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    Motherwell 1 – 3 Aberdeen

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    Fixture ammendments

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    Dons matchday magazine preview

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    Aberdeen: A closer look

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    Heneghan: Relishing the battles

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    McGhee: We’re feeling positive

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    Topps KICK Digital Trading Card App

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    True Steelman: Charlie Aitken

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    Madden in charge against Dons

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    TV: Highlights from Links Park

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    Motherwell 1 – 3 Aberdeen

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell slipped to a home defeat at a rainy and wind swept Fir Park tonight as they fell 1-3 to Aberdeen.

    But having survived Storm Barbara, ‘Well paid the penalty when Adam Rooney tumbled to the ground softly inside the Motherwell box and dispatched his spot kick via the rebound.

    Down the other end Louis Moult missed his penalty before half time and was denied a rebound by the clearly encroaching Ryan Jack, which referee Bobby Madden failed to spot.

    Scott McDonald’s stunning equaliser cancelled out Graeme Shinnie’s opener, but having conceded two soft goals and despite a determined first half showing, the Steelmen failed to recover in the second forty-five.

    ‘Well made two changes with Stevie Hammell returning from injury and Lee Lucas making his first league start in a four man midfield.

    While Fir Park had survived the downpour, the swirling wind played havoc with both sets of players.

    And after Craig Clay had nodded Louis Moult’s cross just wide of the post, ‘Well were the first victims of the weather. Craig Samson’s ball out to Ben Henegan gained speed to put the central defender under pressure. His clearance was blocked allowing Jonny Hayes to race into the box before cutting the ball back to Graeme Shinnie who swept it past Samson to put the Dons in front after only seven minutes.

    A couple of corners from Richard Tait floated over Joe Lewis but the ‘keeper was saved when Ash Taylor cleared off the ‘keeper’s line.

    The Dons’ goal was finally breached but it had nothing to do with the wind but simply a touch of brilliance from Scott McDonald. Tait whipped a low ball towards the six-yard area and the Aussie striker, with his back to goal, hooked the ball over his own shoulder and off the underside of the bar for a fabulous equaliser.

    Motherwell looked the likelier to nick the next goal but against the run of play and in controversial circumstances Dons regained the lead. Samson could only palm out Kenny McLean’s grounder and as the ‘keeper raced out to recover the ball, Adam Rooney tumbled with little contact from Samson.

    After the ‘Well protests, Rooney’s spot kick was brilliantly blocked by Samson but the Dons’ striker followed up to slam the rebound high into the net.

    Six minutes from half time the Fir Park side had a great chance to draw level again from a disputed penalty. There seemed little doubt though that Mark Reynolds caught Keith Lasley across the thigh as he tried to jink past his former teammate.

    However, Moult’s attempt to claim his 11th goal of the season was denied when Lewis beat out his penalty. That sparked off a goal mouth melee as Moult’s follow up was forced onto his own post by Andy Considine before McDonald hammered the loose ball out of a sea of red jerseys on the goal line.

    Just before the half time whistle Considine was denied at the other end when Samson got down smartly to turn his header round the post.

    Still suffering from Reynold’s challenge, Lasley failed to return for the second half allowing Dom Thomas forty-five minutes to impress.

    It was Moult who came close ten minutes into the half with a dipping free kick which the Dons’ ‘keeper held firmly with McDonald homing in on a slip.

    Neither team really tamed the elements and consequently the second half produced few chances.

    Midway through the half Moult was again on target but his powerful header from Tait’s free kick crashed against the crossbar. Craig Clay then hammered the ball into the net but the offside flag was raised against Stephen McManus.

    It was then Aberdeen’s turn to rattle the bar when Ash Taylor’s header rebounded much to ‘Well’s relief.

    With ten minutes remaining Lionel Ainsworth replaced Cadden just in time to see Samson pull off a stunning save low to his left to push Hayes’ shot beyond the post.

    Mark McGhee then went on the hunt for an equaliser, throwing on Ryan Bowman for McManus.

    But before the big striker could force a header across goal the Pittodrie side had snatched a third. A poor cross field ball from Lucas allowed Hayes to set off on a 70 yard dash before setting up Niall McGinn to sweep the ball beyond Samson and send the hardy 760 Aberdeen fans back up north in the best of festive moods.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

     

    FT: Motherwell 1 – 3 Aberdeen #MFCvAFCTranslate from German

    91′ | 1-3
    Three minutes added on.

