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    Motherwell 1 – 5 Dundee

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    Meet Keith Lasley & Elliott Frear

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    Dundee matchday magazine preview

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    Dundee: A closer look

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    Dundee hospitality sold out

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    Clay: We can go on a run

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    McGhee: Focussed on ourselves

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    Finnie in the middle for Dundee

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    Fir Park to host Irn-Bru Cup Final

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    Dundee Hospitality selling out fast

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    Motherwell 1 – 5 Dundee

    [tab:Match report]

    Phil McGhee at Fir Park

    Motherwell slumped to a painful defeat as they lost 5-1 to Dundee in the Ladbrokes Premiership this afternoon. 

    A young home defence was cruelly exposed by a clinical Dundee who netted five times from five shots on target in a horrendous first half for ‘Well fans. And although Louis Moult equalised midway through the half, slack defending had the points heading to Tayside before the half-time whistle.

    Without Richard Tait and the vastly experienced left sided defensive pairing of Stephen McManus and Stevie Hammell, Zak Jules lined up alongside Ben Heneghan. But it was an unfortunate home start for the Reading defender when within six minutes he back-headed a harmless looking ball over the advancing Craig Samson to give Dundee the lead.

    Motherwell’s response was a dipping drive from Scott McDonald and a Chris Cadden cross which just evaded Louis Moult.

    However, ‘Well’s leading scorer was on target in the 22nd minute to claim his 13th goal of the season. Joe Chalmer’s floated free kick towards the edge of the box was nodded on by Heneghan’s to Moult, and at the second attempt he steered the ball beyond Scott Bain for the equaliser.

    While ‘Well fans anticipated that the home side would build on that goal, a savage seven minutes presented Dundee with three goals and effectively killed the game.

    In the 27th minute Marcus Haber was given space to turn six yards from goal and drive the ball home. Three minutes later the ‘Well defence was again exposed on the  left as Mark O’Hara steered his angled drive beyond Samson to make it 1-3.

    Dundee quickly made it four, when Craig Wighton unmarked eight yards in front of goal, drilled the ball through a packed six yard box.

    As the half-time whistle loomed and the Fir Park faithful thought the first half couldn’t get any worse, the Dens men grabbed a fifth.

    Wighton’s free kick was aimed to the far post where Haber headed the ball back across Samson and make it 5-1.

    Not unexpectedly ‘Well made a determined start to the second half and a slick move played in Craig Clay but his powerful angled drive was forced away by Bain.

    Samson produced his first save of the game on the hour to deny former Fir Park favourite Henrik Ojamaa.

    Seven minutes later, Clay was denied at the other end, powering his way into the box only to see his parting shot blocked by Bain’s boot.

    ‘Well’s day was summed up in the 76th minute when Elliot Frear whipped in a low ball across goal  which Darren O’Dea sliced off his own post and behind for a corner.

    There was not even a consolation goal in the final minute for the hardworking Clay when his goal bound shot was booted off the line by Cammy Kerr.

     

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 1 – 5 Dundee

    83′ | 1-5

    Dundee sub, Ojamaa off for Hateley

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

    76′ | 1-5
    Frear’s low ball into the box is turned off the woodwork by O’Dea. Corner.

    67′ | 1-5
    Good chance for Clay as he gets on the end of a lay-off but Bain saves with his feet

    63′ | 1-5
    Dundee sub, Williams on for O’Hara

    61′ | 1-5
    Motherwell sub, Chalmers off for Frear

    59′ | 1-5
    Nice bit of play gets Clay in behind but Bain does well to beat his shot away.

    Dundee get the second 45 underway.

    HT: Motherwell 1 – 5 Dundee

    45′ | 1-5
    Goal – Haber rises highest at the back post to head in.

    35′ | 1-4
    Goal – It’s 1-4. Dundee looking dangerous with every attack and this time Wighton fires home a loose ball.

