Extended highlights from Fir Park as Motherwell and Hamilton Accies share the spoils in an entertaining 3-3 draw.
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkSaturday 02 January 2016
TV: McGhee frustrated at late penaltySaturday 02 January 2016
Mark McGhee cut a frustrated figure as a 94th minute penalty denied his side a fourth consecutive victory.
Goals from Louis Moult and a Scott McDonald double looked to have been enough for the Steelmen in what was a pulsating ninety minutes at Fir Park.
However, a late shot hit Keith Lasley’s hand on route, with Greg Aitken quickly pointing to the spot to ensure a share of the spoils in the second Lanarkshire derby of the season.
It was a bitter pill for McGhee’s men, who had again turned in another impressive performance, full of attacking threat and menace.
“It’s turned out to be a frustrating one to lose the lead so late in the game,” the Fir Park boss said.
“Even when we were two-one down, we still had opportunities to make chances, had one cleared off the line and I told the boys at the break that they should continue to push and we will make chances and score goals.
[pullquote]“We showed great character and desire to get into a 3-2 winning position and in the end, I felt we were a little unlucky, but I suppose you’ve got to give Accies credit for going to the very end.[/pullquote]
“It maintains our little run, the team looked the same and we’ll try and take the positives from it going forward. Onwards and upwards.”
McGhee felt a sense of injustice at the equalising goal, which came via Accies midfield Ali Crawford, who netted from the penalty spot.
The Fir Park boss conceded the penalty was probably a correct call, but questioned if Crawford should’ve been on the pitch to win and take it in the first place.
Asked if he thought the penalty was controversial, McGhee said: “I’ve not seen it on replay as yet, but at the time I thought it hit Las’ (Keith Lasley) hand, so it probably was a penalty.
“My point is the lad who wins and then scores the penalty should be off the park. Why the referee hasn’t sent him off for what was clearly a second bookable offence makes no sense.
“To compound it further, for Lasley to then be sent off for a handball, which I think we would all agree isn’t deliberate, is just ludicrous.”
Accies draw in picturesSaturday 02 January 2016
Action images from today’s 3-3 draw with Hamilton Accies in the Ladbrokes Premiership at Fir Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
Motherwell 3 – 3 Hamilton AcciesSaturday 02 January 2016
Phil McGhee Fir Park
Motherwell were denied a fourth consecutive win when Accies grabbed an 94th minute equaliser from the penalty spot.
It looked like another three points for Mark McGhee’s men until Keith Lasley was adjudged to have handled Grant Gillespie’s shot.
That produced a red card for the Fir Park skipper and a spot kick which Ali Crawford swept home to make it 3-3 and bring a dramatic derby to a close.
It had looked good for ‘Well until then, although the home side lost its way for bit in the first half after a Scott McDonald goal had given them the perfect start to the year and game.
However, two goals from Lucas and Darian McKinnon midway through the half swung the advantage to Accies.
In a blistering start to the second half, though, a second from McDonald and Louis Moult, with his 12th goal of the season, restored the Fir Parker’s lead which they held comfortably until the closing minutes.
‘Well were unchanged for the fourth consecutive game and the consistency in team selection paid off with a pressing start, which was rewarded with the opening goal after only 8 minutes.
Josh Law cut in from the left and whipped a low ball into the six yard area where McDonald’s touch carried the ball past Michael McGovern for the perfect start.
The Aussie striker might have doubled the lead three minutes later when a fabulous pass from Moult sliced open the Accies defence but from an angle McDonald’s thumping drive was parried by the Hamilton ‘keeper.
Motherwell still had the upper hand when a typical burst and cross from Marvin Johnston just evaded McDonald and Moult in the six yard box.
Gradually the visitors found their feet and a low curling free kick from Crawford forced Connor Ripley into his first save, throwing himself to his left to beat the shot away. Minutes later Dougie Imrie fired a shot narrowly past the post as Accies threatened to draw level.
The equaliser duly arrived after 24 minutes when Crawford swept a free kick into a packed box and the towering Lucas climbed above everyone to nod the ball past Ripley.
