Mackin, MacLean and Falconer all score in a three nil win for Motherwell Under 20s in the Development League.
TV: Highlights from Excelsior StadiumTuesday 13 September 2016
Craigan: More to comeTuesday 13 September 2016
Stephen Craigan insists there’s more to come from his U20s side as they stormed to a 3-0 win over Dundee United tonight.
Speaking to MFC TV after the match tonight, the Northern Irishman was happy with his team as they put in a solid performance against a side full of experienced first-team players.
Despite all the positives, the manager maintained that his side can give even more going forward.
[pullquote]I felt all round tonight we were good – I think we have to be careful not to over emphasise the performance because I think we can be better.[/pullquote]
He said: “I think at times we’ve worked away really hard during games but we’ve then given away sloppy goals or cheap goals at times and our defenders then don’t get rewarded.
“I felt all round tonight we were good – I think we have to be careful not to over emphasise the performance because I think we can be better.”
He added: “I know that’s being a little harsh at times, but I think when you look at players and what they’re trying to do at times and their enthusiasm and organisation – it makes you proud as a manager at times thinking they’re trying to carry out what you’ve been trying to teach them.”
[pullquote]A clean sheet and three goals – I think the difference between this week and last week is that 33 times we made poor decisions in the final third.[/pullquote]
One of the managers main plus’ was the way his team turned their fortunes around after last weeks disappointing loss.
He said: “A clean sheet and three goals – I think the difference between this week and last week is that 33 times we made poor decisions in the final third last week and tonight we made better decisions in the final third and there’s no surprise we got goals.”
He added: “We can work our way up the pitch but for the guys up the top end of the pitch it’s the final thing that they do with the ball that counts, the final thing you do that people remember – so tonight will be remembered for three goals and all round, a good night.”
Motherwell U20s 3 – 0 Dundee Utd U20sTuesday 13 September 2016
Motherwell U20s returned to winning ways as they dispatched Dundee United by three goals to nil.
Dean Brill, Dom Thomas and Luke Watt were the changes for the U20s from their defeat against Hibs last week as the Fir Parkers put in a solid showing at the Excelsior Stadium.
Despite going up against a side full of experienced first-team players, Stephen Craigan’s side looked assured and relaxed in the opening 15 minutes.
Dom Thomas enjoyed spells of possession out on the left flank, cutting in and driving at the United defence with confidence and urgency.
But there weren’t many clear cut chances despite the youngsters enjoying good spells of possession, with both keepers fairly quiet during the opening spells of the match.
The best chance of the match fell to United’s Scott Fraser, who received the ball from a cut-back that took Dean Brill out of the game.
With two ‘Well defenders rushing back, Fraser’s shot was blocked brilliantly by Barry Maguire to keep the game level.
But it didn’t take long for the ‘Well to take control of the game and in the space of two minutes they found themselves two up after half an hour.
The first was a neat finish from Mackin who fired a low, right-footed shot past Long from just inside the area.
Then, just a minute later, Mackin was involved again as he threaded a perfectly weighted ball in between the full-back and the centre-back in to the run of MacLean.
The midfielder arrived in from the left and from the angle curled with his right foot round the outstretched arm of Long and into the far corner. A wonderful goal from the youngsters.
It remained 2-0 going in to the break as Craigan’s side looked relaxed and in control.
The second period got off on a similar foot.
Just after the 50th minute, MacLean burst the length of the pitch down the right-hand side and fired a brilliant low cross in to Mackin who had travelled the distance of the park with the midfielder on the break.
Mackin so nearly took the ball in on the turn but as he attempted the shot it was just too far away from him.
On the hour mark it was so nearly three for the ‘Well.
MacLean was involved again as he made it to the touchline before looking to cut the ball back. On it’s route, Long got a touch that diverted it towards goal, but as it trickled towards the line it was hooked away to safety.
Brill’s first real save of the game was produced on the 65th minute, when substitute Murrell had an effort from just inside the area.
