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    Stranraer 0 – 3 Motherwell

  • Archive

    Preview: Stranraer vs Motherwell

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    Season 16/17 Kit sponsor availability

  • Archive

    Norway beckons for U13 girls

  • Archive

    Lasley: Mind-set is key for Cup clash

  • Archive

    McFadden: Relishing huge opportunity

  • Archive

    Robertson to ref Stranraer clash

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    Stranraer: Ticket Information

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    East Stirlingshire win in pictures

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    Stranraer 0 – 3 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

     Lewis Irons at Stair Park

    The Steelmen secured a spot in the knockout stages of the Betfred League Cup with a 3-0 win over Stranraer.

    That result saw the Fir Parkers finish second place in the group as one of the four best second placed sides.

    Mark McGhee named just one change to the side which saw off East Stirlingshire during the week, as Lionel Ainsworth replaced Dom Thomas in the starting eleven.

    Trialist Craig Clay kept his place in the side as he vies to impress the manager.

    Carl McHugh, who returned from his one match suspension, took his place on the bench alongside Joe Chalmers, who impressed when coming off the bench on Tuesday night.

    After the crowd showed their respects with a minutes applause, Stranraer got the game underway but it was the Fir Parkers who looked the livelier, winning a corner after less than a minute of play. The resulting cross ran through the crowd and away from the danger area.

    The home side started the game with a number of long balls that posed no threat for Mark McGhee’s men.

    The first real chance for the ‘Well came after four minutes, as a long ball from Hammell was well knocked down and then collected by McDonald, who fed in Ainsworth but instead of slipping it further wide, the forward attempted a delicate lob that didn’t trouble Belford.

    The home side were on the backfoot as they struggled to get out of their own half in the opening ten minutes thanks to some neat passing and movement from the Fir Parkers.

    Ainsworth looked lively early on, getting involved in every attack but struggling to make his mark and in the eleventh minute dribbled past the Stranraer defence but ran it out of play.

    Stranraer’s first opportunity arrived in the form of an ambitious strike from all of 25 yards, but it trickled wide of Samson’s left post and caused no problems.

    Another opportunity fell the home-sides way on the fifteenth minute, as Scott Agnew latched on to a loose ball and curled a right-footed effort towards the far post, but it was high and wide.

    Ainsworth was involved yet again on 21 minutes, when a deep cross fell to the ‘Well number seven’s feet, whose quick feet fooled Scott Robertson and slipped in Chris Cadden, but his curling effort went wide of the mark.

    Two minutes later and somehow Ainsworth didn’t score. Stranraer keeper Belford took far too long on the ball and his attempted long ball was cut short by McDonald, dropping to Ainsworth who just had ‘keeper to beat who was on the edge of his box, but the midfielder didn’t lift his strike and it was saved by the Blues stopper.

    A minute later and it was McDonald’s turn to have a go; the Aussie forward turned the defence inside out and his low shot at goal was met by a weak hand from Belford, but it took the pace off the ‘Well forwards shot and it was cleared away from danger.

    Motherwell continued to dominate with ten minutes remaining in the half.

    Clay and McDonald linked up superbly on the edge of the Stranraer box, but the trialist was a yard or so short of getting on the end of the flicked ball and Belford collected.

    Skippy was enjoying himself; twisting and turning and drawing about a late foul, but Robertson decided to keep his cards in his pocket.

    One of the best chances of the half fell to Ainsworth, who was fed the ball early on the break. Charging forward from the halfway line, the Englishman broke in to the box, cut back to beat his man and hit a low effort on target from eight yards, but it was saved.

    In the 41st minute, the Steelmen went close again as they continued to dominate their League One opponents.

    A quick tackle to press the ever-slowing Stranraer back line allowed McDonald to work some space on the left and whip an inch perfect cross into the box, but it wasn’t met with the touch it needed and it flashed past Belford’s goal.

    After a quiet first half, the second period got going a lot faster, with Chris Cadden opening the scoring after 50 minutes.

    The midfielder checked inside and struck a low drive at Belford’s near post – the Stranraer stopper couldn’t get a strong hand on it and it passed him easily to give the Fir Parkers that vital lead.

