Ross MacLean, James Scott and Alfredo Agyeman scored to make it a second win in a row for Stephen Craigan’s Motherwell Under 20s side.
- Reserves & Under 18s
U20s highlights: Motherwell 3-0 FalkirkWednesday 07 February 2018
- Reserves & Under 18s
Craigan: Second half showing was poorWednesday 07 February 2018
Stephen Craigan felt his side could have done more despite running out comfortable 3-0 winners against Falkirk.
A comfortable first half was followed up by a rather stale second 45, and the Northern Irishman admitted that he wanted more over 90 minutes.
Speaking at full time, Craigan reflected on a second consecutive Development League win.
“I enjoyed watching us in the first half,” he said, “but in the second half I think we lost our way a little bit.
“The message at half time was don’t give the opposition any encouragement because they do have decent players in their team.”
He added: “I’m a bit disappointed because I felt there were a number of players on the park who didn’t affect the game, who I felt there was more to come from.”
- Reserves & Under 18s
Motherwell U20s 3 – 0 Falkirk U20sWednesday 07 February 2018
Motherwell Under 20s picked up a second consecutive victory in the Development League with a 3-0 victory over Falkirk.
Goals from Ross MacLean, James Scott and Alfredo Agyeman made it a fairly comfortable win for Stephen Craigan’s side at the Excelsior Stadium.
And there was also 45 minutes for Elliott Frear, who provided two assists in the first half before being replaced by fellow senior player Stephen Hendrie, who got some important minutes under his belt.
In a dominant opening half hour, ‘Well should have been off the mark in the 17th minute when Jake Hastie was bundled to the deck in the box.
But from the resulting penalty, MacLean was denied by Bairns stopper Mutch.
Seven minutes later, the midfielder made amends. A lovely crossfield ball was controlled by Frear who whipped in a terrific ball for MacLean, who took a touch and fired home to open the scoring.
‘Well hit two in the space of two minutes and it was again Frear who was the architect.
The winger terrorised the Falkirk defence before hanging up a lovely cross to the back post. Scott stooped to head home despite the best efforts of Mutch on the line.
Coming off the bench, Agyeman looked lively and excitable and got his reward in the 82nd minute.
Bursting to latch on to a header, the youngster showed strength to hold off his man, pace to get away from him and then composure to slot it past the advancing keeper.
- First team
Players react to win over St JohnstoneWednesday 07 February 2018
Goalscorers Allan Campbell and Curtis Main, along with goalkeeper Trevor Carson, gave their reaction after the 2-0 win over St Johnstone in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
- First team
Highlights: Motherwell 2-0 St JohnstoneWednesday 07 February 2018
Extended highlights from Fir Park as Allan Campbell and Curtis Main score in a 2-0 win for the Steelmen.
- First team
Robinson: We earned the right to playTuesday 06 February 2018
Stephen Robinson felt his side earned the right to play some impressive football after a hard-fought first half performance.
Two second half goals and a dominant showing in the second period ultimately led to another 2-0 home victory, and passage back in to the top six.
But it was all down to the effort and determination shown by his players from the first whistle.
“I thought it was a very good, well-deserved win,” the Northern Irishman said, “in the first half I picked a team that would be physically strong because we know St Johnstone are a hard team to play against.
“But I thought we outfought and out-battled them in the first half. We could have got the ball down and played a bit more though, but we earned the right to do that in the second half.”
He added: “In the second half I thought the performance was terrific. We had a lot of chances and we could have won the game by more, but that’s what we were about in the early parts of the season. We physically dominated teams, then earned the right to play.”
- First team
Motherwell 2 – 0 St JohnstoneTuesday 06 February 2018
Lewis Irons at Fir Park
Motherwell maintained their strong start to the year with a 2-0 home win over St Johnstone.
A rather scrappy first half was followed up by a solid second 45, in which the Steelmen controlled and ran out victors thanks to goals from Allan Campbell and Curtis Main.
But, in truth, ‘Well’s number nine could have had more than one, and went closest to breaking the deadlock during a hard fought first period.
Collecting the ball on the edge of the area, the striker struck a venomous effort on goal, beating Alan Mannus but being denied by the top side of the crossbar.
Stephen Robinson’s side came flying out of the traps after the break though, and should have opened the scoring when Main cleverly squared the ball across the six-yard box with his back to goal, but nobody was on hand to finish it off.
The striker was then fed through one-on-one thanks to a lovely through ball from Nadir Çiftçi, but he was denied by a terrific stop from the foot of Mannus.
The lead came in the 65th minute though, when Allan Campbell showed incredible desire to burst in to the box to fire home Andy Rose’s low cross.
Five minutes later, ‘Well were two in front and Main had a well-deserved fourth goal in his first six games.
Tait’s ball found the forward on the edge of the area, whose clever touch afforded himself a yard to finish low in to the far corner.
- First team
Main relishing role at Fir ParkTuesday 06 February 2018
Three goals in his first three league games.
Few strikers manage to settle in to new surroundings quite as well as Curtis Main has at Motherwell. Add to that his assist in the Scottish Cup, and the new signing has got off to a near-perfect start, directly contributing to a goal in every one of his first four games.
But the thing that stands out most about Fir Park’s new number nine is that he isn’t basking in the glory following his fast start.