The first-team keeper got behind it and pushed it away from the danger to keep his clean sheet intact.
With just under 20 minutes remaining, Craigan made his first change, bringing Jake Hastie on for Dom Thomas.
With ten minutes remaining, MacLean was sent charging down the right yet again after a brilliant ball from Brill sent the midfielder on his way, but the ball across looking for Mackin was cut out.
Minutes later, a corner was put on the foot of Turnbull inside the area. The youngster caught it on the volley to turn it towards goal but Donaldson stepped in to block it and keep the game at 2-0.
Craigan made another change on the 84th minute, with goal scorer Mackin being replaced by Falconer.
And it didn’t take the new arrival to the game long to make an impact, bringing down a high ball from Tom Fry and finding himself one-on-one with the keeper but with the length of the United half in front of him, The youngster charged down on goal and slotted it neatly past Long into the keepers bottom right corner.
That goal capped off an incredible, dominant performance from the U20s, who looked back to their scintillating best form.
Motherwell: Brill, McMillan, Maguire, Ferguson, Watt, Campbell, MacLean (Scott – 88mins), Turnbull, Mackin (Falconer – 84mins), Thomas (Hastie – 72mins), Fry
Subs Not Used: Morrison, Livingstone
Ryan joins the Fir Park staffTuesday 13 September 2016
Motherwell FC is today delighted to announce Ryan Murrant has joined the club as Marketing & Fan Engagement Manager.
Ryan is a multi-award winning fan-engagement practitioner across several clubs in England including Aldershot Town, Crawley Town, Southend Utd and, most recently, at Doncaster Rovers.
In that time his teams have won the Family Excellence award at Southend, Crawley and Donny and in his final season at the Keepmoat Stadium, won the Football League, League One Family Club of the Year.
Amongst many things, including improving the clubs’ comms and marketing, his remit at Fir Park will be to improve the fan experience, particularly on matchdays and help maintain and grow the club’s supporter base through interaction and engagement.
Ryan, who will take up his post from Monday 19th September, said: “I have known Alan for a few years and to now have the opportunity to come and work for him and this wonderful football club is something I am very excited about.
[pullquote]“I am passionate about making things better for supporters. The club has given me a blank canvass to work from to enable us all to improve things off the park at Fir Park.[/pullquote]
“This type of role can’t work if the people at the very top don’t subscribe to it so I thank Alan and the board for the opportunity, and can’t wait to get going and to develop things further”.
Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows added: “I’ve been working to get Ryan to Fir Park for quite some time as I have always been a huge fan of the innovative, engaging work he has produced at his previous clubs.
“I’ve been extremely keen to try and better how we communicate with supporters but also, eager to improve our matchday experience and what we offer fans when they come to Fir Park every second week.
“Ryan has terrific experience in that field and has been recognized for it. Over and above that though, his role will also encompass marketing and communications, database and CRM implementation – again, all things he is very familiar with.
“He’ll also audit and improve what we do from a fan service point of view, delivering what we say we will, something I feel we’ve needed to improve on for quite some time.
“I look forward to working with him and excited to see what can be achieved.”
Get involved with the clubMonday 12 September 2016
At Motherwell FC we are always looking to improve your day here at Fir Park.
Currently we are looking for supporters to help the club on a match day to sell our half-time draw tickets in the hospitality suites and to supporters walking up to the turnstiles with the money taken from the raffle directly supporting the Club’s Academy.
If you are outgoing, enthusiastic with experience in handling cash and importantly keen to support the development of the Club’s youth players by helping sell these tickets then email firstname.lastname@example.org
These are commission based roles, with match ticket included though we cannot guarantee that you’ll see all the game as you’ll have responsibilities up to kick-off with some required up until half-time.
Applicants should be at least 16 years old.
