Extended highlights from Excelsior Stadium as goals from Jake Hastie and David Turnbull give ‘Well a 2-1 win over Rangers Under 20s.
TV: Highlights from Excelsior StadiumWednesday 14 December 2016
Craigan: Glad with winWednesday 14 December 2016
U20s manager Stephen Craigan admitted it was nice to see his side return to winning ways as they beat Rangers U20s 2-1 in the Development League tonight.
While the manager prioritises performance levels first and foremost from his youngsters, he felt that the feeling of winning will do his team good.
Speaking to MFC TV after the match, Craigan said: “We always talk about development and not necessarily winning football but it’s nice for the boys to learn how to win a game.
“They’ve had a little sticky spell, we’ve got a few players missing who would normally play so credit to the young ones who have come in.
[pullquote]We always talk about development and not necessarily winning football but it’s nice for the boys to learn how to win a game.[/pullquote]
He added: “We haven’t had a lot of fit defenders so we had a bit of a makeshift back four with Tom Fry at right back alongside Barry Maguire and Jordan Armstrong, who hasn’t played too much and then Adam Livingstone at left back.”
Craigan was complimentary of the young Rangers team too, who grew in to the match in the second half.
He said: “Rangers had a young team too, maybe just slightly younger but they beat an experienced Dundee side 3-0 last week and they beat Hearts 5-2 in the youth cup.
“So, irrespective of age they’re a good footballing side and they like to move the ball.”
[pullquote]I think we scored goals at the right time, the game was kind of caught in between the two teams but then we got the goal and then the second on the stroke of half time, which kind of takes the sting out of Rangers[/pullquote]
A goal from Jake Hastie and a neat finish from David Turnbull in the first half was enough to secure the win and despite Liam Burt’s strike to pull a goal back early in the second half, the Steelmen stayed strong.
He said: “I think we scored goals at the right time, the game was kind of caught in between the two teams but then we got the goal and then the second on the stroke of half time, which kind of takes the sting out of Rangers and then gives us a bit more relaxation in the second half.”
He added: “When it goes to 2-1 we’ve seen in before we can crumble but it’s a little test of character to see how you get on, so it was nice that we managed to wrestle the game back and I think in the end we probably just slightly edged the game to win it.”
Motherwell U20s 2 – 1 Rangers U20sWednesday 14 December 2016
Motherwell U20s returned to Development League action tonight with a 2-1 win over Rangers.
First half goals from Jake Hastie and David Turnbull secured the three points and despite a much better Rangers performance in the second half, the Steelmen held strong.
Stephen Craigan named a young team to face equally young opposition, with Motherwell’s Dom Thomas and Rangers’ David Bates the only over age players on the park.
The visitors set the pace from the first whistle, charging deep in to Motherwell territory and winning two free kicks in dangerous positions but the Steelmen survived both comfortably.
However it was the ‘Well who had the best chance to take the lead after just four minutes of action – Dylan Falconer was released through on goal and in a one-on-one situation and got his shot away. Gers stopper Robby McCrorie got enough of a touch on it to take the pace off it and full-back Jordan Houston managed to get across and clear narrowly past his post.
Rangers continued to threaten through set-pieces, with Jamie Barjonas curling a superb effort towards the top corner from 30-yards and forcing PJ Morrison to pull off an outstanding save to deny the midfielder.
The young Steelmen did superb to hit Rangers on the break when a sloppy ball out from the back from Bates afforded Thomas the chance to drive at the defence. He played it wide to Mackin who cut it back for Hastie, but the midfielder’s powerful low effort was stopped by a strong hand from McCrorie.
The youngster made amends for that though, opening the scoring after 23 minutes. Dylan Falconer struck towards goal when he was teed up inside the box by Mackin, unfortunately for young Falconer his shot looked to have been blocked, but the deflection fell kindly for Hastie inside the six-yard box and he was quickest to react and finish beyond McCrorie.
That seemed to spark the Fir Parkers in to life and two minutes after taking the lead they nearly had a second. A well worked move resulted in Thomas freeing the advancing Tom Fry from right back, he broke into the box and drilled the ball across the box but the Gers stopper did well to fling himself towards it and clutch it out of the air.
Hastie was involved again as Motherwell went inches away from a second goal. The midfielder got up highest to head towards goal from Thomas’ corner. McCrorie could only watch on as the ball flew past his far post leaving Hastie with his head in his hands.
Rangers were forced in to making a change after 30 minutes when centre back Aidan Wilson left the field to be replaced by Kyle Bradley.