    89′ | 1-3
    Goal – Aberdeen counter and McGinn curls home from 18 yards.

    84′ | 1-2
    Motherwell sub, Bowman on for McManus

    83′ | 1-2
    McManus rises well at the back post but can’t test Lewis with his header.

    80′ | 1-2
    Great save from Samson, diving low to beat away Hayes’ shot after he drove into the box.

    MATCH ATTAX | Young ‘Well fans can vote now for your Man of the Match. Tweet us now with your name, age, selection and #MatchAttaxMOTM.

    78′ | 1-2
    Logan manages to get on the end of a deep ball intoo the box and manages to force a save from Samson.

    77′ | 1-2
    McDonald booked for obstructing Taylor as he rose to head.

    75′ | 1-2
    Thomas can only clear as far as McLean who works some space but fires over the bar from just outside the box.

    …Hammell’s front post delivery is headed clear and eventually swept away.

    71′ | 1-2
    Thomas curls a fine ball in from the left and it takes a touch. Corner to Motherwell….

    70′ | 1-2
    Considine heads off the bar! A let-off.

    68′ | 1-2
    Lucas has the ball in the net but flag goes up against McDonald. More positive from ‘Well now.

    66′ | 1-2
    Moult heads off the bar!! Hammell puts it deep into the box and the striker is unlucky to see it come back off the woodwork!

    61′ | 1-2
    Clay booked for pulling down McGinn wide on the left.

    56′ | 1-2
    A let-off as Hayes gets down the left and fizzes a ball across goal which evades Rooney and goes out for a goal-kick

    …Moult hits it but doesn’t really trouble Lewis, who dives low to gather.

    54′ | 1-2
    McLean bundles into the back of McDonald which gives ‘Well a free-kick about 30 yards out…

    Lee Lucas gets the second 45 underway, COYW!!!

    Half time switch for ‘Well, Dom Thomas is on for Keith Lasley

    HT: Motherwell 1 – 2 Aberdeen #MFCvAFCTranslate from German

    46′ | 1-2
    Close! Ash Taylor’s header is well saved by Samson then from follow-up, he heads just past!

    40′ | 1-2
    Saved!! Moult goes low and left and so does Lewis. Moults rebounded effort is cleared by Reynolds.

    25′ | 1-2
    Lasley gets past Reynolds whose knee takes him out. Moult steps up…..

    38′ | 1-2
    Penalty to Motherwell!!

    33′ | 1-2
    McGinn plays a short free-kick to McLean but thankfully he blazes it over the bar from 16 yards.

    28′ | 1-2
    Heneghan booked for a rash challenge on Shinnie

    25′ | 1-2
    Goal – Samson saves but Rooney converts the rebound.

    24′ | 1-1
    Penalty to Aberdeen! Rooney goes down under a challenge from Samson

    18′ | 1-1
    Half chance there for Moult! Lucas diagonal ball out to McDonald who slides it across goal but Moult’s touch is deflected away

    16′ | 1-1
    What a goal!!!! Tait whips a great ball in to McDONALD who overhead kicks it in off the bar!!! 1-1!

    GGOOOAALLL!!

    12′ | 0-1
    Chance! Clay knocks the ball down inside the box but McDonald can’t get the touch on it and Considine sweeps clear.

    11′ | 0-1
    McLean goes close with a right-footed snap-shot from 20 yards. Had Samson beat but flashes wide of post

    9′ | 0-1
    Good ‘Well move down the right , Dons hit it out for a corner. Tait whips it in, but the visitors head it off the line & clear.

    6′ | 0-1
    Goal – Hayes gets in behind and squares it to Shinnie who fires past Samson.

    2′ | 0-0
    Decent chance! Moult gets down the right and clips in a great ball to Clay who heads just wide!

    Aberdeen get the first half underway. COYW!!!

     

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:

     

    Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes:

     

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”302″]

  • Archive

    Fixture ammendments

    One Motherwell fixture has been rearranged and a new date has been confirmed for the Aberdeen fixture which was abandoned due to floodlight failure. 

