Extended highlights from Highland Football Academy in Dingwall as the Under 20s kick-off their campaign with a 4-2 win over Ross County.
TV: Highlights from DingwallTuesday 04 August 2015
Ross County U20s 2 – 4 Motherwell U20sTuesday 04 August 2015
Motherwell opened their Under 20s campaign with a well-deserved 2-4 win over Ross County at the Highland Football Academy.
A Ben Hall header had the Fir Parkers in front before Darren Holden brought things level with a fierce shot from the edge of the area.
However, quick-fire goals from Lionel Ainsworth and Dom Thomas soon had ‘Well back in a commanding lead before the break.
Ainsworth scored again to assure the win, albeit County did reduce the arrears late in the game via a Keiran Kennedy own goal.
Stephen Craigan named several experienced heads in his starting eleven with first-teamers Lionel Ainsworth, Keiran Kennedy, Dom Thomas and Chris Cadden taking their place in Claret and Amber.
County made a positive start to the match and almost took the lead inside the opening two minutes. After working a short corner towards the edge of the area, McLennan’s effort got caught in the strong wind blowing across the pitch and came crashing back off Brett Long’s post.
‘Well went immediately on the attack and Ainsworth smashed a shot inches over the crossbar.
However, with their next attack, Craigan’s men would take the lead. Ainsworth’s corner found Ben Hall inside the area and the Northern Irishman rose at the far post to head home.
The conditions were playing a part, making it difficult for either team to defend and Tony Dingwall almost drew his side level with a low shot into the side netting. Two minutes later, and down the other end, Keiran Kennedy almost got in from a corner but his spin and shot came back off the County crossbar.
It stayed at 0-1 until the 24th minute when County got themselves back on level terms. Left back Holden had got up well to support from a County attack and when the ball was rolled back to him, he smashed it high past Brett Long at his near post.
‘Well had a trialist midfielder on show and he almost made a big impression on the half hour, but his low curling effort across the goalkeeper bounced off the frame of the goal before being hooked clear.
County survived that scare but a 90 second spell shortly after all but sealed the victory for the visitors with two quick-fire goals.
The first, on the 34th minute, was created by the impressive Allan Campbell, whose sixty-yard pass played in Ainsworth who kept his composure to lift the ball over Foden and into the net.
Just seconds later, it was 3-1 and it was another ball over the top, this time from Dylan Mackin for Dom Thomas who slotted it under Foden from a tight angle.
Incredibly, Motherwell almost scored a fourth goal just two minutes later when Jack McMillan cross caught the wind before crashing back off the crossbar – the third time in the half the Steelmen had hit the frame of the goal.
Motherwell started the second much the same way the first ended and Lionel Ainsworth almost added his second of the day, but his sweetly struck volley flew just wide of target.
Dom Thomas was causing all sorts of problems and he created ‘Well’s fourth just before the hour. Twisting and turning, he got away from his marker before squaring for Ainsworth who calmly fired past Foden.
It was almost 5-1 within two minutes, this time it was Cadden with a free header inside the area, but Foden managed to get a stray leg to it, making the impressive block.
Motherwell continued to dominate and they almost scored a wonder goal via sub Ryan Watters. Thomas twisted and turned, terrorizing the home fullback, before knocking it into the middle for Mackin who flicked it back for the young striker but Foden again saved his low shot.
It wasn’t the end of the scoring though as with fourteen minutes left to play, County grabbed a consolation when Keiran Kennedy inadvertently bundled a Dingwall shot past Brett Long and into his own net.
There was a couple of half chances for both sides in the closing stages as the torrential rain hit the Highland Football Academy, but nothing could dampen the ‘Well spirits as they travelled down the A9 with all three points for the second time in four days.
Motherwell: Long, McMillan, Hall, Kennedy, Ferguson, Ainsworth (Watters – 65mins), Campbell, Cadden, Trialist, Thomas, Mackin (Hastie – 76mins)
Subs Not Used: Morrison, Moore, R.Leitch, Maguire, Livingstone
Scottish League Cup DrawMonday 03 August 2015
Motherwell have been drawn against League Two Side East Fife in the Second round of the Scottish League Cup.
‘Well take on The Fifers at Bayview on either the 25th or 26th of August and will be looking for a repeat of the last time they travelled there, when goals from Dirk Lehman and James McFadden gave The Steelmen a 2-0 win.
Full ticket details will be released in due time.
