Robinson: Good start to the seasonSaturday 15 July 2017‘Well boss Stephen Robinson was pleased to see his side open the 2017/18 campaign with a convincing win.The Steelmen shrugged off a frustrating first half to storm to a 5-1 victory over Queen’s Park at Hampden in the Betfred Cup.And the Fir Park gaffer reflected on a good start to the new season.[pullquote]We corrected that at half time, we wanted people to run beyond the ball and we saw the difference in the second half.[/pullquote]He said: “It’s good to start the Betfred Cup with a convincing win. We had a lot of possession and dominated a lot of play.“We then scored an early goal which was great but then I think we got a little bit bored doing the simple things well.”He added: “We stopped getting the ball in to the wide areas quickly and stopped delivering balls in to the box.“We corrected that at half time, we wanted people to run beyond the ball and we saw the difference in the second half.”
Queen’s Park 1 – 5 MotherwellSaturday 15 July 2017
Motherwell overcame the challenge of Queen’s Park and opened their Betfred Cup account with a comfortable win.
An early strike from Chris Cadden should have set them up for a easy afternoon but an equaliser from former Fir Park defender Adam Cummins left the sides level at the interval.
However, ‘Well dominated the second half and a debut goal for Craig Tanner, a quick Ryan Bowman double and superb free kick from Louis Moult, gave Stephen Robinson the perfect start to his cup campaign.
The ‘Well boss kicked off the new season with five of his summer signings making their competitive debut in claret and amber. From Trevor Carson in goal through defender Cedric Kipre, midfielder Gael Bigirimana to forwards Alex Fisher and Craig Tanner, the
1,000 strong ‘Well fans at the Hampden looked on with a sense of anticipation.
However, it was one of ‘Well’s home grown talents who opened their goal account after only eight minutes and settle them into the cup tie. Stevie Hammell’s cross into the box found Fisher who chested the ball down allowing Chris Cadden’s to lash it high past Willie Muir.
Three minutes later Cadden almost repaid the layoff with a delivery across goal but with Fisher stretching to meet it his header sailed over the bar.
With the Fir Park players enjoying the bulk of possession and Kipre in particular appearing extremely comfortable on the ball, there was little threat around Carson’s goal.
Until the 23rd minute when the visitor’s defence was breached – by a former Steelman. Ryan Docherty’s long free kick into a packed box was headed towards goal forcing a terrific reflex save from Carson but as the ball drifted across goal, Cummins was quickest to force the ball over the line and make it 1-1.
That knocked some of the composure from the visitor’s play and although Fisher was the target for a couple of inviting crosses the Steelmen couldn’t find a second in the opening half.
Seven minutes from the break Tanner’s clever back-healer set up Richard Tait and although his inswinging cross curled beyond Fisher it forced a diving save from Muir.
Still determined to build from the back, Motherwell had a bit more pace in their play and were a bit more lively around the Queen’s box from the start of the second half. And again it took them only eight minutes to find the net and regain the lead.
Once again the build up started with Carson via Kipre and when Carl McHugh released Tait on the right the home defence was opened up. Tanner’s quick exchange with Bigirimana sent the former Reading man through on the ‘keeper, calmly sliding the ball past Muir to claim his first goal for the club.
The impressive Bigirimana had a few more decisive touches before making way for Andy Rose on the hour mark.
With Elliot Frear having the freedom on the left, the winger delivered a number of tempting crosses with no takers. After 67 minutes Ryan Bowman relieved Fisher of his striker’s role and he took only seven minutes to ad to his goal spree.
A weighted pass from McHugh, who revelled in his midfield role after playing at the heart of the defence for the greater part of last season, picked out Bowman who calmly side stepped the ‘keeper before rolling the ball into the empty net.
With the tie won the ‘Well fans were treated to the introduction of Louis Moult returning early from injury but before he got a touch Bowman grabbed his second collecting Kipre’s pass at the edge of the box before deftly lofting the ball over the advancing ‘keeper.
An infringement in the six yard box from Tanner’s corner denied Moult a goal with a fabulous overhead kick.
