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    St Johnstone 4 – 1 Motherwell

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    Build-up: St Johnstone

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    Tait: We must battle harder

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    Robinson: Spirits are high

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    ‘Well vs Dons: Ticket Information

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    Thomson to officiate Saints trip

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    Date confirmed for Dons clash

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    Aberdeen up next for ‘Well

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    TV: Highlights from Dingwall

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    Robinson: Boys can feel proud

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    St Johnstone 4 – 1 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell ended their first away game in the 2017/18 campaign with eight men on the park as controversial decisions overshadowed what looked like being another positive performance.

    Trevor Carson, Carl McHugh and Charles Dunne were all sent off on an afternoon when the Steelmen were searching for their first win at McDiarmid Park since 2011.

    Stephen Robinson named two changes to the side which made the long trip north on Wednesday night, replacing Louis Moult and Craig Tanner with Ryan Bowman and Alex Fisher, with the former two being included on the bench.

    But despite a positive start to the game, somehow Robinson’s men found themselves a goal down when Steven MacLean turned the ball over Carson’s head via a slice of good fortune when Stefan Scougall’s shot deflected in to the forward’s path.

    Then, with virtually their second attack, the Saints were two up when Michael O’Halloran cut inside far too easily to finish neatly beyond Carson low at the far post.

    However, that didn’t dent the Fir Parkers confidence as they continued to enjoy far more possession and looked eager to play good football.

    That was rewarded when a well worked free kick was turned home by Andy Rose to score his first goal in Claret and Amber. McHugh’s in-swinging set piece was nodded on to the far post where Rose was on hand to head beyond Mannus.

    That lifted the side and the travelling support and, as the second half got underway, it seemed the goal had buoyed the Steelmen as they came back out playing just like they had ended the first half – on top.

    And Rose went close, again with his head, but was denied by a superb save from Alan Mannus in the Saints goal.

    Everything changed just after the hour mark when Carson rushed out to collect a loose ball but, under pressure from the onrushing MacLean and having looked to have misjudged the situation, the stopper was sent off for a deliberate hand ball despite being on the line of his box when he handled it.

    Robinson then brought on Russell Griffiths, sacrificing the energetic Gaël Bigirimana, as he tried to see his side remain in touch in the game.

    Despite being a man down, an equaliser nearly arrived when substitute Louis Moult curled a freekick inches over the crossbar.

    Just under ten minutes later, O’Halloran grabbed his second of the game when his low effort deflected past Griffiths with just fifteen minutes remaining.

    Things got worse when McHugh followed Carson down the tunnel when he picked up his second yellow card of the game for a sliding challenge on Steven Anderson.

    But the Steelmen didn’t let that knock them, as Rose again went close to grabbing his second of the game when his low effort fizzed towards goal but was turned wide by Mannus.

    Down the other end of the park, somehow, there was another red card.

    Substitute Graham Cummins broke in to the box before kicking the ground, yet referee Craig Thomson inexplicably awarded a penalty to the hosts and, on top of that, issued a third red card of the afternoon, this time for Charles Dunne, who just happened to be closest to the forward.

    O’Halloran looked set to grab his hattrick but Griffiths produced a fine save to deny the Saints man and keep the score to 3-1.

    The game, which had become farcical, wasn’t finished and Murray Davidson finished things off with a neat finish from a cut back in the 94th minute.

     

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at McDiarmid Park

     

    FT: St Johnstone 4 – 1 Motherwell

    92′ | 4-1
    Goal – Davidson slots home to make it 4 from a cut-back

    From the penalty, Griffiths makes the save!

    88′ | 3-1
    Red card! Cummins appears to trip in the box and the ref sends off Dunne!

    81′ | 3-1
    St Johnstone sub, MacLean off for Hendry

    80′ | 3-1
    Rose’s fizzing low shot is pushed wide for a corner.

    76′ | 3-1
    Red card! McHugh gets his second booking and is sent off!

    75′ | 3-1
    St Johnstone sub, Alston on for Wotherspoon

    74′ | 3-1
    Goal – O’Halloran makes it 3-1 with a powerful low shot from just inside the box

    69′ | 2-1
    Couple of subs, Tanner on for Tait and Scougall off for Cummins

    65′ | 2-1
    Free-kick to ‘Well about 30 yards out. Moult hits it….inches over the bar!