Within three minutes Hamilton had grabbed the lead when Darian McKinnon tried his luck from 30 yards and his left foot shot drifted over Ripley and under the bar to turn the game on its head.
It took the home players a while to regain their composure and just before half-time almost grabbed the equaliser. Law’s in-swinging corner was punched out by McGovern but only as far as Johnston whose controlled half volley was net bound until blocked on the six yard line.
The equaliser was only delayed until a minute into the second half. ‘Well came flying out of the traps to break into the Accies box but after Moult fed the ball to McDonald the chance seemed lost as he fell to the turf but even grounded the striker showed his experience as he scooped the ball beyond the ‘keeper to make it 2-2.
That raised the tempo of the game as ‘Well looked to regain the upper-hand.
And after 56 minutes the home side reclaimed the lead with a super goal. Liam Grimshaw’s burst from the half way carried him past Antons Kurkans and when he curled his cross to the near post Moult’s glancing header sent the ball flashing past McGovern to make it 3-2.
With Accies chasing an equaliser more chances came ‘Well’s way the best falling to Johnston whose charge took him into the visitor’s box before his fierce left foot drive was palmed over the bar by McGovern.
While a fourth goal would have eased the tension in the closing minutes Ripley’s goal was seldom threatened until injury time.
And in the final minute the ‘Well keeper at full stretch brilliantly beat away Alex D’Ancol’s snapshot but as Gillespie fired the rebound into the packed box it struck Lasley’s raised arm allowing Crawford, who was lucky to escape a second yellow card twenty minutes earlier, to convert the penalty and cruelly deprive ‘Well of another three points.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
FT: Motherwell 3 – 3 Hamilton Accies
95′ | 3-3
Goal – Crawford makes no mistake from the spot. 3-3
94′ | 3-2
Penalty to Accies! Lasley off for a second booking!
91′ | 3-2
Motherwell sub, Johnson off for Cadden
90′ | 3-2
Five minutes added on….
88′ | 3-2
Docherty goes close for Accies, drilling a shot just wide of the right hand post.
86′ | 3-2
McManus booked for hauling down Brophy on the touchline.
85′ | 3-2
Accies sub, Lucas off for Sendles-White
83′ | 3-2
Lengthy stoppage in play as the stretcher is out for Lucas, who took a sore one when a cross was delivered into the box.
81′ | 3-2
Motherwell sub, Moult makes way for Robinson
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78′ | 3-2
Accies sub, D’Acol on for Morris
77′ | 3-2
Referee goes for his pocket again, this time it is a booking for Kurakins.
75′ | 3-2
Johnson lashes a shot away from the edge of the box which McGovern does well to parry over the bar for a corner.
74′ | 3-2
Pearson tries a chip from range and it almost comes off,drifting inches wide of McGovern’s post.
72′ | 3-2
Promising Motherwell break ends with Grimshaw trying his luck from 20 yards but it is well over the bar.
71′ | 3-2
Accies sub, Redmond on for Imrie.
70′ | 3-2
Lasley booked for a trip on Crawford.
69′ | 3-2
5477 in attendance, 546 in the away end.
64′ | 3-2
Docherty goes for a run and does well to get down the right. His shot from 15 yards can only find the side netting.
57′ | 3-2
Grimshaw with a great burst down the right and ball into Moult whose diving header flies past McGovern!!
51′ | 2-2
Game is heating up as Crawford is booked for a rash tackle on Lasley.
50′ | 2-2
Now Imrie enters the book for handling the ball as ‘Well broke.
49′ | 2-2
Law booked for a late challenge on Imrie.
46′ | 2-2
At the second attempt, McDonald makes it 2-2 from Moult’s square ball!
Accies get the second 45 underway….
HT | 1-2
Motherwell 1 – 2 Hamilton Accies
1 minute added on
45′ | 1-2
Nice play down the right sets Law free in the box but with the angle narrowing, he can only shoot into the sidenetting.
