Extended highlights from Firhill and goals from Jake Hastie and Dylan Mackin seal a 2-1 win for the young Steelmen over Partick Thistle.
TV: Highlights from FirhillTuesday 01 November 2016
Craigan: What a great gameTuesday 01 November 2016
U20s manager Stephen Craigan was happy to see his side win 2-1 away from home against Partick Thistle tonight.
But the Northern Irishman made sure to stress just how entertaining he thought the match was.
Speaking to MFC TV after the match, the coach said: “First and foremost I want to say what a great game that was – I really, really enjoyed watching that tonight.
[pullquote]We played Thistle in pre-season up at Dalziel Park and it was two young teams really opening up, really having a go and it was end-to-end and entertaining so I expected more of the same tonight.[/pullquote]
“It’s easy to say that when you’ve won but we played Thistle in pre-season up at Dalziel Park and it was two young teams really opening up, really having a go and it was end-to-end and entertaining so I expected that tonight.”
He added: “They can move the ball, they can hurt you, but most importantly I think for any neutral coming to watch that tonight they saw some great stuff from both sides – it was a great advert for U20s football.
“I’m delighted in the end that we’ve come out with a 2-1 win and based on the number of chances we created I think we deserved it.”
[pullquote]I think for any neutral coming to watch that tonight they saw some great stuff from both sides – it was a great advert for U20s football.[/pullquote]
The U20s start their defence of the Scottish FA Youth Cup on Sunday morning, and Craigan admits he may be lighter in terms of options than normal.
He said: “We’re a little bit short in numbers with Jack McMillan breaking into the first team and Ross MacLean being in and around the first team so they’ll likely not be available on Sunday.
“That gives an opportunity for others to come in to the team and make a name for themselves.”
Partick Thistle U20s 1-2 Motherwell U20sTuesday 01 November 2016
Motherwell U20s returned to winning ways tonight after an impressive performance resulted in a 2-1 win over Partick Thistle.
And it was an all the more impressive win under the floodlights at Firhill for the youngsters due to the form of the hosts, who occupied second spot in the Development League prior to kick-off.
Stephen Craigan included five first-team players in his starting eleven but it was the youngsters who secured the points – as Jake Hastie and Dylan Mackin continued their fine goalscoring form.
That being said, it was an all round impressive showing from Kieran Kennedy, Jacob Blyth, Dean Brill, Dom Thomas and David Ferguson, who all got some valuable minutes under their belts. The story of the match though was perhaps summed up by the fact that Thistle goalkeeper Conor Cullen was the best player on the park for the Jags.
Straight from the first whistle it was clear that Dom Thomas was eager to continue on from the electric performance he put in against Ross County last week for the U20s. Bursting through the middle, the midfielder unleashed a powerful effort that forced a good save from Cullen early in the match.
And it was another senior player who got involved early on and, in truth, should have given Motherwell the lead. Some superb footwork by Dylan Mackin on the left created the striker a yard to put in a pinpoint cross for Jacob Blyth, who was ever so slightly on the stretch, and headed over the bar from close range.
Luckily, the miss wasn’t punished and just a minute later Jake Hastie opened the scoring. It would have been hard for the midfielder to miss and he was rewarded for his awareness and movement after Dylan Mackin’ low ball across the six-yard box was tapped home from all of three yards.
Craigan’s side enjoyed the majority of possession and chances and before long had a two goal cushion. Dylan Mackin collected the ball 20 yards out and dribbling toward goal before blasting a powerful effort on goal leaving Partick stopper Cullen scrambling and unable to get a hand to it due to the power from the striker’s left foot.
At the start of the second half, Partick changed shape and shifted to a back three which evidently pushed the home side forward. And it only took till the hour mark for Thistle to pull one back. Ian Stokes putting the finishing touch on a decent team move, leaving Brill unable to save at his near post.
Sensing the shift of control slipping from his side’s grasp, Stephen Craigan decided to pull striker Jacob Blyth off and bring on defender Luke Watt – and it was a wise move from the Northern Irishman.
Soon, the balance of the match looked to be back in the Steelmen’s favour and a number of good chances and a couple of wonder saves from Thistle keeper Conor Cullen kept the margain between the sides to just one.
Semple braces earns Scotland drawTuesday 01 November 2016
Jamie Semple turned in an outstanding performance, netting a brace, as Scotland were held to a 2-2 draw with Wales today.
The 15-year old Motherwell Academy star played off the left for the most part, heading home a first before a fantastic touch and volley put James Grady’s side into a commanding position at the interval.
However, the Welsh stormed back in the second half and scored twice to level things up and earn a point in what has been a competitive Victory Shield. Semple almost grabbed a hat-trick, but his header came back off the underside of the bar.
The Scots are next in action when they face the Republic of Ireland at the Oriam this coming Friday.