In the 33rd minute, Thomas nearly scored a wonder goal, receiving the ball deep in midfield from Adam Livingstone’s throw-in and turning to beat three men before firing a speculative effort wildly over the bar from 25-yards.
Two minutes later the midfielder went closer from the edge of the box, McCrorie getting the slightest of touches to tip his goal bound effort just over the crossbar.
Barjonas was the first player to be cautioned despite a high number of fouls awarded by the referee, his lunging challenge resulted in his name going in to the book in the 38th minute.
But he nearly responded to that by getting his name on the scoresheet if it wasn’t for a fantastic save by Morrison.
A clever dummy afforded the midfielder to take a touch and strike at goal inside the box, but Morrison’s strong left hand pushed the effort from close range over the bar.
The Steelmen doubled their lead on the stroke of half time when another slack ball out of defence fell straight to Falconer, who played it quickly to Thomas who’s shot was blocked only in to the path of David Turnbull who took one touch and fired it low past McCrorie.
The second half got off to a bit of a slower start than the first, with neither goalkeeper called in to action until the 53rd minute.
Ross Lyon picked the ball up on the left flank and curled in a pinpoint, deep curling cross on to the head of Zak Rudden, who headed straight at Morrison from ten yards.
Three minutes later Liam Burt pulled one back for the visitors after some slack play at the back put Motherwell on the back foot. Burt picked up the ball and almost mirrored Turnbull’s finish by firing low past Morrison from the edge of the box.
Falconer and Turnbull both found themselves in the book in the space of a few minutes, the former for a trip and the latter for blocking a free kick.
That was followed by substitutions for both sides – the ‘Well replacing Falconer with Luke Watt as Craigan changed the shape of his side, and Rangers brought off 15-year-old Barry Gilmour for Serge Atakayi.
The U20s boss made his third and final change in the 70th minute, replacing Mackin for young forward James Scott.
Three minutes later, Thomas tried his luck from outside the box after some neat play on the left from Hastie, but Motherwell’s number seven couldn’t hit the target and it spun well over the bar.
Gers defender Bates went close from a corner in the 77th minute, heading narrowly wide of the mark as the game approached its final ten minutes somewhat in the balance.
The final stages of the game were largely played out in the middle of the park, with neither side creating too much in the way of chances.
A corner in injury time was the final hurdle for the Steelmen to get over to secure the three points and Barry Maguire did well to head the danger clear.
It was a tough second half at a cold Excelsior Stadium, but the youngsters held on for a well-deserved victory.
Aberdeen | Ticket UpdateWednesday 14 December 2016
Any ‘Well fan who bought a ticket for last night’s abandoned match against Aberdeen at Pittodrie will be entitled to enter the rearranged game free of charge.
Fans should keep their ticket stubs from the game dated 13th December 2016 and that will entitle them to free entry to the next match, with a date as yet to be confirmed.
Fans who cannot make the next match will be entitled to a full refund on the face value of the ticket. Anyone who does wish a refund should contact Wendy MacFarlane at the Motherwell FC ticket office (contact details below), who will arrange as soon as possible.
Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows said: “It was obviously extremely unfortunate for our fans who travelled all the way to Pittodrie to support the team, only for it to be cut short.
“However, these things do happen in football from time to time and I would like to put on record my appreciation to Aberdeen FC for the professional way they handled the situation, both on the night of the game and again this morning.
“Both clubs are working on a suitable date for the rearranged game in what is a fairly congested fixture list and hope to announce that soon.”
T: 01698 333333 (Option 2)
Christmas lunch a hit with elderly guestsWednesday 14 December 2016
The Motherwell FC Community Trust held a Christmas party for more than 20 elderly people from a local care home.
Providing guests with a turkey dinner, gifts and music, the trust oversaw a successful afternoon in Fir Park’s Centenary Suite.
And for event organiser Carly Slamin, it was a pleasing moment seeing the guests from Ravens Court Sheltered Housing enjoy themselves and get in the festive spirit.
She said: “It’s lovely to be able to put on a lunch for people who may need some cheering up at Christmas time.”
“The lunch day was great, the look on the people faces when they received a gift was amazing to see and it has made myself and the Community Trust delighted to be able to make someone’s day through a small gesture.”
Carly hopes to see more positive work like this take lace between the football club, the trust and local care home Ravens Court.
