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    TV: Highlights from New Douglas Park

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    TV: Craigan – A complete performance

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    Hamilton U20s 0 – 3 Motherwell U20s

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Partick Thistle win in pictures

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    McGhee – The strength’s in attack

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    Motherwell 3 – 1 Partick Thistle

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    McGhee – Let’s all get smarter

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    Finnie in charge against Jags

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

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    TV: Highlights from New Douglas Park

    Extended highlights from New Douglas Park as Wes Fletcher, Jack Leitch and Dylan Mackin score in a 3-0 win for the Steelmen.

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    TV: Craigan – A complete performance

    Stephen Craigan hailed the 0-3 win at New Douglas Park as amongst the best his young side have produced this campaign.

    ‘Well went into the match against the current second-placed team knowing they would have a challenge on their hands, but met it head on.

    After a goalless first-half, second half strikes from Wes Fletcher, Jack Leitch and Dylan Mackin ensured the win and set-up the young Steelmen for their big Sunday Semi Final against Ross County in the Youth Cup.

    “There were so many things to be pleased about, particularly the way we managed the game” Craigan said afterwards.

    [pullquote]“It was probably the most complete performance we’ve had all season.[/pullquote]

    “First half, we edged it and created the better chances of the two teams. Second half, we were perhaps more clinical.

    “At different stages of different games we’ve played well in parts, but today, throughout the ninety minutes, we were consistent and carried a threat.

    “We came here knowing we would have to match their desire and attitude, and I felt we did. After that, it was the quality at the top end of the pitch that made the different, in particular Wes Fletcher who was terrific.

    “All round, I am absolutely delighted with the performance.’

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    Hamilton U20s 0 – 3 Motherwell U20s

    The Under 20s kept up their excellent run of form with a fine 0-3 win against Hamilton at New Douglas Park this afternoon.

    The win means Stephen Craigan side have now gone five without defeat and pulled themselves to within seven points of fifth placed St Johnstone, with a game in hand and a match against the Perth Saints next midweek.

    After a fairly low-key first-half, ‘Well stepped it up in the second half with goals from Wes Fletcher, Jack Leitch and Dylan Mackin securing all three points against the SPFL Development League’s second place team.

    With a Youth Cup Semi Final in store this Sunday, ‘Well listed several changes to the team who have played regularly over the last few weeks.

    Kieran Kennedy, Jack Leitch, Dom Thomas and Wes Fletcher all started to give a more experienced look to the visitor’s squad.

    And it was the Steelmen who made a positive start, Allan Campbell firing a shot over the bar from distance before former ‘Well man Alan Martin did superbly well in the Accies goal to deny Fletcher at the back post.

    Motherwell continued to set the agenda and a Thomas shot was again well held by Martin before Ross MacLean got up above Rico Quitongo to loop a header at goal, but it dropped the wrong side of the right hand post.

    MacLean was almost in again two minutes later, after an excellent Luke Watt pass, but his first touch let him down and the chance was gone.

    Accies’ first sight of goal came on the 22nd minute when Ronan Hughes struck a long-range effort at the ‘Well goal but it sailed high and wide of target.

    It was the Fir Parkers who finished the half stronger, with a Barry Maguire effort from a corner going wide and a Jack Leitch shot forcing Martin into another low save low to his left.

    Craigan’s men made a positive start to the second period too, Thomas shooting over after some excellent set-up play from Fletcher.

    Accies’ Redmond hit the side net when he might have squared it across goal, but it was ‘Well who started to exert their authority and eventually took a deserved lead on 63 minutes.

    Fletcher held the ball up on the right, before knocking it back for MacLean to whip into the area. Accies’ clearance landed at Robbie Leitch who cannoned a low shot off the base of the post. Fletcher was first to react and slotted the rebound into the net.

    Three minutes later and ‘Well doubled their advantage. Fletcher was again the man stretching the game, and when he squared it for Thomas, the winger dribbled round two challenges before pulling it back for Jack Leitch who slammed home from close range.

    It was almost three shortly after as the Fir Parkers threatened to run a mock. Fletcher was again involved, hassling the Accies defence before winning it deep in enemy territory. He rolled it back for Thomas, who hit a low shot off the post and wide.