Motorpoint Player of the Month: OctoberTuesday 01 November 2016
Voting has opened for Motherwell’s Player of the Month for October – sponsored by Motorpoint.
Every month, ‘Well fans have the opportunity to cast their vote for who they think has put in the best performances.
Last month, star striker Louis Moult picked up the award, highlighted by his scintillating 5 goal haul across two games.
Thanks to club sponsors Motorpoint, the decision is up to the fans, so cast your vote here for Motherwell’s Player of the Month for October!
Scotland call up for in-form CaddenMonday 31 October 2016
‘Well midfielder Chris Cadden has yet again been called up to the Scotland U21 squad as the youngster continues his superb run of form.
The call-ups have been coming thick and fast for the young Steelman, who was first picked for his country back in August and has already received his first cap.
A mainstay in Mark McGhee’s squad for the last year, the lung-bursting midfielder has been scintillating, getting amongst the goals, assists and man of the match awards, as well as terrorising full-backs on a regular basis this season.
Cadden was one of the best players on the pitch at Celtic Park recently and is part of the 19-man squad to face Slovakia in the U21 International Challenge Match on November 9.
Everyone at Motherwell FC would like to congratulate Chris on his call-up and wish him, and the squad, all the best over the next two weeks.
Craigan: More of the same tomorrowMonday 31 October 2016
Stephen Craigan hopes his side can find their form in front of goal having put in impressive performances this season so far.
With Partick Thistle awaiting the youngsters tomorrow night, the manager caught up with MFC TV to look ahead to the match on the back of their 1-1 draw last week.
A trip to Firhill stadium is something the Northern Irishman is looking forward to, having enjoyed a number of matches there as a player.
[pullquote]Against Ross County last week we got back to what we’ve been good at – we were strong defensively at times and we created lots of chances and I don’t think the 1-1 scoreline was a fair reflection of the game.[/pullquote]
He said: “It’s always nice to go to a stadium like Firhill, I played there myself many moons ago and it’s always nice to go back.
“It’s also good for the players to play on grass and we’ve spoke about Airdrie in the past being a bit dry and sticky and depending on the weather it can be windy too.”
He added: “Hopefully tomorrow night the ball runs a little truer to football and it won’t be as sticky. We hope that we can get our players at the top end of the pitch being creative and getting on the ball.”
Despite not managing to secure a win, Craigan was impressed by his sides efforts in their last match and felt that three points would have been deserved for his side.
[pullquote]We want more of the same tomorrow night, for the boys to go out there, play free, take people on and this week hope that we have the finishing touch to put an end to the good work.[/pullquote]
He said: “Against Ross County last week we got back to what we’ve been good at – we were strong defensively at times and we created lots of chances and I don’t think the 1-1 scoreline was a fair reflection of the game to be honest.”
He added: “We want more of the same tomorrow night, for the boys to go out there, play free, take people on and this week hope that we have the finishing touch to put an end to the good work.”
When asked about any team news, the manager said: “We’ll probably have one or two dropping down from the first team because at the moment we’re kind of in between with a few of the young boys making the step up to the first team.”
Partick awaits for Motherwell U20sMonday 31 October 2016
The U20s return to action tomorrow evening in the Development League with a clash against Partick Thistle at Firhill.
And it presents Stephen Craigan’s side the opportunity to return to winning ways having gone two matches without three points.
Last week, the youngsters drew 1-1 with Ross County which followed the 3-0 home defeat against Hibs the week before.
And remarkably, the two match run is the longest spell the Northern Irishman’s side have gone without a win this season – summing up an impressive start to the season.
Tomorrow’s opponents have made a good start too, sitting in second place and just three points behind league leaders Ross County and one ahead of the Steelmen.
They arrive in good form too, having strung together three wins on the bounce, including wins over Hearts and Celtic.
Currently sitting fourth in the league, the Motherwell U20s have two matches this week, with their defence of the Scottish FA Youth Cup getting underway on Sunday afternoon.
The U20s face the Cumbernauld Colts in the third round of the competition, hoping to follow up on the brilliant success of last season.
The match kicks-off at the Excelsior Stadium at 10:30am.
Jamie Semple starts in Scots winSunday 30 October 2016
Jamie Semple was named amongst the starting eleven as Scotland U16s kicked their Victory Shield campaign off with a 2-0 victory over Northern Ireland at the Oriam.
16-year old Semple, who turns out for both the Academy Under 17s and Stephen Craigan’s Under 20s at ‘Well, played up top and put in a good showing for the Scots, who won thanks to goals from Taylor Wilson and substitute Zac Butterworth.
Scotland will now face Wales this Tuesday, a 4pm kick-off at the Oriam in Edinburgh.
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkSaturday 29 October 2016
Extended highlights from Fir Park as goals from McDonald, an own goal, Tait and Ainsworth secure a 4-1 win for the Steelmen.