    All the information you need to know is right here:

     

    Tuesday January 31, 2017

    Ladbrokes Premiership

    Ross County v Motherwell

    Kick-off 7.45pm

    (Match has been brought forward from Wednesday February 1)

     

    Wednesday February 15, 2017

    Ladbrokes Premiership

    Aberdeen v Motherwell

    Kick-off 7.45pm

    (New date for fixture abandoned on Tuesday December 13)

  • Archive

    Dons matchday magazine preview

    The twelfth issue of the Steelmen matchday magazine is on sale ahead of tomorrow’s league clash with Aberdeen at Fir Park.

    Here, we take a look at what can be found inside the 68-page programme.

    ‘Well assistant manager James McFadden talks about his time in his new role in the dugout, as well as his desire to contribute on the park as well as off it. The club legend looks ahead to tomorrow night’s match and talks about his relationship with manager Mark McGhee and the close-knit spirit among the squad in the twelfth feature instalment of the Steelmen matchday programme.

    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 right back Richard Tait is profiled – all remain in the latest 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.

    ‘Future Steel’ is an inside look at the next generation of players waiting patiently to break in to the first team and this week’s star is David Ferguson, as he continues to break through in to McGhee’s plans.

    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 Aberdeen as well as this season’s new ‘Tactics Board’, where we ponder a potential line-up for Derek McInnes as he looks to bounce back to winning ways, profiling some of Aberdeen’s top stars.

    Our match reports section looks back on a hard fought 1-1 draw with St Johnstone last weekend, when a goal from Richard Tait gave the Fir Parkers an early lead at McDiarmid Park.

    An update on Stephen Craigan’s U20s side is included too, reporting on the youngster’s recent results including the incredible 9-1 victory over tomorrow’s visitors U20s.

    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.

  • Archive

    Aberdeen: A closer look

    The Steelmen host Aberdeen in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow night, looking to extend their unbeaten run to three matches.

    And for Mark McGhee, who is back in the dugout following his two match ban, it presents an opportunity for his side to follow up on the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone.

    The Dons come in to the match in the midst of what many are labelling a poor run, but with just one loss in their last four matches, the concern is perhaps more of a testament to the Dons high standards.

    A hard fought draw was considered a positive result by manager Mark McGhee, who is encouraged by recent performances and is hoping for the unbeaten run to continue.

    Speaking to the press this morning, he said: “Even though it was only ten minutes, we got a flavour of it up there and we felt competitive so I think we’ll give them a good game.

    “They are no doubt one of the top four teams and will finish in the top four, so it will be a difficult game.

    “But we’re at home, generally we’ve been doing well at home so I think we can be positive going in to the game and we’ll do well.”

    He added: “I don’t really know about their difficulties – they lost against Ross County but they had a couple of draws too.

    “I’ve said it about us all, and it includes the top teams as well, but what happens in one game practically has no relevance on the next game. We can all go from winning one game to losing the next and so on and it will be no different for Aberdeen.

    “We’ve just got to assume that they’ll be at their best, they have a great pitch to come here and play on so they will maybe be thinking that they can come here and get back their form but we have to make sure that they don’t.”

    [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]

    This is the third meeting between the clubs over the last few weeks, yet is the first league clash this season.

    Following the trip north earlier this month, which was cut short due to floodlight problems at Pittodrie, the two U20s sides met and Stephen Craigan’s youngsters caught wide spread attention when they stormed to a 1-9 victory up in Montrose on Tuesday night.

    McGhee insists the game plan will be different tomorrow compared with how he had set up his team for the match that was eventually abandoned.

    He said: “It won’t be the same game plan as we had at Pittodrie when the game was abandoned.

    “It will be hard to second guess how they will set up because once you go on what is deemed to be a poor run, you look to see how you can change it and that can mean personnel or shape.”

    He added: “With the way we set up there a few weeks back they’ll maybe not be sure how we’ll line up tomorrow night either.”

    The Steelmen have a few fitness doubts ahead of tomorrows clash with the Reds, including Carl McHugh, Joe Chalmers, Jacob Blyth and Kieran Kennedy, who all remain sidelined. Ross MacLean, who has broke on to the scene in recent weeks, is still injured with a broken toe.

     

    ‘Well defender Ben Heneghan is looking forward to finally facing up against Aberdeen for the first time tomorrow night.

    After the trip to Pittodrie ended after ten minutes of play due to floodlight failure earlier this month, tomorrow’s match is the first meeting between the two sides.