The draw in full reads:
Ross County v Ayr United
Forfar Athletic v Heart of Midlothian
Kilmarnock v Berwick Rangers
Raith Rovers v Hamilton Academical
Queen of the South v Morton
Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee
Partick Thistle v Falkirk
East Fife v Motherwell
Hibernian v Stranraer
Airdrieonians v Rangers
St Mirren v Livingston
TV: Highlights from InvernessSaturday 01 August 2015
Extended highlights from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium where Motherwell got the 2015/16 season off to a winning start, beating Inverness CT 1-0.
TV: Baraclough praises ‘Well after winSaturday 01 August 2015
Ian Baraclough praised his side after they edged out Inverness Caley Thistle to win their SPFL Premiership opener 0-1.
The Steelmen were the better side throughout and carried a threat on the counter, and but for the heroics of Caley stopper Owain Fon Williams, the scoreline could have been far more convincing.
However, it was left to Wes Fletcher to separate the sides, his fourth minute winner proving enough for all three points.
Ian Baraclough highlighted the importance of a good start and his team building on the momentum of the Play-off victory over Rangers during the pre-match build-up, and his side did that.
[pullquote]We created chances; we asked questions of the goalkeeper and the only real complaint is we perhaps could’ve been a little more ruthless in the final third, but that will come.[/pullquote]
“We spoke as a group about coming into this match with no fear and having to be better away from home than what we showed last season,” he told MFC TV after the match.
“Many aspects of today’s game were very pleasing indeed. The shape was good; it was difficult for them to find any pockets of space to feed off or anything in behind.
“We restricted them to very little throughout the game, even when we started to fatigue a little in the last ten minutes, as you tend to do in the first month of the new campaign.
“However, we maintained our concentration and proved a threat in attack. We created chances; we asked questions of the goalkeeper and the only real complaint is we perhaps could’ve been a little more ruthless in the final third, but that will come.”
Inverness CT win in picturesSaturday 01 August 2015
Action pictures from this afternoon’s convincing 1-0 win away to Inverness CT in the Highlands.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Inverness CT 0 – 1 MotherwellSaturday 01 August 2015
Phil McGhee at the Caledonian Stadium
Motherwell kicked off the new 2015/16 campaign with an impressive 0-1 win over Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium.
Although the game finished 0-1, courtesy of a fourth minute Wes Fletcher goal, the Steelmen were the better side, created far more chances (including a penalty miss) and on another day could have made their way back down the A9 with a far more convincing victory.
Ian Baraclough named the same side that started against Preston in the final pre-season match of the campaign, with the exception of new goalkeeper Connor Ripley, who replaced Dan Twardzik between the sticks.
Interestingly, only two players – Stephen McManus and Keith Lasley – were in the starting line-up last time the Steelmen were in the Highland Capital last November, with boss Baraclough having revamped the squad over the last nine months.
And it was one of his summer recruits, Wes Fletcher, who opened the scoring after four minutes with ‘Well’s first meaningful attack.
Stephen Pearson pressed to win the ball before combining with the former York City striker. Pearson’s low shot forced Owain Fôn Williams to palm out allowing Fletcher to slot home from close range for his first ever Motherwell goal.
The visitors were dominating the opening encounters and almost doubled their lead after nineteen minutes when Fletcher again came close after nice set-up play from Johnson, only for his 18-yard shot to go just wide of target.
Johnson had a half chance shortly after, but saw his shot deflect wide for a corner, before he won the Steelmen a spot kick after 27 minutes. It was some great play from the former Kidderminster Harries winger, whose “Zidane turn” bamboozled Danny Devine before the defender tugged her jersey to conceded the kick.
Sadly, Scott McDonald’s saw his shot saved, Fôn Williams guessing the right way to hold.
Inverness boss John Hughes, obviously concerned his team had barely made a dent in the opening thirty minutes, replaced Nat Wedderburn off for Andréa Mbuyi-Mutombo.
However, it was ‘Well who could and should have added to their tally on the stroke of half time. Inverness had knocked the ball out to make a substitute, but because it wasn’t for a player receiving treatment, ‘Well played on. With no Inverness players moving, Johnson was in on goal but could only stroke it wide of target.
‘Well were forced into a change at the break, with Pearson, who had been involved in a clash with Gary Warren five minutes before the interval, failing to return for the second half, replaced by Jack Leitch.
However, it didn’t stem the flow of play with the vast majority of chances and play going towards the home goal. Johnson kicked off the efforts with a low shot from twenty-five yards that forced Fôn Williams to tip wide.
