Action pictures from tonight’s 0-2 defeat by Hearts at Tynecastle.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Action pictures from tonight’s 0-2 defeat by Hearts at Tynecastle.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Ian Baraclough gave an honest assessment of his team after the disappointing 2-0 defeat at Tynecastle.
Although the Steelmen created several half chances, they failed to properly test Neil Alexander in the home goal.
In contrast, the Jambos took advantage of Motherwell mistakes and punished them with two goals, one from the penalty spot via Gavin Reilly and the other from winger Billy King.
And although the former Scunthorpe and Sligo boss thinks there are some positives he can take from the match, he gave an honest account of where he felt the game was won and lost.
[pullquote]We weren’t good enough; second best in many areas at crucial times of the game.[/pullquote]
He said: “We weren’t good enough; second best in many areas at crucial times of the game.
“I felt they were physically stronger than us, particularly in the middle of the park. They showed better anticipation and were first to knock downs and second balls.
“However, having said that, I think in terms of chances created it was fairly even but we failed to capitalise on anything we did put together in terms of balls going across the face of goal or certain position when we broke it up and didn’t counter.
“Our decisions on the ball weren’t good enough either so there’s a lot for us to work on for this weekend and beyond.”
Phil McGhee at Tynecastle
A goal in both halves consigned a disappointing Motherwell to a 0-2 defeat at high-flying Hearts this evening.
After containing the Jambos for the opening thirty minutes, restricting them to very little, Scott McDonald pulled down Sam Nicholson inside the area for a penalty. Gavin Reilly converted from twelve yards to give the hosts an interval lead.
‘Well made a positive start to the second period and put the Jambos under some pressure, before Billy King grabbed a second with a twenty-yard shot that squirmed under Connor Ripley.
It was a disappointing evening for the Steelmen, who failed to really lay a glove on Hearts who now sit top of the table after three successive wins.
For ‘Well, the result leaves them in seventh spot, three points after three matches.
Ian Baraclough made three changes to the starting eleven that lost to Dundee United four days ago. Lionel Ainsworth, Jake Taylor and Louis Moult all made their first start of the campaign, replacing Joe Chalmers, Jack Leitch and the injured Wes Fletcher. The influential Stephen Pearson remained sidelined with a knee injury.
Hearts came out the traps flying and Nicholson fired early intentions with a flashing shot from twenty yards that skidded past the post.
Motherwell’s first opportunity came on the eighteenth minute when Morgaro Gomis headed an Ainsworth cross at his own goal, but Alexander was well positioned to stop the own goal.
A minute later, ‘Well were almost in when McDonald robbed Prince Bauben on the edge of his own area, allowing Moult to collect. However, the former Wrexham man could only trickle a low shot back towards the Hearts keeper.
‘Well had settled into the match after their shaky start and almost hit Hearts with a classic counter, but Johnson’s hooked cross was plucked by Alexander with Moult ready to head home.
Just as it looked as if ‘Well were beginning to get the upper hand in the match, Hearts took the lead courtesy of a penalty. After dispossessing Scott McDonald thirty yards from goal, Sam Nicholson burst towards the box. As he was winding up to hit it, he was bundled to the ground by the former Aussie International with referee Brian Colvin pointing to the spot.
Former Queen of the South man Gavin Reilly stood up and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner, sending Ripley the wrong way.
‘Well’s reply was instant, Johnson’s taking on a left-footed effort from twenty yards, but Alexander was comfortable enough, holding on at his near post.
With the majority of the 16,000 plus crowd roaring them on, Hearts continued to create though. Bauben flashed a header just wide of target and Reilly almost grabbed his second with a stinging shot that Ripley was equal too.
With just one goal in at as ‘Well got the game going again, the Fir Parkers made a positive start to the second half and Ainsworth nearly had his side level within two minutes, flashing a low shot/cross across the face of goal, but it dropped wide with no takers.
Motherwell had the majority of play but just after the hour, Hearts sealed the game with a second goal. A ball out to the right flank had Billy King in space. He cut back onto his left foot before lashing a shot at Ripley who allowed it to squirm under him and into the net.
Motherwell huffed and puffed through the closing twenty-five minutes and had a Laing shot drop wide, an effort from David Clarkson sail over and a low Johnson strike in the dying seconds that was comfortably held by Neil Alexander in the home goal.
In the end, despite numerous half chances, Hearts ran out comfortable and deserved winners. It’s back to the drawing board for Ian Baraclough, who now faces another tough challenge as Aberdeen visit Fir Park this weekend.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Tynecastle
FT: Hearts 2 – 0 Motherwell #HMFCvMFC
88′ | 2-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Ball falls kindly to Clarkson on the edge of the box but he volleys over the bar.
