott played there and that was very much in our mind when setting our strategy for this summer.

    “He’s also the type of player who will demand from himself and others around him and that’s something I see as a huge benefit. The squad in general is really taking shape now albeit we’re still in the market for both a goalkeeper and a centre midfielder, which we hope to tie up shortly.”

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    TV: Baraclough content with progress

    Ian Baraclough declared himself pleased with the progress thus far after his side ran out comfortable winners at the Energy Assets Arena today.

    ‘Well had previously drawn with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Heerenveen before losing midweek to Bradford, the former Scunthorpe and Sligo boss would have wanted to see signs of improvement.

    And the players delivered, with a comfortable and composed performance. The hosts rarely threatening before second half goals from Lionel Ainsworth and Luke Watt gave ‘Well the win.

    Indeed, with Louis Moult crashing the bar and ‘Well missing another couple of chances, it could have been more convincing for the Claret and Amber men.

    [pullquote]I asked the players to play at a higher tempo and retain the ball better and although there were one or two frustrations, I thought we did that.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV, the 44-year old: “I’m pleased with the progression and where we’ve came from the first three games.

    “I asked the players to play at a higher tempo and retain the ball better and although there were one or two frustrations, I thought we did that.

    “We had several chances and not just the clear cut ones like hitting the bar and forcing the keeper to save. We’ve got another game under our belt, we’ve came through it injury free so all in all, it was a successful day.”

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    TV:Highlights from Livingston

    Extended highlights from the Energy Assets Arena as two second half goals give ‘Well a comfortable 0-2 win.

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    Livingston 0 – 2 Motherwell

    Two second half goals helped ‘Well to a comfortable 0-2 win over Livingston at the Energy Assets Arena today.

    After a goalless first forty-five, Lionel Ainsworth opened the scoring before setting up Luke Watt who doubled the advantage shortly after.

    It was Motherwell’s first win of pre-season after draws with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Heerenveen and a defeat to Bradford.

    Both teams made a positive, attacking start with Scott Pittman firing over for the hosts and Wes Fletcher having a close-range effort deflected wide for a corner.

    Shortly after, Jordan White had a snap shot from the edge drop just wide of target before Lionel Ainsworth had an effort of his own sail a yard or so wide of target with Darren Jamieson at full stretch.

    Motherwell began to gain the upperhand and a nice one-two between Lasley and Ainsworth almost brought about the first goal but Fletcher was beaten to the ball as the hosts conceded a corner.

    ‘Well threatened again on the half hour when Pearson and Johnson combined down the left but the former’s fizzed ball across the six-yard box had no takers.

    As the interval approached, Livi had a couple of half chances when Myles Hippolyte fired a free-kick way wide of target and Ben Gordon got on the end of a corner but could only flight a header at Twardzik who comfortably plucked it out the air.

    The Steelmen, again in all black, made a positive start to the second half and Craig Moore fizzed a twenty-yard shot just wide after his initial free-kick had came back off the way.

    Livi’s only real chance of the second half fell to Hippolyte twelve minutes in but his close-range shot was superbly deflected over by the sliding Louis Laing, who had made up four or five yards to make the block.

    It was an important touch from the former Forest man as ‘Well countered the resulting corner to open the scoring. Twardzik started the attack, rolling it quickly to sub David Clarkson. He turned past Scott Pittman before releasing Ainsworth with a terrific ball over the top. The winger took two touches before lashing a low shot Jamieson off his left-foot.

    That goal gave the hosts confidence and they came close to doubling the advantage five minutes later. A stunning Stevie Hammell cross-field pass played Ainsworth in on the right flank. His low, tantalising cross was begging to be finished but it squirmed away from Clarkson and the chance was gone.

    However, it wasn’t long before ‘Well made it two and it was a nice little finish from youngster Luke Watt. The 18-year old combined with Ainsworth on the right flank before cutting inside his marker and firing low across Jamieson.

    It was almost three when substitute Louis Moult got on the end of a teasing Ainsworth cross but his looping header came back off the bar before being cleared.

    Just before the full-time whistle, another sub Chris Cadden almost got his name on the scoresheet but Jamieson saved his low, bouncing shot in what was the last action of the ninety.

    Motherwell: Twardzik (B.Long – 80mins), Hammell (Thomas – 75mins), Laing, Ainsworth, Pearson (J.Leitch – 55mins), Fletcher (Moult – 68mins), Johnson (Chalmers – 55mins), Lasley (Cadden – 75mins), Kennedy (McManus – 68mins), Moore (Clarkson – 55mins), Watt (Ferguson – 85mins)