TV: Highlights from DingwallSaturday 10 September 2016
Highlights from Dingwall where Louis Moult’s penalty earns Motherwell a draw in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
McGhee: It’s a fresh startSaturday 10 September 2016
‘Well boss Mark McGhee admitted today felt like a fresh start as his side earned a hard-fought draw away to Ross County.
The manager felt boosted by a number of players returning to the fold from injuries – including star striker Louis Moult and veteran full-back Stevie Hammell.
Speaking to MFC TV at full time, McGhee thought the draw was well-earned against tough opponents.
He said: “I’m content with a point. All games up here are difficult – we came up here at the start of last season and got beat but then at the end of the season we won.
“I thought today was a fresh start for us with Moult back, Bowman here – our season almost starts here so in what was our second first game of the season, in a way, to take away a draw wasn’t a bad thing at all.
“When you have the likes of Lionel and Moulty to bring on at that stage of the game you have a chance.
“If we had these options to come on at Ibrox or against Dundee I think we would’ve got more from those games – we have Carl McHugh, Jacob Blyth, Luka Belić and Kieran Kennedy to come back too.”
[pullquote]I thought today was a fresh start for us with Moult back, Bowman here – our season almost starts here so in what was our second first game of the season, in a way, to take away a draw wasn’t a bad thing at all.[/pullquote]
Despite being boosted by a number of returns, the Fir Parkers lost Keith Lasley shortly after the break after the skipper suffered a dead-leg.
McGhee said: “We had to take Lasley off and in doing so had to move Chris Cadden inside from the flank and I felt we lost a little bit in having to do so, not in terms of what he did or didn’t do in the middle but what that took away from his play out wide.”
The Staggies went down to ten men in the 70th minute, and even though the Steelmen couldn’t find that all important second goal, the ‘Well boss wasn’t frustrated by the outcome.
He said: “It wasn’t frustrating to be honest because I felt the game didn’t change much at that point and I would be more concerned that they were still in the game at that point.”
On new signing Ryan Bowman, who made his debut, McGhee said: “He’s a physical presence he’s a handful – he goes up for headers and if he doesn’t win them he takes the defenders with him and takes the pressure off Scotty – I felt he could’ve got a goal today but I’m satisfied that he’s a different enough option to what we have in the squad.”
Ross County draw in picturesSaturday 10 September 2016
Images from today’s 1-1 draw with Ross County at Dingwall in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix
Ross County 1 – 1 MotherwellSaturday 10 September 2016
Lewis Irons at Global Energy Stadium
Louis Moult scored on his return to fitness as Motherwell drew 1-1 with Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium.
Liam Boyce gave the hosts the lead before last season’s top scorer Moult came off the bench for the Steelmen and coolly converted a penalty.
The home side were reduced to ten men after full-back Jay McEveley fouled Louis Moult to pick up a second yellow card, but with just 20 minutes left the ‘Well couldn’t find that second goal.
New signing Ryan Bowman started alongside Scott McDonald up front for the Fir Parkers, with Stevie Hammell returning to the line-up after a brief spell on the sidelines through injury.
Player of the month winner Chris Cadden started brightly for Mark McGhee’s side, driving forward at every opportunity and being hacked to the deck within the opening minute to win a free-kick.
There was little in the way of chances in the opening exchanges but one eventually came in the 19thminute.
McDonald, collecting the ball out on the left flank, swung a high, deep ball towards the back post where Cadden charged in to fire it across goal but it didn’t get that all important touch and Ross County cleared.
Lasley went in to the book after 22 minutes for a late challenge on Alex Schalk next to the Ross County technical area.
As the game became more heated, just a minute later and Craig Clay was clattered by a bad, late foul from McEveley resulting in a yellow card for the defender.
A quick flurry of chances for the hosts on 28 minutes forced a great save from Samson and moments later left the keeper watching as an ambitious volley flew wide of his goal.
