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    Edinburgh City 1 – 2 Motherwell

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    Build-up: Edinburgh City

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    ‘Well add young striker Newell

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    Cadden: We’re due a cup run

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    Robinson: Focused on top spot

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Robinson: Delighted with our approach

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    Morton win in pictures

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    Motherwell 4 – 0 Morton

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    Build-up: Greenock Morton

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    Edinburgh City 1 – 2 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell secured top spot in Group F of the Betfred Cup tonight with a 2-1 victory away to Edinburgh City.

    But it was a difficult encounter for Stephen Robinson’s men, who had to battle from behind to grab a late winner and maintain a 100% record in the group.

    Stephen Robinson made five changes to the side he fielded in the 4-0 victory over Morton on Saturday – calling on Stephen McManus, Jack McMillan, Alex Fisher and Ross MacLean, whilst handing summer signing Andy Rose his first start in claret and amber.

    Richard Tait, Gaël Bigirimana, Chris Cadden and Craig Tanner were included in a strong substitutes bench as the Fir Parkers searched for the three points needed to finish top of the group.

    And within the first 30 seconds it should have been 1-0 when a slack back header left Ryan Bowman with a glorious opportunity to grab his eighth goal in as many games.

    But the forward fluffed his lines when he tried to pass the ball beyond the advancing City stopper first time, catching it with his studs and the ball trickled in to the keepers gloves.

    Fisher missed the first of a series of headers just minutes later, heading over the crossbar from six-yards out before finding at least four other chances flash off target or straight at the grateful Callum Antell.

    The Fir Parkers continued to push and press off the ball whilst creating chances in abundance throughout a frustrating first half, but could not find a way past Antell and, in truth, didn’t test him either.

    Robinson acted fairly sharply when his side went in to the dressing room with the game goalless, brining on Craig Tanner and Chris Cadden and withdrawing Ryan Bowman and Ross MacLean.

    And it was the latter of the two substitutes who looked the liveliest, bursting down the right hand side of the park before firing a dangerous, low cross across the Citizen’s six yard box but agonizingly beyond the lurching Fisher and Tanner.

    Chances came and went but it remained a worrying feature through the clash that the Steelmen failed to truly test Antell.

    However, that all changed in the 64th minute when Alex Fisher got a strong head on Tanner’s cross, looping his effort over Antell who recovered superbly to scurry back and tip the effort over his cross bar and keep his side on level terms.

    Just over five minutes later, Edinburgh City took the lead and silenced the large, travelling Motherwell support.

    A long ball wasn’t dealt with at the back and Liam Grimes raced through one-on-one to slot cooly beyond Carson and the hosts took a shock lead with their first effort on target.

    However, the Steelmen sparked in to life and it was substitute Cadden who proved to be the difference.

    In the 75th minute, a good ball in to the box fell for Cadden at the back post who struck home to grab his third goal in as many games.

    The youngster then turned provider in the final minute of the 90 to avoid what looked like a certain penalty shootout.

    Cadden’s low ball across the box was met by the clever run of Frear, who tucked in from the left to steer his left-footed effort over the line and secure a hard-fought three points for Stephen Robinson’s men.

     

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Ainslie Park

     

    And with that result, The Steelmen confirm their place as Group F winners.

    FT: Edinburgh City 1 – 2 Motherwell

    90′ | 1-2

    Lovely flick by Bigirimana into the path of McHugh but Antell makes a good save to deny him the third

     89′ | 1-2

    Cadden fires a fine ball across goal and Frear tucks in and is on hand to steer it into the empty net!

    GOOAALL!!

    85′ | 1-1

    Tanner clips in a great little ball at the back post but McHugh’s header lands on the roof of the net.

    75 | 1-1

    Motherwell back on level terms! McMillan’s cross is headed only as far as Cadden who makes it 3 in 3 for the season.

    GOAL!

    71′ | 1-0

    Motherwell sub, Bigirimana on for Rose

    70′ | 1-0

    Goal – Incredibly Edinburgh City take the lead. Long ball not dealt with and Grimes cooly finishes past Carson

    64′ | 0-0

    Fisher loops a header which looks to be going in but Antell makes a great save, tipping it over the bar

    60′ | 0-0

    Thomson booked for impeding Frear as he broke away

    57′ | 0-0

    Claims for a penalty as Cadden goes down in the box but ref sees nothing in it and waves play on.

