Under 20s assistant Keith Lasley has urged the young Motherwell U20s to learn lessons from their narrow 3-2 defeat in Paisley this evening.
TV: Lasley calls for Paisley lessonsTuesday 06 October 2015
St Mirren U20s 3 – 2 MotherwellTuesday 06 October 2015
Motherwell Under 20s lost 3-2 to St Mirren in an incident-packed Development League match in Paisley tonight.
Unlike in previous games, it was ‘Well who took an early lead when Dylan Mackin prodded his side in front inside four minutes. However, Saints were level then infront before the break thanks to goals from Lewis McLear and Lewis Morgan.
The home side were reduced to ten men when Jaison McGrath was ordered off for a second bookable offence, before Dylan Falconer scored in controversial circumstances eight minutes from time.
However, despite the man advantage and scoring to level things up, it was the hosts who scored the winner late on through McLear to take all three points.
Under 20s assistant Keith Lasley made significant changes to the side that drew with Hearts seven days ago. Indeed, only four players survived in a team that contained not one single over-age player in the squad.
And it was the away team, kitted in all Claret, who started the match on the front foot and took the lead after just four minutes.
Full back Luke Watt picked up the ball on the left hand side and wasted no time curling an inviting cross into the area. Luke Conlan picked up, but dallied a little, allowing Mackin to steal. The striker maintained his composure to coolly lift the ball up and over the outrushing Wilks to open the scoring.
Saints replied with a long-range strike from Barry Cuddihy that flew high over and into the stand, before Ross MacLean almost rounded off a good move with a back-post header, but it was straight at Wilks who saved.
The Saints keeper had to look smart seconds later when following his kick-out, the ball was quickly back at the feet of Mackin whose quick-fire shot deflected into the air and spun towards goal, reminiscent of Marvin Johnson’s Play-off Final goal against Rangers at Fir Park. Sadly for the Steelmen, Saints stopper Wilks moved his feet well and comfortably held.
Luke Watt had a trundler at goal just before the half hour but that was the last Motherwell would threaten in the half which the home side went on to dominate.
It started with an ambitious 40-yard bouncing effort from Conlan, which forced PJ Morrison to turn around at the expense of a corner.
However, the young keeper was powerless to prevent the hosts scoring with their next attack five minutes later. Saints did well to move the ball about on the edge of the ‘Well area, and after Lewis McLear’s neat one-two with Jaison McGrath, the former curled a low strike into the bottom corner with Morrison at full stretch.
It went from bad to worse for the Fir Parkers on the stroke of half-time as David Longwell’s side got their noses in front. Left back Jordan Stewart sent a tremendous through ball to Lewis Morgan, sending the Saints man clear. He kept his composure to slot beyond Morrison to give his side a 2-1 lead at the interval.
Saints could have all but wrapped up the win just four minutes into the second half when McLear collected a weak clearance and with Morrison off his line, the striker’s lob hit the bar before bouncing out.
Motherwell responded with a Robbie Leitch corner that found Ben Hall at the back post but his header dropped wide of target.
Saints found themselves down to ten men when Jaison McGrath was ordered off for a quick-fire double booking. The first was for a cynical, foolish trip on David Ferguson. The second, just a few minutes later, looked a little harsh and more like two players competing for the ball.
It didn’t deter the hosts though and they continued, with their abundance of pace, to look a threat on the counter, particularly via left-sider Morgan who twice raced away clear of the Steelmen rearguard, only to be denied on both occasions by Morrison. Those efforts were sandwiched either side of a low Cadden shot that forced Wilks to parry.
Mackin also had a header flicked towards goal, but it presented little problems for Wilks to pluck out the air.
The extra man eventually started to take it’s toll on Saints as ‘Well started to take control. Leitch had a shot fly high over the bar, sub Jake Hastie’s deflected effort bounced inches wide and when the corner eventually came over, Watt laid it on a plate for Mackin only for the big striker to scoop over from a yard out.