    32′ | 1-3
    Ball breaks to Pearson inside the box but his shot deflects to Clay whose shot is also deflected to safety.

    31′ | 1-3
    Goal – O’Hara makes it 3. Gets too much space down the right and makes no mistake with his finish. ‘Well with a mountain to climb

    26′ | 1-2
    Goal – Haber puts Dundee 1-2 up. Took the ball on his chest, turned his man and volleyed past Samson.

    21′ | 1-1
    Free-kick floated into the area which is nodded down by Heneghan to MOULT who fires it past Bain!!!

    GGOOOAAALL!!

    19′ | 0-1
    So close! McDonald plays in Cadden who flashes a great cross along the face of goal but Pearson can’t quite get on the end of it.

    6′ | 0-1
    Goal – Jules tries to get on the end of a long hopeful ball but ends up heading into his own net.

    1′ | 0-0
    Chance! Cadden gets down the right but his cross floats inches over the bar.

    McDonald gets the game underway. COYW!!

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:

     

    Dundee manager Paul Hartley:

     

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”312″]

  • Archive

    Meet Keith Lasley & Elliott Frear

    The ‘Signing Zone’ continues this week prior to tomorrow’s fixture against Dundee.

    So why not come to Fir Park tomorrow afternoon and meet first-team stars Keith Lasley and January recruit and Elliott Frear, who will be in The Well Shop’s ‘Signing Zone’ from 12:45pm until 1:15pm to meet fans, sign autographs and pose for selfies.

    Each week, two different players 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.

  • Archive

    Dundee matchday magazine preview

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

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

    Stephen Pearson talks about his spell in India and talks about why he came back to Motherwell for a third stint at the club in the magazine’s feature interview.

    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 midfielder striker Jacob Blyth 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.

    There are two special features in the Dee matchday magazine, including a tribute piece to the late Roger Hynd, the ex-Motherwell boss who sadly passed away recently.

    An interview with Tom Hateley for ‘On Both Sides’ catches up with the ex-Well and now Dundee man on his time after Motherwell, as well as what it means for him to return to Fir Park.

    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 Dundee as well as this season’s new ‘Tactics Board’, where we look at Paul Hartley’s starting eleven from the Dark Blue’s win over Rangers last weekend.

    Our match report section looks back on the Fir Parker’s spirited performance as they fell 2-0 against a strong Celtic side at Parkhead.

    An update on Stephen Craigan’s U20s side is included too, reporting on the youngster’s recent run of results, which included just one victory in their last four games, a surprisingly poor run given the youngsters fantastic season so far.

    All the latest news from Fir Park is included too, and you’ll 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

    Dundee: A closer look

    Motherwell host Dundee in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow afternoon in the first 3pm home game since the start of December.

    And with the two sides separated by just three points, there is an added importance in what could prove to be a crucial game come the split in eight games time.

    The Steelmen will be optimistic about putting recent results behind them and kick starting their form ahead of a favourable run in comparison to recent weeks, which has included trips to Parkhead, Ibrox and Pittodrie.

    Despite Dundee’s start to 2017 including clashes with Kilmarnock, Inverness, St Mirren, Aberdeen and Rangers, it was the latter which provided the Dee with their first win of the year.

    And ahead of the match tomorrow, ‘Well boss Mark McGhee admitted that the visitors will come in feeling positive following their impressive victory last weekend.

    He said: “They beat us earlier this season up at Dens Park, even though we had a ridiculous goal disallowed which I felt changed the game.

    “We know what they’re like, they always seem to play with a confidence even when you see them getting beat there’s a belief about them which is impressive at times.”

    He added: “On the back of beating Rangers they’ll come here full of confidence and belief and they’ll want to have a go.

    “It’ll be a difficult game but we feel our underlying form, despite some results, has been good so we’ll be ready for them.”

    The Fir Parkers will be without Stephen McManus, who has suffered a groin injury, while full back Stevie Hammell faces a late fitness test after pulling up injured in the warm up at Parkhead last weekend.

