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    Hibs U20s 3 – 1 Motherwell U20s

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    Hospitality available for Lanarkshire Derby

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    Chalmers added to Scotland U21 squad

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    Bowman signs for the Steelmen

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    ‘Well sign Hammers starlet Belić

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    Johnson signs for Oxford

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    Watt signs for Stranraer on loan

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    Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

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    Craigan: Hurts to concede so late

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    Motherwell U20s 2 – 2 Aberdeen U20s

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    Hibs U20s 3 – 1 Motherwell U20s

    A header from Dylan Mackin wasn’t enough for the U20s as they lost 3-1 away to Hibs earlier today.

    A brace from Hibs midfielder Ruari Paton either side of the break and a long-range effort from Ben Stirling secured all three points for the Hibs youngsters.

    Despite the disappointing result, the game was level at the break and the Steelmen looked to be in control of the match, with Tom Fry in particular dictating play.

    Craigan’s side enjoyed more of the ball but couldn’t make their possession count, as they failed to create too many clear-cut chances in the opening 20 minutes.

    And eventually, they were punished, as Ruari Paton opened the scoring against the run of play.

    Full-back Kane O’Connor put in a cross that didn’t look to be anywhere near the danger area – with PJ Morrison going down to gather it.

    Unfortunately for the youngster, he couldn’t hold it and it ricocheted off of his palms and into the path of Paton who was on hand to poke it into the gaping net.

    But the response was encouraging from the ‘Well, who bounced back both in terms of possession and then eventually, on the scoreline too.

    On the half-hoar mark, Dylan Mackin rose up to head beyond Hibs stopper Patrick Martin from a corner.

    And again, the Steelmen dominated proceedings and limited Hibs opportunities.

    After the break though, it was a different story.

    It took the hosts just 50 seconds to restore their lead, and it was Ruari Paton again.

    Some clever work down the right-hand side got in behind the Motherwell defence and Watson cut it back to Paton from the by-line for another simple finish for the trialist.

    From then on, the ‘Well were hard done by through some questionable decisions – in particular when Luke Watt lofted the ball over the defence looking for substitute Jake Hastie.

    The linesman’s flag halted Hastie from a clear one-on-one opportunity despite the attacker being well onside.

    And eventually, Craigan’s side were punished even more, as Ben Stirling struck a low, hard strike into the bottom corner from outside the box to put the game to bed.

    It was a frustrating day for the U20s, whose unbeaten run in the league came to an end. Next up, they host Dundee United on Tuesday September 13.

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    Hospitality available for Lanarkshire Derby

    Hamilton Accies visit Fir Park on Saturday 17th September and we’ve a fantastic lunch menu available

    It’s a 3pm kick-off for the Lanarkshire Derby, so why not combine an afternoon meal with a competitive Ladbrokes Premiership game  in one of our atmospheric hospitality suites.

    All our keenly priced hospitality packages include a ticket, match programme, team-sheet and half time refreshments.

    You can choose from three packages:

    Centenary Claret: Arrive at our Centenary Suite for 1pm. Full, four course table service with access to a pay bar till kick off and then again for an hour post-match.

     Book now from only £60 for an adult and £45 for a child under 16.

     Centenary AmberArrive at our Centenary Suite for 1pm. Full four course table service with complimentary bar and then again for an hour post-match.

     Book now for £99 for an adult and £55 for a child under 16.

     Millennium TicketEnjoy a lighter bite pre-match and at half-time with a complimentary bar for one-hour pre & post-match.

     Book now for £70 for an adult and £35 for a child under 16.

    Remember, Season Ticket holders can upgrade to hospitality for just £25.

    01698 333333 | hospitality@motherwellfc.co.uk

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    Chalmers added to Scotland U21 squad

    Joe Chalmers has been added to the Scotland U21 squad for Tuesday’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier against Ukraine.

    Ricky Sbragia’s side lost 0-1 to FYR Macedonia on Friday with qualification now looking extremely difficult.

    However, if progression to the Finals is to be achieved, a victory in the Obolon Arena is a necessity.

    Although aged twenty-two, Chalmers is still eligible to play a part in the qualifiers, open to players born in 1994 onwards. And following an injury to Stephen Hendrie, the defender has been drafted in.

    The left back, who has represented Scotland at every age group from U16s to the 21s, was last involved with group back in March 2014 when Billy Stark named his against Hungry at Tannadice. It was his only U21 cap to date.

    Chalmers will join fellow ‘Well player Chris Cadden, who was also added to the squad after injury call-offs, but was an unused substitute at Tynecastle two days ago.

    Everyone at Fir Park wishes both Chris and Joe, along with the rest of the squad, all the very best for the match.

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    Bowman signs for the Steelmen

    Motherwell FC is tonight delighted to announce the signing of Ryan Bowman from Gateshead for an undisclosed fee.

    The 6ft 2in frontman completed his deadline day move after penning a two-year deal with the Fir Parkers.

    The 24-year-old bagged 38 goals in his last two seasons down south – 20 of those last season with National League outfit Gateshead and the remainder with his previous team Torquay.

