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    Falkirk U20s 3 – 1 Motherwell U20s

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    Falkirk up next for ‘Well U20s

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    Rangers clash live on TV

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    Motorpoint Player of the Month: November

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

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    Craigan: We worked hard

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    Motherwell U20s 3 – 1 Morton U20s

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Celtic defeat in pictures

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    McGhee: We were fantastic

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    Falkirk U20s 3 – 1 Motherwell U20s

    Motherwell U20s returned to Development League action with a 3-1 loss away to Falkirk tonight after progressing in the Youth Cup at the weekend.

    In the opening 15 minutes it was clear to see the youngsters had been playing little over 48 hours before tonight’s match with a tired looking ‘Well side struggling to settle the game down.

    They weathered the storm though with the only real chances for the hosts squandered by winger Langton, who failed to test Morrison with one effort and scuffed his other straight at the stopper.

    But Craigan’s side grew into the match and strung together some neat build-up play but failed to properly test Mehmet.

    James McFadden, stepping in to the starting eleven, dazzled at points in the opening 45, with his touch and vision proving too much for the Bairn defence to handle at points.

    Shortly after the 20th minute the ex-Everton man slipped Fry in down the right for the young midfielder to cut back to Turnbull on the edge of the area, but his shot was blocked by the first man.

    Two minutes later Falkirk were forced to make a change after Nathan Austin picked up a knock, he was replaced by Reis Peggie.

    From then on it was mostly all Motherwell but there were very few chances.

    McFadden was central to most of it with a couple of dangerous crosses causing Falkirk problems.

    But it was in the 40th minute when he danced his way through the middle of the park, cutting on to his left and unleashing a strike on goal that it seemed the ‘Well would break the deadlock, but Eadie did brilliantly to lunge in and block it from travelling towards goal.

    The score remained goalless going in to the break as neither keeper came under much threat.

    The second half got off to a quicker start but unfortunately it was the hosts who looked the sharper and then took the lead in the 55th minute.

    Scott Shepherd managed to knock the ball down from a corner and it fell for Cameron Eadie who managed to react quickly and prod beyond Morrison.

    Craigan made a couple of changes not long after the opening goal. First he brought on Scott for Mackin then Hastie for McFadden.

    The Bairns doubled their advantage ten minutes after taking the lead and it was an instinctive reaction finish from substitute Peggie who caught it sweetly on the bounce from the edge of the box to fire it low past Morrison.

    Much like the first team on Saturday, the youngsters hit back instantly, with substitute Jake Hastie turning Allan Campbell’s cross beyond Mehmet.

    Falkirk had a great chance to grab their third when Morrison was deemed to have picked up a pass back resulting in an indirect free-kick for the hosts. Peter Grant curled the tee-up beyond Morrison but off the post but the keeper then managed to clear it.

    Craigan made his final substitute in the 75th minute, replacing Fry with young attacker Dylan Falconer.

    Under ten minutes later and with ten minutes left, Falkirk put the game out of reach when they bagged their third. Shepherd charged towards a loose ball, getting his toe to it before Morrison could collect to prod it beyond the stopper.

    With five minutes remaining, young full back Jack McMillan curled a phenomenal strike on goal that crashed off the crossbar.

    But the youngsters couldn’t find a way back in to the match and it finished 3-1.

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    Falkirk up next for ‘Well U20s

    Motherwell U20s are in league action tomorrow night as they take on Falkirk U20s at the Falkirk Stadium.

    Following last weeks 1-1 draw away to St Mirren U20s and yesterday’s 3-1 Youth Cup victory over Greenock Morton U20s, Craigan’s side will be keen to carry on their run of form and return to winning ways in the Development League.

    A goal in the opening minute from Dylan Mackin looked likely to set the youngsters on their way to victory over the Saints last Wednesday, but experienced defender Andy Webster cancelled it out after half an hour.

    Tomorrow’s opponents Falkirk currently sit sixth in the table, just two spots below the young Steelmen in fourth, making for an interesting encounter between the two sides.

    There is a mere point separating the teams too, with Falkirk coming in to the match on the back of a goalless draw with Dundee.

    That result extended the Bairns run without a win to three matches, a run matched by the Fir Parkers following two draws and a loss.

    For all the action, follow @MotherwellFC on Twitter for live updates and to catch the highlights, subscribe to the official MFC TV YouTube channel.

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    Rangers clash live on TV

    The Scottish Cup Fourth Round clash with Rangers at Ibrox is due to be shown live on Sky Sports.

    Following the draw last week, the mouthwatering clash has been picked up by the broadcaster as the Steelmen hope to progress to the fifth round.

    And it is the first time that the Lanarkshire club and the Glaswegians have been pitted against each other in the competition since 2003.

    On that day, Rangers won in dramatic fashion at Hampden, beating the Steelmen 4-3 in the semi-final before going on to win the tournament against Dundee.

    The match will be played and shown live on Sky Sports on Saturday 21st January, with kick-off at 12:30pm.

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    Motorpoint Player of the Month: November

    Voting has opened for Motherwell’s Player of the Month for November – sponsored by Motorpoint.