However, Moult was not to be denied a goal on his return and five minutes from time he curled a wonderfully measured free kick around the defensive wall and under the bar to make it 5-1.
In the final minute, Carson rounded off a quiet second half with a fine save rising high to his left to palm Ewan MacPherson’s snap shot over his cross bar.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Hampden Park
FT: Queen’s Park 1 – 5 Motherwell
85′ | 1-5
Free-kick about 25 yards out which Moult steps up and curls a stunner into the top corner!!
84′ | 1-4
Queen’s sub, Green on for McVey
82′ | 1-4
Moult has the ball in the net with a spectacular overhead kick but the whistle had blown for a foul in the build-up
77′ | 1-4
Another good ball over the top and again it’s Bowman on hand to take a touch and lob it over Muir!!
76′ | 1-3
Motherwell sub, Moult comes on for Tait
75′ | 1-3
McHugh curls a beautiful ball over the top to Bowman whose first touch takes him past Muir and he sticks it into the empty net.
73′ | 1-2
Queen’s sub, MacPherson on for Orr
67′ | 1-2
Motherwell sub, Bowman on for Fisher
61′ | 1-2
Motherwell sub, Bigirimana off for Rose
57′ | 1-2
Queen’s Park sub, Ryan Dochery off for Duff.
56′ | 1-2
Deep ball in by Tait hangs up at the backpost area but Frear can only loop his header over the bar.
53′ | 1-2
Tait wins the ball on the edge of the box which lets Tanner play a lovely little one-two with Bigirimana and finish cooly!
McHugh gets the second half underway, COYW!!!
HT: Queen’s Park 1 – 1 Motherwell
39′ | 1-1
Acrobatic effort from Fisher but doesn’t quite get it right and it loops into Muir’s hands.
38′ | 1-1
Tait and Tanner combine down the right allowing the full-back space to cross but Muir deals with it comfortably.
31′ | 1-1
Tait cuts back on his left and hooks in a good ball towards Fisher but McVey nods it out for a corner.
23′ | 1-1
Goal – Cummins brings Queen’s level. Free-kick swung in and is superbly tipped onto the bar by Carson but Cummins nets the rebound
11′ | 0-1
Cadden with a fine ball in to Fisher but the striker heads over from 9 yards out!
9′ | 0-1
Hammell clips in a free-kick to the chest of Fisher who lays it off superbly to Cadden who slots it home!
Orr gets the game underway. COYW!!!!
Claret and amber for The Steelmen, dark blue and grey for The Spiders
Out come both sides as they prepare to get their cup campaign underway at the National Stadium.
Motherwell caretaker manager Stephen Robinson:
Queen’s Park manager Gus MacPherson
Build-up: Queen’s ParkFriday 14 July 2017
The wait is over – competitive football returns.
And for the Steelmen, Hampden Park is the scene for the first match of the 2017/18 campaign.
Following a busy transfer window, Stephen Robinson’s side head in to tomorrow’s clash with a number of fresh faces and an abundance of optimism.
Much like the supporters, Robinson is eagerly awaiting tomorrow afternoon’s fixture following the summer break.
“We’re as ready as we can be at this stage,” the manager said, “the cup competition comes early – really, really early – and my feeling is that I’d rather have people 100% ready to play.
“We’re probably lacking about 5% match fitness or so but I think everyone’s more or less in the same boat.”
He added: “We’ve only been back for around three weeks so we’ll get better – especially our understanding in players because we’ve brought in nine new players.
“There might be one or two more before the start of the league season, so it’ll take a bit of time to gel but in terms of having everyone ready for selection, that was our goal at the start of pre-season and that’s where we are.”
One player who is ready and raring to go is summer signing Craig Tanner.
The creative midfielder, who arrived from Plymouth Argyle, has enjoyed a positive pre-season and admits that the new signings have settled in well.
He said: “When I found out that [tomorrow’s] fixture was at Hampden it will be a great honour to play there so I’m looking forward to it and I’ll be happy to be able to tick that off my list.