    The Englishman, who has been a summer-long target for manager Mark McGhee, travelled up to Fir Park late tonight to complete his medical and pen a two-year deal.

    Speaking to MFC TV, the 6ft 2in forward explained that he thought today would be quiet before the call came in.

    The 24-year-old said: “It’s relief really – I spoke to Mark McGhee a couple of times over the off-season and then it went a bit cold so I didn’t think anything more of it.

    “It all happened this evening at 5 o’clock, I heard the bid had been put in and agreed with Gateshead and I’m just delighted it’s done.”

    [pullquote]It’s a different league and a different competition so it’s a challenge but I’m just excited to get going.[/pullquote]

    The deal for Bowman was able to be pushed through following the sale of Marvin Johnson – with the latters departure only being finalised this evening.

    Bowman said: “I didn’t think anything was going to happen today – me and my agent were laughing before saying we’ll be having a chilled day watching the TV.

    “Then a couple of clubs came in before Motherwell and I was just rushed off my feet from 5 o’clock onwards.”

    But the goal-scorer felt Motherwell was the best choice for him.

    He said: “It’s a different league and a different competition so it’s a challenge but I’m just excited to get going.”

    The forward brings strength, pace and a source of goals to the Steelmen, and Mark McGhee admits that he was desperate to bring in the attacker for a while.

    [pullquote] Needless to say I’m delighted we’ve managed to secure his signature and I look forward to working with him – he’s a very welcome addition.[/pullquote]

    He said: “With the arrival of Ryan it allows us to set up in a 4-3-3 formation, which has brought great success in the past, particularly last season.

    “We’ve tracked him for some time now but  today’s developments have allowed us to go and get him. He’s been top scorer for his clubs over the last two seasons, he’s big, powerful, good in the air and runs in behind.

    “Needless to say I’m delighted we’ve managed to secure his signature and I look forward to working with him – he’s a very welcome addition.”

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    ‘Well sign Hammers starlet Belić

    Motherwell FC are delighted to confirm the signing of West Ham starlet Luka Belić on an initial six-month loan deal.

    The 20-year-old winger was snapped up by the Premier League club last year and has recently been awarded a new contract.

    Capped by his national side through the age groups up to Under 19s, Belić became the youngest player to feature in Serbia’s top division as a 16-year-old in April 2012, a record which he currently still holds.

    [pullquote]He works extremely hard, particularly without the ball and knows where the net is. He’ll give us competition in that area.[/pullquote]

    The exciting young forward has put pen-to-paper with the Fir Parkers until January.

    Rated highly by the Hammers, Belić is part of the Development Squad with a view to promote him to the first-team in the coming years.

    He makes for an exciting, deadline day addition to Mark McGhee’s squad and the ‘Well boss said: “Luka is a wiry forward player who can play through the middle or on the flanks.

    “He works extremely hard, particularly without the ball and knows where the net is. He’ll give us competition in that area.

    “He’s the first signing this evening but we hope to announce another before the deadline.”

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    Johnson signs for Oxford

    Motherwell FC can today confirm that it has sold Marvin Johnson to Oxford United.

    The U’s had made numerous rejected bids prior to today, but finally improved their offer to a satisfactory level late this afternoon that rewards the club both now and in the future.

    The club will now move forward to recruit replacements.

    Motherwell FC would like to thank Marvin for his service during his time at Fir Park and wish him every success going forward.

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    Watt signs for Stranraer on loan

    Motherwell FC can today confirm that defender Luke Watt has completed a development loan switch to Stranraer FC.

    The 19-year-old versatile defender joins the League One outfit until January where he will gain valuable experience with Brian Reid’s side.

    To date, Luke has been a regular starter for Stephen Craigan’s U20s side who won the Youth Cup final last season.

    But as far as first team appearances go, it has been limited for the youngster, meaning a switch to Stranraer will be hugely beneficial for the promising defender.

    Ian Baraclough selected Luke when Aberdeen visited Fir Park on 4th January 2015. The surprise selection at left-back didn’t hinder Luke though, with the Glasgow born player impressing on his debut despite being more recognisable on the opposite flank, or in the centre of defence.

    He was then rewarded with further starts against Celtic, Dundee Utd and St Johnstone before the close of the month.

    Luke’s next first team involvement came on the final day of the 14/15 league campaign against Partick Thistle – by which point he had signed an extended and improved deal with the club that sees him contracted to the Steelmen until the summer of 2018.

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee said: “Luke is close to the first-team squad, but similar to Chris Cadden, who in previous years benefited tremendously from playing competitive first-team action when he was at Albion Rovers, he needs to be out there involved every Saturday.

    “It’s a Development Loan so obviously still has the flexibility to play with Stephen Craigan’s side if required. We wish him well.”

  • Archive

    Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

    Highlights from Excelsior Stadium as Motherwell’s Under 20s draw 2-2 with Aberdeen in the Development League.

