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    Annan Athletic 1-3 Motherwell

  • Archive

    Ticket Office: Open Saturday

  • Archive

    Annan vs Motherwell: A closer look

  • Archive

    Samson: Cup games are must win

  • Archive

    Walsh in charge at Annan

  • Archive

    McGhee: We dealt well with McDonald bid

  • Archive

    Club Statement: Scott McDonald

  • Archive

    Moore re-joins Ayr United on loan

  • Archive

    Helen Templeton’s Blog #25

  • Archive

    Annan Athletic ticket information

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    Annan Athletic 1-3 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    A Marvin Johnson inspired ‘Well continued their Betfred Cup campaign with an impressive 3-1 away win over  Annan Athletic.

    The former Kidderminster winger was in inspired form and put the Fir Parkers ahead with a stunning strike after sixteen minutes. Annan levelled up just before half-time but a double from Louis Moult, passed fit enough to play before the match despite a clear up operation on Tuesday, both set-up by Johnson, was enough to take all three points.

    Trialist Lee Lucas was named in midfield alongside the returning skipper Keith Lasley, in what was a strong starting eleven.

    And it was a positive start for ‘Well, who immediately got into the swing of things in the opening minutes, keeping the ball comfortably and threatening early on.

    But the story of the opening minutes was Annan’s desire to match up to the Steelmen all across the park, with a firm challenge on Louis Moult in the second minute resulting in a free-kick for the Fir Parkers in a good position, but the resulting delivery was cleared.

    A minute later and Annan brought about another free-kick, this time a late, hard challenge on Carl McHugh forced Walsh to blow his whistle again and produce a yellow card for Krissian.

    Annan’s Wright gave away another free-kick just outside the box, cheaply pulling back an accelerating Ainsworth, but again the ‘Well’s cross was cleared.

    It looked like Annan’s willingness to foul McGhee’s men would bring about their downfall, as yet another foul, again from Wright, led to a free-kick.

    And when the ball came across, Moult almost scored but the Englishman’s touch at goal was not made easy due to seeing it late, and the keeper saved comfortably.

    Two minutes later and another  glorious chance went begging for the Steelmen. Stevie Hammell guided a low ball across the face of goal, but the bounce was too high for Lucas at the back-post and it was steered inches over the bar from close range.

    However, it wouldn’t be too long before the opening goal arrived and when it did, it was a piece of magic from marvellous Marvin Johnson. Hammell’s throw-in dropped to Johnson, who spun his man, let the ball bounce up and struck a stunning half-volley over Currie from a narrow angle.

    The ‘Well enjoyed long spells of possession after going in front; spraying the ball across the park with ease and dominating the game.

    And the excellent possession nearly led to what could’ve been one of the goals of the season already. Some neat passing among the whole side resulted in Johnson playing a lovely, neat one-two with Moult, who flicked the ball into the goal-scorers path, but his low, venomous shot from outside the box was well saved by Currie.

    An incredible, searching ball from trialist Lucas nearly fell into the path of Moult, but an important flicked header put it out for a corner. But unfortunately, that would be his last contribution as his day was cut short when he limped off the park to be replaced by Chris Cadden – the trialist impressing in the 35 minutes he was on the pitch.

    Moult had an ambitious effort on 40 minutes, but the forwards strike was unlucky as it flew wide after catching a deflection.

    Despite his injury concerns the Englishman looked active and hungry all half. From the resulting corner, the ‘Well were a matter of centimetres from being two-up when McManus rose up and headed towards goal, crashing off the under-side of the crossbar.

    Incredibly, despite being camped in their own half for the whole half, a minute before the break though and Annan levelled. A testing cross from Riberio was met by Rabin Omar, who headed past Samson from close range.

    The two sides went into the break level, despite the Steelmen’s gulf in terms of both possession and chances.

    Motherwell were off to a flyer at the start of the second half, winning another free-kick in a dangerous area. The whipped ball in was tipped away by Currie, and a goal-mouth scramble somehow led to the ball being hooked clear by the home side who were somehow still level.