Then, with eight minutes to go, Motherwell levelled things up in controversial and unusual circumstances. Goalkeeper Wilks was adjudged to have held the ball longer than the allowed six seconds. He was booked by referee Grant Irvine and after taking a quick free-kick with Saints having no time to retreat, Dylan Falconer eventually slammed home into an empty net. St Mirren’s players and management team were apoplectic at the call, surrounding the officials amid chaotic scenes.
However, the players on the park quickly regrouped and almost got themselves back in front, only for a low shot to crash into the side-netting. It was a warning the young Claret and Amber men failed to heed though as with five minutes left on the clock, Saints grabbed the winner.
Conlan led his side into another quick counter, and when his low shot was parried out by Morrison, McLear was on hand to tuck home his second of the night, Saint’s third, to wrap up all three points.
Motherwell: Morrison, McMillan, Watt, Ferguson, Hall, Turnbull (Hastie – 67mins), MacLean, R.Leitch, Mackin, Watters (Falconer – 67mins), Cadden
Subs Not Used: Potts, Livingstone, Moore, Maguire
Under 20s face St Mirren in PaisleyTuesday 06 October 2015
The Under 20s return to action tonight (Tuesday) when they take on St Mirren at St Mirren Park.
The young Steelmen have drawn their last 4 league games and on each of those occasions they’ve been forced to come from behind.
The Buddies have yet to win a game at home and haven’t played in over a fortnight, when they beat Rangers 1-0.
They currently sit seventh place in the SPFL Development League table, one point above the Claret and Amber men, having played a game more.
The match will take place at the St Mirren Park, home of St Mirren, with kick-off 6pm.
TV: Highlights from Dens ParkSaturday 03 October 2015
Extended Highlights from Dens Park as two second half goals consign ‘Well to their fourth away defeat in a row.
Dundee defeat in picturesSaturday 03 October 2015
Action images from today’s 2-1 defeat to Dundee at Dens Park in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
TV: Craigan frustrated at Dens showingSaturday 03 October 2015
Interim manager Stephen Craigan was left frustrated after ‘Well lose 2-1 to Dundee at Dens Park this afternoon.
Dundee 2 – 1 MotherwellSaturday 03 October 2015
Gavin McCafferty at Dens Park
Motherwell failed to build on a decent first half showing, losing 2-1 to Dundee at Dens Park this afternoon.
The Steelmen had a lot of the ball and got into great areas on several different occasions during a first-half dominated by injuries, with Greg Stewart and Kevin Thomson along with Lionel Ainsworth having to be replaced.
However, a disappointing second half saw the Dees take the lead through Rory Loy before Kevin Holt fired free kick through the wall to double the home side’s lead.
Stephen Pearson reduced the arrears with five minutes left on the clock, but ‘Well couldn’t haul themselves level as Paul Hartley’s side held out for all three points.
Dundee were missing captain James McPake because of a jaw injury while Motherwell started with a 4-1-4-1 formation with Josh Law restored at right-back and Louis Moult wide on the left. Marvin Johnson had to be content with a place
The Dark Blues’ main man Greg Stewart’s lasted less than half an hour before he was injured by a sliding challenge from the back-tracking Moult, who earned a booking.
As Stewart hobbled round the perimeter of the pitch to be replaced by Gary Harkins, Ainsworth went down clutching his thigh after slipping on the heavily-watered turf. Johnson came on to play on the Motherwell right wing.
The visitors, wearing black armbands in memory of former skipper Joe Wark, who died on Thursday, gradually imposed themselves on the game.
Moult fired over on the run from 18 yards before releasing Scott McDonald, whose cross was just too high for Johnson.
Thomson eas the third place to hobble off shortly before the break after failing to run off a knee problem, Jesse Curran coming on for his debut.
Dundee finished the half strongly and threatened from several Harkins set-pieces. Ripley saved two free-kicks before holding Thomas Konrad’s header following a corner.
It was a Harkins free-kick that led to the opener 13 minutes after the break. Motherwell were still penned in following the lofted ball into the box as Riccardo Calder fired the ball back into the goalmouth for Loy to turn home with the heel of his boot.