    63′ | 2-1
    Motherwell sub, Griffiths on for Bigirimana

    62′ | 2-1
    Red card! Carson sent off for a deliberate handball outside the area.

    57′ | 2-1
    Incredibly Moult beats two men and with a good break on the ref pulls it back for a foul and books Scougall.

    56′ | 2-1
    Motherwell sub, Bowman off for Moult

    53′ | 2-1
    A header falls into the path of Cadden but he gets it wrong and blasts into row z.

    49′ | 2-1
    Free-kick to Motherwell on the right-hand side…Rose’s header is palmed wide for a corner by Mannus!!
    Both teams are back out and Saints get the second 45 underway. COYW!!

    HT: St Johnstone 2 – 1 Motherwell

    45′ | 2-1
    Bigirimana drags his shot just wide of the post from 20 yards

    One minute added on

    36′ | 2-1
    McHugh booked for a foul on Scougall

    34′ | 2-1
    Dunne does well to get forward but his drilled cross is plucked out the air by Mannus.

    28′ | 2-1
    Motherwell’s dominance of the ball finally paid off! McHugh’s free-kick is headed in at the back post by Rose! Come on!!

    GGOOAALL!!

    17′ | 2-0
    Goal – Incredibly Saints are 2 up. O’Halloran comes in off the right and places it past Carson.

    16′ | 1-0
    Half-chane for ‘Well. Bowman turns his man from a throw-in but can’t pick out Fisher and the chance goes.

    8′ | 1-0
    Goal – Saints open the scoring. MacLean gets the break of the ball and reacts quickly to flick the ball into the net over Carson

    7′ | 0-0
    No real chances as of yet but a couple of decent balls put into the area with no takers.

    Cadden gets the action underway. COYW!!!

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson:

     

    St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright

     

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”326″]

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    Build-up: St Johnstone

    Motherwell face the hard task of an away trip to face St Johnstone in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow afternoon. 

    However, following a hard-fought win on Wednesday night in the Betfred Cup last 16, the Fir Parkers head in to the clash with confidence at an early high.

    Add in to the mix a positive performance against Rangers in the opening league match, and Stephen Robinson and his side can have a sense of optimism as they prepare to travel to take on a side with European aspirations.

    It has been a positive start to the 2017/18 campaign for the ‘Well, with the 2-1 defeat against Rangers the only blemish on an otherwise perfect start to the season.

    But with a run of tough fixtures just around the corner, manager Stephen Robinson is aware it’s not going to be easy for his team, who are in the middle of a six-day run with three games.

    Despite the problems that may pose physically, the Fir Park boss is confident in his players ahead of tomorrow’s league encounter.

    “The spirits are high,” he said. “The boys have had two days to recover and start to prepare for the St Johnstone game and our minds are now switched to trying to get three points.

    “It was a long trip on Wednesday night and the game went on a lot longer than we wanted it to but the buzz you get from winning that game will out-do any kind of tiredness.”

    He added: “The boys are really looking forward to Saturday, there’s a lot of confidence in the team and in the camp.

    “We’ve won five games out of six since the start of the season so there’s some belief.

    “When you get belief you can start to build a real team spirit and fans start to believe in what the players are doing as well so there’s a good feeling around the place at the moment.”

    [pullquote]When you get belief you can start to build a real team spirit and fans start to believe in what the players are doing as well so there’s a good feeling around the place.[/pullquote]

    For right-back Richard Tait, tomorrow will be another tough task – but one that he believes Motherwell are ready for.

    “It will be another tough game, it always is against St Johnstone,” he said. “They’re a tough side to play against, they battle and they scrap and that’s what it will be again on Saturday.

    “If we can win most of the second balls and battle harder than them then we’ll win the game.”

    He added: “You approach every game wanting to win it, whether it’s a cup game or a league match.

    “Not winning the first game of the season in the league adds a little bit of pressure for us to get points on the board – so we’ll be going out there on Saturday to win the match.”

    If Motherwell have motivation to win a league game married with the confidence of a cup win, tomorrow’s opponents St Johnstone come in to the match on the completely opposite boat.