    56′ | 0-0

    Frear with a powerful shot which Antell has to beat away to safety

    49′ | 0-0

    Cadden knocks it past two and drills in a great ball across goals but there are no takers!

    Tanner gets the second half underway. COYW!!!

    Out come two sides for the second half, two subs for the Steelmen: Bowman and MacLean off for Cadden and Tanner

    HT: Edinburgh City 0 – 0 Motherwell

    41′ | 0-0

    Chance! Frear comes in off the left but his first shot is blocked and his second shot is blocked by Antell

    34 | 0-0

    Well worked move there from City but Laird drills his shot just past the post.

    31′ | 0-0

    Great chance again for Fisher, who got on the end of Bowman’s cross but nods wide of the target!

    20′ | 0-0

    Frear beats his man and swings in a ball which finds Rose but his left-footed volley is routine for Antell.

    13′ | 0-0

    Dunne fires in a great ball which again finds Fisher but his header loops over the bar onto the roof of the net

    10′ | 0-0

    Fisher is played in but from a narrow angle on his weaker foot, he produces a decent stop from Antell.

    9′ | 0-0

    Frear skips past his man down the clips and stands up a great ball to Fisher who this time hits the target but Antell saves

    2′ | 0-0

    Another decent chance! McMillan’s cross pick out Fisher but his header loops high and wide.

    1′ | 0-0

    ‘Well should be one up! Bowman clean through but Antell makes the save with his foot!

     

    City get the game underway. COYW!!!

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson:

     

    Edinburgh City manager xx

     

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”324″]

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    Build-up: Edinburgh City

    Motherwell travel to face Edinburgh City in the Betfred Cup tonight with the chance of securing top spot in Group F.

    Following a convincing win over Greenock Morton, Stephen Robinson’s men will be keen to maintain their winning start to competitive football for the 2017/18 campaign.

    And with tonight’s hosts hungry to find their first win of the competition, it will not be a simple task for the ‘Well tonight at Ainslie Park.

    And for Fir Park boss Robinson, this evening presents an opportunity to give some players in his squad some valuable game time.

    The Northern Irishman said: “First and foremost we want to get top spot in the group and it will make things easier if we do that, but we’ve also got boys who need games.

    “They’re waiting on the side and I can assure you they’re seasoned professionals that have played at the top level for a very long time so that’s what we’ve tried to create here – competition.”

    He added: “We want to have small squad with real competition where everybody feels like they’re not far from a starting position so three or four of them will get to prove that to me on Tuesday night.”

    And following a scintillating start to the new campaign, one man who will be keen to carry on his fine form is Chris Cadden, who has two goals in two games.

    The youngster himself admits that he wants to add more goals to his game and has so far started on the right tracks.

    However, it is also a priority for Stephen Robinson to rotate his side during a busy schedule to ensure no one suffers an injury.

    Cadden is enjoying himself though, and said: “I know pre-season games are always good for fitness and stuff but with this it’s competitive football straight away and the games mean something so it prepares you well for the first game of the season.

    “You maybe shouldn’t but you do approach the games differently because you know it’s for three points and there’s a potential cup run at stake.”

    He added: “Motherwell haven’t had a cup run in a while so I think it’s long overdue and the boys have been told that too so it’s important to all of us.”

    With the chance to secure top spot in Group F tonight, Robinson’s side will be hungry to pick up another three points following a dominant start to the competition in which the Fir Parkers have scored nine goals in two games.

    For tonight’s opponents though, they will be keen to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat against Queen’s Park.

    Sitting fourth in the table on two points, the Citizen’s will use the thought of a second placed finish as motivation this evening, as they sit just three points behind Morton.








    Edinburgh City V Motherwell 
    Tuesday 25th July 2017
    7.45pm
    Ainslie Park, Edinburgh
    Available on the gate

    Admission prices are as follows: 

    ADULTS   £12 
    CONCESSIONS      £6
    • Concessions are listed as Under 18s, over 60 and students
    • Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Darren  on 07722 912666 or email darren@mfcdsa.com.

    If you can’t make it to tonight, 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.

  • Archive

    ‘Well add young striker Newell

    Motherwell FC has today signed young striker George Newell on a contract until the end of the season.

    The 20-year old has joined on a Fir Park following his release from Bolton Wanderers in the summer.

    Newell, son of former Blackburn and Everton striker Mike, came through the youth ranks at Everton and helped the Toffees Under 18s lift the Academy League title in 2013/14.