    And the 6ft 4in Motherwell centre-back is raring to go.

    Speaking to the press this morning, he said: “I heard there have been warns of high speed winds so hopefully the match won’t be called off yet again and we’ll finally play 90 minutes, so I’m looking forward to the game.”

    The defender believes that three points would be “massive” not only in terms of the league table, but also in terms of the confidence it would give the squad.

    [pullquote]We’ve shown what we can do, especially in the first half against Celtic when I think we were quality, so we’ve just got to carry on progressing, keep the momentum.[/pullquote]

    He said: “We need the three points to be honest and it would be a nice early Christmas present for the club, but we’ve just got to play our best.

    “We’ve shown what we can do, especially in the first half against Celtic when I think we were quality, so we’ve just got to carry on progressing, keep the momentum and play like that for the full games ahead.”

    He added: “We’ve got to be at our best – there’s no doubt about it. We need to make this our fortress and keep all the clean sheets that we can.”

    Coming up against a new side is something Ben relishes, and he admits that as much as he’ll prepare, it all boils down to him making sure he wins his battles on the park.

    He said: “Apart from the ten minutes the other week, we’ll look at some video clips to prepare us but at the end of the day it’s just you against the man on the field so you just have to win your battles.

    [pullquote]I relish the challenges, especially against the sort of physical forwards Aberdeen have, that’s why I’m here, I look forward to the battles and hopefully I can come out on top.[/pullquote]

    “I relish the challenges, especially against the sort of physical forwards Aberdeen have, that’s why I’m here, I look forward to the battles and hopefully I can come out on top.”

    This season, his first in Scotland, the centre-back admits he has found it equally enjoyable and frustrating.

    He said: “It’s been good so far and I’m enjoying it. When it comes to points it’s been a bit frustrating, like losing the odd game or conceding late for a draw.

    “But like I said before we’ve just got to keep our momentum going and hopefully get clean sheets and get those three points on the board.

    “I’ll keep working hard over the break, train hard, keep my fitness up and come back the same way I left.”

     

    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.

    A slip up in the shape of a 2-1 loss away to Ross County last weekend has left many claiming the Reds are struggling, but while they’ve only won once thos month, they’ve only lost once too.

    They couldn’t find the breakthrough against St Johnstone prior to County at the weekend, 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 loss, the prospect of facing Aberdeen 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.

    Midfielder Jonny Hayes has five goals to his name, while Niall McGinn sits level with striker Adam Rooney on four goals. Jayden Stockley and Kenny McLean have three.

    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 17 goals in the league – a total only bettered by Celtic.

    This is the first clash between the two sides this campaign after the two 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 Fir Park tomorrow night.

     

  • Archive

    Heneghan: Relishing the battles

    ‘Well defender Ben Heneghan is looking forward to finally facing up against Aberdeen for the first time tomorrow night.

    After the trip to Pittodrie ended after ten minutes of play due to floodlight failure earlier this month, tomorrow’s match is the first meeting between the two sides.

    And the 6ft 4in Motherwell centre-back is raring to go.

    Speaking to the press this morning, he said: “I heard there have been warns of high speed winds so hopefully the match won’t be called off yet again and we’ll finally play 90 minutes, so I’m looking forward to the game.”

    The defender believes that three points would be “massive” not only in terms of the league table, but also in terms of the confidence it would give the squad.

    [pullquote]We’ve shown what we can do, especially in the first half against Celtic when I think we were quality, so we’ve just got to carry on progressing, keep the momentum and play like that for the full games ahead.[/pullquote]

    He said: “We need the three points to be honest and it would be a nice early Christmas present for the club, but we’ve just got to play our best.

    “We’ve shown what we can do, especially in the first half against Celtic when I think we were quality, so we’ve just got to carry on progressing, keep the momentum and play like that for the full games ahead.”

    He added: “We’ve got to be at our best – there’s no doubt about it. We need to make this our fortress and keep all the clean sheets that we can.”

    Coming up against a new side is something Ben relishes, and he admits that as much as he’ll prepare, it all boils down to him making sure he wins his battles on the park.

    He said: “Apart from the ten minutes the other week, we’ll look at some video clips to prepare us but at the end of the day it’s just you against the man on the field so you just have to win your battles.

