Action from Fir Park as Motherwell and Kilmarnock play out a dull nil-nil draw in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
TV: Highlights from Fir ParkSaturday 10 December 2016
McGhee: Disappointed not to winSaturday 10 December 2016
‘Well boss Mark McGhee felt his side did enough to win the match this afternoon and was disappointed with a goalless draw.
Speaking to MFC TV at full time, the manager expressed his desire to see his team go on an unbeaten run after today’s result.
He said: “I think that we could’ve won it in both halves so I’m disappointed not to have won.
“It wasn’t a fantastic game, it wasn’t a fantastic performance but we had enough clear cut chances and if you take one of those chances it kind of changes the game, it settles you down, it puts them under a bit of pressure so things usually get better.”
[pullquote]It wasn’t a fantastic game, it wasn’t a fantastic performance but we had enough clear cut chances and if you take one of those chances it kind of changes the game.[/pullquote]
He added: “Not getting the goal can make you nervous that they’ll nick something even if it is against the run of play.
“We kept on to it though – we brought on the two young lads, we still got at them, we got corners, we got set plays, we didn’t make enough of them and when we made the chances we weren’t able to take them.”
With a number of draws across the division, McGhee hopes that his side can put in a positive showing against Aberdeen on Tuesday night.
He said: “Somebody will hit a run, somebody will win a few games on the bounce and the way I see it is this is the start of a run – unbeaten today, hopefully now we can go to Aberdeen on Tuesday and stay unbeaten there.
“We’ve got a good month ahead of us in December, there are a lot of games and games that we’ll be competitive in.”
[pullquote]The way I see it is this is the start of a run – unbeaten today, hopefully now we can go to Aberdeen on Tuesday and stay unbeaten there.[/pullquote]
A number of youngsters have been getting game time under McGhee in recent weeks, and today was the same story.
The boss said: “David Ferguson has been asked to play left back today when he’s a young right-sided centre-back or right back and he’s come in at this level and done well.
“He’s not been playing too much so I was really pleased by and pleased for him. Ross MacLean was terrific and I was disappointed to see him go off injured and I hope he’ll be ok for Tuesday night.
“That was a game that might have went either way but we were prepared to put these young boys on and we did that and I think they both did quite well.”
Kilmarnock draw in picturesSaturday 10 December 2016
Images from today’s 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Snaps courtesy of SNSPix
Motherwell 0 – 0 KilmarnockSaturday 10 December 2016
Motherwell and Kilmarnock played out a tame, goalless draw at Fir Park this afternoon. And although the Steelmen created a few clear cut chances to win the game, both defences held strong for rare shutouts and a share of the points.
Mark McGhee spent the first of his touch line bans in the stand joined by injured pair Stevie Hammell and Chris Cadden. That forced two changes from the side which started so strongly against Celtic. However, there was no dynamic start to this game and for most of the first half the action was contested around the middle of the park.
The first routine save didn’t arrive until 17 minutes when Craig Samson comfortably held Rory McKenzie’s drive down the middle of the goal.
‘Well’s reply came from the impressive Ross MacLean, who worked a couple of neat one-twos before volleying the ball narrowly past the post from 12 yards.
The Fir Park men had the bulk of the play as the half progressed and a couple of crosses caused some anxiety in the visitors defence. From Ben Heneghan’s knockdown Stephen McManus’ thumping drive from 10 yards was goal bound until it deflected off a defender’s hand. Referee Steven McLean, however, waved aside strong appeals for a penalty.
As the game aimlessly drifted towards the half-time whistle, ‘Well created two terrific chances to open the scoring.
Firstly, a clever flick from Louis Moult and an incisive pass from Scott McDonald sent MacLean through on goal but his drive across the ‘keeper was brilliantly blocked by Jamie MacDonald.
Thirty seconds later Moult was again the provider when his disguised pass released Lionel Ainsworth but from six yards and with only MacDonald to beat he slashed his angled drive wildly past the post.
Within three minutes of the restart Motherwell were forced into a change, when MacLean, who had seemed to have recovered from a hefty second minute challenge, limped off and replaced with Lee Lucas.
In general the play from both teams was untidy but a wonderfully measured through ball from Craig Clay after 64 minutes sent Moult darting towards the Killie goal. Scott Boyd, though, tracked his run well to block the ‘Well striker’s shot at the edge of the box.