    Richard Tait and Carl McHugh will both be available for selection following their return from suspensions.

    Dundee skipper James McPake continues to be sidelined through injury, but otherwise Paul Hartley has a full strength squad to pick from.

     

    Craig Clay is confident that Motherwell can string together a good run of form having endured a difficult one in recent weeks.

    The Steelmen face Dundee tomorrow, with just three points separating the teams in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

    And for Clay, who’s hungry to keep his spot in a squad full of competition, it’s about looking forward now – not back.

    Speaking to the press yesterdayg, the 24-year-old said: “It goes without saying – Aberdeen was a disappointment. On Saturday, although we didn’t get the result, I think we went there and gave a good account of ourselves.

    “That’s gone now though, we know we’ve got some big games coming up now and it’s just about looking forward.”

    He added: “These are the games that we feel and we know that we’re capable of winning. We’ve done our preparations this week and we’re ready for Saturday.

    “We’re not putting that sort of pressure on ourselves but we know that we need to put a run together and we also know that we’re capable of that, we’ve got the squad so we’re confident of going and doing that.”

    The Englishman returned to McGhee’s starting line up against Celtic after being on the bench for the previous three, and he certainly impressed on the Parkhead turf.

    [pullquote]There’s a lot of competition in the squad now, but it’s all healthy competition. I hadn’t played in the last three games before Saturday so I knew that I had to knuckle down and prove a point to the manager.[/pullquote]

    And with plenty of competition in the squad, Clay admitted that the fight for places is healthy for the squad.

    He said: “There’s a lot of competition in the squad now, but it’s all healthy competition.

    “I hadn’t played in the last three games before Saturday so I knew that I had to knuckle down and prove a point to the manager.”

    He added: “If you’re in the team you always need somebody to keep you on your toes and who’s ready to take your spot and if you’re not in the team you need to do the same to them so I think the competition is all good and healthy.”

     

    Dundee arrive at Fir Park tomorrow on the back of an impressive 2-1 win over Rangers and currently occupy sixth spot in the table. 

    Three points separate the visitors from Mark McGhee’s Motherwell, only adding to the importance of tomorrow afternoon’s Premiership clash.

    It was Dundee’s first home league win over Rangers since 1992 and goals from Mark O’Hara and Kevin Holt secured the memorable victory.

    Ex-Well man Henrik Ojamaa set up the opener with a ball in for O’Hara to finish from inside the box before Holt scored direct from a free-kick leaving Gers stopper Wes Foderingham with no chance.

    Joe Garner reduced the deficit after the break when he cracked a fine drive past Scott Bain from 20 yards, but it was too little too late for the visitors to Dens Park.

    Dundee gaffer Paul Hartley hoped his side would press and work Rangers more than they had in both previous encounters this season – and the Dee boss was pleased with what he saw.

    He said: “I’m really pleased for the players – the plan that we worked on all week was carried out from the first whistle. We got after Rangers. Our intent was to put as much pressure on Rangers as possible and we managed to do that.

    “The work-rate was incredible, the fitness levels were terrific and that desire to keep running and put Rangers under pressure, we did that.”

    He added: “We know what type of team they are, they try to build from the back. We sussed their system out, how they might go and we just didn’t let them build at all. We were always on the front foot.

    “It shows that we can play like that, so from now until the end of the season we have to put those type of performances in every week, with that work-rate, desire and energy.

    “We want to get as many points as we can before the split. We managed to get three and I always felt we could get three. But now next week is our focus. The players put so much into the game and it’s got to be like that in every single game now.”

    The campaign is rumbling in to it’s crucial stages now, and for Hartley and his squad, the 2016/17 season represents an opportunity to return the club to a top half finish.

    Appointed in 2014, the ex-Hearts midfielder got off to a brilliant start to his Dee managerial career – guiding the club to the Championship title followed by a sixth placed spot in the top flight in the 2014/15 season.