    Having won their first league game, the Saint’s were knocked out of the Betfred Cup on Tuesday night by Partick Thistle.

    But Tommy Wright’s men will be buoyed by a positive start in the league, where a 2-1 win away to Kilmarnock gave the Perthshire side an ideal start to their season.

    The Saints have had a relatively quiet summer window when compared with a number of other clubs in the top flight, but it has been a positive one for Tommy Wright.

    Last season’s top scorer Danny Swanson departed for Hibs but was swiftly replaced by Michael O’Halloran. Along with the likes of Stefan Scougall, Aaron Comrie and Scott Tanser – it’s been a productive window for St Johnstone.

    The last time ‘Well made the trip north they came back down the road with a point. But following Wednesday night’s victory in Dingwall, there is an air of confidence, and an ever present hunger to win, ahead of tomorrow’s league encounter.








    St Johnstone V Motherwell
    Saturday 12th August 2017
    3.00pm
    McDiarmid Park, Perth
    Available on the gate

    Admission prices are as follows: 

    ADULTS   £23 
    CONCESSIONS      £13
    13-18      £12
    UNDER 12*     FREE
    • *Free when accompanied by an adult
    • Motherwell fans located in the North Stand
    • 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.

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    Tait: We must battle harder

    Richard Tait is prepared to battle-harder than the opposition as Motherwell face St Johnstone this weekend.

    The tireless right-back spoke to the broadcast media this morning ahead of the ‘Well’s third game in six days and believes it will be another tough test.

    However, the 27-year-old believes the key to victory lies in work-rate – and, with the momentum from Wednesday nights victory, the Fir Parkers are well prepared.

    [pullquote]It will be another tough game, it always is against St Johnstone. They’re a tough side to play against, they battle and they scrap and that’s what it will be again on Saturday.[/pullquote]

    He said: “It was a good result for us and it was a hard-fought match. To come out on top gives us an extra boost and if we can take that in to the weekend that would be great as well.”

    “It will be another tough game, it always is against St Johnstone,” he added. “They’re a tough side to play against, they battle and they scrap and that’s what it will be again on Saturday.

    “If we can win most of the second balls and battle harder than them then we’ll win the game.”

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    Robinson: Spirits are high

    Stephen Robinson believes there are “high spirits” among the squad as the Steelmen prepare to face St Johnstone this weekend.

    And the Northern Irishman believes that winning on Wednesday night against Ross County in the Betfred Cup will help push the players through a hard, busy run of games.

    Speaking to the broadcast press this morning, Robinson looked ahead to the second fixture of the Premiership campaign.

    [pullquote]The boys have had two days to recover and start to prepare for the St Johnstone game and our minds are now switched to trying to get three points.[/pullquote]

    “The spirits are high,” he said. “The boys have had two days to recover and start to prepare for the St Johnstone game and our minds are now switched to trying to get three points.

    “It was a long trip on Wednesday night and the game went on a lot longer than we wanted it to but the buzz you get from winning that game will out-do any kind of tiredness.”

    He added: “The boys are really looking forward to Saturday, there’s a lot of confidence in the team and in the camp.”

     

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    ‘Well vs Dons: Ticket Information

    Motherwell and Aberdeen have agreed a special ticket deal for the forthcoming double-header in late September.

    The Steelmen take on the Dons in the Quarter Final of the Betfred Cup on Thursday 21st September (7.45pm KO) before the two sides square up again on league business just three days later, Sunday 24th September (12.45pm KO).

    And following discussions between both clubs this afternoon, admission prices (available on the turnstile on the night of the match) for the Cup game have been set at:

    Adults: £10
    Concessions: £5

    • Concessions are listed as Under 18s, Over 60s and Full Time Students with a valid matriculation card.

    In addition, the two clubs have agreed a reciprocal deal for Season Ticket holders for the SPFL Premiership games on Sunday 24th September at Fir Park, and the reverse fixture at Pittodrie on 18th November.

    Dons Season Ticket holders can get into the game for £15 for adults and £10 for juveniles/concessions – full details on how visiting fans can obtain that reduced priced offer will be available on the AFC website.