[pullquote]We’re hoping to build on our relationship with Ravens Court sheltered housing in the future through offering different activities in the Motherwell community and involving them in our Memory Well project.[/pullquote]
She said: “We’re hoping to build on our relationship with Ravens Court sheltered housing in the future through offering different activities in the Motherwell community and involving them in our Memory Well project.”
Community Trust general manager Dawn Middleton added: “This afternoon is exactly what the Community Trust was set up to do, to engage with all sectors of the community, coming three days after we had over 100 young people at a Christmas party, we’ve now got over 20 from the other end of the age spectrum.”
She continued: “The credit has to go to Carly Slamin for all of her hard work in setting it up, her liaison with Ravens Court, her liaison with catering staff, making sure music and everything was in place – she’s done a great job.
[pullquote]This afternoon is exactly what the Community Trust was set up to do, to engage with all sectors of the community, coming three days after we had over 100 young people at a Christmas party.[/pullquote]
“Particular thanks has to go to the SPFL Trust for their funding through the Festive Friends Initiative to enable this to happen.
“One of the key aims of this project is to focus on people who don’t necessarily have family and friends to share Christmas with.
“This is hugely important and an opportunity that Motherwell Football Club can offer; for people to come along and be part of the club at this time of year.”
Ravens Court Sheltered Housing not only care for elderly people but also people with illnesses, and those staying in their care range from the age of 23 up to 94.
Margaret McLaughlin, Housing Co-ordinator at Ravens Court said: “A lot of the elderly people staying at Ravens Court have family but a lot are also a bit isolated and don’t get a lot of visits.
[pullquote]It’s nice to be working beside Motherwell Football Club who we’re really close to because we actually have a lot of Motherwell supporters so it’s lovely that the club have invited us here to celebrate Christmas.[/pullquote]
“We try to do a lot of things like this ourselves but it’s nice to be working beside Motherwell Football Club who we’re really close to because we actually have a lot of Motherwell supporters so it’s lovely that the club have invited us here to celebrate Christmas – it’s perked everyone up and it gave us all something to look forward to so it’s been lovely.
“On Christmas day a lot of people don’t go anywhere or their families don’t come and take them home for the day but because we’re 24 hours, we do something for them.
“Although it’s a celebration for most of the community, it can be a really lonely time for others and we’re aware of that.
She added: “I’ve actually brought my dad along with me today, he doesn’t stay at Ravens Court but he’s been quite ill and has had to get dialysis so he’s been quite isolated at home and only really gets out for dialysis.
“He’s been an avid football supporter all his days, he used to lift me over the turnstiles when I was young and I knew that he’d really enjoy this today and he has.”
Gers up next for ‘Well U20sWednesday 14 December 2016
Stephen Craigan’s U20s take on Rangers U20s tonight in the Development League at the Excelsior Stadium.
And having not won a match since the start of November, the young Steelmen will be keen to return to winning ways against the Glaswegian side this evening.
Last week, the U20s slumped 3-1 away to Falkirk after battling through a tiring cup clash with Greenock Morton two days before.
Goals from Cameron Eadie, Reis Peggie and Scott Shepherd sealed all three points for the Bairns, despite Jake Hastie pulling one back just after the hour mark.
Rangers, on the other hand, come in to tonight’s match on the back of a convincing 3-0 victory over Dundee, which saw the Gers move to within two points of the Fir Parkers in the Development League table.
A brace from Zak Rudden and a deflected effort from Liam Burt put Dundee to the sword and extended Rangers unbeaten run to four matches.
Tonight will be the first meeting between the two sides this season, and manager Stephen Craigan will be keen to oversee his side bounce back to the form they enjoyed at the start of the season.
The Steelmen’s 16th game in the Development League this season kicks off at 6pm tonight in Airdrie.
Aberdeen match abandonedTuesday 13 December 2016
Two floodlight failures within eight minutes of play forced Motherwell’s league clash with Aberdeen to be abandoned tonight.
A power cut to the floodlights above the main stand after five minutes forced a break in play, and as the other lights starting failing around the ground referee Alan Muir sent the players indoors.
After a 15 minute delay, play was resumed much to the relief of the supporters, especially the travelling ‘Well fans, but that was cut short when the power dropped once more, forcing the officials to call an end to the night early.
Speaking after the incident, Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows insisted both clubs will do everything to help the travelling Motherwell supporters when the rescheduled fixture takes place.