    Marvin Johnson continued to be the Fir Parkers most exciting player going forward on the day, spinning his marker brilliantly and striking low and hard on goal, but it was well blocked.

    Lionel Ainsworth worked the ball brilliantly in to the box, playing a dinked one-two with Moult, but his half volley was closed down.

    The opening ten minutes of the second half was all Motherwell and Ainsworth rolled the ball to Hammell, whose early cross fell to Tait at the back post, but the full-backs effort clipped an Annan defender en route to goal and went behind for a goal-kick.

    Marvin Johnson was at it again two minutes later, dancing his way past numerous challenges as he drove through the middle of the park before Rabin Omar clipped his heels – Walsh blew for another Motherwell free-kick.

    Louis Moult was agonisingly denied a goal by a defender on the line, as Motherwell’s number 9 rose up to head the ball at goal from a corner.

    He went close just a minute later too, when Tait clipped a ball in to the striker. Moult flicked it over Currie who retreated towards his goal to collect the dipping header on his line.

    Just two minutes later and it finally paid off for Moult, who chested the ball brilliantly past Currie in the 61st minute. But it was the build-up play between Moult and Johnson on the lead up to the goal that was perhaps more impressive.

    A long ball was superbly flicked beyond the defence by Moult into the path of Johnson down the right flank. The attacker held it up and swung a brilliant ball into the path of Moult who had continued his run to prod home from close range.

    Just two minutes later and Moult had a brace.

    The striker was slipped in behind the defence by Johnson and with just the keeper to beat, made no mistake from inside the box, passing the ball neatly in to the bottom corner to put the game beyond Annan with just over 25 minutes left.

    With 12 minutes to go, ‘Well boss McGhee made a double substitution, with Thomas replacing Ainsworth and Mackin replacing Johnson.

    And immediately Mackin made an impact, collecting the ball near the by-line and holding it up well, forcing a foul and winning the Fir Parkers a free-kick in a dangerous position, but the following set piece was defended well by the hosts.

    The game settled for the final ten minutes as the Steelmen controlled the ball and saw out the 3-1 victory to seal all three points.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Galabank Stadium

    FT: Annan Athletic 1 – 3 Motherwell #AAFCvMFC

    78′ | 1-3

    Motherwell subs, Thomas on for Ainsworth and Mackin on for Johnson

    69′ | 1-3

    McHugh booked for pulling down Dachnowicz about 30 yards from goal.

    66′ | 1-3

    Annan sub, Dachnowicz on for Riberio

    65′ | 1-3

    McKenna is booked for a clumsy tackle just outside the Motherwell technical area.

    62′ | 1-3

    MOULT spins his man 40 yards out, bears down and goal and cooly slots it past Currie to give the Steelmen a 1-3 lead

    GOOALL!!

    61′ | 1-2

    Motherwell are back in front. A superb ball in from Johnson leaves MOULT 2 yards out and able to chest it in past Currie! 1-2

    GOAL!

    56′ | 1-1

    Moult’s header is cleared off the line by Black! Corner after corner but no way through for the Steelmen.

    55′ | 1-1

    Omar is booked for hauling down Johnson as he broke away.

    53′ | 1-1

    Tait’s volley from just outside the box is deflected over for a corner but Motherwell can’t capitalise.

    …then Ainsworth is penalised for attempting an overhead kick. Deemed to be dangerous.

    47′ | 1-1

    Free-kick for Motherwell right on the edge of the box. From a narrow angle, Johnson forces a save from Currie….

    McKenna gets the second half underway.

    HT : Annan Athletic 1 – 1 Motherwell #AAFCvMFC

    44′ | 1-1

    Goal – Annan are back on level terms, Omar heading home from 8 yards

    42′ | 0-1

    Off the bar from McManus! Corner was whipped into the front post area and the big defender crashes a header off the woodwork!

    40′ | 0-1

    Long-range shot from Moult and it isn’t far wide! Good effort.

    34′ | 0-1

    Motherwell make a change, Lucas limps off and is replaced by Cadden.

    31′ | 0-1

    Whipped in ball from Deep by Lucas forces Watson to head it wide for a corner.