    ‘Well fans need no reminder that that was the season the club slumped into the Premiership play-offs and survived in stunning fashion by beating Rangers 6-1 on aggregate.

    Last season though, Dundee finished eighth as the Steelmen surged to fifth, and matches like this afternoon’s are huge for both sides who have set their sights on the top-six.

    So far this season, there hasn’t been a prolific scorer leading the way for the Dark Blues. Marcus Haber is the clubs top scorer this term with four goals, while Mark O’Hara, Rory Loy, Paul McGowan, Darren O’Dea and Kevin Holt all have three.

    Both Mark McGhee and Paul Hartley will be confident in their sides chances tomorrow, as in the three games last season the ‘Well won once, drew once and lost once – making this one tough to call for the neutrals.

    The last time the two sides met at Fir Park though, neither could be separated and they played out a goalless draw.

    With a crucial stage of the season ahead for Paul Hartley and his side, as well as Mark McGhee and Motherwell, both sides will be coming in to tomorrow’s match fired up for the occasion.

     

  • Archive

    Dundee hospitality sold out

    Matchday hospitality for this Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership match against Dundee is now sold out.

    The Steelmen take on the Dee in what is a hugely important match for both sides who are striving for that highly contested top half spot.

    Head of Commercial and Marketing Suzanne Reid said: “That is now two home matches in a row that our hospitality packages have sold out.

    “The new ‘Bois Club’ and ‘Twist and Pout’ packages are going down extremely well and we look forward to welcoming all of our guests to Fir Park tomorrow afternoon.”

    Match tickets are still available to purchase from the Fir Park ticket office.

    To book hospitality for the Steelmen’s next home game against St Johnstone on March 18, or for more details on our hospitality packages, please contact: hospitality@motherwellfc.co.uk

  • Archive

    Clay: We can go on a run

    Craig Clay is confident that Motherwell can string together a good run of form having endured a difficult one in recent weeks.

    The Steelmen face Dundee on Saturday, with just three points separating the teams in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

    And for Clay, who’s hungry to keep his spot in a squad full of competition, it’s about looking forward now – not back,

    Speaking to the press this morning, the 24-year-old said: “It goes without saying – Aberdeen was a disappointment. On Saturday, although we didn’t get the result, I think we went there and gave a good account of ourselves.

    [pullquote]These are the games that we feel and we know that we’re capable of winning. We’ve done our preparations this week and we’re ready for Saturday.[/pullquote]

    “That’s gone now though, we know we’ve got some big games coming up now and it’s just about looking forward.”

    He added: “These are the games that we feel and we know that we’re capable of winning. We’ve done our preparations this week and we’re ready for Saturday.

    “We’re not putting that sort of pressure on ourselves but we know that we need to put a run together and we also know that we’re capable of that, we’ve got the squad so we’re confident of going and doing that.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    McGhee: Focussed on ourselves

    Mark McGhee insists that his side will focus on themselves as they head in to Saturday’s encounter with Dundee at Fir Park.

    The ‘Well gaffer spoke to the press this morning and looked ahead to the weekend and the start of what he feels is an important run of fixtures.

    Dundee arrive in Lanarkshire on the back of a 2-1 win over Rangers, while the Steelmen are on the back of a tough run against the top sides in the league.

    McGhee said: “We were poor against Aberdeen, really poor, but we hadn’t been until that point with our performances against Rangers, Hearts and of course the win over Ross County.

    “We’re convinced that the underlying form is good – we’ve been competitive and we felt we could’ve easily got more out of those games.”

    [pullquote]Now we go in to games against teams in the same area of the league as ourselves, with similar budgets and expectations – and these are the games that we expect to do better in.[/pullquote]

    “We went to Celtic waiting to see what we’d be like – whether it would be more like the performances against Rangers and Ross County or if it would be more like Aberdeen, and we can safely say it was more like our performances against Rangers, so that gives us confidence.”