With 15 minutes remaining, James McFadden called a double substitution hoping that the introduction of Dom Thomas and Jake Hastie might help break the stalemate.
And five minutes later the home side produced the best move of the second half.
Lucas released Richard Tait who hared down the right before cutting the ball back to McDonald. From the corner of the box his low curled effort carried the ball just beyond the far post as ‘Well’s hopes of taking three points slipped away.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Fir Park
FT | 0-0
A game of few chances and ultimately they weren’t taken for the Steelmen. Match report and reaction to follow.
’88 | 0-0
…It’s not good enough and MacDonald can collect comfortably
’86 | 0-0
Killie sub – Jones off for Hawkshaw
… the corner comes in and McManus attempts to turn it at goal on the half volley, but its over the bar from the centre-back
’86 | 0-0
Hastie delivers a low powerful cross which is scooped clear only to Moult, his effort is blocked behind for a corner…
’85 | 0-0
Gary Dicker gives away the ferric for a bad challenge on Hastie – the following delivery is cleared
’80 | 0-0
Inches away!!! McDonald curls a low shot towards the far post but it is ever so narrowly wide.
MATCH ATTAX | Young ‘Well fans can vote now for your Man of the Match. Tweet us your name, your age, your choice and #MatchAttaxMOTM.
’74 | 0-0
Double sub for Motherwell: Ainsworth and Lasley off – Hastie and Thomas on
’73 | 0-0
Tyson turns it towards goal, Samson saves with ease
… Jones blazes it miles over
’71 | 0-0
Lasley is late with a tackle on the edge of the box and he’s booked – free kick to Killie
’69 | 0-0
Coulibaly goes for the spectacular, striking at goal with an overhead kick, but it’s well over the bar
’65 | 0-0
Moult is freed to race through on goal with only Boyd to stop him – he does well to put a foot in and block the shot
’64 | 0-0
A goal mouth scramble in the Killie box is followed up by a big penalty shout for the ‘Well – Moult was dragged to the deck
’58 | 0-0
Lee Lucas is cautioned for a badly timed challenge.
’50 | 0-0
Scott Boyd goes in to the book for an off the ball foul on Craig Clay
’47 | 0-0
‘Well sub: ➡️ Ross MacLean ⬅️ Lee Lucas is on
Lasley gets the second half going…
HT | 0-0
A fairly uneventful first half came to an end with two glorious chances for Motherwell. Second half to follow.
’45 | 0-0
Should be 1-0 Motherwell!!! This time Ainsworth has the chance, he’s played in and he goes for power and blazes it off target
’44 | 0-0
MacLean with the best chance of the game so far! He’s slipped through one-on-one but MacDonald does well to save
’42 | 0-0
Kilmarnock win the corner and McKenzie’s delivery is low, Tyson turns it towards goal at the near post but it’s wide.
’39 | 0-0
Ben Heneghan nearly turns his header on target, but it comes off Taylor for a corner. From the set-piece, Killie clear the danger
’35 | 0-0
Immediately down the other end, Coulibaly gets on the end of a low cross, striking on the spin and narrowly missing the target
’34 | 0-0
MacLean delivers another fine ball in, Moult turns it towards goal but it’s blocked and falls to McDonald, his shot is blocked too
’29 | 0-0
Huge call for handball! McManus volleys on target but Smith appears to block with his hand, big call but the referee waves play on
’28 | 0-0
Ainsworth plays in a deep cross for MacLean towards the back post, but it was slightly beyond the youngster, goal kick Killie
’20 | 0-0
Great run and so close for MacLean! He bursts inside, plays a neat one-two but side foots wide from ten yards. Unlucky!
’18 | 0-0
Jones squares for McKenzie inside the Motherwell box – his shot is low and straight at Samson who gathers comfortably
’14 | 0-0
From the following corner, the ball falls to Clay, but he strikes his shot wide of the mark. Better from the ‘Well
’13 | 0-0
Ainsworth whips in a great cross from a corner and Boyle is forced to head narrowly wide of his own goal
’11 | 0-0
Down the other end, Lasley’s clearance is shut down by McKenzie, the deflection flashes past Samson’s left post
’10 | 0-0
MacLean cuts on to his right and curls in a cross, Killie clear but the Steelmen are starting to get the ball on the deck and play
‘8 | 0-0
Kilmarnock have got off to the better start here. Jones whips in a dangerous cross but Tyson can’t get his head on it – goal kick
‘5 | 0-0
Tyson slips as he tries his luck from 25 yards, but he still gets the shot on target and Samson saves comfortably
‘2 | 0-0
Killie cross the ball in and it’s cleared only as far as Dicker – his shot from outside the box is blocked
Kilmarnock get the game underway…
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark:
Meet Craig Clay and Chris CaddenFriday 09 December 2016
The ‘Signing Zone’ continues this week prior to tomorrow’s league clash with Kilmarnock.