    Two minutes later, it could have been another goal for the ‘Well. Johnson was fed clean through but his right-footed low shot was saved.

    McGhee’s side started toying with Stranraer, enjoying long spells of possession on their opponent’s doorstep. Eventually, McManus had a crack from about 30 yards that wasn’t too far wide of the mark.

    On the hour mark, Lionel Ainsworth made way for Joe Chalmers.

    Cadden nearly had his second goal of the day as the midfielder worked tirelessly to win the ball in Stranraer’s half – he worked his way in to the box and from a very narrow angle forced an incredible save from Belford and it remained 1-0 after 66 minutes.

    A minute later, Stranraer made a couple of changes, bringing off McGuigan and Turner for Nade and Kemp.

    Samson was called in to action in the 68th minute, rising well to punch clear a good Stranraer cross.

    Just before the 70th minute, Marvin Johnson was fed the ball down the right flank and some trickery allowed the winger to put in a deep cross, but McDonald’s effort didn’t dip in time and landed on the roof of the net.

    Marvin Johnson hadn’t quite hit the heights of his man of the match winning performances against Annan and East Stirlingshire, but the Englishman almost produced a bit of magic in the 75th minute, turning past Robertson and blasting a strike on goal, but it rose just over.

    Two minutes later, strong hold-up play to work himself some space allowed Cadden to slip in Chalmers, but his left-footed shot was held by Belford.

    With thirteen minutes to go, Stranraer made another change, with Morena replacing Malcolm.

    The Fir Parkers were playing some brilliant passing football, and McDonald was denied by a good block after some intricate passing inside the Blues box.

    With just seven minutes left, Motherwell made it two.

    Chris Cadden’s continued hard work paid off again, as he won the ball deep in the Stranraer half, dribbled in to the box, kept his composure and squared it to Johnson, who passed it in for his third goal in as many games.

    The flood-gates opened for the home-side, and a minute later it was 3-0. Marvin Johnson raced to the by-line and lofted a cross over the keeper onto the head of Scott McDonald, who couldn’t miss.

    Mark McGhee made two changes to see out the game, bringing off two of his goalscorers Cadden and McDonald, and replaced them with MacLean and Mackin.

    And it was a comfortable end to the game and a brilliant result for the ‘Well, who progressed from Group F.

    Motherwell: Samson, Tait, Hammell, Heneghan, McManus, Lasley, Clay, Cadden (MacLean ‘88), Johnson, Ainsworth (Chalmers ‘61), McDonald (Mackin ‘88)

    Subs: Brill, Laing, McHugh, Thomas

    Stranraer: Belford, Robertson, Dick, McKeown, Bell, Agnew, Turner (Kemp ’67), Thomson, Gibson, Malcolm (Morena ’77), McGuigan (Nade ’67)

    [tab:As it happened]

     Lewis Irons at Stair Park

     FT: Stranraer 0 – 3 Motherwell

    88′ | 0-3
    Double Motherwell sub, MacLean on for Cadden and Mackin on for McDonald

    86′ | 0-3
    Johnson races clear and chips in a lovely ball to McDonald who nods into an empty net. 0-3 to the Steelmen!!

    GOOALL!!!

    83′ | 0-2
    Cadden dispossesses his man and with plenty of time squares it to Johnson who easily slots home. 0-2!

    GGOOAALLL!!

    79′ | 0-1
    Johnson finds himself up alone and opts for a shot from a difficult angle. Not a bad effort, which goes just wide.

    78′ | 0-1
    Stranraer sub, Moreno on for Malcolm

    75′ | 0-1
    Cadden works his way forward and plays in Chalmers who gets away a stinging shot which Belford gathers at second attempt.

    65′ | 0-1
    Double Stranraer change, McGuigan and Turner off for Nade and Kemp.

    63′ | 0-1
    Belford with a great save to deny Cadden a second. Was a cross/shot from a narrow angle which was tipped over the bar

    58′ | 0-1
    Motherwell sub, Ainsworth off for Chalmers

    55′ | 0-1
    Ainsworth stings Belford’s palms with a shot then McManus almost scores a spectacular goal from 40 yards but just wide

    53′ | 0-1
    Quick counter attack sets Johnson away but his low shot with his right foot is easily saved.