    He added: “Now we go in to games against teams in the same area of the league as ourselves, with similar budgets and expectations – and these are the games that we expect to do better in.

    “If you want to finish in the top six you need to win games, if you want to avoid relegation you need to win games.

    “We’ll concentrate more on ourselves than we will Dundee.”

    MFC TV

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    Finnie in the middle for Dundee

    The referee for this weekend’s clash with Dundee is the experienced Stephen Finnie.

    Although Stephen has been a top-flight whistler for almost a decade, it may come as a surprise to learn it will be his first Motherwell game in just under a year.

    The last time he was the man in the middle for a ‘Well game was an important 3-1 victory over Partick Thistle this time last year, when three points lifted the Steelmen to eighth in the table.

    Louis Moult smashed a brace on that afternoon to take his tally to 16 for the season.

    His first came from the spot on 37 minutes after on-loan Celtic youngster Aidan Nesbitt tripped ‘Well skipper Keith Lasley in the box.

    The ‘Well hitman ran on to Scott McDonald’s superb pass on 51 minutes to confidently lash the ball past Tomas Cerny for the killer second goal.

    Marvin Johnson then made it 3-0 on 69 minutes when he cut in from the right hand side and cracked a sweet low drive into the net.

    Callum Booth grabbed a consolation for Partick on 76 minutes when he drilled a low 20 yard effort past Connor Ripley.

    Stephen has taken charge of just eleven Motherwell games over his long career, the Steelmen winning seven and losing four; curiously, no draws.

    In those ten matches, he has dished out 46 cautions, 17 of which flashed at a player wearing Claret and Amber. Only two players has been sent for an early bath, Scott Brown for a second bookable offence in a match at Parkhead in 2010 and now Dundee man Henrik Ojamaa in season 2014/15.

    Stephen will be assisted by Kylie McMullan and Sean Carr, with Andrew Dallas listed as fourth official.

  • Archive

    Fir Park to host Irn-Bru Cup Final

    The SPFL has today announced that the IRN-BRU Cup Final between Dundee United and St. Mirren will take place at Fir Park Stadium.

    It will be the fifth occasion that Fir Park will have hosted the Scottish Challenge Cup Final – this year sponsored by IRN-BRU – having staged the competition’s first two finals in 1990/91 and 1991/92 as well as those in seasons 1993/94 and 1997/98.

    Following agreement with both competing clubs, the SPFL has also revealed competitive ticket pricing for fans, with adult tickets priced at £20, concessions (Juveniles aged 13 to 18 years old, over 65s & students) at £10 and U-12s at £5.

    SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said: “We’re delighted to make today’s announcement that Fir Park will stage this season’s IRN-BRU Cup Final, including making tickets available to fans from as little as £5. We wish both clubs the very best of luck for the final and hope they produce a classic for supporters in the stadium and those watching live on BBC ALBA.”

    Adrian Troy, Marketing Director at IRN-BRU, said: “Following on from the excitement of a fantastic IRN-BRU Cup competition up to this stage, we now look forward to the prospect of a memorable final between Dundee United and St Mirren. We would like to thank the players and fans from all the clubs who have taken part for making this season’s IRN-BRU Cup the success it has been.”

  • Archive

    Dundee Hospitality selling out fast

    Matchday hospitality for this Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership match against Dundee is selling out fast.

    But there is still time to make the most of our brand new ‘Bois Club’ and ‘Twist and Pout’ packages with limited availability for Saturday, in addition to hospitality in the Centenary Suite.

    The Steelmen take on the Dee in what is a hugely important match for both sides who are striving for that highly contested top half spot.

    Head of Commercial and Marketing Suzanne Reid said: “Our new hospitality packages are going down extremely well, it is an ideal way to enjoy the game and make the most of our fantastic food and drink deals.”

    Match tickets are still available to purchase from the Fir Park ticket office.

    To book hospitality, or for more details on our hospitality packages, please contact: hospitality@motherwellfc.co.uk