“Friendlies are good in the sense that you get to know your team mates, try a few things out and get your fitness levels up, but there’s nothing better than a competitive game.”
He added: “Training was looking very sharp and there’s a really good buzz around the place.
“It doesn’t really phase me going in to games so early, because if you do your fitness work in pre-season you’ll come in in good shape anyway.
“We may not necessarily gel in the first one or two games but like I said, training is looking sharp and the foundations are there going forward.”
Tomorrow’s opponents will be eager to start the Betfred Cup on a positive note against the Fir Parkers.
Finishing 6th in League One last season meant the Spiders narrowly missed out on the play-off spots.
But Gus MacPherson will be hopeful of gaining some early momentum against Premiership opponents tomorrow afternoon and potentially improving on their performance in the Betfred Cup last term.
In a group alongside Airdrieonians, Stenhousemuir, Queen of the South and eventual group winners Partick Thistle, the Glasgow outfit finished fourth in Group E.
And with a similarly tough group this time around, the Spiders supporters will be keen to see their team put in a strong showing, starting tomorrow.
Queens Park V Motherwell Saturday 15th July 2017 3.00pm Hampden Park, Glasgow Available on the gate
Admission prices are as follows:
ADULTS £12 CONCESSIONS £6
- Concessions are listed as Under 16s, over 65 and over and students
- Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Darren on 07722 912666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can’t make it to Hampden tomorrow, don’t miss the action by tuning in to mixlr.com/motherwellfc for live commentary or follow the match on Twitter @MotherwellFC
You can see the match highlights on MFC TV’s YouTube channel, as well as full reaction and a match report right here on the official website.
Please note: ‘Well fans can park in the main car park outside Hampden, on a first come first served basis, or the overspill on Letherby Drive.
Tanner: Excited for Hampden tripFriday 14 July 2017
Summer signing Craig Tanner expressed his hunger for competitive football as he spoke to the broadcast media this morning.
The creative midfielder, who also opened up on settling in to his new surroundings, admitted that nothing comes close to competitive matches.
And with Hampden Park the setting tomorrow afternoon, Craig looked ahead to the season opener.
[pullquote]Friendlies are good in the sense that you get to know your team mates, try a few things out and get your fitness levels up, but there’s nothing better than a competitive game.[/pullquote]
He said: “I’ve settled in really well and I moved in to a flat on Sunday which I feel makes a big difference because it’s starting to feel more homely. Once you’ve settled off the pitch you can settle on the pitch a lot quicker.
“When I found out that [tomorrow’s] fixture was at Hampden it will be a great honour to play there so I’m looking forward to it and I’ll be happy to be able to tick that off my list.”
He added: “Friendlies are good in the sense that you get to know your team mates, try a few things out and get your fitness levels up, but there’s nothing better than a competitive game.”
Robinson: Great way to start the seasonFriday 14 July 2017
Fir Park boss Stephen Robinson spoke to the broadcast media this morning ahead of tomorrow’s Betfred Cup clash.
The Steelmen travel to Hampden Park to take on Queen’s Park for the first competitive fixture of the campaign, which Robinson believes “sells Scottish football” to his new summer recruits.
The Northern Irishman said: “It’s one way of selling Scottish football to the new lads that have come in – you start your first game at Hampden live on TV so it’s great for us and we’re looking forward to it.”
[pullquote]It’s very, very simple: Louis is a Motherwell player and he’s contracted to the club. If somebody bids an acceptable offer that we think is good for the club, a good deal for us and for Louis, then we’ll look at it.[/pullquote]
The ‘Well boss was also asked about the situation surrounding striker Louis Moult, and Robinson admitted that the situation was “simple”.
He said: “It’s very, very simple: Louis is a Motherwell player and he’s contracted to the club. If somebody bids an acceptable offer that we think is good for the club, a good deal for us and for Louis, then we’ll look at it.
“Until then, Louis is a Motherwell football player and he will be 100% committed to doing well and doing what he’s done for the last two years.”
Robertson in charge for trip to HampdenThursday 13 July 2017
Referee for Saturday’s Betfred Cup opener against Queen’s Park at Hampden is Don Robertson.