    Thomas had another effort from distance before ‘Well did make it 0-3 with five minutes left on the clock.

    Thomas was the man with the assist again, dancing his way around players in the penalty box before cutting it back. Sub Davie Turnbull’s strike was well blocked by Martin, but it spun out to Mackin who tucked it home despite the Accies keeper’s best efforts.

    It rounded off an excellent afternoon for Craigan’s side, who now travel north to Dingwall on Sunday hoping to book their place in the Youth Cup Final for the first time in almost three decades.

    Motherwell: Long, Watt, McMillan, Maguire, Kennedy, Campbell, MacLean, J. Leitch (Hastie – 82mins), Fletcher (Mackin – 76mins), Thomas, R.Leitch (Turnbull – 76mins)

    Subs Not Used: Morrison, Moore, Falconer, Livingstone

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Extended highlights from Fir Park as Louis Moult and Marvin Johnson score in a 3-1 win for The Steelmen.

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    Partick Thistle win in pictures

    Action images from today’s 3-1 win over Partick Thistle at Fir Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix

    [svgallery name=”thistle270216″]

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    McGhee – The strength’s in attack

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee praised his three-pronged attack after the Steelmen beat Partick Thistle 3-1 at Fir Park.

    McGhee moved winger Marvin Johnson up front alongside Louis Moult and the fit-again Scott McDonald, and his 4-3-3 formation bore fruit at Fir Park.

    Moult netted either side of the break – the first a penalty and the second a smart finish from McDonald’s reverse pass – and Johnson broke down the right, cut inside and drilled home a third.

    Connor Ripley could not hold Callum Booth’s swerving effort as the Jags got a lifeline in the 76th minute but Motherwell closed out their first home win in the Ladbrokes Premiership in 2016 to move up to eighth.

    McGhee said: “The starting point for the way we played was really about Marvin Johnson and feeling we were not getting the ball to him well enough and quick enough.

    “The boy’s attitude is unbelievable and he was getting battered, and I didn’t feel he was getting a lot of protection from referees. So I felt I had to take him out the left-hand side but I wasn’t going to put him in a wide area because I wanted to free him up a bit. So we went to the three.

    [pullquote]”When you play three players like that up front they have got to make it work. You can work in training but you can really only show them the defensive side of where we want them to drop back into, but in terms of the attacking side, they have got to make it work.[/pullquote]

    “The three of them were terrific and that was the key to it.”

    Moult took his tally for the season to 16 after some gentle ribbing from his manager.

    “I said to him at half-time, was he going to score a real goal? I told him I never used to count my penalties,” McGhee said.

    “And he got his real goal in the second half. He was terrific. You see him at the end chasing, chasing and chasing defensively.

    “That is the key, you have got to run further and harder than the opposition and they did, including him.”

  • Archive

    Motherwell 3 – 1 Partick Thistle

    [tab:Match report]

     Phil McGhee Fir Park

    Motherwell returned to winning ways with an important 3-1 win over Partick Thistle at Fir Park.

    A Louis Moult penalty gave the Steelmen a half-time lead before another Moult strike, and a brilliant Marvin Johnson hit, had ‘Well in cruise control.

    A Callum Booth ‘squigler’ deceived Connor Ripley to give the Jags hope, but ‘Well on for the last ten minutes to pick up a vital three points.

    The Fir Parker’s reverted to their more recognised back four with Stevie Hammell on the left and Louis Laing filling the right back berth. Scott McDonald was fit again to join Moult and Johnson with his pace through the middle in a threatening three-man attack.

    Facing the first of three crucial ‘six pointers’ the home side made a better start and after six minutes Johnson raced in from the right but his cut back to the penalty spot found no takers.

    Sadly the home side failed to build on this and with both sides guilty of poor control and passes, neither ‘keeper felt threatened.

    Thankfully the game came alive after 26 minutes. McDonald and Johnson worked an opening at the edge of the box and after the latter’s thumping drive was fumbled by Thomas Cerny, McDonald reacted quickest. But after he set up Moult to roll the ball over the line the assistant’s raised flag for offside curtailed any goal celebration.

    Connor Ripley then had to get down smartly to smother Christie Elliot’s low drive across the six-yard box.