    30′ | 0-1

    Annan sub, Cuddihy makes way for Park

    24′ | 0-1

    Lovely passage of passing before Johnson combines with Moult on the edge of the box and the winger’s shot stings Currie’s palms

    16′ | 0-1

    Hammell with a throw-in to JOHNSON who spins and volleys it past Currie. 0-1 to Motherwell!

    GOOALLL!!

    13′ | 0-0

    Glorious chance for Lucas at the back post but Hammell’s cross takes an awkward bounce and he steers it over from 5 yards!

    11′ | 0-0

    Great ball in from Ainsworth finds Moult 5 yards out but he can’t adjust his body quick enough to trouble Currie.

    9′ | 0-0

    Black takes no chances and sweeps Johnson’s flick-on out for a corner….Currie does enough to clear the delivery.

    5′ | 0-0

    Half chance there for Annan as Wright rises for meet a deep Omar ball but it is well wide.

    3′ | 0-0

    Krissian enters the ref’s book, for a rash challenge on McHugh.

    2′ | 0-0

    Motherwell have a free-kick, on the left hand side. Ainsworth delivers but it is headed clear by Swinglehurst

    Lasley gets the action underway. COYW!

    Both teams emerge from the tunnel, Motherwell in their white third strip and Annan in black and yellow….

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:

    “The result against Rangers was disappointing but we created the better chances.

    “Today we’ve played well and got the three points and obviously we want to win the Cup, so the points are important.”

    Annan Athletic Manager Jim Chapman

     

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”276″]

  • Archive

    Ticket Office: Open Saturday

    The Ticket Office is open Saturday (23rd July) for fans wishing to purchase or renew their 2016/17 season ticket.

    The SPFL Premiership season is just weeks away, so plenty of time to get your hands on a 2016/17 ticket, which could save you as much as £500 on Pay at the Gate prices.

    In addition, Season Ticket holders can claim discounts at over 20 local stores and with our WELLevate offer, up to two Under 16s can go free of charge with any adult of senior citizen in the Davie Cooper Stand.

    Fans wishing to attend Saturday’s Betfred Cup tie against Annan should note that the all unsold tickets have now been returned south and will be available on the gate at Galabank. No tickets will be available from Fir Park on Saturday.

    If you have any enquiries, you can contact us on the following:

    From more season ticket information and prices, click below:

    Season Tickets

  • Archive

    Annan vs Motherwell: A closer look

    Motherwell head south down the M74 to take on Annan as the Betfred Cup Group stages continue apace.

    And the Steelmen will face their first ever competitive fixture at Galabank without the services of last season’s top scorer Louis Moult, who will go under the knife to correct a historic groin complaint.

    But there is a boost as captain Keith Lasley returns from suspension and is available for selection.

    The second Group F fixture in the Betfred League Cup comes with added importance due to the defeat to Rangers last weekend, but McGhee is feeling confident.

    The Steelmen were given a confidence boost ahead of tomorrow’s match in the shape of Aussie forward Scott McDonald.

    And the gaffer added: “We’ve got Louis missing out but thankfully everything surrounding Scott McDonald’s future has been resolved.

    “What happened was we opened the door for Scott, in a sense, and said ‘if this is what you want and it’s important for you and your family then we’ve got to accept that that’s what you’re going to do’.

    “But, then we gave him our arguments and told him why we hoped he wouldn’t go and out of all of that, Scott and ourselves decided that he was staying.”

    He added: “We don’t have a player who was barred from going where he was planning to or anything like that.

    “I’ve always had a good relationship with Scott and I think having went through that process now and taking the attitude we did, our relationship is even better.”

    In games against lower-league opposition, goalkeepers always play a pivotal role and that will be the case on Saturday.

    Craig Samson was given the nod last weekend against Rangers and produced one or two vital blocks and it’s that level of concentration that will be vital tomorrow.

    The 32-year old has over 300 career games and that experience will be vital as he aims to retain the number one shirt, with former Inverness Caley stopper Dean Brill breathing down his neck.

    “I spoke to the manager at the end of the season and said if he was going to bring someone else in on loan, it probably wouldn’t have been for me,” Samson admitted. “I would rather have gone to play somewhere.