So why not come to Fir Park tomorrow and meet first-team stars Chris Cadden and Craig Clay, who will be in The Well Shop’s ‘Signing Zone’ from 12:45pm until 13:15pm to meet fans, sign autographs and pose for selfies.
Each week, two different players will take their seats as the season progresses as part of the developing fan engagement programme here at Fir Park.
Share your pics on twitter @motherwellfc using #MFCSigningZone or facebook.com/motherwellfc
The club shop is situated at the Cooper Stand and is open from 9.30am.
Killie matchday magazine previewFriday 09 December 2016
The eleventh issue of the Steelmen matchday magazine is on sale ahead of tomorrow’s league clash with Kilmarnock at Fir Park.
Here, we take a look at what can be found inside the 68-page programme.
Ex-Killie stopper Craig Samson chats about his spell with the Ayrshire club in this weeks feature interview, but admits his mindset is no different when he faces a former club as the Steelmen go on the hunt for three points.
Regular pieces including the pre-match column from manager Mark McGhee and club captain Keith Lasley, along with ‘5 Fast Facts’ and ‘Getting to Know You’ – where prolific striker Louis Moult is profiled – all remain in the eleventh issue of the 2016/17 season programme.
The interesting feature ‘Well in Numbers’, where feature writer Andrew Paterson looks at some of the key numbers in Motherwell history, continues too.
This weeks feature interview is with solid centre-back Ben Heneghan, who talks about his reasons for joining the Steelmen as well as the atmosphere around the club.
‘Future Steel’ is an inside look at the next generation of players waiting patiently to break in to the first team and this week, Davie Turnbull fresh off the back of a hattrick in the Scottish FA Youth Cup.
As part of the clubs aims to work closely with the Motherwell FC Community Trust and The ‘Well Society, regular updates are included in the programme.
This week’s main features on tomorrow’s opposition remain, including an in-depth look at Killie as well as this season’s new ‘Tactics Board’, where we profile Lee Clark’s starting eleven from his sides last win – a 2-0 win over Dundee last weekend.
Our match reports section looks back on an action packed clash with Celtic last weekend, when the Fir Parkers lost 3-4 with a last minute strike sealing all three points for Brendan Rodgers side.
An update on Stephen Craigan’s U20s side is included too, reporting on the youngster’s recent results.
Get all the latest from the Ticket Office as well as an in-depth look at tomorrow’s match-officials.
All this and more is available for £3 and is on sale from the Club Shop as well as the usual sellers located in and around the ground pre-match.
You can also order back editions or take a subscription to the magazine for the rest of the season by visiting the website of our publishers, Curtis-Sports.
Club Statement: Abuse InvestigationFriday 09 December 2016
As a result of the extensive coverage relating to allegations of historic child abuse in football, the Directors of Motherwell FC began an internal investigation to ascertain whether it is possible any such incidents could have occurred at the club in the past.
Having spoken to a number of people who had connections to the club in the period covering late 1970s and 1980s, we have decided to widen the investigation and have employed a forensic accountant to assist us with the examination of available employment records and club documents from the period.
We have made both Police Scotland and the Scottish FA fully aware of the nature of our investigation.
We will continue with that process, but all information collated to date has been passed to the relevant authorities. The club will wait until the conclusion of the investigation before making any further comment.
In the meantime, Motherwell FC would urge anyone who may have been affected by abuse in football to contact Police Scotland or the NSPCC helpline (0800 0232642) set up to support and advise victims of abuse.
Kilmarnock: A closer lookFriday 09 December 2016
Motherwell host Kilmarnock tomorrow afternoon in the Ladbrokes Premiership – with the possibility of leapfrogging the Ayrshire side in the table.
On the back of last weekend’s crushing 3-4 home loss against league leaders Celtic, when a last-gasp Tom Rogic strike stole a point away from the Fir Parkers, Mark McGhee and his side will be keen to bounce back with three points tomorrow.
While the manager serves the first of his two match ban tomorrow afternoon, he has taken a number of positives from the performance against Brendan Rodgers’ side.
