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    Lasley: Missed chances cost points

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    St Mirren U20s 1 – 1 Motherwell U20s

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    Clancy to officiate Celtic clash

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    U20s back in action

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    Calendar signing a hit with fans

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    Scottish Cup 4th Round draw

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    Don’t miss tonight’s signing event

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    TV: Highlights from Tynecastle

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    Hearts defeat in pictures

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    McGhee: We lost fair and square

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    Lasley: Missed chances cost points

    U20s assistant manager Keith Lasley admitted that the youngsters inability to take advantage of their chances cost them points against St Mirren this afternoon.

    A Dylan Mackin goal gave the Steelmen an early lead but the Saints struck back through Andy Webster after half an hour, although neither side managed to find the winning goal in the hour that remained.

    Speaking to MFC TV after the match, Lasley admitted the boys played well but could have done better in front of goal.

    He said: “We had a lot of good play up until the final third but ultimately it’s what you do in that final third that matters. We had a lot of shots blocked, crosses that were over hit or under hit, so it was really the final product that was lacking.”

    [pullquote]We had a lot of good play up until the final third but ultimately it’s what you do in that final third that matters.[/pullquote]

    David Ferguson and Jack McMillan, who are continuing to break in to the first team, both missed out and Lasley admitted that their presence may be missed but that is the aim of all the youngsters waiting to break through.

    He said: “They are missed, but ultimately that is the goal here at Motherwell, to get these boys through to the first team and Crags is doing a great job here on a day to day basis preparing them as he is. It’s great, that’s what we want and in our opinion there are more to come.

    “Hopefully from now and throughout the season the boys can show that they’re capable of making that step, the manager was here to watch them again and they need to showcase their abilities so they can be that next one to make the step in to the first team.”

    [pullquote]We felt as if we started the game really well, we probably could have been more than just the one ahead at some stages but then we lost a sloppy goal from the set piece.[/pullquote]

    St Mirren went close to snatching a winner in the dying seconds of the match, something the assistant manager admits would have been a punishment for missed opportunities.

    He said: “We felt as if we started the game really well, we probably could have been more than just the one ahead at some stages but then we lost a sloppy goal from the set piece which seemed like the only way they would get back in to the game.

    “They could have snatched it at the end and that’s the message we gave the boys – you can play well and you can do many good things in a game but ultimately if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net it can come back to haunt you.”

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    St Mirren U20s 1 – 1 Motherwell U20s

    Motherwell U20s took an early lead but failed to secure the three points as they drew 1-1 away to St Mirren in the Development League.

    A Dylan Mackin finish in the opening seconds was cancelled out by a tap-in from Andy Webster on an afternoon when the Steelmen dominated much of the game.

    Stephen Craigan named a few changes as his side returned to action following last week’s break – with Tom Fry shifted to an unfamiliar right back role and Dean Brill starting between the sticks.

    It was a lightning quick start for the Steelmen who took the lead just seconds after the referee got the game underway.

    A terrific delivery from the left flank from Adam Livingstone was turned neatly beyond St Mirren keeper Reece Willison from six yards by Dylan Mackin with a neat side-footed finish.

    That didn’t settle the U20s but instead made them appear hungry for more – with MacLean, Turnbull, Thomas and Hastie all trying their luck from around 20 yards within the opening 15 minutes, but it remained 0-1.

    It perhaps should have been two when Fry burst forward from right-back and put in a near perfect low ball across the corridor of uncertainty, but no one could get on the end of it and St Mirren remained just the one goal behind.

    Craigan’s side continued to dominate for the opening 30 minutes but with ten minutes remaining in the half, the Saints clawed one back.

    It was against the run of play but it was cheap from Motherwell defensively.

    A free kick was swung into the box by Connor O’Keefe and it was glanced onto the post via the finger tips of ‘Well stopper Brill – only for the rebound to fall to Andy Webster who tapped it in to an empty net.

    There were numerous calls for handball after Thomas’ cross deflected up on to the hand of Webster, but the referee waved play on and minutes later brought the first half to a close.

    Craigan replaced Adam Livingstone with Jordan Armstrong at the break.

