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    Hearts up next for ‘Well U20s

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    The John Hunter Stand

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    True Steelman: Andy Paton

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

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    Craigan: Victory is the important thing

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    Motherwell U20s 1-0 Cumbernauld U20s

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    Flexi-tickets now on sale

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    TV: Highlights from Dens Park

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    McGhee: First goal was crucial

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    Dundee defeat in pictures

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    Hearts up next for ‘Well U20s

    Motherwell U20s return to action tomorrow evening in the Development League with a clash against Hearts at the Excelsior stadium.

    After getting their Scottish FA Youth Cup defence off to a successful start on Sunday morning with a 1-0 win over Cumbernauld Colts, the youngsters have a chance to string together their third consecutive victory in all competitions.

    There is further motivation for Craigan’s side given the fact that a win could potentially see them go top of the Development League table.

    Last week, the Steelmen overcame Partick Thistle at Firhill which saw them move to third in the table. Goals from Dylan Mackin and Jake Hastie secured the victory in what was an extremely entertaining fixture.

    After the match, Craigan spoke to MFC TV and said: “First and foremost I want to say what a great game that was – I really, really enjoyed watching that.

    “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 again.”

    That pulsating performance was not on show on Sunday however, with the manager expressing his disappointment at the final whistle despite progressing to the next round of the cup they held aloft last season.

    The manager expressed his desire for more from his side, and said: “I’m probably disappointed more than anything because I think we’re better than that. If that was the first time you came to see our U20s play you’d probably think that they’re not as impressive as people say.

    “But we have off days, they’re young boys and I think that the two games we haven’t played well this season have been Hibs away and then against Cumbernauld Colts. But we’ve won, we’re through, and that’s the important thing.”

    Tomorrow’s opponents Hearts currently sit second bottom in 16th but come in to the match on the back of a 2-1 win over Dundee and three points tomorrow could see the Edinburgh side climb as high as eleventh.

    The match kicks-off tomorrow evening at the Excelsior Stadium at 6pm.

     

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    The John Hunter Stand

    Motherwell FC is today delighted to announce the renaming of the East Stand to the John Hunter Stand, in tribute to the club’s legendary former league-winning manager.

    John Hunter, or ‘Sailor’ as he was commonly referred to, was a centre forward whose playing career saw him cross the border on several occasions.

    He was a member of the first Liverpool team to win the title in 1900/01, and also had spells at (Woolwich) Arsenal and Portsmouth.

    In Scotland he played for Abercorn, Hearts and Dundee. Latterly, he signed for Clyde, but had to retire having never played for them due to injury.

    Hunter went into management early and was appointed secretary-manager of Motherwell in 1911 – aged just 32.

    He presided over the most consistent and successful spell in the club’s history when, between 1926 and 1934, the Steelmen never failed to finish outside the top three.

    He was one of the first managers to take his team abroad and they enjoyed a very successful tour of Spain in 1927, winning six out of the eight games they played and losing only one.

    These results included an emphatic 3-1 victory over Real Madrid and a 2-2 draw with Barcelona.

    He also pioneered several other tours to South America and South Africa, a real first for the time.

    However, his crowning achievement undoubtedly came when Motherwell won the league title in 1931/32 with 30 wins in 38 fixtures, scoring 119 goals – a record 52 of which were scored by Willie MacFadyen. The was the only and only time the Steelmen have been Champions of Scotland!

    [pullquote]In future years, we want young fans to ask who John Hunter was so his incomparable half-century contribution to Motherwell FC and the amazing story can be kept alive and well for every generation.[/pullquote]

    Hunter also led the club to three Scottish Cup finals in 1931, 1933 and 1939 but they were defeated on all three occasions.

    He eventually stepped down as manager after the Second World War in 1946 but remained at the club as secretary, during which time he played a pivotal role as ‘Well lifted the League Cup in 1950 and the Scottish Cup in 1952 for the first time.

    He eventually retired in 1959 after an astonishing 48-year association with Motherwell Football Club.

    John died in the town aged 87, back in 1966, and to mark the fiftieth year since his passing, the club is honouring arguably its greatest ever son with the renaming of our iconic home stand.

    Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows said: “We currently honour and remember a number of our legends from yesteryear with the Joe Wark Lounge, the Phil O’Donnell & Davie Cooper Stands and the Martis, Weir, Humphrey and Paton Boxes in the South Stand.