    “But knowing he was bringing another goalkeeper in permanently, then that’s when you know you are fighting for a place.

    “I want to play. I am not here to sit on the bench. People last year maybe thought I was happy just sitting there but you are not, you want to play every game, and this is a big year for me. I want to do well and push on in my career again.”

    Ahead of Saturday’s fixture, the former Scotland squad stopper said: “We’re all just gelling together at the moment and going in to competitive games early is helping us gel even quicker.

    “Last Saturday was a good test for us to start and it’s one we felt we could’ve won.

    “We’ve got to go and win the next three games now, the manager’s told us that after the game – he made it clear.”

    Saturday’s opponents Annan have a much-changed squad from last season, with Jim Chapman having to bring some new faces in to make up for the departures.

    And the League Two side impressed against Rangers on Tuesday night, despite losing 2-0 at Ibrox.

    The Galabankies held their own in front of a crowd of over 30,000, with the deadlock being broken from a long range wonder-goal.

    And, on their own patch, they will once again fancy causing an upset against a Premiership side, having seen off Hamilton Accies in the Scottish Cup last year.

    There is a Motherwell link in the squad, with former Under 19s midfielder Adam Asghar playing a pivotal role for the Borderers.

    Although never making the breakthrough into the Fir Park first-team, Asghar played a significant part in the then Gordon Young squad. The 21-year old has also had loan spells at Dumbarton and East Stirlingshire and a short tenure at Alloa.

    Boss Jim Chapman also has three Frenchman at his disposal, with Raffi Krissian, Jean Guy Lucan and Tony Ribiero as well as former St Mirren striker Lewis Guy.

    Ticket prices

    There are approximately 450 tickets left that Annan will sell on the gate at Galabank priced at:

    Adult: £12

    Youth (under 16) – £6

    Student – £6

    Over 65 – £6

    Other Fan information points:

    • Any disabled supporters will be accommodated in the designated disabled area. Any away support requiring to use the areas designated for disabled should make their way to the home entry area and they will be escorted from there to the designated areas.
    • The MUGGA car park will be available for general parking.
    • Any Motherwell support that can produce a valid ticket will be allowed entry to the Club bar area.
  • Archive

    Samson: Cup games are must win

    Goalkeeper Craig Samson insists that Motherwell must win their remaining three fixtures in the BetFred League Cup.

    And with Annan Athletic up next on Saturday, the stopper hopes he will retain his spot in nets.

    Speaking to the press on Thursday, he said: “It’s good to get the first game of the season under my belt.

    “We’ve had a good pre-season so far and it’s still on-going, with Dean Brill coming in the two of us have had to impress the manager and luckily for me he picked me on Saturday – and its up to me to stay in the team.”

    He added: “Every player wants to play but it’s different for a goalkeeper – you won’t get 10 minutes here to impress, 15 minutes there; you’ve got to sit and bide your time and take advantage when you get the chance.”

    Ahead of Saturday’s fixture, the 32-year-old said: “We’re all just gelling together at the moment and going in to competitive games early is helping us gel even quicker.

    He added: “Saturday was a good test for us to start and it’s one we felt we could’ve won.

    “We’ve got to go and win the next three games now, the manager’s told us that after the game – he made it clear.”

  • Archive

    Walsh in charge at Annan

    The referee for Saturday’s BetFred League Cup group stage match against Annan Athletic at Galabank will be Nick Walsh.

    The young official took charge of his first Premiership game last season – a 1-0 victory for Ross County at home to Partick Thistle.

    However, in his days as a fourth official, Walsh has some history with the Steelmen.

    In a defeat to Aberdeen, Walsh sent McGhee to the stands which resulted in a one match ban for the manager.

    He also intervened with the referee’s decision to book captain Keith Lasley, instead ensuring that the referee issued a red-card instead.

    Saturday’s assistants are Frank Connor and Ross Haswell.

  • Archive

    McGhee: We dealt well with McDonald bid

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee believes the clubs relationship is stronger with striker Scott McDonald due to the way his potential transfer was handled.