    Every month, ‘Well fans have the opportunity to cast their vote for who they think has put in the best performances, in the games against Dundee, Partick Thistle and Hearts.

    Thanks to club sponsors Motorpoint, the decision is up to the fans, so cast your vote here!

    [poll id=”298″]

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

    Highlights from Excelsior Stadium where David Turnbull’s hat-trick gave ‘Well a 3-1 win over Greenock Morton.

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    Craigan: We worked hard

    U20s boss Stephen Craigan credited his players hard work as they overcame Greenock Morton U20s 3-1 in the Scottish FA Youth Cup this afternoon.

    A feisty encounter left resulted in two penalties for the Steelmen, two red cards and a number of controversial decisions from the referee.

    But in the end, Craigan was happy to see his side secure a place in the quarter-finals.

    Speaking to MFC TV after the match, he said: “We got through, and I said to the players after the game it’s not always going to be about free flowing football and having lots of possession, because there’s an art to defending and seeing games out – it usually includes hard work – so I felt the energy levels in the second half were good and the organisation of the team was good.

    “The players make that work; they have to narrow up, they have track runs, they have to defend one-on-one because there can be long spells without the ball at times, but its all part of their learning curve.”

    [pullquote]It’s not always going to be about free flowing football and having lots of possession, because there’s an art to defending and seeing games out – it usually includes hard work.[/pullquote]

    He added: “Barry got sent off before the tenth minute so it was a long, long time – considering the referee played 54 minutes in the second half – to defend with ten men.

    “Credit to the players for doing that, they showed the other side of the game which is very pleasing.”

    David Turnbull bagged a hattrick including two strikes from the penalty spot, and his manager was pleased with his all round performance.

    Craigan said: “ I’m really pleased for David. Dylan missed a penalty here against Dunfermline but got the rebound and then missed one against Hearts so David was the next guy up for the penalties and it takes a bit of bravery too once you’ve scored the first one to go up and take the second one.

    “The third goal was sublime – it was a great strike. I wasn’t quite sure the defender covered himself in much glory by ducking but I don’t mind because we get 3-0 up at that stage.”

    [pullquote] David was the next guy up for the penalties and it takes a bit of bravery too once you’ve scored the first one to go up and take the second one. The third goal was sublime – it was a great strike.[/pullquote]

    Morton pulled one back with little over ten minutes to go, and the spirit of the ‘Well youngsters, especially when going down to nine men after Fry was shown a second yellow for time wasting, was something that pleased Craigan.

    He said: “When it goes 3-1 you get wary, you think will they crack? Will they crumble? Do gaps appear? That’s when you need David Turnbull to get on the ball again, take that extra touch and make that extra pass and he did.

    Ultimately, much of the match was overshadowed by controversy after both sides were on the receiving end of debatable decisions – but Craigan doesn’t want to dwell on the referee.

    He said: “It was tough and I don’t want to stand and pan the referee because it’s a very difficulty job, but I just thought he didn’t really have the game under control.

    “He’s a young guy trying to make his way in the game, our young players are trying to make their way in the game and I’m a young coach trying to make my way in the game somewhere along the line.

    “But I know emotions run high, I think he was quite quick with his decisions, with the sending off and the penalties which I haven’t seen back to be fair but I think he was just a bit quick with the decisions in general.”

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    Motherwell U20s 3 – 1 Morton U20s

    Motherwell U20s continued their defence of the Youth Cup with a 3-1 victory over Greenock Morton U20s this afternoon.

    But it was not easy work for the youngsters who converted two penalties but also ended the match at the Excelsior Stadium with nine men.

    Jake Hastie looked lively from the first whistle but squandered two good opportunities early on.

    The young winger did superbly to beat his man down the left flank in the second minute, but when it came to the cross he blazed it wildly over everyone in the box.

    Two minutes later he spun his marker with ease to afford himself a one-on-one opportunity with Morton stopper Jamie McGowan, but again the youngster went for power and his shot was well off target, when in truth it should have been 1-0 to the Steelmen.

    Just after the tenth minute, controversy struck as Craigan’s side were reduced to ten men. Barry Maguire was forced to make a lunging challenge to intercept Morton’s Ben Armour from having a one-on-one chance, but despite winning the ball, the centre-back was given his marching orders for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.

    From the following free-kick, Scott Tiffoney crashed a terrific effort off the bar and immediately after, Craigan made a change, replacing James Scott with Adam Livingstone as the youngsters faced a tricky uphill task.

    Despite being reduced in numbers, the Steelmen went closest to grabbing the lead on 13 minutes, when Dylan Falconer raced past the Morton defence and sent his audacious lob narrowly over the bar.

    Morton winger Tiffoney forced a good save out of PJ Morrison in the 25th minute, the ‘Well stopper doing enough to parry it away from danger.

    However, it was the outnumbered Steelmen who took the lead after Hastie was hauled to the deck by Darren Hynes. Looked soft, but Davie Turnbull made no mistake from the spot, slotting it low past McGowan in to the bottom left corner. Hynes was booked for the foul.

    Alex McWaters went close for the visitors just a few minutes after the goal, but his strike was too high and flew over the bar.