Ross County started to look threatening going forward, with Gardyne again proving a thorn in the Fir Parkers side. The midfielder collected the ball out on the left-flank and cut inside on to his right foot curling a brilliant effort on goal and crashing back off the crossbar.
As it came back out it fell to Boyce who fired the ball across goal and from just a couple of yards out somehow Schalk headed wide.
Within the opening five minutes of the second half, Motherwell went close.
Chris Cadden was involved again down the right flank, outpacing McEveley and pulling it back from the by-line towards McDonald. The ball flicked up towards the head of Bowman who turned it goalward but County cleared.
After 50 minutes of play, Lasley came off after picking up a knock and he was replaced by Ainsworth.
Ten minutes in to the half, McDonald whipped in a brilliant delivery towards the back post, but Bowman couldn’t get there and Cikos scooped it behind for a corner to the ‘Well. Hammell swung a left-footed ball in to the box from the following set-play, and Bowman again was lurking but he couldn’t get his head to it.
Just before the hour mark, Bowman had another chance as Cadden burst down the right, slipped in Ainsworth who struck the ball across goal but the big Englishman couldn’t stretch and get there.
And that was the new signing’s final moment of the match, as he made way for Louis Moult. However, with the game’s next attack, County took the lead. Schalk managed to get the ball to Boyce who was afforded too much time in the box, and the Northern Irish striker slotted past Samson.
The Global Energy stadium erupted just minutes later when Schalk poked the ball past Samson, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag.
And in dramatic fashion, straight up the other end of the pitch, Motherwell were awarded a penalty.
Scott McDonald was slipped in by Craig Clay, and the Aussie did well to knick it past Fox only for the keeper to swipe him down and Muir pointed straight to the spot.
Louis Moult stepped up and scored on his return to draw the Fir Parkers level.
Joe Chalmers made way for James McFadden shortly afterwards with Mark McGhee utilising his options to go for the three points.
In what was a bad few minutes for the home side, the situation got worse as McEveley picked up his second booking and was given his marching orders – reducing his side to ten men with more than 20 minutes remaining.
It forced Jim McIntyre to make a couple of changes bringing Van Der Weg on for Schalk and Curran on for Franks.
Despite his scintillating form, Boyce missed a sitter from about five yards, lashing the ball wide.
With just over ten minutes to go, Motherwell broke away through Scott McDonald and the forward played in Moult.
Looking to bag his second of the day, the Englishman struck a low left footed shot from the angle towards goal, taking a deflection off Cikos to wrong foot Fox but going wide of the front post.
From the resulting corner, the ball dropped to McManus in the box, and the centre-back blazed a shot towards goal, rising just inches over the bar.
The game became increasingly scrappy with just minutes left to play, and then an incredible chance came Lionel Ainsworth’s way, as McDonald’s cross right to the wingers head didn’t need much to put it beyond Fox, but the Englishman’s header was straight at the County stopper.
In the dying minutes, Cadden teed up McDonald just outside the area with the Aussie striker test Fox – who saved dramatically.
But it finished level with the Steelmen picking up a well-earned point.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Global Energy Stadium
FT: Ross County 1 – 1 Motherwell #RCFCvMFC
Three minutes added on.
88′ | 1-1
So close! McDonald whips in a great ball which Ainsworth gets on the end of but it’s an awkward height and he heads at Fox.
80′ | 1-1
County with their final sub, Gardyne off for Chow
79′ | 1-1
From that corner, the ball lands at the feet of McManus but he blasts over the bar.
78′ | 1-1
Ainsworth breaks and threads in Moult whose shot is almost put into his own net by Cikos. Corner.
Big thank you to the 199 ‘Well fans who have made the journey up North. Always appreciated!
74′ | 1-1
Boyce should burst the net but misses the target from 6 yards. A let-off!
72′ | 1-1
County sub, Curran on for Franks
70′ | 1-1
County sub, Van der Weg on for Schalk.
69′ | 1-1
Red card!! McEveley is shown a second yellow for puling down McDonald. County down to 10 men!