Two minutes later and the Steelmen were then, somehow, denied a second.
Johnson again had the effort, controlling a ball dropping out the air only for Fôn Williams to again block. The ball spun out to McDonald whose ball across the box looked perfect for Joe Chalmers but Devine made an incredible saving tackle, somehow getting his outstretched leg to the ball to knock it over his own bar from one yard.
The Fir Parkers continued to push – Fletcher had curling effort straight at Fôn Williams before being replaced by another summer recruit, Louis Moult.
Louis Laing, who was superb throughout, had an audacious forty-five yard effort and Johnson again came close, sending a curler inches wide of target.
As the game went into the latter stages, Josh Law almost got on the scoresheet too. The fullback collected from Johnson, played a neat one-two with Moult but fired his shot straight at Fôn Williams who blocked. Moult was first to the rebound but his shot was blocked over for a corner.
The game soon came to an end, with the Fir Parkers picking up a deserved three points, restricting the hosts to zero shots on target.
Motherwell: Ripley, Hammell, Laing, McManus, Pearson (Leitch – 46mins), Fletcher (Moult – 67mins), Johnson, Lasley, Chalmers, Law, McDonald (Clarkson – 83mins)
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at the Caledonian Stadium
A convincing opening day victory for ‘Well. Could have been more but a very welcome three points to start the new season,
FT | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
FULL TIME! Inverness CT 0 – 1 Motherwel
90′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Two minutes added on.
88′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Great chance for Law as he combines with Moult but he can’t get enough power to test Fon Williams from close range.
85′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Lopez picks the ball up in a decent area but seems caught in two minds as his effort is neither a cross nor a pass.
82′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Motherwell sub, McDonald is replaced by Clarkson.
76′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
ICT have a free-kick which Tansey takes. It’s in a great area but the wall stands strong and blocks his shot.
75′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Not far wide from Johnson who cut in from the right on his left foot and curled it just past. Still 1-0 to ‘Well.
65′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Motherwell sub, goalscorer Fletcher comes off for Moult.
55′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Fletcher has a bit of time on the left side of the box but can’t get enough power in his shot to test Fon Williams.
52 | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
What a tackle from Devine to somehow clear from Fletcher only 4 yards out. :O Incredible, really!
50′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Fon Williams takes no chances and dives low to beat away Johnson’s low drive.
45′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Half-time sub, Leitch is on for Pearson and for ICT, Meekings is off for Horner.
Wes Fletcher’s 4th minute strike separates the two teams although it could have been more. Motherwell on top so far.
HT | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Half time: Inverness CT 0 – 1 Motherwell.
45′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Three minutes added on for injuries.
42′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
ICT sub, Warren can’t continue and is replaced by Polworth.
36′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Pearson booked for a tackle on Warren.
32′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
ICT sub, Wedderburn off for Mbuyi Mutombo
27′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Fon Williams saves the penalty! Guesses right to deny McDonald.
27′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
PENALTY! Johnson jinks past 2 and gets hauled down by Devine!
23′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Johnson breaks away from the half-way line and shoots from 20 yards. Takes a deflection and goes out for a corner.
19′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
CLOSE! Johnson slides it into Fletcher who drops his shoulder and gets a low shot from 18 yards away. Just past.
16′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Raven plays in a deep cross from the left but Ripley does well under pressure to gather Meekings’ looping header
15′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
After an eventful opening five minutes, it’s gone a bit quiet here in Inverness. Still 1-0 to ‘Well.
4′ | 0-1 | #ICTFCvMFC
Pearson broke into the box, forced the ‘keeper into a save and FLETCHER was on hand to poke in the rebound!
1’ | 0-0 | #ICTFCvMFC
Warren booked almost straight away for a late and clumsy tackle on McDonald.
Kick-off | 0-0 | #ICTFCvMFC
Draper and Lopez get the 2015/16 campaign underway. COYW!
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:
“To get a clean sheet and three points away from home against a side that did really well last year, you can’t really ask for more.
“We could have won by more and made it easier for ourselves. Scott is disappointed but the keeper has guessed the right way. All you ask of a penalty taker is to get it on target and he did that.”
Inverness CT manager John Hughes:
“We need to roll our sleeves up and get that underdog mentality. I’ve just got that vibe since I’ve come back that one or two are thinking they’re better than they are,” he told BBC Scotland.