    51′ | 0-1
    CADDEN cuts in off the left and powerfully fires beyond Belford. 0-1 to Motherwell!!

    GGOOAALL!!

    Second half underway. COYW!!

    HT: Stranraer 0 – 0 Motherwell

    40′ | 0-0
    Close again! A deep cross from McDonald swerves away from the head of Clay and bounces just wide of the post.

    37′ | 0-0
    Chance! Ainsworth is set clear down the right. He cuts in a shoots but Belford gets a foot on it and its out for a corner.

    24′ | 0-0
    Ainsworth clips a great ball over the top to McDonald who turns his man and gets a low shot off which is well saved by Belford!

    21′ | 0-0
    Belford’s clearance is charged down by McDonald and it falls to Ainsworth but he cant get enough power in his shot. Saved.

    19′ | 0-0
    Ainsworth drifts in off the left and sets up Cadden who tries to place it into the bottom corner but it goes wide of the post.

    14′ | 0-0
    Agnew again with a shot and again not far wide from the edge of the box

    10′ | 0-0
    Turner cuts in from the right and sets up Agnew whose left footed shot form 20 yards is just wide.

    4′ | 0-0
    First shot on goal for ‘Well. Ainsworth with a curling effort from 25 yards but it is straight at Belford.

    Stranraer get game underway. COYW!!

    Both teams come out the tunnel at a sunny Stair Park. COYW!!

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:

     

    Stranraer Manager :

     

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”279″]

  • Archive

    Preview: Stranraer vs Motherwell

    Mark McGhee’s men travel down south to Stair Park for a crucial match in the BetFred League Cup.

    Opponents Stranraer have so far picked up 6 points in Group F and sit one spot below the Steelmen on goal difference alone.

    But Saturday’s match is even more important due to the situations in other groups across the competition.

    Even if the Fir Parkers claim all three points, their progression to the knockout stages could come down to goal difference, with the four best second placed teams going through.

    Confidence is high among the squad after recording a 3-0 victory at home to East Stirlingshire, boosting the clubs goal difference ahead of Saturday’s trip.

    Goals from Marvin Johnson, Scott McDonald and Chris Cadden put the game beyond the visitors on what could have been a frustrating evening for Motherwell at Fir Park.

    Goalless at the break despite a barrage of chances for the home side, there was nothing to celebrate as the referee blew his whistle at half-time.

    But some inspired changes early in the second period brought about an exciting spark and some lethal finishing.

    An up tempo second half, inspired by Marvin Johnson’s goal after 52 minutes, with Scott McDonald and Chris Cadden adding two more late in the half eventually gave the Fir Park men a comfortable scoreline.

    The Steelmen have an added boost in the return of midfielder Carl McHugh who missed the East Stirlingshire game through suspension.

    But key to Saturday’s fixture is the presence of veteran skipper Keith Lasley, who knows the importance of the squad’s mind-set going in to the game.

    The veteran’s experience is key in such a big fixture, and he’s this weeks one to watch for that reason.

     

    Keith Lasley has been there and done it all, performing at a high level for over a decade.

    The captain goes in to Saturday’s match with over 450 appearances for the Steelmen and his knowledge of situations and must-win matches will be hugely important to Mark McGhee.

    The 36-year-old missed the Rangers game due to suspension and his presence was a big loss for the Steelmen.

    Returning for the trip to Annan, it was clear exactly what Lasley can bring in cup games especially, where the sides best form needs to be found early on in the season calendar.

    And the skipper insists the squad must be in a good mind-set to ensure progression in the League Cup.

    He said: “It’s a very meaningful game, as you see in a lot of the groups, not just ours, it’s going to come down to Saturday’s games which is great and I think the competition has been good.

    “It’s been a great change and it’s been good to be involved in.”

    He added: “From our point of view we go to Stranraer and we know what we have to do to have any chance of going through – we have to win the match.

    “And that will be a good thing for us in terms of it being pretty clear in our minds; we won’t be thinking that a draw could do, we know we have to win to have any chance to progress.