    He moved to the Macron Stadium in 2015, eventually making his first-team debut in a EFL Championship win over Hull City in April 2016, when he was a 65th minute sub for Emile Heskey. He was also introduced the following week against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

    Newell will join fellow summer recruits Dylan King (Oldham) and Liam Brown (Queen’s Park) in Stephen Craigan’s youth squad, but Stephen Robinson hopes the Formby-born youngster can push for a place in the first-team.

    “We are really excited with what we have seen from George already,” Robinson said.

    “He’s played a couple of games for our Under 20s and has really shone, scoring a couple of goals. Although he’ll form part of that group initially, I fully expect to see him push for a spot.

    “He’s young, hungry and is one of those busy, never-say-die strikers that football fans love.”

    Newell himself added: “I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get started. All the lads here are really friendly and have taken me in well so far.

    “For me this is the next step because Motherwell presented the best opportunity for me as a player – I hope to push myself as much as I can and hopefully contest for a place in the first team.”

  • Archive

    Cadden: We’re due a cup run

    Chris Cadden believes that a cup run is “long over-due” for Motherwell football club as they prepare for tomorrow night’s Betfred Cup encounter.

    The Fir Parkers take on Edinburgh City and have the chance to secure top spot in Group F following two convincing victories in the competition.

    And for young midfield star Cadden, who “loves” the format of the tournament, a potential run could do wonders for the squad of players at Fir Park.

    [pullquote]Motherwell haven’t had a cup run in a while so I think it’s long overdue and the boys have been told that too so it’s important to all of us.[/pullquote]

    He said: “I love it – I know pre-season games are always good for fitness and stuff but with this it’s competitive football straight away and the games mean something so it prepares you well for the first game of the season.

    “You maybe shouldn’t but you do approach the games differently because you know it’s for three points and there’s a potential cup run at stake.”

    He added: “Motherwell haven’t had a cup run in a while so I think it’s long overdue and the boys have been told that too so it’s important to all of us.”

  • Archive

    Robinson: Focused on top spot

    ‘Well boss Stephen Robinson has his sights set on clinching top spot in Group F tomorrow night as the Steelmen travel to take on Edinburgh City.

    And with the same squad to choose from following his side’s 4-0 victory over Morton on Saturday, Robinson admits he could take the opportunity to give some players some important minutes.

    Speaking to the press this morning, the manager previewed tomorrow nights Betfred encounter.

    [pullquote]We want to have small squad with real competition where everybody feels like they’re not far from a starting position.[/pullquote]

    He said: “First and foremost we want to get top spot in the group and it will make things easier if we do that, but we’ve also got boys who need games.

    “They’re waiting on the side and I can assure you they’re seasoned professionals that have played at the top level for a very long time so that’s what we’ve tried to create here – competition.”

    He added: “We want to have small squad with real competition where everybody feels like they’re not far from a starting position so three or four of them will get to prove that to me on Tuesday night.”

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Extended highlights from Fir Park as goals from Dunne, Cadden, Tait and Moult secure a 4-0 win over Morton.

  • Archive

    Robinson: Delighted with our approach

    ‘Well boss Stephen Robinson was “delighted” to see his side see off a strong Morton outfit this afternoon – winning 4-0 at Fir Park.

    The visiting Greenock side, who came in to the game as leaders of the group, couldn’t live with a dominant Motherwell side in Lanarkshire.

    And Robinson hailed his sides desire and work rate as they moved back to the summit of the group.

    [pullquote]I think it was more with the manner that we approached the game – going one nil up, two nil up, and being aggressive, pressing with high energy and not giving them a minutes peace.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV, he said: “We’re delighted with our performance because from the two games we’ve played we’ve scored nine goals.

    “But I think it was more with the manner that we approached the game – going one nil up, two nil up, and being aggressive, pressing with high energy and not giving them a minutes peace.”

    He added: “But believe me, they’re a good team Morton and we made them look average today just by our attitude, desire and work rate so that’s probably the most pleasing aspect for me.”

  • Archive

    Morton win in pictures

    Images from this afternoon’s 4-0 win over Greenock Morton in the Betfred Cup.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix

    [svgallery name=”morton220717″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell 4 – 0 Morton

    [tab:Match report]

    A very impressive display from Motherwell easily dealt with the potential challenge of Morton, taking them to the top of Group F and favourites to move into the next round of the Betfred Cup.

    Although the Greenock side had an impressive campaign last season there was little chance of the Cappielow side repeating their cup win over Motherwell two years ago – especially after the Fir Park men opened the scoring in the opening minutes.