    As the pace of the game picked up Chris Cadden picked out the strong run of Laing but after cleverly working his way towards the visitor’s goal Cerny bravely dived to block the danger.

    Nine minutes from the break the Fir Park men made the breakthrough.

    Keith Lasley’s run into the box was halted as Aidan Nesbit accidentally clipped his heels. Moult showed little sympathy, sending Cerny the wrong way from the penalty spot for his 15th league goal of the season.

    It might have been 2-0 at the interval when Cadden worked his way along the goal line only to see his ball across goal missed by everyone.

    Within seven minutes of the restart Motherwell were two up. Hammell found McDonald and his reverse pass set up Moult who confidently slammed the ball high past Cerny and double ‘Well’s advantage – his sixteenth of the campaign.

    Thistle immediately replied with a fierce angled drive from Elliot, which forced a good diving block from Ripley.

    It was the Steelmen, though, who found the net again after 69 minutes. Stephen Pearson’s long pass found Johnson wide on the right. Although he had Moult in support the former Kidderminster winger cut across the box before planking a sweet left shot beyond Cerny to make it 3-0.

    The Jags’ ‘keeper then produced a couple of stunning saves to turn a dipping drive from McDonald and a McManus volley over the bar as a confident ‘Well looked to add to their tally.

    However, with 15 minutes remaining a dipping, serving hit from Callum Booth evaded Ripley to reduce the leeway and change the tone of the game.

    Although the goal gave the Maryhill side an incentive to attack the home goal, Ripley was well protected as Motherwell comfortably collected three crucial points and bring their opponents back into the relegation pack.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Ally Reilly at Fir Park


    FULL TIME! Motherwell 3 – 1 Partick Thistle

    90′ | 3-1
    Three minutes added on.

    83′ | 3-1
    Final Thistle change, Doolan off for German.

    76′ | 3-1
    Goal – Thistle pull one back. Booth’s shot from range seems to deceive Ripley and ends up in the net.

    71′ | 3-0
    Two good chances there! McDonald with a shot which was palmed wide then McManus with a close-range volley which is saved again!

    69′ | 3-0
    Pearson clips a great ball over the top to Johnson who cuts in off the left and fires past Cerny!!! 3-0!!


    66′ | 2-0
    Partick Thistle sub, Miller off for Amoo.

    58′ | 2-0
    Great feet from Johnson wins a free-kick wide on the right…Hammell whips it in but McDonald can only head wide

    52′ | 2-0
    McDonald plays a great reverse ball to Moult just inside the box and he fires past Cerny! 2-0!!


    51′ | 1-0
    Cadden’s cross from the right seems to float goalwards. From this angle, probably looked closer than it actually was.

    Pogba and Doolan kick-off the second half.

    Half time change for Thistle, Nesbitt off for Pogba.

    HT: Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle #MFCvPTFC

    44′ | 1-0
    Late first-half corner for ‘Well. Hammell takes, working it short to McDonald who knocks it onto Johnson but his shot delfects out

    40′ | 1-0
    So close! Cadden gets past Booth with a clever flick and fires it across goal. No takers and it flies inches past the far post.

    Penalty came from Lasley bursting past Nesbitt in the box and being tripped from behind. 1-0 to The Steelmen!

    36′ | 1-0
    GOOOAALL!! Moult converts from the spot!!!

    Penalty to Motherwell!!

    32′ | 0-0
    Chance! Cadden plays in Laing and the big defender feints inside but his touch is too heavy which allows Cerny to save at his feet

    28′ | 0-0
    Game starting to liven up. Elliott gets to the byline and puts in a hard low cross but Ripley does well to get the ball to safety.

    27′ | 0-0
    Johnson’s powerful shot is parried out to McDonald who then squares to Moult. It’s in but lino says the Aussie was offside.

    24′ | 0-0
    Lawless fires in a low ball from the right but it is routine for Ripley who gathers under no pressure.

    22′ | 0-0
    Nesbitt gathers the ball half way inside the Motherwell half. He advances forward and shoots but it trickles wide of the post.

    18′ | 0-0
    Cerny gets in a muddle receiving a back pass but fortunately for him, his eventual clearance comes off Johnson for a goal kick

    15′ | 0-0
    A very quiet opening 15 here at Fir Park…..