Harkins almost cost his side moments later when he lost the ball to Keith Lasley but Johnson mishit his shot after being picked out 12 yards out by McDonald and the ball spun into Scott Bain’s hands.
Ripley got down well to save from Loy after the former Falkirk striker made space 18 yards out but the Motherwell goalkeeper was soon beaten in the 70th minute.
Holt drilled a low free-kick through the wall from 22 yards and into the bottom corner, the deflection doing enough to take it further away from Ripley.
Motherwell threw on strikers Wes Fletcher and Theo Robinson and reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.
Moult looped a header just over but Dundee came close to a third when Harkins’ shot hit off teammate Kane Hemmings and spun just wide.
Motherwell got back in the game in the 83rd minute when Pearson drilled a ball across the face of goal that evaded several players and Bain before going in off the post.
The Claret and Amber men sensed they could get level, however, an overhit Johnson cross was the visitors’ best opportunity to equalise.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Cappielow Park
FT’ | 2-1
Dundee 2 – 1 Motherwell
90′ | 2-1
3 minutes added on.
86′ | 2-1
Corner for ‘Well, great delivery by Grimshaw but no takers!
83′ | 2-1
GOAL – Pearson pulls on back for ‘Well!
81′ | 2-0
Harkins’ long-range shot is deflected which has Ripley scrambling. Rolls just past the post.
76′ | 2-0
Final Dundee change, Loy off for Healey
74′ | 2-0
Law advances forward and clips in a cross to the head of Moult but it’s inches over the bar.
71′ | 2-0
Double Motherwell change, Robinson and Fletcher on for Lasley and McDonald
70′ | 2-0
Goal – Holt drills in a low free-kick to make it 2-0
66′ | 1-0
Motherwell break away but the chance goes when Johnson slips as he shoots and it ends up over the bar,.
60′ | 1-0
McDonald puts it on a plate for Johnson but he fires into the ground and takes the sting out it for Bain who gathers easily.
58′ | 1-0
Goal – Loy connects with Calder’s cross to make it 1-0 to Dundee.
54′ | 0-0
Kennedy booked for fouling Loy just inside the Motherwell half. From that free-kick, Grimshaw heads out for a corner.
47′ | 0-0
Ripley quickly called into action, racing off his line to gather at the feet of Loy.
46′ | 0-0
Back underway here at Dens Park. COYW!!
HT’ | 0-0
Half-time whistle goes and its goalless here in Dundee.
45+3′ | 0-0
Ripley has to be alert, diving low to his left to palm away Harkins’ curled free-kick.
45+1′ | 0-0
5 minutes added on.
45+1′ | 0-0
Curran sneaks round at the back post and gets his head on a corner. Easy save for Ripley though.
42′ | 0-0
Another Dundee injury, Thomson limps off for Curran
40′ | 0-0
Harkins curls in a great ball which flies through a ruck of bodies. Thankfully Ripley reads it and makes the stop.
39′ | 0-0
Half-chance there for Moult as he cuts inside from the left and gets a shot away from range. Fired over the bar.
35′ | 0-0
Konrad booked for a body-check on Johnson as he broke away.
30′ | 0-0
Motherwell with a forced sub, Ainsworth limps of for Johnson
28′ | 0-0
Dundee sub, Stewart hobbles off for Harkins.
23′ | 0-0
Moult booked for a foul on Stewart.
20′ | 0-0
More positive play from Ainsworth. Gets past Holt again but Bain is on hand to pluck his cross out the air.
17′ | 0-0
Calder drifts in-field, then cuts back out on his left and gets the shot away. Routine stop for Ripley though.
16′ | 0-0
Another ‘Well corner, but this time a Dundee defender gets his head to it just before Kennedy.
14′ | 0-0
Ainsworth gets past Holt and wins a corner…..McManus’ header is cooly gathered by Bain.
7′ | 0-0
Stewart jinks his way in-field and is only thwarted by a great sliding block by Kennedy.
5′ | 0-0
Stewart gets played in with plenty of space down the right but opts to shoot first time, ballooning it well over the bar.