40′ | 1-2
Close! Johnson rasps a volley into a crowded box which hits someone in the face as it looked goalbound!
38′ | 1-2
Grimshaw booked as Imrie goes down screaming. Straight back up though, and is absolutely fine.
28′ | 1-2
Goal – MacKinnon fires off a shot from range which nestles in the top corner. 2-1 to Accies.
25′ | 1-1
Goal – Lucas squares the game, nodding home Crawford’s whipped free-kick.
20′ | 1-0
Good save from Ripley, getting down low to Crawford’s free-kick and palming it to safety.
19′ | 1-0
Great wing play again from Johnson and a great cross to match but McGovern just gets there ahead of Moult.
14′ | 1-0
Brophy turns on the edge of the box and gets a left-footed shot away which thankfully trickles wide of the post.
11′ | 1-0
Very nearly 2 there as McDonald gets space down the right and fires off a shot but McGovern is equal to it, saving well.
7′ | 1-0
Law fires in a great low ball which McDonald gets the final touch on to make it 1-0 to the Steelmen!!
Motherwell get the game underway. COYW!!
Out come the teams………usual colours for both sides.
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
Hamilton Accies manager Martin Canning:
Ripley signs loan extensionThursday 31 December 2015
Motherwell FC is today delighted to confirm the loan extension of goalkeeper Connor Ripley until the end of the current campaign.
The 22-year old Middlesbrough stopper has enjoyed an impressive five months at Fir Park, becoming a fan-favourite for his consistent displays.
The 6ft 3-inch former England U20s ‘keeper has played every minute for the Fir Parkers this term, fighting off competition from both Craig Samson and Dan Twardzik to retain the number one shirt.
His loan extension now ties him to Motherwell until the end of May 2016.
[pullquote]I’ve really enjoyed my time here. We’ve had some highs and lows, but I think my experience here is making me a better goalkeeper.[/pullquote]
Speaking of his the new deal, Ripley said: “I’m really pleased to be staying; I’ve always said my preference was to stay and see it out and thankfully we’ve got it sorted today.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here. We’ve had some highs and lows, but I think my experience here is making me a better goalkeeper.
“I’m learning each and every week and I hope I can continue to help the club whilst I am here.”
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkThursday 31 December 2015
Extended highlights from Fir Park as goals from Ben Hall and Stephen Pearson give Motherwell a 2-0 win over St Johnstone at Fir Park.
St Johnstone win in picturesThursday 31 December 2015
Action images from today’s 2-0 win over St Johnstone in the Ladbrokes Premiership at Fir Park.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.
TV: McGhee praises resiliant ‘WellWednesday 30 December 2015
‘Well boss Mark McGhee was delighted with his side’s hard-fought 2-0 win over St Johnstone tonight.
The Fir Parkers never quite reached the heights of previous games, but battled for their win thanks to goals from Ben Hall and Stephen Pearson.
The win helped the Steelmen jump a few places in the tightly-packed SPFL Premiership table, and McGhee praised the spirit and determination of his players.
He said: “I’m thrilled with the win and thrilled with the three points.
“If I am honest, I didn’t think we played quite as well as we have been and were a little fortunate to be two up at half time.
[pullquote]That said, we closed the game out well, didn’t look in any danger when we had got ourselves in front.[/pullquote]
“They came at us, which you would expect, but we may have even scored more on the counter near the end. We deserved the win!”
McGhee singled out two players for specific praise in tonight’s win.
Youngster Ben Hall and experienced front man Scott McDonald shone as ‘Well recorded their third successive victory.
Speaking of Hall, he said: “The boy only knows how to win so far. No doubt he will learn the other side at some point but I thought he was terrific, I really did.
“But on saying that I thought Scott McDonald’s performance was outstanding. He looked as good as he’s ever looked out there.
“Even in the first 15 minutes when it was a bit huff and puff, he was the one that seemed to be flat out and really at it.”
Motherwell 2 – 0 St JohnstoneWednesday 30 December 2015
Phil McGhee Fir Park
Motherwell made it three consecutive wins with a hard-fought victory over high-flying St Johnstone at Fir Park.