    There were two changes from the side which kicked off the Betfred Cup campaign at Hampden. Ryan Bowman was rewarded for last week’s double with a start in the home attack and Charles Dunne made his debut at the expense of Stevie Hammell.

    And the former Oldham defender took less than three minutes to mark his first appearance in a ‘Well jersey to claim his first goal.

    The opportunity to grab an early opener looked to have been lost when Trevor Carson’s long ball over the Morton defence released Craig Tanner but one-on-one with the ‘keeper, his effort was blocked by Derek Gaston.

    From the resultant corner Tanner picked out Carl McHugh whose floated header towards goal was nodded over the line by Dunne for the perfect start.

    Ten minutes later, Tanner’s corner was again met by McHugh but this time he powered his diving header just over the bar.

    Carson, whose distribution with either foot seems a real bonus, claimed another assist when the Steelmen doubled their lead after 25 minutes.

    The ‘keeper’s free kick from well beyond his box, was glanced on by Bowman and when Tanner slipped the ball through to Cadden, the young midfielder confidently angled his drive across the ‘keeper for his second goal of the campaign.

    Ryan Bowman almost made it three when he hooked Richard Tait’s cross narrowly wide of goal.

    Morton’s hopes of a fightback were hampered seven minutes from half-time when the experienced Gary Harkins was shown a red card for a high and dangerous tackle on Tanner.

    In the minutes before the interval, Bowman had a couple of chances to extend the home lead. Firstly, Michael Doyle’s short pass back sent the ‘Well striker towards goal but Gaston raced out of his box to make a great blocking tackle.

    Then Dunne’s incisive pass allowed Bowman to turn at the edge of the box and his low shot was sneaking inside the post until the ‘keeper leapt low to palm it away.

    Comfortably in command at the interval, Motherwell used their extra man in the second half to move the ball around the final third and keep Morton penned deep in their own half.

    Following a couple of chances, including a crisply struck 22-yard effort from the hugely influential Gael Bigirimana, the Fir Parkers finally made it three nil after 66 minutes.

    Carl McHugh’s intelligent chipped effort from 25 yards rebounded from the face of the crossbar and Richard Tait reacted quickly to squeeze the ball between the keeper and his right-hand post.

    That also signalled a double substitution with strikers Louis Moult and Alex Fisher intent of giving the overworked Morton defence a difficult final 20 minutes.

    Still to regain full fitness Moult took only six minutes to mark his appearance from the bench with another superb free kick curling the ball from the corner of the box beyond Gaston’s despairing dive.

    Andy Rose replaced Tait and he came close to making it five, but slid Dunne’s pass on the wrong side of the post.

    The best chance to go nap for the second consecutive week fell to Moult but having pounced on Bobby Thomson’s slack pass back the ‘Well striker rattled the ball off the advancing ‘keeper, with Bigirimana doing exactly the same with the rebound.

    Motherwell now travel to the capital on Tuesday evening knowing that a win over Edinburgh City will guarantee them top spot in the section.

     

    tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    The Steelmen ease past 10-man Morton and now top Group F.

    FT: Motherwell 4 – 0 Greenock Morton

    88′ | 4-0
    Morton sub, Armour on for Russell

    83′ | 4-0
    Should have been 5! Back pass is too short which lets Moult in but Gaston makes a fine double save from Moult then Bigirimana

    81′ | 4-0
    Dunne clips in a great ball to the back post which Rose knocks just wide of the post.

    Changes for Morton as well, Quitongo and Thomson off for McHugh and Strapp

    76′ | 4-0
    Motherwell sub, Tait off for Rose.

    73′ | 4-0
    It’s that man Moult again! Curls a beauty over the wall and past Gaston!!

    GOOOAALLL!!!!

    72′ | 3-0
    ‘Well have a free-kick right on the edge of the box…..

    68′ | 3-0
    Motherwell subs, Frear and Bowman off for Fisher and Moult

    67′ | 3-0
    Could feel it coming and there it is! McHugh curls one off the bar and Tait is on hand with a nice finish!

    GGOOAALLL!!

    65′ | 2-0
    Bigirimana with a rocket from distance but Gaston makes it look comfortable with some safe hands.

    63′ | 2-0
    Lovely quick bit of passing sets Frear clear down the left. His low cross is met by Bowman but he can’t steer it on target.

    53′ | 2-0
    Kipré powers a shot from distance but see’s it fly just over the bar

    51′ | 2-0
    That would have been beautiful. Bigirimana with a Cruyff-flick to Tanner who does the same to Cadden but Gaston saves!