    “In future years, we want young fans to ask who John Hunter was so his incomparable half-century contribution to Motherwell FC and the amazing story can be kept alive and well for every generation.

    “We will rebrand the side of the stand, renovate the entrance way and will dot little facts and figures about Sailor’s achievements around the stand, so people know exactly what this true great management to accomplish whilst in charge of our club.

    “We’ve had the full cooperation, support and blessing of John’s family and will invite as many of as possible to be present when we officially ‘reopen’ it shortly.”

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    True Steelman: Andy Paton

    With over fifteen years of service and captaining the Steelmen to both League Cup and Scottish Cup success, it seems easy to see why in 2006 Andy Paton was voted the club’s ‘Greatest Ever Player’ by Motherwell fans. 

    But what makes the award all the more special however is that even though by then Paton’s boots had been hung-up for almost half-a-century, such was his reputation that many supporters who hadn’t seen him play in the flesh were still moved to vote for him.

    Signed from Kello Rovers during season 1942’43, Paton had impressed Motherwell manager John ‘Sailor’ Hunter whilst on trial.

    Every inch a true “footballer”, Andy gained notoriety for his point blank refusal to adopt a safety-first approach to defending. It simply wasn’t his style to clear the ball to touch or as far up the park as possible. Sure, he could be firm in the challenge when required but Paton adopted a more cultured approach to the game where his dribbling and passing skill came to the fore.

    In 1950 Andy would captain Motherwell to their first, and thus far only League Cup success, after Hibernian were beaten 3-0 at Hampden. The sight of Paton, carried shoulder high, by his team-mates with the trophy aloft would become one of the most iconic images of the club’s history.

    There was further glory to follow in 1952 when Motherwell finally shook off their Scottish Cup hoodoo to win the trophy for the first time by dispatching Dundee 4-0.

    Full international caps would soon follow against Sweden and Denmark.

    After a shock demotion in 1953 Paton helped Motherwell to an immediate return to the top flight in 1954 and such was his influence that whilst very much in the veteran stage of his career he won the first ever Player of the Year award which Motherwell issued in 1956.

    Andy’s ‘Well career, more spanning more than 500 games, reached its conclusion in 1958 when he moved on to Hamilton.

    It was with great sadness Andy’s passing was recorded in February 2014.

    His legend however lives on.

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

    Extended highlights from this morning’s 1-0 win over Cumbernauld Colts in the Youth Cup.

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    Craigan: Victory is the important thing

    U20s manager Stephen Craigan was relieved to get through as his team huffed and puffed past Cumbernauld Colts in the Youth Cup.

    A well-organised Colts team frustrated the youngsters on a sunny morning at the Excelsior Stadium, with a Jake Hastie strike enough to secure the 1-0 victory.

    Speaking to MFC TV after the match, Craigan revealed that he felt his side were a little disjointed.

    [pullquote]Cup games are about getting through – we were nowhere near our best today, we looked a little disjointed but I’m not going to make excuses because the boys should do better than that.[/pullquote]

    He said: “Cup games are about getting through – we were nowhere near our best today, we looked a little disjointed but I’m not going to make excuses because the boys should do better than that.

    “Playing cup football though, irrespective of the performance, you want to get through to the next round.”

    The U20s boss added: “They upset us at points, they put us under pressure, but ultimately if we take our chances in the first half the game’s dead and we’re out of sight but we haven’t done that and as long as the game stays at 1-0 we keep them alive.”

    [pullquote]If we take our chances in the first half the game’s dead and we’re out of sight but we haven’t done that and as long as the game stays at 1-0 we keep them alive.[/pullquote]

    Overall though, Craigan admitted he wants more from his team going forward.

    He said: “I’m probably disappointed more than anything because I think we’re better than that. If that was the first time you came to see our U20s play you’d probably think that they’re not as impressive as people say.

    “But we have off days, they’re young boys and I think that the two games we haven’t played well this season have been Hibs away and here today. But we’ve won and that’s the important thing.”

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    Motherwell U20s 1-0 Cumbernauld U20s

    Motherwell U20s got their Scottish FA Youth Cup defence off to a winning start, but were made to work hard by a well-organised Cumbernauld Colts.

    Stephen Craigan named a strong side for the early morning kick-off at the Excelsior Stadium, with Ross MacLean and Jack McMillan returning to the side and James Scott replacing the suspended Dylan Mackin up front for the Steelmen.