    [pullquote]I relish the challenges, especially against the sort of physical forwards Aberdeen have, that’s why I’m here, I look forward to the battles and hopefully I can come out on top.[/pullquote]

    “I relish the challenges, especially against the sort of physical forwards Aberdeen have, that’s why I’m here, I look forward to the battles and hopefully I can come out on top.”

    This season, his first in Scotland, the centre-back admits he has found it equally enjoyable and frustrating.

    He said: “It’s been good so far and I’m enjoying it. When it comes to points it’s been a bit frustrating, like losing the odd game or conceding late for a draw.

    “But like I said before we’ve just got to keep our momentum going and hopefully get clean sheets and get those three points on the board.

    “I’ll keep working hard over the break, train hard, keep my fitness up and come back the same way I left.”

  • Archive

    McGhee: We’re feeling positive

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee believes his side can be positive going in to tomorrow night’s match with Aberdeen.

    The Steelmen are currently two matches unbeaten in the Ladbrokes Premiership and the manager is confident ahead of the important league clash.

    Aberdeen are tangled in what appears to be a poor run due to the Dons high standards, but that isn’t something that McGhee refuses to read in to.

    Speaking to the press this morning, he said: “Even though it was only ten minutes, we got a flavour of it up there and we felt competitive so I think we’ll give them a good game.

    “They are no doubt one of the top four teams and will finish in the top four, so it will be a difficult game.

    “But we’re at home, generally we’ve been doing well at home so I think we can be positive going in to the game and we’ll do well.”

    He added: “I don’t really know about their difficulties – they lost against Ross County but they had a couple of draws too.

    [pullquote] We’ve just got to assume that they’ll be at their best, they have a great pitch to come here and play on so they will maybe be thinking that they can come here and get back their form but we have to make sure that they don’t.[/pullquote]

    “I’ve said it about us all, and it includes the top teams as well, but what happens in one game practically has no relevance on the next game. We can all go from winning one game to losing the next and so on and it will be no different for Aberdeen.

    “We’ve just got to assume that they’ll be at their best, they have a great pitch to come here and play on so they will maybe be thinking that they can come here and get back their form but we have to make sure that they don’t.”

    This is the third meeting between the clubs over the last few weeks, yet is the first league clash this season.

    Following the trip north earlier this month, which was cut short due to floodlight problems at Pittodrie, the two U20s sides met and Stephen Craigan’s youngsters caught wide spread attention when they stormed to a 1-9 victory up in Montrose on Tuesday night.

    McGhee insists the game plan will be different tomorrow compared with how he had set up his team for the match that was eventually abandoned.

    [pullquote] It will be hard to second guess how they will set up because once you go on what is deemed to be a poor run, you look to see how you can change it and that can mean personnel or shape.[/pullquote]

    He said: “It won’t be the same game plan as we had at Pittodrie when the game was abandoned.

    “It will be hard to second guess how they will set up because once you go on what is deemed to be a poor run, you look to see how you can change it and that can mean personnel or shape.”

    He added: “With the way we set up there a few weeks back they’ll maybe not be sure how we’ll line up tomorrow night either.”

    And on the phenomenal 9-1 victory over Aberdeen U20s midweek, the manager said: “We just wish we’d all been there, and the pleasing thing with the result is the fact there were no overage players playing, and in fact the two senior members of that squad – Jack McMillan and Ross MacLean weren’t playing either.

    “So from that point of view I think that shows you the good work that’s going on in terms of recruitment, development and the work that Stephen Craigan is doing – really a good job.”

    He added: “A couple of those youngsters have been included and been on the bench, I don’t think that they’re quite ready but I think our introduction of these players to the team has to be incremental.”

    “We have to just dip out toes in the water and for us to make up the numbers for the squad on any given Saturday, it relies on a percentage of those boys so they will get their chances.”

  • Archive

    Topps KICK Digital Trading Card App

    Topps has officially added the Scottish Professional Football League to its arsenal of leagues in Topps KICK® 2017 app.

    For the first time, SPFL fans can collect and trade digital cards featuring all the top stars including the likes of Motherwell’s Scott McDonald, Craig Clay, and Richard Tait, and all their Scottish Premiership opponents.

    Topps will be producing uniquely designed digital cards of Scottish Premiership players in KICK 2017, the only real-world, real-time soccer trading card app. There is new and exciting content released daily, featuring players from every club in the Scottish Premiership, Premier League, Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and Major League Soccer (MLS).