    Quitongo gets the second half underway.

    HT: Motherwell 2 – 0 Greenock Morton

    45+1′ | 2-0
    Bowman’s turn and shot from the edge of the box is tipped past for a corner.

    43′ | 2-0
    Nearly three as Bowman broke clear but again Gaston stands up well and makes the save!

    38′ | 2-0
    RED CARD! Harkins sent off for a high and late challenge on Tanner.

    37′ | 2-0
    Cadden gets the break of the ball and bursts forward. Opts for the shot but slices it past the post.

    32′ | 2-0
    Bigirimana booked for a firm challenge.

    27′ | 2-0
    Cross into the box finds Bowman who tries the spectacular flying volley. Skews it wide of the post, though.

    25′ | 2-0
    Bowman’s flick-on is knocked into the path of Tanner who knocks it on to Cadden who cooly slots home past Gaston!

    GOAALL!!!

    23′ | 1-0
    Nice bit of play there between Bigirimana and Tanner but as the ball is fed through to Bowman, he is ruled offside.

    12′ | 1-0
    Chance! Great corner in from Tanner finds McHugh who attempts a diving header but it goes just over the bar!

    10′ | 1-0
    Bigirimana with a very speculative free-kick from 35 yards. Well over the bar.

    3′ | 1-0
    Dunne opens the scoring! McHugh flicks on a corner and the debutant heads home from close!!

    GOOAALL!!

    2′ | 0-0
    Great chance! Carson’s ball over the top leaves Tanner 1v1 but Gaston stands up and makes a good stop!

    Tanner gets the action underway. COYW!!!!!

    Out come the sides, kick-off fast approaching. COYW!!

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell caretaker manager Stephen Robinson:

     

    Greenock Morton manager Jim Duffy

     

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”325″]

  • Archive

    Build-up: Greenock Morton

    Motherwell host Greenock Morton in arguably the toughest fixture of the Fir Parkers Betfred Cup group.

    Following the 5-1 victory over Queen’s Park, Stephen Robinson’s men prepare for Jim Duffy’s Morton – who come in to the clash on the back of a penalty victory over the Spiders midweek.

    And with things starting to gel in the Fir Park camp, Robinson is feeling optimistic, but knows the Ton will be a difficult challenge.

    “It’s been good this week,” Robinson said,  “because it goes a lot easier and a lot quicker when you’ve won a game and we won the game comfortably – it was a good performance.

    “It’s still very much pre-season and I know the competitive games have started but people are still finding their feet and still finding an understanding for each other.”

    He added: “I went to watch Morton the other night – it was a good game and Queen’s Park did well against them.

    “But I’m expecting a tough challenge from Jim Duffy’s side who are always up for it, will be aggressive and put balls in behind and they’ll be well organised too.”

    With the likes of Michael Tidser, Gary Harkins and ex-Well man Ross Forbes, the middle of the park will be a key area of the park tomorrow afternoon.

    And one man who could play a crucial role is summer signing Andy Rose, who is relishing the challenge awaiting him this season.

    The 27-year-old ex-Seattle Sounder’s star said: “It’s been a really enjoyable month full of hard work, as you’d expect. Everybody at the club has been very supportive so it’s been a really easy transition.

    “Hampden was a fantastic experience last week. It’s obviously an amazing stadium to play in with a beautiful pitch so to kick the season off there was a great experience.”

    The training is very intense – and as long as you have guys pushing you for a spot you’re going to get better so it’s a great squad to be a part of.

    When asked about the competition for a spot in the starting eleven, the Australian added: “It’s hugely important for any club and I expected that coming in. I’m excited about that and I think that pushes you as a player.

    “I’m at a point in my career now where I really want to take a step forward and I think the only way you do that is by developing and getting better every single day.

    “Being pushed to your limit in training every day, that’s something the manager certainly does here – the training is very intense – and as long as you have guys pushing you for a spot you’re going to get better so it’s a great squad to be a part of.”

     








    Motherwell V Greenock Morton
    Saturday 22nd July 2017
    3.00pm
    Fir Park, Motherwell
    Available at the Fir Park ticket office and on the gate

    Admission prices are as follows: 

    ADULTS   £12 
    CONCESSIONS      £6
    • Concessions are listed as Under 18s, over 60 and students
    • Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Darren  on 07722 912666 or email darren@mfcdsa.com.

    If you can’t make it to 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.