66′ | 1-1
Motherwell sub, McFadden on for Chalmers
61′ | 1-1
McDonald is hauled down in the box and @louismoult steps up to slot the spot-kick home! 1-1!!
Penalty to Motherwell!!!
64′ | 1-0
Schalk has the ball in the net but the linesman has his flag up and its chopped off.
64′ | 1-0
Woods fires inches over the bar with a good effort from 20 yards
61′ | 1-0
Goal – Boyce opens the scoring. Schalk with the nod down, Boyce with plenty of time and space to pick a spot past Samson.
59′ | 0-0
Motherwell sub, @louismoult makes his return, replacing Bowman.
59′ | 0-0
Ainsworth fires a ball across goal which Quinn does well to get in ahead of Bowman and put it wide.
56′ | 0-0
Franks whips in a ball to the back post which Boyce gets his head but can’t quite get enough on it to test Samson.
53′ | 0-0
Franks drifts in off the right and attempt a left footed shot from 20 yards but it goes safely past the post.
49′ | 0-0
Motherwell sub, Lasley limps off for Ainsworth
48′ | 0-0
Great work by Cadden to get past McEveley and cut it back across goal. Fox palms it out to Bowman but his header is turned away
County get the second 45 underway….
HT: Ross County 0 – 0 Motherwell #RCFCvMFC
38′ | 0-0
County strike the bar! Gardyne cuts on off the left and curls in a great effort which crashes back off the woodwork.
34′ | 0-0
Boyce with one of the few attempts on target so far but its a routine save for Samson.
31′ | 0-0
Tait takes a booking after bringing down Gardyne wide on the right.
29′ | 0-0
From the corner, Routis almost scores goal of he season but his first time volley flashes just past the top corner.
28′ | 0-0
Close for County! Great free-kick is curled above the defence but thankfully Samson reads it and puts it out for a corner.
24′ | 0-0
Shocking challenge by McEveley on Clay earns him a booking.
22′ | 0-0
Lasley booked for a rash challenge on Schalk just in front of the Ross County technical area
19′ | 0-0
So close! McDonald clips in a great ball to Cadden who volleys across goal which Bowman is inches away from getting on the end of!
14′ | 0-0
Cikos with a clumsy looking challenge on Hammell. Escapes a booking.
9′ | 0-0
Fox has to be quick off his line as he gets in ahead of Bowman to put it out for a throw in.
6′ | 0-0
Quite a positive start from the Steelmen. Couple of breaks through Chalmers and Cadden but no real openings as yet.
Motherwell win the toss and Lasley gets the game underway. COYW!!!!
Out come the two sides, usual colours for both. Kick-off just moments away.
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
Ross County manager Jim McIntyre:
Ross County: A closer lookFriday 09 September 2016
The Steelmen travel north to take on Ross County tomorrow in the fifth Ladbrokes Premiership fixture of the season.
For manager Mark McGhee and his side, the long journey and tough opponents will not make for an easy task, as the Staggies currently sit fourth in the league after recording two wins and two losses from their opening four games.
Ross County boss Jim McIntyre will be hoping to see his side bounce back after slipping to a 1-0 loss against Hamilton Accies two weeks ago.
With the international break offering both sides a small break from competitive football, the two squads will come in to this weekend’s fixture somewhat replenished.
The ‘Well will be boosted by the much-anticipated return of Louis Moult, as well as Stevie Hammell’s return to full fitness, after the full-back sat on the bench against Dundee.
Travelling ‘Well fans will also be given a first look at new signings Ryan Bowman and Luka Belić, after the pair completed deadline day moves to the club.
Carl McHugh, who is still battling concussion after his knock at Kilmarnock, will still be unavailable for Mark McGhee.
Fellow summer signing Jacob Blyth is still on the road to recovery, as is Kieran Kennedy after the defender suffered a number of weeks out with an illness.