2′ | 0-0
Loy spins in the box and sees his shot deflected wide for a corner. Grimshaw nods the dellvery clear at the front post.
1′ | 0-0
Thomson and Stewart get the action underway. COYW!!!!
Out come the teams. Lovely sunny afternoon for it, with kick-off moments away.
Motherwell interim manager Stephen Craigan:
I thought first half we were in the ascendancy. We spoke during the week about having more composure in the final third and picking an extra pass rather than smashing the ball into an area.
“So it was disappointing that we got ourselves into areas and didn’t capitalise first half.
“But it boils down to not defending a cross ball and a wall that disintegrates.”
Dundee manager Paul Hartley:
“The first half wasn’t a great spectacle. I though they were better than us but I thought it was a much better second half for us.
“When you have Loy and (Kane) Hemmings they are always a threat.
“Rory has started four games and got five goals and Kano’s work rate was terrific.”
TV: Craigan focused on footballFriday 02 October 2015
Interim manager Stephen Craigan previews tomorrow’s game with Dundee and talks about his experience as temporary manager so far.
TV: Pearson relishing being back in actionFriday 02 October 2015
Midfielder Stephen Pearson looks ahead to tomorrow’s game against Dundee and chats about his return from injury.
Joe Wark: 1947 – 2015Thursday 01 October 2015
Motherwell FC is today devastated to learn of the passing of one of its greatest sons, Joe Wark, after a long battle with illness.
Everyone at the Club would like to express our deepest condolences to Joe’s wife Maureen, his sons Steven and Kenneth, along with his close family and friends at this difficult time.
‘Well fan Eddie Ferguson recently wrote an article for the Matchday Magazine that details the career of one of ‘the’ Motherwell legends of all time.
‘Joe Wark Knew My Father’
Thursday the 9th of October 1947 may have been a typically cold clear autumnal day in Glasgow, but within the parameters of Motherwell Football Club surely the excitement would have been at fever pitch had they known what the effect of events a few miles away would eventually have on us all.
Joe Wark may have been born a “Weegie”, and his boyhood heroes may well have been from somewhere north of ML1, but from the minute he made his debut in a Pre-Season Friendly against Tranmere Rovers in 1968, he was destined to be forever a Steelman.
As was the norm at this time, Joe had begun his career in the Ayrshire Juniors, running up and down Cochrane Street Park playing in the Tangerine and Black of Irvine Victoria. It wasn’t long before scouts from the senior ranks all over Scotland were alerted to the performances of the strong, tidy and creative player with a throw-in akin to a corner kick, which led to reports landing on managers desk up and down the country.
Of course it was Motherwell boss Bobby Howitt, who made the first move, and Joe was more than happy at the age of 20 to make the Fir Park dressing room his home for the next sixteen seasons.
Strangely enough on his debut previously mentioned, Joe spent 87 minutes in goal after ‘Well ‘keeper Keith McRae was injured. The clean sheet he achieved was to be the first small step on his journey towards legendary status at our club, as a Jim “Jumbo” Muir double won the game for Motherwell.
The fact that Motherwell had begun season 1968/9 in Scotland’s Division Two probably helped him make the step up in class a little easier. Joe was an ever present in midfield, driving the club forward in a glorious romp to the title, netting 112 times, conceding 23 and losing a mere two matches (Forfar and East Fife away) along the way.
Joe showed in that first season that he could augment his excellent defensive duties with some attacking flair. He scored eight League goals in that campaign, including a memorable hat-trick against Montrose at Fir Park, which I’m delighted to say, I actually witnessed sitting on the wee white wall in front of the East Stand! It would be the following season, when the Steelmen returned to the top flight, that Joe would make the left back berth his own.
That year would also signal his first national Semi-Final, in the League Cup against St Johnstone, after starring in an incredible come from behind win in the previous round against Morton. Sadly for us all, the disappointing defeat at Hampden Park would not be last Semi-Final anguish suffered by the great man.