    Speaking to the press this morning, McGhee addressed the issue and referred to McDonald as a huge help both on and off the pitch.

    The Aussie was heavily linked with a move away from the Steelmen just two weeks after signing a new contract – with an Australian A League Club making a bid for the forward.

    And despite the situation becoming potentially difficult, McGhee claimed that everyone involved handled it expertly.

    He said: “Scott was a huge part of our performances last year and I’ve put a lot at stake in terms with how the team’s going to shape up around him this year – to lose him now would be catastrophic to the start of the season.

    “It wasn’t a straightforward transfer – it was about his life and his family; big issues that we had to respect.”

    He added: “What’s happened was we opened the door for Scott, in a sense, and said ‘if this is what you want and it’s important for you and your family then we’ve got to accept that that’s what you’re going to do’.

    “But, then we gave him our arguments and told him why we hoped he wouldn’t go and out of all of that, Scott and ourselves decided that he was staying.”

    McGhee went on to explain that this did not cause any problems and has not led to a volatile working atmosphere with the player.

    He said: “We don’t have a player who was barred from going where he was planning to or anything like that.

    “I’ve always had a good relationship with Scott and I think having went through that process now and taking the attitude we did, our relationship is even better.”

    The ‘Well boss also highlighted the need for Scott McDonald to stay due to other injury concerns.

    He said: “With Louis Moult about to undergo surgery and Jacob Blyth having endured a stuttering start with a few niggling injuries he’s had, we could have potentially been going to Annan with no strikers on Saturday.”

    The Steelmen have been given a boost with the return of captain Keith Lasley ahead of Saturday’s match.

  • Archive

    Club Statement: Scott McDonald

    Motherwell FC can this morning confirm an offer from an Australian A League Club for Scott McDonald has been rejected.

    Whilst no official bid was received until around 12 noon AEST today (3am UK), ‘Well boss Mark McGhee and Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows spoke at length with the player yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon and a positive consensus was reached, meaning Scott will remain a Motherwell FC player for at least one more season.

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee said: “Scott is an extremely important part of our plans as we believe he is one of the very best strikers in the country.

    [pullquote]Scott is an extremely important part of our plans as we believe he is one of the very best strikers in the country.[/pullquote]

    “Alan Burrows and I chatted with the player for some time on Wednesday and there was a lot of common ground. It’s obvious Scott has a deep affinity for the club and wants to try and help us in this new season.

    “The actual interest came fairly out the blue and the prospect of a return home is obviously intriguing for anyone in that scenario, however, it was also clear he still feels there is unfinished business in the SPFL, which was great for us.

    “That meant, when an official did eventually come in during the night, it was a fairly simple one for us to politely reject.”

  • Archive

    Moore re-joins Ayr United on loan

    Motherwell FC can today confirm that Craig Moore has completed his loan move and has re-joined Ayr United for the 2016/17 season.

    The 21-year-old forward enjoyed a positive season in League One with Ian McCall’s side as the club secured promotion to the Championship.

    [pullquote]We think Craig’s a great player, but he won’t be getting much game time here with us.[/pullquote]

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee said: “We think Craig’s a great player, but the way things have worked, we need to be a little clever with our budgets.

    “It’s about him getting as much game time as possible and we’ll see where he is come December. We have a call-back option in January, so that gives us some flexibility.”

  • Archive

    Helen Templeton’s Blog #25

     Follow ‘Dibsy’ on Twitter 

    Mark Kirk has recently been appointed his first managerial post in the Women’s game as he takes over at the helm of Motherwell LFC.

    Mark comes to the club with an array of experience already behind him having been involved in coaching roles at not only Rangers and Hamilton Ladies, but also at East Kilbride FC in the Lowland league.

    The new boss is eager to make an impression and already has his sights set on league silverware! Let’s meet the new man in charge.

    Mark Kirk

    Name: Mark Kirk

    Age: 28

    Newly appointed position within the club:

    Head Coach at first team Ladies squad.

    How did you get involved at the club:

    I’ve been involved in the game now a long time and when this post came up, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. I’ve been really grateful for all I have learned from those I have worked with in the past, but I’m ready for a new challenge and so, here I am!