86′ | 2-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Motherwell sub, Clarkson on for McDonald
83′ | 2-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Hearts sub, Rossi off for McGhee
76′ | 2-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Motherwell sub, Moult off for Thomas
66′ | 2-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Motherwell sub, Lasley off for Leitch.
64′ | 2-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Goal – King cuts in from the right and fires past Ripley to make it 2-0.
59′ | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Hearts sub, Juanma on for Sow.
58′ | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Taylor booked for a wild challenge on Reilly.
55′ | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Bit of Motherwell pressure but Hearts break away and Reilly tests Ripley with a long range shot.
47′ | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Great feet from Ainsworth to get past Rossi and he gets a away a great low shot/cross. No takers though!
Second half | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Taylor and Lasley get the second half underway
HT | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Half time, Hearts 1 – 0 Motherwell.
45′ | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Three minutes added on.
…whose first time cross is too long for Ainsworth at the back post.
44′ | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Almost a glorious chance as Ainsworth is in plenty of space but McDonald doesn’t spot him and plays it to Moult…
38′ | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Hearts dominating and Reilly stings the palms of Ripley with a left-footed shot from the edge of the D.
37′ | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Very nearly 2 as Buaben is picked out in the box and his header flashes wide of the post.
34′ | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
‘Well looking for a quick reply but Johnson’s left footed shot from 20 yards is held comfortably by Alexander
32′ | 1-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Goal – Reilly slots it home to make it 1-0 Hearts.
32′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Penalty to Hearts….
28′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Law does enough to deflect Ozturk’s header wide of the post for a corner.
28′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Laing is booked for bringing down King. Another free-kick in a dangerous area…
25′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
The ball into the box is poor and ‘Well counter through Ainsworth. Ball is worked to Johnson whose cross is gathered.
25′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Hearts have free-kick in a dangerous area, after Hammell hauled down King on the edge of the box.
19′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Great chance as McDonald dispossesses Buaben and plays in Moult but his left footed shot is too weak to trouble.
18′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Half chance there as Ainsworth swings in a good ball from the right. Gomis’ header has to be dealt with by Alexander
13′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Looks like both players will continue, thankfully.
12′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Stoppage in play as Laing and Reilly receive treatment for a head knock. Both doctors are on…..
2′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Home side looking dangerous. Sow breaks clear of the back-line but McManus recovers well, sliding the ball to safety.
2′ | 0-0 | #HMFCvMFC
Nicholson with the first sight of goal. His shot from 20 yards skids just past the post. Ripley had it covered, though
Kick-off | #HMFCvMFC
Sow and Reilly get the game underway. COYW!
Pre-match | #HMFCvMFC
The teams are out the tunnel at a packed Tynecastle. Should be a good one….
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:
Hearts manager Robbie Nielsen:
Ian Baraclough is looking forward to sampling the Tynecastle atmosphere and knows ‘Well will have to be at their best to derail the high-flying Jambos.
The Gorgie club have returned to the top league with a bang, beating St Johnstone and Dundee in the opening two games, scoring six goals.
‘Well have lost just twice in their last nine visits to Tynecastle, but this could arguably be the toughest test faced over that run.
However, with a great win at the Caledonian Stadium and a very encouraging performance, albeit ending in defeat against Dundee Utd, means mood in the Claret and Amber camp is high.
[pullquote]We need to be fresh, full of energy, which we are, and I’m looking forward to what will be a really good atmosphere and I think that’ll give the players a bit of incentive to go and do well[/pullquote]
Steelmen boss Baraclough is looking forward to it and has challenged his players to once again upset the odds in front of a large, vociferous home crowd.
He said: “Robbie Neilson’s side have started very, very well. They’ve carried the momentum through from the Championship-winning team and at home they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
“So we’ve got to be right on our game. We need to be fresh, full of energy, which we are, and I’m looking forward to what will be a really good atmosphere and I think that’ll give the players a bit of incentive to go and do well.
“It’s a great stage, a great ground. I’ve never played there, but people I’ve spoken to say it’s one of the best in Scotland for atmosphere.”
Motherwell FC has learned the full extent of Stephen Pearson’s injury, sustained on the opening day of the season at Inverness.
A scan has revealed the 32-year old former Scotland International has some knee cartilage damage that will require fairly routine surgery to rectify.
That surgery will go ahead this coming Friday (14th August).
However, both the surgery and recovery could rule the player out for six weeks.
The will come as a blow to Ian Baraclough but the ‘Well boss was remaining optimistic and was relieved it wasn’t more serious.