League wise, it was an efficient if unspectacular return to the First Division, although good enough to secure a place in the new British (Texaco) Cup, which was kicking off the following term.
That inaugural tournament would provide the major highlights for ‘Well fans in Season 1970/71, a term in which Joe Wark would further endear himself to the Motherwell faithful , continually showing impeccable timing in the tackle and an ability to seemingly rescue a lost cause without committing any foul.
First up in the new competition was Stoke City, with World Cup winning Goalkeeper, Gordon Banks between the sticks in the first leg at Fir Park. A terrific display by Banks wasn’t enough to stop John Goldthorp netting the only goal, and it was down to the Victoria Ground for the second instalment of an enthralling contest.
The English side managed to take the tie to penalties, but it was the ‘Well ‘keeper McRae who overshadowed his more illustrious counterpart and emerged the hero with two great saves as the Steelmen celebrated a deserved win.
The mighty Tottenham Hotspur were next up, with a host of International stars and even more World Cup winners! Wark along with many of his teammates were not only enjoying the newfound national limelight, but were positively thriving on it.
After a narrow 3-2 defeat at White Hart Lane, a near 23,000 crowd were encouraged to visit Fir Park to roar Motherwell on to what would become a famous victory, with goals from Tom Donnelly, Brian Heron and Bobby Watson.
The Semi-Final saw heartache for “Guiseppe” (as my Dad called our hero), as an injury time Donald Ford goal for Hearts in front of 25,500 fans at Fir Park sent them through to the first ever Final, at the expense of the brave men in Claret and Amber.
League form over the next few years continued to be rather in and out, with Joe yet again keeping a clean sheet as he took over in goal for the second half of a league game at home to St. Johnstone in January 1972. This time Billy Ritchie was the unlucky ‘Well ‘keeper who had broken his leg. It didn’t stop Motherwell though, running out convincing 2-0 winners with Billy Campbell and Kirkie Lawson scoring.
By the time new manager Ian St. John arrived in 1973, it had become apparent that Scottish Football was heading for a radical change, with a ten team Premier League on the horizon.
All efforts of not only Motherwell, but a host of clubs throughout the land were directed towards attaining a berth in the new set-up for the first campaign. “Sinjy’s” first full season in charge saw Joe complete yet another campaign as an ever present (his third in six years), playing 52 competitive matches, displaying tremendous enthusiasm, athleticism, dedication and a clever understanding of how not to fall foul of referees.
League wise the club relied heavily on the scoring exploits of our dynamic striking partnership of Willie Pettigrew and Bobby Graham to guide them to the new top ten set-up, which was achieved on the final day of the season at Fir Park against Dumbarton. Graham scored his 14th goal of the season that afternoon (although Pettigrew failed to add to his 26) in a 3-1 win with the Fir Parkers resplendent in a kit almost identical to the one the boys will wear this afternoon.
The season may have ended happily enough, but a month earlier, it’s fair to say the Scottish Cup caused major heartache not only to Joe, but for all Motherwell fans. Pettigrew had put the Steelmen ahead at Hampden Park in the Semi-Final against Airdrieonians, and were comfortable until a harmless looking late cross into our box was headed into his own net by Fir Park stopper Stewart McLaren.
A couple of minutes from the end of the replay, ‘keeper Stuart Rennie was penalised for taking too many steps whilst carrying the ball, a long defunct rule, and one that was rarely enforced at that time. The resultant indirect free-kick was deflected past the helpless goalie, leaving the Diamonds, who we were to narrowly pip for the final place in the new Premier League, celebrating a place in the Final against Celtic.
The following season would see the pinnacle of a terrific Motherwell side as Wark would once again be an ever-present over 54 games. 1975/76 also saw Joe return to the goal scoring charts, just. A fine strike at Ibrox would earn the Steelmen a creditable draw in the League Cup, although it wouldn’t be enough to help the side to progress out of a Section that also included Airdrieonians and Clyde.