It was a dogged and determined showing from the Steelmen and they took the lead after 38 minutes when Ben Hall headed home a Stevie Hammell corner.
And it got better seven minutes later when Stephen Pearson slid home a second to double Motherwell’s advantage.
Saints had a fair bit of the ball during the second half, and Connor Ripley had to make two or three excellent saves, but it was a deserved win for the Fir Park men.
Motherwell, unsurprisingly, began with the same starting 11, which had beaten Celtic at Parkhead, and the hosts had the opportunity to draw first blood in the sixth minute.
A Marvin Johnson shot was deflected into the path of Louis Moult but Motherwell’s leading marksman volleyed wastefully over from eight yards out.
Four minutes later the home supporters broke into applause to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the passing of midfielder Phil O’Donnell, who collapsed on the pitch at Fir Park towards the end of a victory over Dundee United.
Scott McDonald then cut in from the left flank to fire in a shot which found only the side netting while Chris Kane’s effort from distance beat Connor Ripley but failed to dip under the crossbar.
The impressive Ripley then dived to his right to keep out a low drive from Steven McLean which was heading for the bottom right-hand corner.
Saints had lost both Michael O’Halloran and Murray Davidson by the time Motherwell opened the scoring from a set-piece in the 37th minute.
Irish central defender Ben Hall rose to head home Steven Hammell’s inswinging corner and the home side doubled their advantage following a great escape.
Substitute Craig Thomson, who had replaced O’Halloran, matched the winger’s pace with a searing run down the right and his inch-perfect cross ought to have been swept home by Kane.
However, there was a lack of conviction about the striker’s attempted conversion and Ripley spread himself to make the save.
The Perth men paid for their profligacy immediately. Motherwell broke upfield and McDonald released Stephen Pearson on the left.
Darnell Fisher did well to block the veteran midfielder’s first effort but Pearson retained the composure to fire the rebound behind the helpless Mannus.
It was, on occasion, a feisty affair, and Brian Easton could have had no complaints about the caution he collected for his fresh-air swipe at Johnson in the 46th minute.
Ripley then produced arguably his best save of the evening, twisting to push over a header from Liam Craig, who had been picked out for a second time by a fine delivery from Thomson.
Yet the home side were not content to sit back and soak up the pressure, offering a palpable threat of their own when Saints over-committed.
McDonald has the experience to exploit such chinks in an opponent’s rearguard and he forced a fine save from Mannus with a raking 20-yarder and then was inches away with a diving header.
Substitutes David Clarkson and Lionel Ainsworth also came close for Mark McGhee’s side as Saints’ challenge petered out.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
FULL TIME: Motherwell 2 – 0 St Johnstone
90′ | 2-0
Three minutes added on…
89′ | 2-0
‘Well break away through Pearson who clips the ball to the back stick for Ainsworth but his volley flies wide of the post.
87′ | 2-0
Lovely play down the right from Grimshaw sets up Clarkson but his shot from inside the box is well blocked by MacKay.
84′ | 2-0
Motherwell sub, Clarkson on for Johnson
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79′ | 2-0
Johnson looking dangerous cutting in off the right. This time his shot whistles just wide of the far post.
77′ | 2-0
So nearly 3 there as McDonald gets across Anderson and meets Johnson’s cross with a diving header but its just wide of the post
76′ | 2-0
McDonald fires off a shot which Mannus can only beat away for a corner.
72′ | 2-0
St Johnstone sub, Craig off for Sutton
69′ | 2-0
Big punt forward eventually finds Johnson but from an awkward angle, he can only volley wide of the post.
62′ | 2-0
Thomson’s shot is deflected wide for a corner…….from the delivery, it’s headed just wide.
60′ | 2-0
Motherwell sub, Moult off for Ainsworth
57′ | 2-0
Great save by Ripley, acrobatically tipping Craig’s looping header over the bar!