And assistant James McFadden admits nothing will change for tomorrow, and the manager has conducted his team and prepared as normal.
He said: “It won’t really change too much. Contrary to belief, the manager is actually quite reserved on the touchline and I’m always shouting.
“But the team will be set up the same way, the structures will be the same and it will just be a continuation of what’s happened before.”
He added: “We can take loads of positives from the Celtic game – the first half performance especially where we played well and deservedly took the two-goal lead.
“It was great for the younger players especially, to show that we can compete on our day against anybody.
“We have made mistakes which cost us goals, it’s nothing to do with our style of play, we’ve been playing well but ultimately we’ve been making mistakes which have cost us, so we need to cut them out.
“Even the games we’ve lost and lost comfortably in terms of the scoreline, we’ve ben playing well, so if we keep playing the way we have been with the intensity and the quality of our passing then we’ll be fine, we just need to get the consistency of cutting the mistakes out.”
Kilmarnock come in to the match on the back of a 5-1 loss away to Aberdeen on Tuesday night, but McFadden knows the Steelmen have to be well prepared tomorrow.
He said: “By all accounts Kilmarnock started the game well the other night and the scoreline probably flattered Aberdeen a bit so we need to be ready for the best Kilmarnock turning up and we’ll make sure we’re at our best too.
“We don’t make mistakes every week but generally when we concede a goal it’s down to mistakes or things that we could’ve done better rather than good play against us.
“The team will be set up the same way, the instructions will be the same and it will just be a continuation of what’s been happening anyway.”
Currently two points ahead of the Steelmen, Lee Clark’s Killie side come in to the match on the back of a disappointing 5-1 loss away to Aberdeen.
Prior to that though, a 2-0 win against Dundee sprung the Rugby Park side into the top half of the table, and they still occupy that spot ahead of tomorrow’s match.
Midfield star Craig Clay admits that he wants to add goals to his game ahead of Saturday’s important game against Kilmarnock at Fir Park.
The Englishman may not have found the back of the net in claret and amber yet, but he is making sure to put the hours in to improve his finishing.
Speaking to the press, Craig also revealed that he has settled in extremely well in Lanarkshire since making the switch in summer.
He said: “I know myself that I’m always going to come and put 110% in to what I do. It’s always hard to go to a new team, especially so far away from home, and try and settle straight away.
“The lads have really helped me, everyone has been really accommodating, the staff as well, the gaffer and Faddy, so yes I think it’s gone really well and I’m loving every minute.”
He added: “I do want to add goals to my game as a midfielder, I always say that six or seven is a good return and hopefully the penny will drop for me soon.
“But I can look at Fadds in training and see him put them bottom corner, top corner and it’s true, I don’t need to look too far for tips about shooting.
“The manager gives me tips about my body position and stuff and I have to take that advice on the chin and try and put it in to my game.”
Like assistant manager James McFadden, Craig believes that there are lots of positives to take from the loss against Celtic into this weekend’s league clash.
He said: “The way we performed last week, especially the first half, I like to think will make a lot of teams stand up and take note of our pressing and how good we played and we know we’ve got that in our team and I’ve been saying that since day one.
“It’s disappointing to score three goals against the best team in Scotland and not even get a point out of that game.”
He added: “First half we were unbelievable and then in the second half they upped their game and I guess there were a few mistakes from us too.
“We’ve had chats in the dressing room about finding what system suits us best and on Saturday I think we found it. We can press in people’s faces and play high in tempo and basically if we played like that against any other team I think we’d take all three points.”
For Killie, tomorrow afternoon represents a chance to bounce back to winning ways after they slumped to a 5-1 loss away to Aberdeen on Tuesday night.
Prior to that thought, the Ayrshire outfit found themselves on a bit of a strong run with their last match at home ending in a 2-0 win at home to Dundee last weekend sending them in to the top half of the table.
Rory McKenzie, who bagged the goal against Aberdeen, opened the scoring against Dundee from 18 yards after just 22 minutes when Steven Smith’s shot ricocheted into the youngsters path.
Dundee passed up a huge chance to level when Marcus Haber sent his free header wide of the mark just before the break.
And they were punished when Souleymane Coulibaly all but wrapped up the three points with 20 minutes remaining, when he thundered home from close range to bag his 10th goal of the season in all competitions.