    [pullquote]From our point of view we go to Stranraer and we know what we have to do to have any chance of going through – we have to win the match.[/pullquote]

    “Hopefully that’ll work in our favour and we’ll be going there in a good frame of mind.”

    Speaking to the press, the 36-year-old spoke about the importance of the Fir Parkers taking their chances in important matches.

    He said: “Not just for Saturday but going forward when we’re on top of games we’ve got to be ruthless and take our chances.

    “When these opportunities arise, especially in a game like Saturday when we know we have to win, we have to be prepared to take them.”

     

    Tomorrow’s hosts come in to the game on the back of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of table toppers Rangers.

    But prior to that, the League One side bagged five goals and all six points in their opening League Cup fixtures.

    The bright start to their cup campaign this season is a stark contrast to the start they had in the league last season under manager Brian Reid.

    In his first campaign in charge after making the switch from Ayr United, Reid led the side to a horrendous bottom spot at Christmas, in what was a tough start to his reign.

    But a miraculous turn in form drove the side to fourth and resulted in a spot in the Championship play-offs.

    Brian Reid

    In a dramatic two-legged clash with Livingston, Reid’s men let their 5-2 first leg lead slip and drew 6-6 on aggregate, forcing extra-time.

    The Blues scored twice to win 8-6 and progressed to the final where they would face their manager’s old team, Ayr United.

    They couldn’t repeat their extra-time heroics in the final though, as it went all the way to a penalty shoot-out, where they lost 3-1.

    With their spot in the second tier of Scottish football snatched away, the Stair Park outfit will be hungry to have a second bite at the cherry this time around.

    And they look to mean business this season too, with a quicker jump to form already evident in the BetFred League Cup.

    Both sides have a chance to progress from Group F on Saturday, with goal difference in the Steelmen’s favour.

    With Stranraer and Motherwell both vying for the three points and a place in the knockout stages, Saturday makes for a very interesting encounter.

  • Archive

    Season 16/17 Kit sponsor availability

    With the launch of the new Macron kits, we still have sponsorship opportunities for fans or businesses who want to support their favourite player for the 16/17 season.

    The home kit is our traditional amber with claret band, and the limited edition third kit pays tribute to the 25th anniversary of the ’91 Cup win, with the each of the participating players’ names such as Kirk, O’Neill, Arnott, Cooper, O’Donnell and others infused into the top, and the commemorative badge celebrating one of the clubs’ greatest ever triumphs.

    We will be unveiling our away kit soon but to check which players are still available to sponsor then check the list below

    As a sponsor, your name or company name will be listed in our match-day programme. Your name will also be readout on a match-day by our PA announcer alongside that of your chosen player, providing fantastic exposure for any small business or as a special gift to the ‘Well fan in your life!

    At the end of the season, you will be invited to the annual sponsors’ evening where you’ll be able mix and mingle with first team, with your sponsored player joining you for dinner at your table, during the evening he’ll present you with his signed jersey to take home.

    The evening will include a three-course meal, an intimate Q & A with the Management Team, hosted by Fir Park favourite Tam Cowan. Prices for the three shirts are:-

    • Home shirt is £295 inc VAT
    • Away shirt is £275 inc VAT
    • Third shirt is £310 inc VAT

    For more information and to sponsor a player please contact 01698 333333, or email your details to commercial@motherwellfc.co.uk.

    HOME

    SOLD OUT!

    AWAY

    • Dean Brill
    • Joe Chalmers
    • David Ferguson

    THIRD

    • Craig Samson
    • Ben Heneghan
    • Louis Laing
    • Stephen McManus
    • Carl McHugh
    • Dean Brill
    • Keith Lasley
    • Joe Chalmers
    • Kieran Kennedy
    • Dom Thomas
    • David Ferugson
    • Scott McDonald
  • Archive

    Norway beckons for U13 girls

    Motherwell’s U13s girls will travel to Norway this weekend to compete in one of the world’s largest youth tournaments.

    The Norway Cup, which has been running since 1972, is an annual competition which is competed by nearly 1,700 teams from across the globe.