    Allan Campbell returned to his familiar central-midfield role after filling in at right back midweek and making his debut for the first-team against Ross County last weekend – and right from the off he dictated much of the play and tempo of the match.

    It was a dominant opening ten minutes from the Claret and Amber men, with Cumbernauld keeper Ross Campbell producing a fine save to deny Jake Hastie from close range and a number of opportunities being squandered in a tight, busy Colts box.

    Some terrific footwork and a flighted cross from Ross MacLean led to a opportunity for James Scott, but the striker couldn’t quite get enough on it and Campbell collected it.

    Adam Livingstone fancied his chances from range after collecting the ball out wide on the right in the 22nd minute, driving forward and cutting inside onto his left foot before attempting a powerful effort from the edge of the box, but it flew narrowly over the crossbar.

    The visitors were mostly limited to opportunities from corners, with Fraser Sheridan sending in a few threatening deliveries.

    And Colts went closest to opening the scoring from one of Sheridan’s corners – an in swinging corner leading to a bit of a scramble in the Motherwell six-yard box which PJ Morrison gathered in the end to quell the danger.

    But it was a brief spell for the visitors, as Motherwell began to relax again and eventually took the lead just minutes before half time. A clipped ball over the top from Livingstone allowed Hastie to charge through on goal and slot the ball past Campbell to open the scoring.

    The second period started much brighter yet somehow the score remained 1-0 after an several opportunities went begging for Craigan’s side.

    Hastie burst through on goal and had Scott with him for support, but the youngster went for goal instead and the save from Campbell dropped right at the feet of the striker, but, under pressure, he struck over the bar from close range.

    Scott had another opportunity just minutes later when he got on the end of a flighted cross from MacLean, but couldn’t get enough on the header and it flew wide of the mark.

    It was so nearly two and a second for Hastie when the winger was played in down the left – charging in to the box the youngster beat his man with a neat step over and fired a powerful left-footed strike across goal, agonisingly clipping the far post as went beyond for a goal kick.

    Scott was withdrawn from the action after 57 minutes of play, being replaced by Dylan Falconer who immediately got in on the action, bursting down the right side of the box and firing a low ball across goal which ran past everyone in the box.

    Davie Turnbull was next in line to have an effort on goal, this time getting on the end of tom Fry’s free kick but heading narrowly over the bar from close range.

    If Cumbernauld Colts were going to grab a goal back, it almost certainly looked like coming from a set piece, with the Motherwell defence having little to do in open play. A free kick from Pirie from around 30 yards tested Morrison who did enough to get his body behind it and save.

    The margin remained just one and in the 75th minute it seemed Motherwell could double their lead as they hit Colts with pace on the break. Hastie, picking up the ball in the right wing position, cut inside and teed up Fry who was clattered by a challenge. Fortunately the ball landed back with Hastie who took a touch and dragged a low left-footed strike wide of the post from the edge of the box.

    Connor McKenzie nearly punished the Steelmen with ten minute to go and it was the visitor’s best chance of the game. A low, dangerous ball across goal towards McKenzie could only be turned over the bar from close range.

    Dylan Falconer had to leave the field of play after coming on for Scott, limping off in the 84th minute to be replaced by Ryan Watters. And the substitute nearly sealed the game with his first touch, sending his lefty-footed, curling effort just over the bar.

    Some intricate play down the left allowed Cumbernauld Colts to get in behind the Steelmen from a throw-in, crossing the ball in to the head of Sean Brown who could only head wide from inside the box as the visitors put in a strong showing in the final ten minutes.

    Brown nearly made amends for his missed header in the 90th minute, spinning Jordan Armstrong and unleashing a half-volley towards goal but it scraped the roof of the net as it fizzed over the bar.

    Fortunately, the Steelmen managed to hold on and see out the game 1-0.

    They didn’t hit their familiar heights on a sunny morning at the Excelsior Stadium, but ultimately the youngsters defence of the cup got off to a successful, winning start.

    Motherwell: Morrison, Livingstone, Armstrong, Maguire, McMillan, Campbell, MacLean, Turnbull, Scott (Falconer – 75mins (Watters – 84mins)), Hastie, Fry

    Subs Not Used: Pettigrew, Agyemang

  • Archive

    Flexi-tickets now on sale

    Today marks the launch of the clubs two Flexi-ticket packages, offering fans the chance to save 20% on ticket prices and juniors up to 50%.

    The Flexi-ticket allows supporters to purchase either a 5 or 10 game package of match tickets to games of your choice from the remaining fixtures in the Ladbrokes Premiership season – including matches against Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Aberdeen.