    The second half offered a number of chances for either side in the opening exchanges – St Mirren went close through Orsi from close range then O’Keefe from outside the box, but it was Motherwell who went closest through goal scorer Mackin.

    Allan Campbell did superbly to win the ball despite the battling of two St Mirren players, slowing the ball to fall to Hastie. The winger charged inside from the left and teed up Motherwell’s number nine who took a touch and curled an incredible strike towards the top corner. Saints stopper Willison stood and watched and was ultimately relieved to see it come crashing back off the bar.

    St Mirren made their first change of the afternoon just before the hour mark, withdrawing goal scorer Webster and replacing him with Greig McNaughton.

    Straight after the change, Mackin went close from just inside the box, but on his right foot the goal scorer failed to hit the target.

    Motherwell started to ramp up their game a notch with around 25 minutes left – searching for a winner.

    Thomas in particular looked lively and was involved heavily in the Fir Parkers attacks.

    Hastie linked-up well with the midfielder, who looked up and charged towards the Saints goal before curling a low effort on target, but Willison saved comfortably.

    Two minutes later, the ‘Well number seven nearly scored a wonder goal, collecting the ball on the edge of the box before beating his man with a Cruyff turn and striking a powerful effort over the bar.

    He was at the heart of things just seconds later, from a throw in he beat his marker with ease and burst through the centre of the park, unleashing a good effort from 20 yards, but Willison did well to get across and gather it.

    Dylan Mackin was inches away from grabbing a winner in the 85th minute, but his strike took a slight deflection and went wide. From the corner, the big striker appeared to be fouled in the box and there were calls for a penalty, but again the referee said no.

    It nearly cost the Steelmen too, as McLear struck inches over the crossbar after a neat cutback with the last kick of the game.

    It finished all square and the draw means the youngsters sit fourth in the Development League table, but are now without a win in their last three matches.

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    Clancy to officiate Celtic clash

    Referee for this Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership match against Celtic at Fir Park is Kevin Clancy.

    It will be Kevin’s third Motherwell involvement of the season and second as referee.

    The first involvement as referee came in the BetFred Cup match against Celtic after he was on fourth official duties for the Rangers clash in the group stages.

    Kevin was in the middle as a dominant Celtic overturned Motherwell 5-0 in Glasgow before they went on to lift the trophy last weekend.

    Prior to the Celtic clash, it had been a while since the referee had officiated a Steelmen match.

    It was back in October 2014, when Stuart McCall’s side lost 2-1 at McDiarmid Park.

    He’ll be a relatively familiar face given this will be his eleventh Motherwell game as referee.

    He took charge of a swashbuckling 2-2 draw with Dundee United at Tanandice in September 2013 and that was followed a couple of months later with the 1-0 win at Pittodrie on Boxing Day, when a resolute ‘Well came away with all three points thanks to Ainsworth’s winner.

    The 33-year-old was the man in the middle again that season for the vital 2-1 win over Saints when Ainsworth and McManus got on the score sheet to put the Steelmen on the road to SPFL Premiership runners-up.

    His only other Motherwell match outwith the League was in the 2011/12 campaign in the Scottish Cup, where he was the man in the middle as the Fir Parkers demolished Queen’s Park 4-0, a certain Henrik Ojamaa smashing home a fabulous debut goal.

    His overall record in charge of Motherwell reads ten matches in total, Motherwell winning four, drawing two and losing four. ‘Well have scored twelve and conceded fifteen.

    There have been twenty-seven cautions dished out in those matches, sixteen of them to a man wearing Claret and Amber and zero dismissals.

    Kevin will be ably assisted by Graham Chambers and Mark McLean with Alan Muir on Fourth Official duties.

  • Archive

    U20s back in action

    Motherwell U20s are back in action tomorrow afternoon following a break from action last week.

    And Stephen Craigan’s side will be facing St. Mirren at New Western Park, Renfrew, with kick-off at 1pm.

    The Paisley outfit currently sit ninth in the Development League table, five points behind the young Steelmen who sit fifth on 22 points.

    The Saints come in to the match on the back of a 1-4 loss at home to Dundee last week but are in a good spell of form with two wins in their last three.