The official, who took charge on three occasions last season, will again be the man in the middle as the Fir Parkers get their 2017/18 campaign started on Saturday.
His first match last term was the Steelmen’s 3-0 victory over Stranraer in the Betfred League Cup.
Goals from Chris Cadden, Scott McDonald and Marvin Johnson secured three points in the group stage fixture.
But the officials most recent ‘Well match was against Celtic in February, when the league leaders won by two goals against a resolute travelling Motherwell side.
This weekend’s clash at Hampden Park will be Robertson’s second Betfred Cup match featuring the Steelmen since the tournament changed format last season.
Don will be ably assisted by Frank Connor and Drew Kirkland, with Alan Muir on fourth official duties.
National call-ups for ‘Well youngstersThursday 13 July 2017
Four Motherwell youngsters have been called up to the Scotland under-16s squad for an International Tournament at the end of the month.
Robbie Hemfrey, Adam Kettings, Reece Mcalear and Cole Starrs have all earned themselves a national call-up following their performances in claret and amber. Only Celtic have more representatives in the squad, a vindication of the excellent work going on with the club’s Elite Academy.
Coach Brian McLaughlin has named a 20-player squad for the Tournament being held at Oriam and the Forthbank Stadium from July
Scotland will welcome Qatar, England and Uruguay between 25-29 July as part of a programme which is aimed at providing players with valuable international experience.
The squad, born in 2002 or later, will also travel to Poland in September for two friendly matches before participating in the Victory Shield in Northern Ireland.
Moult: Focused on fitnessWednesday 12 July 2017
‘Well forward Louis Moult catches up with MFC TV’s Lewis Irons ahead of competitive football getting back underway.
The 25-year-old striker, who is well on the way to recovering from injury, looked ahead to the campaign as he attended the Motherwell FC Community Trust cheque presentation from Cash for Kids at Fir Park.
And with his future in the media spotlight, the Motherwell number 9 addressed those rumours as well as discussing his fitness.
[pullquote]I’ve got a year left on my contract and in terms of myself I’ll still give 100% as I always do as long as I’m here, I’ll try and score as many goals as I possibly can because this club has been fantastic to me.[/pullquote]
He said: “I want to play every game, of course I do, but I may not be at the level of fitness to start at the moment.
“First and foremost I just want to train and get fit, and I’ll be a relieved man if I am training with the boys come Monday.”
He added: “I’ve got a year left on my contract and in terms of myself I’ll still give 100% as I always do as long as I’m here, I’ll try and score as many goals as I possibly can because this club has been fantastic to me.”
You can watch the strikers full interview on MFC TV’s YouTube channel.
Dom Thomas departsWednesday 12 July 2017
Motherwell FC can today confirm winger Dom Thomas has left the club to join Kilmarnock.
Thomas, a product of the club’s youth academy, has failed to nail down a regular first-team berth over the years and currently finds himself down the pecking order for a place in the starting eleven.
The 21-year old, who was on loan at Championship side Queen of the South last season, indicated his desire to leave the club late last week.
With his contract due to expire at the end of the current campaign, and with regular first-team football looking unlikely, the club has allowed the player to move to Rugby Park, but has protected its interests with a sizable sell-on clause.
[pullquote]“This deal allows the lad to try and advance his career but also protects Motherwell FC’s interests in the longer term, so it suits all parties.”[/pullquote]
Thomas leaves Motherwell having started four games over the last four years, with 33 appearances from the substitutes bench.
‘Well boss Stephen Robinson said: “I wanted to have a look at Dom over the first few weeks of pre-season, but he expressed a desire to move on from the club.
“This deal allows the lad to try and advance his career but also protects Motherwell FC’s interests in the longer term, so it suits all parties.”
Everyone at Motherwell FC would like to thank Dom for his contribution whilst at Fir Park and wish him every success for the future.
TV: Highlights from BarrowWednesday 12 July 2017
Highlights from the Furness Building Society Stadium where an early Jordan White goal gave Barrow a 1-0 win.