[pullquote]We’ll look to work with the fans – I know Aberdeen have informed fans to keep their ticket stubs for coming back to the next game and in terms of transport we’ll look to see if we can help them in that situation as well, that’s only the right thing to do.[/pullquote]
He said: “Floodlight failures are one of these things that happen in football, they’re so unfortunate but the people I feel most for are the 100 or so Motherwell fans who have made the trip here on a cold, Tuesday night in December. I thank them for their loyalty.
“I think we started the game quite well too, we got a few good crosses in to the box and won a free kick in a dangerous area and for the ‘Well fans who have come up here we thank them for their loyalty and their time coming up here, it’s really unfortunate that it’s been cut short.”
He added: “We’ll look to work with the fans – I know Aberdeen have informed fans to keep their ticket stubs for coming back to the next game and in terms of transport we’ll look to see if we can help them in that situation as well, that’s only the right thing to do.
On the subject of the managers match suspension, which may potentially be carried on to this Saturday’s clash with St Johnstone, the Chief Operating Officer added: “If bookings that are carried from the game count, then I’d be surprised if the manager carrying out his suspension tonight doesn’t count, but I’m sure representatives from the SFA will inform us soon.”
Moult receives award from fansTuesday 13 December 2016
Louis Moult was presented his Motorpoint Player of the Month award by Suzanne Clark and son Jack, aged 8, on Saturday.
The two ‘Well fans were the lucky winners to present the star with his trophy in front of the crowd at Fir Park ahead of kick off against Kilmarnock on Saturday.
And that chance could be yours next month once the voting closes for the award for the month of December.
For your chance to win, follow us on twitter @motherwellfc and keep an eye out on the competition opening.
Aberdeen: A closer lookMonday 12 December 2016
The Steelmen travel north to take on Aberdeen in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow night.
And for Mark McGhee, who will serve the final game of his two match ban, it presents an opportunity for his side to extend their unbeaten run following the goalless draw with Kilmarnock on Saturday.
The Dons come in to the match on the back of an identical result with St Johnstone at the weekend, and will be keen to extend their unbeaten run to three matches.
Despite some good opportunities throughout Motherwell’s clash with Killie, the Fir Parkers failed to find a breakthrough, and that is something that the manager hopes will improve tomorrow night.
Speaking to the press this morning, he said: “I think we made enough chances to win the game and I was disappointed with a lot of aspects of it.
“We have to do better in front of goal. We have to be putting these shots on target and at least making the keeper make saves, but it’s the old adage ‘as long as you’re making chances’ and if we continue to make chances then we know that with the players that we have in the team that we have people who can score goals, like Moult and McDonald, and if we present them with chances eventually they’ll get their goals.”
On the back of the Dons 5-1 victory over Kilmarnock, McGhee admitted that tomorrow nights clash at Pittodrie will be a big task for his side.
He said: “We know that we can go up there and lose 5-1 but we also know that on our right day we can go up there and give them problems.
[pullquote]We have to do better in front of goal. We have to be putting these shots on target and at least making the keeper make saves, but it’s the old adage ‘as long as you’re making chances’.[/pullquote]
“I said after Kilmarnock’s loss to Aberdeen that we’ve been in the position where we’ve concede five in one game then come straight back and won the next game and that’s the nature of this league.
“We go up there and, win, lose or draw, we look ahead to the next game.”
For Motherwell, a win presents the opportunity to leap in to the top six, while Aberdeen can go to within a point of Rangers in second with victory at Pittodrie.
The Steelmen have a few fitness doubts ahead of tomorrows clash with the Reds, including Chris Cadden, Stevie Hammell, Jack McMillan and Ross MacLean, who broke his toe on Saturday.
Defender Richard Tait hopes to build on the weekend’s clean sheet as the Steelmen take on Aberdeen tomorrow night.
But the summer signing knows that the trip to Pittodrie will be a challenging one.
Speaking to the press this morning, the 27-year-old said: “It’s another tough one, none of the games are easy and tomorrow’s is just as hard as any other.
“The games are coming thick and fast but personally, for me, I like that it keeps us going, there’s not much training and you’re just getting straight in to another game so I’m looking forward to it.”
He added: “Every game is different, every team you play against is different but every game we go in to against any opposition is the same in the sense that we want to win.”
The full back praised his teammates going forward and hopes they can get back to their clinical best in the away league clash tomorrow.
[pullquote]I expect myself to be available for every game and try and play in every game so personally it’s going to plan. I’m enjoying playing and I’m enjoying being in the team so I just need to try and stay there.[/pullquote]
He said: “We kept a clean sheet on Saturday and we need to try and build on that and get the same outcome as a back four.