    Motherwell on the other hand will be hoping to return to the sort of form they enjoyed early in the season, but will continue to have to do without youngsters Jack McMillan and David Ferguson who continue their break in to the first team.

    The U20s last bit of action was an intense goalless draw away to Dundee and prior to that was the disappointing 1-0 loss to Hearts, making tomorrow afternoons clash an interesting one with the Fir Parkers hungry to return to winning ways.

    You can follow all the action live on twitter @MotherwellFC as well as catch the highlights on MFC TV’s official YouTube channel tomorrow.

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    Calendar signing a hit with fans

    The club’s official calendar signing event saw hundreds of fans meet their favourite stars at the Fir Park Centenary Suite last night. 

    And it was a successful night for everyone who attended, with people of all ages able to meet the squad, get their new 2017 calendars signed and pose for a selfie or two.

    If you missed the event but would like to buy a calendar, you can buy yours at the Well Shop.

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    Scottish Cup 4th Round draw

    Motherwell have been drawn to face Rangers at Ibrox in the Fourth Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

    The tie is due to be played on 21st January 2017.

    Full draw:

    Ross County vs Dundee United

    St Johnstone vs Forres Mechanics or Stenhousemuir

    Albion Rovers or Queen of the South vs Celtic

    Livingston vs East Fife or Edinburgh City

    Rangers vs Motherwell

    Aberdeen vs Stranraer or East Kilbride

    Elgin City vs Inverness CT

    Raith Rovers vs Hearts

    Kilmarnock vs Hamilton

    Bonnyrigg Rose or Dumbarton vs Hibs

    Brechin City or Ayr United vs Queen’s Park or Montrose

    Partick Thistle vs Formartine United or Annan Athletic

    Stirling Albion or Wick Academy vs Clyde or Arbroath

    Alloa vs Dunfermline

    Dundee vs St Mirren or Spartans

    Beith Juniors or Greenock Morton vs Falkirk

  • Archive

    Don’t miss tonight’s signing event

    ‘Well fans have the chance to meet their favourite first team players at tonight’s open calendar signing in the Centenary Suite. 

    The whole squad will be available between 6pm and 7.30pm tonight to sign the newly released calendar – available here on motherwelldirect.co.uk  – and pose for pictures with the guys.

    You can purchase the calendar prior to the event at the ‘Well Shop and take it along with you or you can buy one at the event on the evening.

    After the Calendar signing there will be a Quiz event, supported by the Well Society, which you can find more details about here: www.thewellsociety.co.uk

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Tynecastle

    Highlights from Tynecastle as Motherwell lose 3-0 against Hearts.

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    Hearts defeat in pictures

    Images from today’s 3-0 loss to Hearts in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix

    [svgallery name=”hearts261116″]

  • Archive

    McGhee: We lost fair and square

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee admitted his side were beaten “fair and square” away to Hearts this afternoon.

    A brace from Bjorn Johnsen and a neat finish by Jamie Walker secured all three points for the Jambos but Motherwell had a number of chances cleared off the line during a frustrating ninety minutes.

    Speaking to MFC TV after the match, the manager admitted his side were second best.

    He said: “We lost the game fair and square. They were better on the ball they were more aggressive. As a team they were more effective and I felt we never really got it going at any point even although we ended up forcing a few chances from set plays and from longer, deeper free kicks.

    “They were determined in defence to get to clear those balls and get them off the line so you have to give them credit for that, we have to get it over the line that’s our job and we didn’t manage it.”

    [pullquote]“I was disappointed with the nature of the goals. The first one down the side of us when we have three centre-halves and the second one a header from a corner kick.”[/pullquote]

    Despite the loss, the Steelmen remain in the top six, however McGhee knows that it is too early in the season to judge the table.

    He said: “The relevance of being in the top six at this stage is irrelevant, I think the important thing is the points between us and the bottom which I think is only two points.

    He added: “So that’s the important thing, we have to put points on the board to open up some distance between us and the teams at the bottom.

    “Next week we have a very difficult game at home to Celtic and then we’ve got a big December after that too.”