The Texaco Cup had a new name this term, as the Anglo-Scottish Cup made its bow, with Motherwell yet again “in amongst it”. Dundee and Blackburn Rovers were both seen off with ease by the Dossers to earn us a crack at Fulham, boasting an array of talent such as Bobby Moore, Alan Mullery, Rodney Marsh and George Best. A great draw down at Craven Cottage went for nothing as Fir Park witnessed a five-goal cracker, which sadly for Wark and his teammates went in favour of the visitors.
For the second season on the bounce, the Scottish Cup would prove to be devastating to our, by now, captain of the Football Club. It had of course started so promisingly as Motherwell came from two down at home to Celtic at half time, to post a never to be forgotten win with goals from Taylor, Graham and Pettigrew.
When Cowdenbeath, and then, Hibernian (after a second replay at Ibrox) were taken care of, a Semi-Final against the blue half of the Old Firm didn’t hold any fears for the Fir Parkers and their fans. Twenty minutes from time, Pettigrew and McLaren had us two goals to the good, looking home and hosed, with Wark surely dreaming of lifting the old trophy and bringing it back to North Lanarkshire.
Enter Referee, JPR Gordon. He inexplicably awarded Rangers a penalty for an alleged infringement two yards outside the box. The converted kick gave our opponents the impetus they needed to win the tie despite a blatant foul by Rangers defender, John Greig on Pettigrew as he looked certain to earn a replay in the final minute. Early 1978 saw Joe and his Motherwell side hit a slump that would eventually lead to them plying their trade in the First Division 18 months later.
At the end of that World Cup summer, West Brom arrived at Fir Park as Joe Wark was awarded a well-deserved Testimonial by the club. Sadly, Motherwell were ripped apart, and the 8-1 defeat was a precursor to the horror season that was to follow.
Relegation meant radical changes to the playing staff was required from new manager, Ally MacLeod, with Joe being one of the very few who survived the cull. It would be at the third attempt in 1982 that the Steelmen would return to Scotland’s top flight, with Joe playing an integral part in the success.
Following Davie Hay’s departure in that summer, and despite media reports linking Joe to the manager’s chair at Fir Park, Jock Wallace was the man given the task of keeping Motherwell in the Premier League in that crucial first season.
It’s fair to say that Wallace was not a popular choice amongst the Motherwell fans, and he certainly wasn’t on Joe’s Christmas card list the following festive period. The ex-Rangers boss only selected our hero for one league game in the first eight months of the season, a 7-0 reverse at home to Celtic with a certain Charlie Nicholas on fire for the Hoops.
Wark’s final season, 1983/4, would see the Club relegated once again with Joe, now 36 years old, appearing eleven times in Claret and Amber. The old boots were finally hung up after a second Testimonial match against a Rangers/Celtic select in January 1985.
Joe had made 469 league appearances, a post war record for the Club, which given the nature of the transfer system these days, is unlikely to be beat.
Many Motherwell fans have waxed lyrical over the years desperately trying to describe what Joe meant to this club. On the field, his “Mr Consistency” tag was well earned, as on a weekly basis, he took his “teeth oot”, rolled up his sleeves and went to work, playing the game in the right way.
Never would you see Joe commit a cynical foul, indeed he was very rarely booked in over 500 games for the Steelmen. Off the field, Joe was always immaculate, and dare I say it, rather good looking with his teeth in. Every inch a Gentleman and a fine ambassador for Motherwell Football Club, not shy to explain what this club has stood for, and should continue to stand for today.
It was a travesty that this true legend was never given a full Scotland Cap, although he did gain a solitary League Cap against England.
In truth though, although Joe may have hankered for that dark blue jersey, to us ‘Well fans, that only made him more special, as it meant we didn’t have to share Joe Wark with anybody else.
He was probably the only hero in our family which crossed the generation between my old man and myself; my late dad thought the world of Joe, as I did growing up.
For a Left Back to hold such affection not only within the Ferguson household in darkest Renfrewshire, but throughout great swathes of Lanarkshire tells you more about the man than anything I could write about him.
Joe Wark may never have met or knew my father, but I’m so proud to say, my father most certainly knew, and loved, Joe Wark.