    But this weekend marks the first time Motherwell ladies will be represented at the competition, with the U13s team making the four-hour flight for a week stay in Oslo.

    And team coach Linda Gibson admits that it is a “surreal” feeling.

    She said: “It was quite surreal because they put up the team lists and there were hundreds and hundreds of teams and then just among it all you could see the Scotland flag next to Motherwell.

    [pullquote]When I started here less than two years ago there was only 15 girls kicking a ball for Motherwell, and in that short time it’s now grown to 140.[/pullquote]

    “The girls are really, really excited but I’m quite nervous, not only cause I’m not a great flyer but because it’s the first time the club have taken the girls away to something like this.”

    The youth coach is in her second season with Motherwell and she has noted an incredible growth in interest and achievement of the girls.

    She said: “When I started here less than two years ago there was only 15 girls kicking a ball for Motherwell, and in that short time it’s now grown to 140.

    “Eight of those girls have been put through to regional camps and one to nationals – the whole thing has just grown arms and legs.”

    The Motherwell Community Trust has been pivotal in that growth, helping the youth ladies team raise funds for their Norway trip.

    [pullquote]As much as it’s a huge achievement that we’re going, it’s also a bit of a reward for all of the hard work the girls have put in.[/pullquote]

    Gibson said: “The support from the Motherwell Community Trust has been incredible; Dawn Middleton has supported us and helped with raising funds as has Alan Burrows at the club.

    “The whole thing has really been possible thanks to all of the support from all corners of the club and charity as well as the efforts of our coaches and the parents of the girls, as well as the girls themselves of course.

    “We have also been lucky to have kit sponsorships from SMS Technology and Grassroots International.”

    The girls will be looking to add to their incredibly successful achievements over the last year or so, with their aims set on reaching a third quarterfinal in a year.

    But coach Linda Gibson added that it isn’t all about their performance, and it will be a valuable experience.

    She said: “The girls will be staying in a luxury hotel and will be getting all of their meals cooked for them, so as much as it’s a huge achievement that we’re going, it’s also a bit of a reward for all of the hard work the girls have put in.”

    She added: “I believe in their ability though, so I am very confident that they’ll do really well.”

  • Archive

    Lasley: Mind-set is key for Cup clash

    Motherwell skipper Keith Lasley insists the squad must be in a good mind-set to ensure progression in the League Cup.

    The Steelmen travel to Stair Park for their fourth and final group game against League One side Stranraer in Group F – where three points should be enough to seal a spot in the knockout stages.

    And captain Lasley added that the changes to the cup format have been a refreshing change.

    He said: “It’s a very meaningful game, as you see in a lot of the groups, not just ours, it’s going to come down to Saturday’s games which is great and I think the competition has been good.

    “It’s been a great change and it’s been good to be involved in.”

    [pullquote]From our point of view we go to Stranraer and we know what we have to do to have any chance of going through – we have to win the match.[/pullquote]

    He added: “From our point of view we go to Stranraer and we know what we have to do to have any chance of going through – we have to win the match.

    “And that will be a good thing for us in terms of it being pretty clear in our minds; we won’t be thinking that a draw could do, we know we have to win to have any chance to progress.

    “Hopefully that’ll work in our favour and we’ll be going there in a good frame of mind.”

    Speaking to the press, the 36-year-old spoke about the importance of the Fir Parkers taking their chances in important matches.

    He said: “Not just for Saturday but going forward when we’re on top of games we’ve got to be ruthless and take our chances.

    “When these opportunities arise, especially in a game like Saturday when we know we have to win, we have to be prepared to take them.”

    The veteran midfielder was full of support for team-mate and friend James McFadden in light of his appointment as Mark McGhee’s assistant earlier this week.

    [pullquote]I think [James] and the manager can be a good combination for us and help us this season and beyond.[/pullquote]

    He said: “He’s not shouted at me yet and he hasn’t given me the hairdryer yet – I’m sure I’ll get that at some point.

    “But no, it’s fantastic and I’m pleased for James, he’s obviously had a bit of an up and down time over the last two or three years on the playing side of things, I know he’s been frustrated about that but this gives him a great opportunity to have an influence at the club.