[pullquote]These sorts of contact based injuries are, sadly, unavoidable and part of the game so we can’t do anything but get on with it.[/pullquote]
“There was a worry when it first happened that Stephen may have sustained a cruciate ligament injury, so we’re obviously delighted that’s not been the case.
“These sorts of contact based injuries are, sadly, unavoidable and part of the game so we can’t do anything but get on with it.
“Stephen has started the season well, but this gives opportunities to other players to stake a claim for a spot in the starting eleven. I am confident in those who will now get their chance to stand up and take responsibility.”
Motherwell FC has today completed the loan signing of Reading’s Welsh International Jake Taylor.
Taylor, a 23-year old midfielder, has been with the Royals for 16 years but from 2011 onwards, has enjoyed loan spells at Aldershot, Exeter, Cheltenham, Crawley and Leyton Orient.
He has played a total of 23 times for Reading in the Championship, scoring three goals (the vast majority of those coming last season).
As an aside from his club career, Jake has also played for the Welsh Under 17s, Under 19s, Under 21s before eventually making his senior debut, earning his first cap against Cyprus in October last year.
Taylor has joined on loan until the end of the season, with a break option in January. He will wear squad number 25 and will go straight into the squad for Wednesday night’s game against Hearts, subject to clearance formalities.
[pullquote]I am coming to Motherwell with the aim of getting as much game time as possible and to help the team. I’m 23 now and it’s important that I am getting as much first-team football as I can[/pullquote]
Speaking to MFC TV, Taylor said: “I am really pleased to be at the club and just can’t wait to get started now.
“I’ve had a good pre-season down at Reading, played a few games and I feel fit and ready to go.
“I am coming to Motherwell with the aim of getting as much game time as possible and to help the team. I’m 23 now and it’s important that I am getting as much first-team football as I can.
“I’ve spoke to a couple of ex Motherwell players like Nick Blackman and Tom Hateley and both had nothing but good things to say about the Club and Scottish football and that certainly helped make my mind up about joining.”
A reminder for fans with regards to ticket information for Wednesday’s match against Heart of Midlothian.
‘Well fans will the housed in the Roseburn Stand, and have been allocated a lower and upper section, with varying prices.
Tickets for the lower tier are now sold out.
Ticket prices for the Roseburn Stand upper are:
|Over 65’s & student||£18|
Tickets are on sale at the Fir Park ticket office up until 3pm on the day of the match. Any tickets remaining after that will be transferred to Tynecastle to be sold at the ground (although these are expected to be extremely limited). As of close of play Tuesday, only around 275 tickets remain.
English Championship side Bolton Wanderers will travel to Fir Park on Saturday 5th September as opponents for Keith Lasley’s Testimonial match.
The game will top off the celebrations for the Club Captain who, given his 14 years of service and commitment, has became a real favourite with the Fir Park crowd.
The Paisley born midfielder has played over 400 games in Claret and Amber, scoring twenty-two goals in the process, and is known and respected for his hard work and passion in the heart of the Motherwell team.
Neil Lennon’s side will provide stiff opposition and have a raft of talent available, with a few familiar names. Recent addition Stephen Dobbie played for Hibernian, St Johnstone and Queen of the South and also in the ranks is Dan Twadzik’s brother, Filip.
Other notable names include ex-Liverpool pair Jay Spearing and Emile Heskey.
There will be activities for the kids pre-match in the Centenary Lounge from 1pm including meet the players.
Tickets are priced at £10 for Adults and £5 for Juveniles/Concessions, and can be bought in advance from the Fir Park Ticket office or on the gate.
Extended highlights from Fir Park where Motherwell concede two late goals and lose 2-0 to Dundee Utd in the first home game of the season.
Steelmen boss Ian Baraclough was left to rue missed opportunities as ‘Well went down 0-2 at home to Dundee United.
The Steelmen played well again and created numerous opportunities throughout the ninety minutes, but couldn’t capitalize.
And two goals in the last seven minutes handed the visitors all three points in a game with very little between the teams.
It was a cruel blow, but the Fir Park boss was remaining philosophical and challenged his men to rebound against Hearts in midweek.
[pullquote]That’s two games in a row we’ve done a lot of good things, but it shows you need to take advantage when you’re on top and the chances are presented.[/pullquote]
Speaking to MFC TV after the match, he said: “We were the ones creating chances and got stronger as things went on but we weren’t ruthless enough and when that’s the case, you leave yourselves open to getting suckered punched.
“I actually thought we were better this week than last week at Inverness yet we’ve come away empty handed. It’s a tough one to take but listen, we’re on the right track.
“That’s two games in a row we’ve done a lot of good things, but it shows you need to take advantage when you’re on top and the chances are presented. We’ll work on that and hope to bounce back against Hearts.”