    Marketing and Fan Engagement Manager Ryan Murrant believes it is a great choice for ‘Well fans. He said: “This allows fans to choose their games and most importantly it saves them some money too.”

    [pullquote]The Flexi ticket gives a great alternative to those who didn’t go for a season ticket at the start of the season, whilst protecting the season ticket holders ensuring they always get the best value.[/pullquote]

    He added: “The Flexi ticket gives a great alternative to those who didn’t go for a season ticket at the start of the season, whilst protecting the season ticket holders ensuring they always get the best value.”

    “The flexi-ticket is a great idea and is arriving at the perfect time for a Christmas present.”

    The packages replace the season and half-season tickets for the remainder of the 16/17 campaign.

    A 10 game Flexi-ticket is available from as little as £168, which works out at just over £16 per match and with a 5 game option from as little as £84.

    Juvenile Flexi-tickets offer the chance to save an impressive 50% on ticket prices.

    How it works…

    When buying either package, you will receive a voucher printed with a barcode which when scanned at our ticket office, will entitle you to receive the match tickets you require.

    If you already know which games you want to attend then when buying the package, you can take home the tickets right there and then!

    Alternatively, on the day of each game simply pop into our ticket office to have your voucher scanned and receive your match day ticket.

    Flexi-ticket packages are available from the Fir Park ticket office right now call 01698 338 002

    Please note that Flexi-ticket vouchers can only be redeemed at the ticket office – please collect your ticket before 2.30pm (7.15pm for evening games) on match days.

    The Flexi-Tickets allow you to take advantage of all remaining MFC 2016/17 Ladbrokes Premiership home matches, tickets for other MFC games can be bought separately.

    PHIL O’DONNELL STAND10 Game Package5 Game Package
    Adult£208£104
    Concessions*£140£70
    Juvenile (15 and under)£60£30
    DAVIE COOPER STAND10 Game Package5 Game Package
    Adult£182£91
    Concessions*£108£54
    Juvenile (15 and under)£60£30
    JOHN HUNTER STAND10 Game Package5 Game Package
    Adult£168£84
    Concessions*£98£49
    Juvenile (15 and under)£60£30

    *Please note, concessions are applicable to over 60s, full-time students with a valid matriculation card and, for the first time ever, 16 to 18 year olds. ‘Juvenile’ age of Under 16 is applicable as at 1st August 2016.

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    TV: Highlights from Dens Park

    Extended highlights from Dens Park as goals from Cammy Kerr and Marcus Haber consign Motherwell to a 2-0 loss.

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    McGhee: First goal was crucial


    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee admitted the first goal was critical as his side lost 2-0 away to Dundee this afternoon.

    With the game goalless, a controversial decision from the officials ensured the Steelmen were not awarded a goal despite Dundee stopper David Mitchell bundling the ball over his own line.

    Speaking to MFC TV, the manager expressed his disappointment at the result and touched on the importance of the match officials decision.

    He said: “We were going through a period in the game when it looked like we’d make a breakthrough.

    [pullquote]The first goal is so important in these games and I think if you make the breakthrough you go on to win the game.[/pullquote]

    “The first goal is so important in these games and I think if you make the breakthrough you go on to win the game because at that point we were starting to undermine their confidence, the crowd were starting to rumble a wee bit and we were creating chances.”

    He added: “Not to be given the goal was ludicrous, it was a shocking, scandalous decision – but then we go on and concede a goal which was just as big a crime as the referee and the linesman were guilty of.

    “It was the first half that cost us because we didn’t play as well as I would’ve hoped, down the sides especially, and then the decision not to give us the goal which I think would have sent us on to do pretty well in the game.”

    [pullquote]It was the first half that cost us because we didn’t play as well as I would’ve hoped, down the sides especially, and then the decision not to give us the goal which I think would have sent us on to do pretty well in the game.[/pullquote]

    McGhee also admitted that Dundee got their second half tactics correct, frustrating the Steelmen after riding their luck in the opening 45.

    He said: “I think in the second half Dundee did the right thing and I told the boys at half time exactly what they were going to expect – you’re going to expect the balls raining in from distance, they’re going to hook it on and turn you around – and it was absolutely the right tactics.”

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    Dundee defeat in pictures

    Images from today’s 2-0 loss to Dundee in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix

    [svgallery name=”dundee051116″]