    In addition, ‘Well Season Ticket holders will receive an identical discount if they present ‘Special Voucher A’ from the back of their books when they visit Pittodrie in three months time, one voucher per fan.

    ‘Well Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows: “We have been presented with an unusual anomaly with two games against Aberdeen in the space of four days, both live on BT Sport.

    “After positive discussions yesterday, underlining the good relationship that exists between both clubs, we have agreed these various measures to try and make it as affordable for fans both at that double-header and the game at Pittodrie in November, which is the start of a fairly long run of away games for our supporters.

    “It’s the first League Cup Quarter Final we’ve been involved in since 2013, so everyone is very much looking forward to the game and hopefully we can continue the positive vibe that is around the club at the moment with a big crowd on the night.”

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    Thomson to officiate Saints trip

    Referee for Saturday’s league match against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park is Craig Thomson.

    The 45-year old takes charge of his first Motherwell fixture of the season, after taking charge on four occasions last term.

    That included both the first and last games of the season, starting with a win against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park and ending with a 3-2 loss away to Inverness.

    In between those clashes, the official oversaw a 1-1 draw away to Partick Thistle in September and the crushing Scottish Cup defeat against Rangers at Ibrox.

    One of the top Scottish referee’s in the game, Thomson has been in charge of fixtures at all levels of the game, including the UEFA Champions League and World Cup Qualifiers.

    Of the three matches he refereed in Europe’s premier club competition last season, one match included 2015/16 finalists Atlético Madrid.

    His record in charge of the Steelmen is a bit of a mixed bag with 16 wins from 49 matches. There have been 23 defeats and ten draws too.

    Not included in that list was the 2007/08 Scottish Cup fourth round replay win against Hearts at Fir Park, when he replaced the injured Stuart Dougal midway through the second-half.

    In those games, Motherwell have scored 69 and conceded 73.

    168 players have gone into the book, 86 were wearing claret and amber, while seven players, including former captains Stephen Craigan and Keith Lasley, have been dismissed. The most recent was Stephen McManus in an away defeat to Inverness.

    Craig will be ably assisted by Alan Mulvanny and Anthony Cooper; with Kevin Clancy on fourth official duties.

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    Date confirmed for Dons clash

    Motherwell’s clash with Aberdeen in the quarter final of the Betfred Cup has been confirmed for Thursday, 21st September.

    The fixture, which kicks off at 7:45pm, comes just a few days before the Steelmen face the Dons in the Premiership, with both games live on BT Sport.

    Ticket information will be announced in due course.

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    Aberdeen up next for ‘Well

    Motherwell have been drawn at home to Aberdeen in the quarter final of the Betfred Cup next month.

    After overcoming Ross County 3-2 with ten-men at the Global Energy Stadium, Stephen Robinson’s men will face the tough task of hosting Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen as the cup whittles down to the last eight.

    The tie will be played mid-week on either the 19th, 20th or 21st of September – in the same week Aberdeen come to Fir Park in the league on Sunday 24th.

    The full draw is as follows:

    Hibernian vs Livingston

    Motherwell vs Aberdeen

    Dundee vs Celtic

    Partick Thistle vs Rangers

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    TV: Highlights from Dingwall

    The best of the action from Dingwall where Ross MacLean’s extra-time strike fires the Steelmen into the quarter finals of the Betfred Cup.

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    Robinson: Boys can feel proud

    ‘Well boss Stephen Robinson admitted that his players can be proud of themselves after they battled to a 3-2 victory with ten men tonight against Ross County.

    A late winner from substitute Ross MacLean sealed the Steelmen’s progression to the quarter-finals on a dramatic evening in Dingwall.

    Speaking to MFC TV at full time, the manager reflected on a hard-fought performance, as well as the draw for the next round.

    [pullquote]The determination in the last fifteen minutes of the game was fantastic and the boys should be proud of themselves.[/pullquote]

    He said: “I’m absolutely delighted. We got the performance on Sunday but tonight we got the performance and the result too.

    “The boys showed tremendous character to progress after going down to ten men against a team like Ross County, who are a strong, strong team.”

    He added: “The determination in the last fifteen minutes of the game was fantastic and the boys should be proud of themselves.”

    You can watch the manager’s full post-match interview on MFC TV’s official YouTube channel.