Over past seasons, the two clubs have met on 15 occasions, with the ‘Well holding the upper-hand with seven victories and four draws to the Staggies four wins.
And as many clubs have discovered in recent seasons, Dingwall is never an easy trip.
The last time Mark McGhee’s men made the trip seven-hour round trip, they left 3-1 victors.
But the fixture prior to that at the Global Energy Stadium told a different story as the hosts beat the ‘Well 3-0.
Saturday’s fixture comes at a time when both clubs are looking to bounce back to winning ways, and with a couple of new faces in the squad and a few players returning to fitness – Motherwell go in to the match looking as close to full strength as they have all season.
Deadline day signing Ryan Bowman admits he “can’t wait to get started” ahead of Saturday’s trip to face Ross County.
The Englishman, who completed his move from Gateshead last week, has enjoyed his first few days of training under Mark McGhee and can already see the jump in standards at Motherwell.
The forward said: “It’s been a really good week, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.
“The boys look in good shape, nice and sharp and with a high intensity in preparation for Saturday so I’ve really enjoyed it so far.”
[pullquote]The boys look in good shape, nice and sharp and with a high intensity in preparation for Saturday so I’ve really enjoyed it so far.[/pullquote]
He added: “No disrespect to Gateshead but it is a better standard, the expectations are higher and I’m really looking forward to Saturday and can’t wait to get started.”
Enjoying a number of seasons south of the border, the 24-year-old hopes to carry on his goal-scoring form in to his career in the top flight of Scottish football – starting tomorrow.
He said: “My highest level was League Two but it didn’t work out there like it did in the Conference where I scored 19-20 goals a season, so I hope I can continue that on in to this season and see where it takes us.”
Bowman won’t feel out of place among his new team-mates, with last season’s top scorer Louis Moult a familiar face for the deadline day signing.
[pullquote]I played against Louis Moult when he was at Wrexham in the FA trophy one season and then twice in the league too, and he shone above the rest.[/pullquote]
He said: “I played against Louis Moult when he was at Wrexham in the FA trophy one season and then twice in the league too, and he shone above the rest and you could tell he was that bit better than the rest.
He added: “He got his move and he did well here last season so I hope I can do the same.”
With a long trip north to Dingwall awaiting Ryan this Saturday, the striker insisted he isn’t phased by the trip.
He said: “The travelling is easy – with Gateshead every away game was an overnight stay away, about 5 or 6 hours travelling, so I’m used to that, it’s fine.”
Ross County have enjoyed a solid start to the 2016/17 season, after winning two of their opening four games.
After securing a top six finish last season, Jim McIntyre and his side will be hopeful of a similarly successful campaign this time round.
It was a big summer for the Staggies after a brilliant season, which was highlighted by their League Cup triumph against Hibs at Hampden back in March.
Almost inevitably, star midfielder Jackson Irvine was snapped up by Championship side Burton Albion early in the window after impressing greatly for Ross County during his two-season stint with the Northerners.
The Aussie has got off to a flyer south of the border, scoring three goals in four appearances.
Tim Chow was signed by Jim McIntyre and will likely fill the void left by Irvine, but, having arrived late in the window, the Englishman has only made one appearance and is struggling for match fitness.
Right-back Erik Cikos signed on a free after the Slovakian spent six months at the club back in 2014, when he arrived on loan from Slovan Bratislava.
But the main threat for the Steelmen isn’t any of the new signings, but Northern Irish striker Liam Boyce.
Ross County have scored six goals in the league this season, and Boyce has scored five of them – he also provided the assist for the solitary goal he wasn’t responsible for putting in the back of the net.
At just 25-years of age, keeping hold of Boyce was a shrewd bit of business from the Staggies over the summer, after the forward scored 15 goals and provided 7 assists in the Premiership last season.
If he keeps going ay this rate, he’ll have improved on that tally before Christmas, making him the obvious threat to the Steelmen on Saturday.