    The winger was involved again in the 37th minute when Tom Fry pulled him down as he was bursting forward. The ‘Well midfielder went in to the book.

    Three minutes before the break, Motherwell were awarded another penalty and this time it was a silly foul and a more clear cut decision than the first.

    Morton defender Ruaridh Langan pulled Hastie to ground when the ‘Well midfielder looked to be running the ball out of play, but it was a definite penalty and Turnbull stepped up to the challenge again, this time slotting the ball low to McGowan’s right to double the advantage. Tiffoney was the third player to pick up a booking in the aftermath of the penalty decision – this time for dissent.

    The second half got off to a slower start, with neither side carving out any major chances.

    Motherwell went closest went Dylan Falconer raced beyond the Morton defence, only to have his run cut short by the linesman flagging for offside.

    On the hour mark, Morton centre-forward Ben Armour should have pulled one back if it wasn’t for a superb save from Morrison, who blocked the initial shot and was alert to clutch the second.

    Three minutes later and Motherwell had three and Turnbull completed his hattrick with a stunning long range strike following a corner. Fry played it short to the midfielder who had time to take a touch and strike it past McGowan from outside the corner of the box.

    Jordon Armstrong made way following the goal as Craigan shuffled his deck – bringing on Alfie Agyeman, shifting Fry to right back and pushing McMillan in one spot to centre-back.

    Morton won a freekick in the 78th minute and made it count. It had an element of luck as it took a slight deflection on its way towards Langan, who was on hand to touch it towards goal and beyond Morrison.

    The Steelmen became slightly pegged back as the game drew towards a close, but some strong defence limited the visitors to strikes from distance, John Tennant fancied his chances from 25 yards but Morrison held it comfortably.

    In the final seconds, Fry was shown his second yellow card after he was deemed to be time wasting and Motherwell had to survive the final few attacks with nine men.

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Highlights from Fir Park where a three superb Motherwell goals weren’t enough to see off Celtic.

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    Celtic defeat in pictures

    Images from today’s 3-4 loss to Celtic in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix

    [svgallery name=”celtic031216″]

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    McGhee: We were fantastic

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee felt his team were fantastic and unlucky not to get something from this afternoon’s loss at home to Celtic.

    A last-minute winner from Tom Rogic snatched the three points for the visitors during a dramatic encounter at Fir Park.

    Speaking to MFC TV at the final whistle, the manager admitted he was hugely disappointed but ultimately felt his side were “fantastic”.

    He said: “To score three goals and not win the game is hugely disappointing and to play the way we did, especially in the first half, I thought we were fantastic and the goals we scored were of such quality.

    “You always know that Celtic are going to come back at you and we also know that we’re not that good at keeping clean sheets so there is a danger, even at 2-0.

    [pullquote] To score three goals and not win the game is hugely disappointing and to play the way we did, especially in the first half, I thought we were fantastic and the goals we scored were of such quality.[/pullquote]

    “We played fantastically well for long spells of the game and even going 2-2 and straight away taking the lead was brilliant to bounce back like that. Obviously then losing two goals was disappointing but it was a fantastic performance and what three great goals we scored.”

    He added: “It gave them the impetus and something to go for and it is a dangerous scoreline so it was disappointing to lose the goal the way that we did especially the first goal was a bit too easy. We do have to find a way of not conceding these goals and that’s what we’ll be working on.”

    Despite the loss, McGhee admitted there were a number of positives to take in to next weekend’s clash with Kilmarnock.

    He said: “There’s a lot of positives, Ross MacLean coming in, Cadds again seeing off the boy Izaguirre and they had to make a change because they couldn’t contain him.

    [pullquote] We played fantastically well for long spells of the game and even going 2-2 and straight away taking the lead was brilliant to bounce back like that.[/pullquote]

    “Moulty for that first half was almost unplayable playing up there himself and the rest backed him up brilliantly and for Sammy to lose four goals is a travesty because he didn’t do too much wrong.”

    He added: “When you play good teams that can happen to you, Celtic have lost seven this season and they’re a good team.”

    Ross MacLean started in the reverse fixture at Parkhead, and came back into McGhee’s side this afternoon.

    The manager said: “We play these youngsters because we think that they’re good enough, not just for the sake of it to play lip service to the fact that we have a youth policy.

    [pullquote] The thing now is that we can’t live on this – either the disappointment of it or the fact that we played so well in spells, we have to reproduce that.[/pullquote]

    “Ross came in again today, he played at Parkhead, and what a cross it was for the second goal and what a bit of play. He’s put in a great challenge especially for a young winger, and he’s put in a cross that, even though Moulty still had to provide the excellent finish, was put on a plate for him.”

    Looking forward, the manager hopes for similar levels of performance, but also for points on the board.

    He said: “The thing now is that we can’t live on this – either the disappointment of it or the fact that we played so well in spells, we have to reproduce that.

    “We’re going to have to reproduce it to beat Kilmarnock don’t worry about that, we’re going to have to be well to beat Kilmarnock – we’ve got to take that sort of energy, that sort of determination and that sort of form into the Kilmarnock game and make sure we get three points here.”