“I’m sure that Sammy definitely wants more clean sheets than he’s had this season and we need to help him tomorrow.”
He added: “If we keep a clean sheet the worst we can do obviously is draw. Unfortunately on Saturday we had a few chances that normally the boys would put in the back of the net and they didn’t but over the season they’ve scored a tremendous amount of goals and we’ve maybe let them down defensively so, we’ll be trying to build on our clean sheet and I’m sure they’ll be trying to get back amongst the goals.”
This season, Tait has been one of the consistent players in Mark McGhee’s side, playing every minute of every match so far.
He said: “I expect myself to be available for every game and try and play in every game so personally it’s going to plan. I’m enjoying playing and I’m enjoying being in the team so I just need to try and stay there.”
Aberdeen have chalked up one victory in their last three league outings and will be keen to return to winning ways in tomorrow nights clash at Pittodrie.
For Derek McInnes, he will have a near full-strength squad to pick from as his side look to close the gap on second-placed Rangers.
That side couldn’t find the breakthrough against St Johnstone at the weekend though, with the two sides playing out a 0-0 draw.
Prior to that, McInnes’ men stormed to an emphatic 5-1 victory over Kilmarnock in what was the first of three matches in the space of seven days for the northern outfit.
And while they come in to the match on the back of a goalless draw, the prospect of facing Aberdeen at Pittodrie is a challenging one for every club in the division this season.
In the eight matches they’ve played at home so far, the Dons have lost just once and that was in the shape of a 1-0 defeat against league leaders Celtic, when Tom Rogic fired in the only goal of the game in the same weekend the Steelmen ran rampant at home to Ross County – winning 4-1.
Goals haven’t been a problem for Aberdeen this season, and the league’s third highest scoring side have found goals from all over the park too.
Midfielders Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn sit level with striker Adam Rooney as the clubs top scorers on four goals, while Jayden Stockley and Kenny McLean have three to their names.
Defenders Andy Considine, Shay Logan and Anthony O’Connor have all found the back of the net, while James Maddison has chipped in with some important performances and a particularly important goal – a last minute free-kick against Rangers to secure all three points.
Equally impressive is the Dons defensive record. McInnes’ side have only conceded 15 goals in the league – a total only bettered by Celtic.
This is the first clash between the two sides this campaign after the two sides met on four occasions last term. Aberdeen won twice, Motherwell once and the other match ended in a 1-1 draw.
It’s an important match for both sides, postponed due to the Dons progression in the League Cup, where they got all the way to the final but lost 3-0 against Celtic.
With the chance to move in to the top six, it is enough inspiration for Mark McGhee’s side and will be an intriguing encounter at Pittodrie.
Muir in charge at PittodrieMonday 12 December 2016
Referee for tomorrow’s away trip to Aberdeen in the Ladbrokes Premiership is Alan Muir.
The 41-year old takes charge of his second Motherwell match of the 2016/17 season, after overseeing the 1-1 draw away to Ross County.
A penalty from Louis Moult drew the Steelmen level following Liam Boyce’s opener.
And that match was his first since October 2015 – when the Steelmen lost 1-0 to Celtic at Fir Park.
Nadir Ciftci’s early goal was enough for the visitors that day as the Glaswegians went on to win the title.
That was Muir’s only ‘Well match last season, and the time before that was a 2-1 win over Inverness CT at Fir Park back in February 2015.
Lionel Ainsworth’s 84th minute winner proved to be the difference that day, despite the Fir Parkers being reduced to ten men after Muir showed right-back Simon Ramsden his second booking of the game in the 88th minute.
Muir took charge on three occasions that season – the other two matches both resulted in 1-0 scorelines.
The first of the season was a disappointing 1-0 though, as Baraclough’s side slumped to a 1-0 loss to St Johnstone at Fir Park.
Then came an important 1-0 win away to St Mirren – where John Sutton’s strike was the difference.
In total, Muir has refereed 23 matches involving the ‘Well since his first back in the 08/09 season.
When the Scotsman has been in charge, the ‘Well have won on 10 occasions, drawn five and lost eight.
In those games, Motherwell have scored 27 and conceded 30.
82 players have gone into the book, 43 were wearing claret and amber, while nine players, five Fir Parkers, including former and current captains Stephen Craigan and Keith Lasley, have been dismissed.
Muir will be ably assisted by Stephen Mitchell and Stuart Hodge; with John McKendrick on fourth official duties.