    He added: “The manager has identified that he can do that and James knows the club inside out, he has a great relationship with the fans and he’s played under some great managers and played at the top level so I think he’ll bring a lot to the role.

    “I think him and the manager can be a good combination for us and help us this season and beyond.”

  • Archive

    McFadden: Relishing huge opportunity

    ‘Well assistant manager James McFadden is up for his new challenge and said there’s no better place to start his coaching career.

    Speaking to the press this morning, the 33-year-old admitted he was shocked to get offered the job by Mark McGhee.

    But with a 3-0 win against East Stirlingshire under his belt this week, he is settling in to the position already.

    He said: “It feels good; I’ve had the joys of both parts of it. I was obviously involved with the game on Tuesday and then I was in doing my rehab yesterday.

    [pullquote]It’s working well so far and it’s going to be tough but it’s something I’m looking forward to.[/pullquote]

    “It’s working well so far and it’s going to be tough but it’s something I’m looking forward to.”

    The forward, who aims to return to fitness as well as taking on his new position alongside Mark McGhee, revealed the manner in which the offer arose.

    He said: “I was very shocked because I spoke to him in the morning and he asked about coaching and stuff and I just laughed it off.

    “Mark’s quite deadpan so he just made a wee comment and walked away – then I turned to one of the boys and I said to them ‘I think I’ve just been interviewed for the assistant managers job’ and I just started laughing.”

    He added: “So I did my training and then I came back in the afternoon and he brought me in to his office and he asked me how I’d fancy being his assistant.

    [pullquote]I was very shocked because I spoke to him in the morning and he asked about coaching and stuff and I just laughed it off.[/pullquote]

    “I honestly didn’t know what to say cause all I was thinking about until then was getting fit and getting back in the team.

    “Initially I knew how big an opportunity it was for me but I needed a few days to think about it.”

    After accepting the offer, McFadden has enjoyed settling in during his first week as assistant.

    He said: “It’s been great, it’s a massive opportunity and I’m delighted the manager has thought about me in that regard and I’m looking forward to helping him.

    He added: “I’m easy going but obviously I demand standards of myself and of people around me – that won’t change and it’s been the case since I came back anyway.

    “There’s no better place for me to start my coaching career. Players and staff come back here, not for the money, but because it’s one of the best clubs to work or play for.”

  • Archive

    Robertson to ref Stranraer clash

    Referee for Saturday’s Betfred Cup match against Stranraer at Stair Park is Don Robertson.

    It will be Don’s first ‘Well appointment of the 2016/17 season and only his fifth ever Motherwell fixture during his six seasons as a senior official.

    50% of those games came last season – the first being a 1-1 draw with Ross County at Fir Park back in early September when a last-minute Louis Moult leveler earned the Steelmen a point.

    Then, just three weeks late, he was the man in the middle for the 2-1 defeat at Dens Park when Stephen Pearson’s goal was not enough to earn his side anything during Stephen Craigan’s temporary tenure.

    The most recent was the memorable 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Fir Park last March when a Scott McDonald header and an opportunistic Moult goal gave Mark McGhee’s side all three points.

    The only game other came in February of the 2014/15 season when Dundee were again the opponents, and they won 0-1 in North Lanarkshire courtesy of a Paul McGinn goal after twelve minutes.

    His most recent appointment came during the week with Morton’s vital 3-2 win over Queen of the South in the race for the last Championship play-off spot.

    Don will be ably assisted by David Roome and Scott Love.

  • Archive

    Stranraer: Ticket Information

    ‘Well fans heading for Stair Park this Saturday can buy their tickets for the game at the turnstile on the day of the match.

    Admission prices are as follows:

    ADULTS:   £12
    CONCESSIONS:                           £8
    JUVENILE:   £5
    UNDER 12   FREE
    • Concessions are listed as Over 65s
    • Juveniles are listed as Under 16s.

     

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Highlights from Fir Park as Johnson, McDonald and Cadden score in a 3-0 win for the Steelmen.

  • Archive

    East Stirlingshire win in pictures

    Action images from today’s 3-0 win over East Stirlingshire in the Betfred Cup.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix

    [svgallery name=”eaststirlingshire260716″]