    This year Topps KICK 2017 has introduced innovative features such as Topps Card Exchange, where fans can trade-in and upgrade cards instantly with or without the need for a trading partner. The latest updates in Topps KICK also include player experience levels to help sports fans keep track of their progress and compare their collection, trading, and accomplishments with fellow fans in an active and competitive online community.

    KICK also captures the most memorable moments to be swapped and collected from a roster of football greats both past and present. Fans have already collected more than 1.5 billion cards in KICK and opened more than 250 million packs.

    Topps KICK 2017 is available for free on the App store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and in the Google Play Store for Android devices.

  • Archive

    True Steelman: Charlie Aitken

    A one club man, Charlie Aitken served the Steelmen for 17 years and was one of the finest players to wear the claret and amber.

    Signed in 1949 from Arniston Rangers, Charlie was just seventeen when brought to the club by George Stevenson.

    It was in April 1951 he broke through into the ‘Well first team and made a goal-scoring debut in a 3-1 loss to Celtic at Parkhead.

    Aitken’s career was interrupted for a time as he undertook two years of national service but following his return he helped help Motherwell to the 1954 League Cup Final where the Gorgie side ran out 4-2 victors.

    Having converted from inside-forward to wing-half Charlie came into his own as Bobby Ancell’s ‘Ancell Babes’ caught the imagination of the Scottish football public.

    An instantly recognisable figure thanks to his flowing golden locks, Aitken was a key component of Ancell’s side and was respected by his peers as a terrific all round footballer.  Tigerish in the tackle and a superb passer he was  also greatly feared by defenders for his prowess in the air.

    Charlie was the recipient of just a single booking throughout his whole career, a fact that rankled with him as he protested his innocence and insisted referee ‘Tiny’ Wharton had erred in issuing the single black mark.

    Charlie played his final competitive game for Motherwell in February 1966 against St Johnstone and his long service was rewarded with a Testimonial Match a year, a measure of the esteem in which he was held, given the rarity of such matches at that point in time.

    Surely deserving of greater recognition internationally Charlie did gain one Scotland B cap and two Scottish League caps.

    Aged 75, Charlie passed away in January 2008.

  • Archive

    Madden in charge against Dons

    The referee for Friday night’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Aberdeen is Bobby Madden.

    The match will be Bobby’s second in charge of the Steelmen this campaign – after the 38-year-old took charge of the 3-0 loss away to Hearts last month.

    The referee took charge on five occasions last term too.

    The first was the second game of the season and the first at Fir Park which ended in a disappointing 2-0 loss to Dundee United.

    The official then took charge of a further four matches in the 2015/16 season – all away from home.

    The second match Madden oversaw was a 1-0 win against Kilmarnock, when a late strike from Louis Moult secured all three points for the Fir Parkers.

    The ‘Well met Madden next at Celtic Park, on a memorable day for Mark McGhee’s men. Nir Bitton gave Celtic the lead before Moult equalised and then fired Motherwell in to the lead from the penalty spot.

    The English striker enjoys scoring when Madden is in charge, as he bagged another goal the next time the Scot was in charge. His strike away to St Johnstone wasn’t enough for the Steelmen though, as the hosts won 2-1.

    The last time Madden officiated a ‘Well match though ended with a disappointing 4-1 loss against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

    His overall record in charge of the Steelmen reads six wins; twelve defeats and one draw from nineteen games. The Fir Parkers have netted 25 times, and conceded 39. In those nineteen games, he has booked 50 players, 24 of those cautions flashed at players wearing Claret and Amber.

    Three players have been sent for an early shower, Anthony Stokes for a lunging tackle on Keith Lasley at Celtic Park last season, Stuart Carswell – who came off the bench against Partick and picked up two yellows – and Keith Lasley in the last match Madden was in charge for, after the skipper picked up a late red card for a late challenge on Kenny McLean.

    Bobby will be ably assisted by Willie Conquer and Jordan Stokoe, with Nick Walsh on Fourth Official duties.

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    TV: Highlights from Links Park

    Extended highlights from Links Park as the Under 20s thrash Aberdeen 1-9 with goals from Falconer, Mackin, Watt (2), Hastie (2), Campbell, Armstong and  Scott.