    7′ | 0-0
    Decent opening there as Johnson robbed Booth but his low ball into the area has nobody on the end of it

    Lasley and Pearson get the game underway. COYW!!!

    Out come the two side, both in their change kits this afternoon. #MFCvPTFC



    Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:


    Partick Thistle Manager Alan Archibald



    [poll id=”266″]

  • Archive

    McGhee – Let’s all get smarter

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee has called for everyone, even including himself, to be more ‘streetwise’ as ‘Well aim to back on the winning road.

    The Fir Parkers have lost a last second goal in six of their last ten games, costing them at least seven points in the SPFL Premiership and a potential place in the Quarter Finals of the Scottish Cup.

    And the 58-year old Scotland Assistant believes everyone involved need to manage the game better to ensure points are accumulated.

    He told the broadcast press at ‘Well’s pre-match news conference: “I don’t believe we are playing badly; we are almost winning games and I know that maybe sounds silly, but if we were getting beat three or four nil every week we would be worried, but we’re not.

    “We just have to turn it the other way and we do that by working hard and staying positive. There are such fine margins in football – even turn half those last minute goals around and we’d be in the top six.
    “We’ve conceded a lot of late goals recently and that’s something we’re going to have to address.

    [pullquote]“We need to be more streetwise in certain situations. One of the problems may come from me wanting to win football games so much, which will rub off on the players.[/pullquote]

    “A point against St Johnstone would have been good and we could have put a little run together but instead of going into today’s game with a bit of confidence, we go after taking a blow, even though we know we are playing reasonably well.”

    McGhee is also expected a tough game from Alan Archibald’s Partick Thistle side.

    The Jags beat St Johnstone 2-0 in midweek, to push themselves in front of the Fir Parkers ahead of Saturday’s clash in North Lanarkshire.

    The teams met three and a half weeks ago at Firhill, with former ‘Well man Steven Lawless scoring a late deflection to take all three points.

    “We also know today’s will be tough,” McGhee continued. “I went to watch Thistle on Tuesday and in the second half their movement and energy was very good, especially in the last half hour where they seemed to run over the top of St Johnstone.

    “We have to go out there, eleven versus eleven and prove we are better than them to take the three points, that’s the challenge set down to the lads. Do that and we can be above them in the table, and heap some pressure onto others around us.”

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    Finnie in charge against Jags

    The referee for Saturday’s Partick Thistle game at Fir Park is the experienced Stephen Finnie.

    Although Stephen has been a top-flight whistler for almost a decade, it may come as a surprise to learn this is his first Motherwell game in over a year, and his first at Fir Park since February 2014.

    The last time he was the man in the middle for a ‘Well game was the instantly forgettable 4-1 defeat at Dens Park in January 2015, when despite a John Sutton goal midway through the first half, ‘Well were soundly beaten before Henrik Ojamaa was eventually sent off for an elbow in his last match in Claret and Amber.

    The previous match to that was his last at Fir Park (during the 2013/14 season), a thrilling 4-3 win against today’s opponents Partick Thistle. The Jags were 3-2 ahead with just six minutes left on the clock, but a late double from John Sutton and Stephen McManus earned a hard-fought three points.

    That was his second match of that particular season, the first was at Rugby Park back when second-half goals from Sutton and Henri Anier handed ‘Well a much needed three points.

    He handled two matches the previous (2012/13) season too.

    The first was also at Rugby Park as a Jamie Murphy double secured all three points in a 2-1 win. The other was the rearranged match against Dundee United at Fir Park last February. Johnny Russell scored the game’s only goal in a 1-0 win for the Terrors.

    Stephen has taken charge of just ten Motherwell games over his long career, the Steelmen winning six and losing four; curiously, no draws.

    In those ten matches, he has dished out 45 cautions, 17 of which flashed at a player wearing Claret and Amber. Only two players has been sent for an early bath, Scott Brown for a second bookable offence in a match at Parkhead in 2010 and the aforementioned Ojamaa last season.

    Stephen will be assisted by Alan Mulvanny and Dougie Porter, with Kevin Clancy listed as fourth official.

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

    Extended highlights from Excelsior Stadium as Dylan Mackin’s strike is enough to earn all three points for Motherwell.