52′ | 2-0
Free-kick to St Johnstone, wide on their left……ref blows his whistle for a foul on McManus
47′ | 2-0
Johnson goes on a mazy and gets hacked at by Easton then Anderson. Free-kick about 25 yards out….
St Johnstone get the second half underway. COYW!!!
HALF TIME: Motherwell 2 – 0 St Johnstone
44′ | 2-0
PEARSON makes it 2-0!! His first shot as blocked but knocked the rebound past Mannus. Great stuff!
43′ | 1-0
HUGE save from Ripley there, sliding out at the feet of Kane as a goal looked inevitable
38′ | 1-0
HALL opens the scoring with a bullet header from a corner!!
35′ | 0-0
Another St Johnstone sub, Davidson off for Scobbie
34′ | 0-0
First test for Ripley as he has to dive low to palm away MacLeans shot on the spin. Solid save.
33′ | 0-0
Great little spell of possession football creates a chance for McDonald who goes down in the box but ref waves play on,
22′ | 0-0
Early St Johnstone change, O’Halloran off for Thomson
16′ | 0-0
Decent effort there from McDonald who skips in off the left but fires his shot into the side-netting. Positive start from ‘Well.
10′ | 0-0
Chants of “One Phil O’Donnell” ring out around Fir Park, to rapturous applause.
6′ | 0-0
Johnson cuts in off the right and his shot takes a wicked deflection to Moult who volleys just over from inside the box.Good chance
5′ | 0-0
First opening of the game as McDonald lays it off to Grimshaw who looks a little off balance and shoots well over from 20 yards
Lasley and Grimshaw get the game underway. COYW!!!!
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
“I didn’t think we deserved to be 2-0 up at half-time, I didn’t think we did enough.
“I was a bit concerned that the disjointed training and routine we’d had with the game being off, having to train on astro-turf and Christmas days off was going to affect us and I thought it did.
“We were off the pace a wee bit. We got a wee bit of luck.”
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright:
“I thought the performance was good. Sometimes the better team loses and that was the case in this game. We had the better chances.
“Late on when we were really going for it they had a couple of opportunities but I can’t remember Alan Mannus having anything really difficult to do.
“We gave away goals at bad times. It was a soft corner and we didn’t deal with it. The turning point is when we broke away, Kano was a little indecisive and they go up the field and score.
“It’s always difficult to come back from 2-0 but I was pleased with them second half, we created numerous opportunities and the keeper had made saves.”
TV: McGhee- Let’s win it for PhilTuesday 29 December 2015
Mark McGhee believes a victory over St Johnstone tomorrow would be the ideal way to remember Phil O’Donnell eight years after his untimely passing.
‘Well host the Perth Saints some eight years and a day after the club captain collapsed and died during a game against Dundee United.
McGhee was widely praised for guiding the players through their grief during his first spell in the Fir Park hotseat and he is still mindful of the effect of the anniversary on striker David Clarkson, O’Donnell’s nephew, who returned to the club this year like his manager.
McGhee said: “It was a huge thing for us all and we still remember Phil fondly.
“The first thing I did this morning was to send a text off to Clarky just to make sure he knows that I’m thinking that.
“It won’t be something we will all be talking about today. Those of us who were here and those of us who knew Phil will be thinking about that at some point.
“We get on with life and there could be no better way of doing that than maybe winning the game tomorrow night to celebrate that.”
McGhee is expecting a tough encounter against a Saints side who have shown some fantastic consistency this campaign.
The Perthshire side sit fourth, having built a considerable gap between themselves and the chasing pack.
However, the 58-year old Fir Park boss reckons there isn’t much to choose from in most of the sides, and hopes it’s his side who can edge it at Fir Park tomorrow.
He continued: “They have a very solid way of playing; they have a consistent selection and work hard to maintain an effective shape.
“They work hard for each other and have good players in good positions to have them. They have experience and are aggressive at the back with a talented goalkeeper behind them. All the bits are there.
“It’s going to be a really, really difficult game but at the same time, I think a lot of teams in this league are similar and all capable of a great performance.”