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    Craigan: Hurts to concede so late

    U20s manager Stephen Craigan admitted he was disappointed to concede a late equaliser, but was generally impressed with his players yet again.

    The Fir Parkers hosted Aberdeen at the Excelsior Stadium and led 2-1 with just seconds to go.

    And after conceding late, the 20s boss spoke to MFC TV to give us his thoughts on his sides performance in their second Development League fixture.

    He said: “We’re naturally disappointed we conceded the goal so late – for the first fifteen minutes for some reason it took us a little while to get going.

    “The pitch was a little bit sticky, I’m probably searching for excuses for them but we just looked a little bit disjointed defensively.”

    [pullquote]We’re naturally disappointed we conceded the goal so late – for the first fifteen minutes for some reason it took us a little while to get going.[/pullquote]

    He added: “The goal that they scored probably settled us down a little nit, we managed to wrestle the game back into our control after that and from then on I was delighted with how we played.

    “In general terms with how we played and their appetite for the game and their willingness to go and get on the ball and believe in themselves – I thought we were excellent.”

    First-team keeper Dean Brill started in goals and produced a series of fine saves early in the match to keep the Steelmen in the game.

    Craigan touched on the 30-year-olds performance and admitted he was impressed by his whole team.

    [pullquote]I want to encourage young players to be brave and get on the ball and enjoy the game and I certainly enjoyed watching them tonight.[/pullquote]

    He said: “I said to Peter Morrison that Dean is the example for him – making big saves at crucial moments, his understanding and reading of the game – I thought he was excellent.

    “Young Dylan Falconer was probably as good as he’s been since he came in. I’ve been a little bit critical of him, not in terms of having a go but telling him I expect more from him cause I was told he could be our next superstar and he showed signs of that tonight eventually.

    He added: “The whole team were excellent – I felt we were far better on the ball than they were and we were a threat.

    “I want to encourage young players to be brave and get on the ball and enjoy the game and I certainly enjoyed watching them tonight.”

  • Archive

    Motherwell U20s 2 – 2 Aberdeen U20s

    Motherwell U20s conceded late to share the spoils with Aberdeen tonight in their second Development League fixture of the season.

    For Stephen Craigan, it was a positive night at the Excelsior stadium as his side put in yet another impressive performance.

    But it didn’t look like it was heading that way during the opening fifteen minutes or so.

    First-team stopper Dean Brill was included in the starting line-up and in the opening few minutes produced a brilliant stop to deny Anderson who had been slipped through on goal by McLennan and just had the summer signing to beat.

    In the sixth minute, James Scott closed down the ball well to intercept deep in the Aberdeen half, he spread the ball out wide to Dom Thomas who cut in from the right and tested Alexander – but it was an easy save.

    Brill was called upon again in the 12th minute, as McLennan raced towards goal and tried to slide it low last the keeper, but he got a good hand to it to turn it past his far post and keep the game goalless.

    But it didn’t stay goalless for long and Aberdeen found a deserved breakthrough just two minutes later as Norris turned it beyond Brill after Anderson’s attempted volley was blocked.

    Responding positively, the ‘Well youngsters grew into the game and enjoyed long spells of possession in the Aberdeen half.

    On the 20th minute, James Scott collected the ball, turning to drive at the defence and knocking it beyond Morris, only to be barged to the deck to win a free kick for Craigan’s side. The following delivery was headed clear.

    As the game quietened down, Thomas opted to try one from distance after 28 minutes, but his sliced effort flew past Alexander’s post as the keeper watched on.

    Surging forward from fullback, Jack McMillan whipped in a wonderful cross from deep but it was narrowly over everyone’s heads.

    With ten minutes left in the half, Aberdeen had it in the back of the net and looked to have doubled their lead, but to the Steelmen’s relief the linesman flagged for offside.

    With just minutes left in the first half, Ross turned a clever reverse pass through to Wright, who tried to pull it back from the by-line, but Maguire did well to hoof it clear.

    At the start of the second period, the Fir Parkers sparked in to life and started to firmly control the game.

    For all their dominance though, they failed to really test Alexander between the Aberdeen sticks, with Ross MacLean firing one on target from 25 yards that didn’t trouble the stopper.

    But just before the hour mark, Craigan’s side drew level through birthday boy James Scott.

    Dom Thomas did brilliantly down the right flank to beat two men, but it then looked as though the attack had broken down for the ‘Well.

    However, the ball fired across the face of goal after being hooked back into danger by the Aberdeen defence, and Scott was on hand to tap it home.

    The game settled down and it seemed as though it was going to end in a draw, but with just five minutes left, Luke Watt collected the ball from an over-hit corner, beat his man in the box and curled a brilliant cross in towards the six-yard box where Aberdeen defender Morris steered it beyond Alexander.

    And it all looked set that Craigan’s side would hold out for the three points – until a free kick was conceded in the final few seconds of the game.

    A deep cross in to the box was headed back across goal and steered beyond Brill by Wright with the very last kick of the game.

    It leaves the U20s with four points from their opening two games, with a trip to Edinburgh to face Hibs up next on September 6.