It was an impressive and important victory for tomorrow’s opponents, given Dundee were previously unbeaten on their last five visits to Rugby Park.
After the match, manager Lee Clark said: “I thought it was a dominant performance from start to finish. We created numerous chances. I thought the players were fantastic, stuck to the game plan, we forced Dundee into a system change, albeit towards the end of the game.
“It was a thoroughly deserved victory and it could’ve been by a bigger margin.”
Top scorer Coulibaly has received his fair share of plaudits this term, not only due to the volume of goals he has scored but the nature in which he has bagged them – including overhead kicks and a 44-yard screamer at the home of the Champions, Celtic.
Picking the ball up near the half way line, the Ivory Coast born striker performed a dazzling turn to beat Scott Brown and launched an unstoppable strike past the helpless Dorus De Vries into the top corner.
Clark credited his forward for his performances this season, and said: “The games where we’re playing teams in and around us, we have to have someone in goal scoring form. Souleymane does a lot of unseen hard work for us, but he’s getting his rewards with the goals, the players appreciate what he’s doing.”
It is not just the 21-year-old striker who has been scoring for Lee Clark though, with veteran forward Kris Boyd chipping in with three goals this term despite seeing his game time become limited.
Despite sitting sixth in the table, Killie will be wary of the fact that they are one of lowest scoring sides in the division, with 15 goals, and will be keen to not only continue their run of form, but be prolific in front of goal here at Fir Park this weekend.
Tomorrow afternoon is the second meeting between Killie and the Steelmen after Mark McGhee’s side claimed all three points on the opening game of the season.
While Coulibaly has been scoring his fair share of wonder goals, it was Lionel Ainsworth who stole the show back in August with an outrageous dink over Killie stopper Jamie MacDonald to open the scoring.
After playing the ball in to the feet of Aussie striker Scott McDonald, the winger continued on and received the ball back into his run and, first time, dinked the ball over the keeper.
The Ayrshire side have picked up some impressive results this term, including a 1-1 draw at home to Rangers, a 1-0 win away to St Johnstone and a 2-0 win at home to Hearts.
With that ability to churn out results against teams firmly in the top six, Lee Clark’s side have to be considered serious contenders for a top half finish this term.
That makes clashes like tomorrow’s hugely important for both sides as the season heats up.
Cooper Bar important informationFriday 09 December 2016
Our brilliant Motherwell Football Club Community Trust are hosting a Christmas party to over 70 children on Saturday morning.
To allow the children to maximise their morning of fun, games and much more the Cooper Bar will be open by 12:30, a little later than usual.
As the drive to improve fan experiences at Fir Park continues, Motherwell FC can confirm the reopening of the bottle bar in the Davie Cooper suite.
The move is in response to fan requests submitted directly and through the recent engagement survey, which is still open and can be found here.
The bar will be open on Saturday ahead of the Kilmarnock league match, serving lager from £3 and cider from £3.20.
We are offering designated drivers free draught juice and cans will be available from 70p.
We look forward to seeing you there.
McLean in the middle for KillieFriday 09 December 2016
The referee for tomorrow’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Kilmarnock at Fir Park is Steven McLean.
It will be McLean’s third match in charge this season, after the 1-3 home loss to Hearts and the Rangers League Cup group match in July, when the ‘Well lost 2-0.
Last season, Steven took charge of four ‘Well fixtures at Fir Park – three league fixtures and a Scottish Cup clash.
The first of the season arrived in August, when the Steelmen took on today’s opponents Kilmarnock. On that day a first half penalty from Louis Moult sealed a narrow 1-0 victory.
The second was another narrow victory – the 2-1 success against Partick Thistle when an own goal and a Scott McDonald header gave ‘Well all three points.
The final league game for McLean in the 2015/16 season was a 2-2 draw with Hearts in late November, when the Steelmen were twice pegged back to draw despite goals from Moult and Marvin Johnson.
Now one of Scotland’s most recognisable whistlers, ‘Well fans will be familiar with the 35-year old.
His overall record in charge of Motherwell reads fifteen wins, eight defeats and four draws from twenty-seven matches.
In those games, ‘Well have scored 51 and conceded 46. 77 cautions have been dished out, 44 flashed at those wearing Claret and Amber.
Four players have been sent off, two for ‘Well (Fraser Kerr and Keith Lasley in the same match against Killie in February 2013).
McLean will be assisted by Dougie Potter and Ivan Stankovic; with Alan Newlands on fourth official duties.