“I’ve said to them ‘football owes you nothing’. If you think you’re better than you are it’ll come and kick you up the backside.”
TV: Baraclough wants improvementFriday 31 July 2015
‘Well boss Ian Baraclough is aiming for a more successful season after a disappointing 2014/15.
The Steelmen fell from league runners-up the previous season to second bottom and a Premeirship Play-off against Rangers.
Thankfully, the Steelmen came through that match to retain their top-flight status and a positive summer in terms of recruitment has left ‘Well fans more hopeful of a better campaign ahead.
However, Baraclough knows that the buzz could evaporate if his side don’t manage some success from their difficult start to the campaign, which includes four of last year’s top six teams along with promoted Hearts in the first five matches.
[pullquote]For me, we will be looking up the way and that might be helped by a good start to the new campaign. Yes, we have a tough run of fixtures to begin with but you’ve got to go and play them all.[/pullquote]
Speaking to the gathered press at ‘Well’s pre-match news conference, the Fir Park boss said: “We’ve certainly got to improve on last year; that scenario cannot happen again.
“We can’t be involved in any end-of-season play-offs; we don’t want that even although last year ended euphorically.
“For me, we will be looking up the way and that might be helped by a good start to the new campaign. Yes, we have a tough run of fixtures to begin with but you’ve got to go and play them all.
“Inverness is a good, but difficult first match, but we want to go and show that we’ve had a positive pre-season and these players have something to prove.”
Season Tickets: There’s still timeFriday 31 July 2015
If you haven’t as yet bought your 2015/16 Season Ticket, there’s still time before the Steelmen are scheduled to play at Fir Park.
Motherwell are in the Highlands this weekend before their ‘home’ campaign gets underway with a match against Dundee United on Saturday 8th August.
‘Well fans have been buying in encouraging numbers so far this summer and with six new faces and the return of Lionel Ainsworth, Louis Laing and Scott McDonald, the squad is almost complete.
We still believe whether bought individually or as part of a family package, the season ticket represents tremendous value.
We have also continued our ‘WELLevate’ scheme which allows any adult or senior citizen buying a season ticket at Fir Park to claim a juvenile ticket absolutely free of charge or TWO Under 16s tickets if you sit in the Cooper Stand…
Season Ticket uptake has grow over 34% over the last five years because of this brilliant initiative – perhaps the single most effective way of recruiting new, younger fans over the last 100 years
The excellent Season Ticket offers which can be used to earn a host of discounts in a number of well-known businesses is back and bigger than ever.
The likes of KFC and Dominoes have been added to a 37 strong list which already contained the likes of McDonalds, KFC, Pizzahut, LivingWell Health Club, Evans Halshaw, M&D’s and many, many more.
We’ve enjoyed a fantastic run in the last six or seven years with many highs and lows along the way. Together, the club and our loyal fans can continue to grow Scotland’s best community and family club.
From more information and prices, click the banner below:
‘Well sign goalkeeper Connor RipleyFriday 31 July 2015
Motherwell today completed the signing of Middlesbrough goalkeeper Connor Ripley on loan until January.
The 6ft 3-inch stopper, son of former England winger Stuart, came through the ranks at Blackburn Rovers before signing for Boro in 2009.
The former England Youth International made his debut for the Teessiders two years later in the Championship against Reading and also turned out for the club against Burnley, as well as making an FA Cup appearance against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Ripley enjoyed two short emergency loan spells with both Oxford United and Bradford City and, most recently, an extended spell with Swedish side Östersund, where he turned out a total of fifteen times for the Superettan club.
The 22-year old has signed initially until early January and will compete with Dan Twardzik for a spot in the starting eleven.
[pullquote]I want to play at the highest standard possible. I know I am going to have to work hard to get into the starting eleven, but if I can do that and improve as a goalkeeper, I’ll be happy.[/pullquote]
He will wear the number one shirt and will travel north with the squad for Saturday’s SPFL Premiership opener against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the Caledonian Stadium.
Speaking of his move, Ripley said: “I’m very pleased to be here and after the gaffer gave me a call yesterday to say everything had gone through, I couldn’t get in the car quick enough to get up to Scotland.
“I want to play at the highest standard possible. I know I am going to have to work hard to get into the starting eleven, but if I can do that and improve as a goalkeeper, I’ll be happy.
“I can obviously take inspiration from some of the goalkeepers who have came up to Motherwell in the recent past and I’ll hopefully do the same.”