    How many years have you been coaching:

    In all, I have been coaching 10 years and working at various levels from children to adults, both male and female.

    Previous coaching roles:

    In Women’s football I have worked with Rangers and Hamilton Accies Ladies teams as a reserve head coach and assistant to the first team. In that time I also managed EKFC amateurs providing pathway for the lowland league side. I have really enjoyed what I have done so far but I am excited for the challenges that lay ahead.

    Were you involved as a player before taking on a managerial role at Motherwell FC:

    Yes, I have been lucky enough to have played for many years, often against the likes of Motherwell in my youth! (Which seems a long time ago now!) I really enjoyed my time as a player but my passion for coaching and management is what drives me now.

    Have you always had an interest in Women’s football:

    Yes. I had been introduced to woman’s football 8 years ago by Kevin Murphy. At that time Kevin was Manager at Hamilton Accies LFC but is now in charge at Rangers Ladies. He asked me to deliver a few sessions at Hamilton and my interest has grown ever since.

    Are you impressed with the level of ability within the Scottish women’s game:

    From my time in Women’s football I have been very impressed with the ability and strides in the game. I believe the level of ability will continue to increase due to girls having more opportunities now to play. I know I have inherited a squad with an abundance of talent and I am already looking forward to what we can achieve together in the future.

    What impresses you the most about the set up at Motherwell FC:

    The club is fantastic. The vision and plans for the future are inspiring. The size of the club for me is key and the full pathway and how hard they work in the community is second to none.

    What inspired you to accept the managerial role at the Women’s first team:

    I’ve seen the ladies play many times and that was enough to get my attention. The potential is endless. I think for me, the ambition, desire and drive of everyone involved to get this team to the level they want to be competing at is inspiring.

    Tell us a bit more about your job role, what are your key objectives:

    I will be responsible for managing team selection, tactics, training and matches.

    I will also be keeping a close eye on development to make sure we have players coming through our pathway to our first team. My vision is to continue to develop and strengthen a healthy positive and high performance culture at the club.

    What qualities do you look for in a player:

    I think for me, good work rate, attitude and personal traits are the top 3.

    You have inherited a talented and experienced squad who are already half way through their competitive season and going strong…some may say a managers dream! What are you looking forward to the most working with this squad?

    I find it a unique position to be joining the club mid season. The team has been performing really well in recent weeks and are going strong in the league, currently sitting on the top spot. I look forward to sharing my aspirations and ambitions with the squad very soon.

    How would you describe your coaching style:

    Attacking, penetrative football.

    What are your aspirations for the Ladies first team:

    Short term, my target is promotion to SWPL2. My long term aspiration is to be a competitive premier league club. I am aware there may be obstacles on the way, but it’s a challenge I will thrive upon.

    What goals have you set for the team for the second half of the season:

    I have yet to sit down with the players due to the mid-season break however it will be simply to strive for promotion.

    How do you plan on achieving these goals:

    For me it’s fairly simple. Players will need to demonstrate a hard work ethic at training and in games. There will be a real focus on individual and collective team performances.

    What does success look like for you:

    Accomplishing goals and targets set in a positive hardworking environment, starting with me, the coaching staff, the players and club together.

    What are your personal aspirations as a coach:

    To manage at the highest level in Scottish Women’s Football.

    Thanks for the chat Mark. I know everyone at Motherwell Ladies is looking forward to working with you, all the best of luck to you and your squad in achieving your goals. I’m sure I’ll be catching up with you again at the close of season and hopefully celebrating a league promotion!

    Follow Mark Kirk, new Motherwell LFC manager on Twitter @markkirk88

    Follow me on twitter @dibsy_

  • Archive

    Annan Athletic ticket information

    Tickets for Motherwell’s Betfred Cup clash with Annan Athletic are still available to purchase.

    As of Monday afternoon, there are approximately 600 tickets left of the 992 tickets allocated to Motherwell supporters.

    Fans can get their tickets from the Fir Park ticket office priced at:

    ADULTS:   £12
    CONCESSIONS:                           £6
    • Concessions are listed as Over 65s and Under 16s