His first put Ross County to the sword in a 2-0 win, his second snatched a dramatic late goal against Hearts at Tynecastle, and his third spurred on a dramatic late fightback against Hibs. He then nearly found the top corner in stoppage time at Easter Road, only to be denied by an excellent stop from Ofir Marciano.
But he wants more.
“It’s just the start,” he said. “I’m here to score far more than three. I’m not thinking too much about the goals I’ve scored, I’m always thinking about the next game and the next goal.
“But I think one of the main things for me is how welcome I’ve felt in such a short space of time.
“From day one here I just knew that I had made the right choice. The manager and all of the players and coaching staff, as well as everyone around the club, really did make me feel welcome.”
With the second of two games in quick succession awaiting the ‘Well on Tuesday night, Curtis is hopeful of picking up some important points in a spell he believes to be crucial for the remainder of the season.
“When you look at the fixtures coming up now, you can certainly see how important they are,” he added
“We’re going up against sides that are near us points-wise and if we want to fulfil our aspirations of a top six spot then we need to beat these teams to do that. For me, these next home games are very big for us and for our season.”
Linking up with fellow new striker Nadir Çiftçi has so far led to some tantalising moments which ‘Well fans will rightly be eager to see more of.
“Nads has come in as well and made things very easy for me to settle in to.
“When we linked up for that goal against Ross County it all came from the movement and the pass from Nadir, so one of the important things about both of us is that we are going to be selfless with anyone in the team.
“And things are going to get even better for us too, with Ryan Bowman and George Newell coming back in the coming weeks hopefully, it shows that there is depth and quality in this squad.
“That comes from the manager though. He has that attitude instilled in the dressing room and there is such a togetherness around the club.
“We’re all very hard-working and honest with each other. There’s competition for places all over the park so we don’t only encourage one another, but we also drive each other by pushing and pushing for a place in the team.
“That’s crucial in football, and all the lads will agree. No one will duck away from that challenge in our dressing room. That suits me as a person so it’s been easy for me to feel at home here in Motherwell.”
- First team
Preview: Motherwell v St JohnstoneMonday 05 February 2018
Motherwell are straight back in to Ladbrokes Premiership action as St Johnstone make the trip to Fir Park on Tuesday night.
And with a second home game in just four days, the Steelmen have a chance to extend their unbeaten home start to 2018 to four games.
It’s been a while since Stephen Robinson’s side went up against Tommy Wright’s Saints outfit, with the 4-1 defeat at McDiarmid Park one of the few blots on the start of the 2017/18 campaign.
Since that erratic encounter in Perth, when referee Craig Thomson flashed three red cards, Motherwell have gone on to a Betfred Cup final and have picked up some important victories in the league.
And with three points separating the two teams, the chance to extend that to six points is a big opportunity for the Fir Parkers.
Keith Lasley, who is confident that Motherwell can return to the sort of form that saw them storm to the Betfred Cup final, knows it will be a tough encounter.
“In this division the margins are so fine,” admitted the assistant manager, “it can come down to a set-play or one lapse in concentration.
[pullquote]We need to be on it at every minute of every game to make that crucial difference in those moments, starting with Tuesday’s game.[/pullquote]
“I think that’s what we were doing at earlier parts of the season. We maybe just lost that slightly on the back of the cup final and in to the break, but we feel as if we’re back now.
“The group as a whole are showing a real hunger and desire to get back to where we were and at the minute we’re looking good.”
He added: “We certainly feel that we can be one of the teams challenging for the sixth position in such a tight league.”
With some bad memories of the last encounter between the two sides, Charles Dunne is eager to bounce back with a big team performance on Tuesday night.
The defender also has his own personal goals to aim for after being sent off against the Perthshire outfit back in August.
[pullquote]“We didn’t get the rub of the green in some of the games during our bad run that we had towards the end of the year, so we just have to keep going and be positive.”[/pullquote]
“The red cards changed the game the last time we played St Johnstone,” Dunne said, “so hopefully we can rectify our poor form against them and put in a good performance on Tuesday night.
And the defender is confident ahead of Tuesday’s game, with spirits high around Fir Park. He said: “Everyone in the changing room is happy, the manager is happy and we just need to keep going. Everyone wrote us off at the beginning of the season so what we’re doing is good at the moment.”
Motherwell v St Johnstone
Tuesday 6th February 2018 7.45pm Fir Park Tickets on sale from the Fir Park Ticket Office or pay at the gate.
Admission prices are as follows:
ADULTS £23/£19 CONCESSIONS £16/£15 JUVENILES £12/£9 FAMILY (1 ADULT + 1 JUNIOR) £29/£24
- Cheaper price is for the John Hunter stand.
- Concessions are applicable to 60 and over and full time students with a valid matriculation card.
- Juveniles are applicable to aged 15 and under.
- Away fans will be housed in the Phil O’Donnell main stand. Cash gates are in operation.
If you can’t make it along, 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.
- First team
Lasley: We must be on our gameMonday 05 February 2018
Keith Lasley is confident that Motherwell can return to the sort of form that saw them storm to the Betfred Cup final.
The ‘Well assistant spoke to the broadcast press ahead of a second home fixture in three days.
And the 38-year-old admitted that the winter break has been beneficial for everyone.
“In terms of our energy we’re back to what we were a few months ago,” Lasley said, “so we feel we can have a good, strong end to the season.
“In this division the margins are so fine,” he added, “it can come down to a set-play or one lapse in concentration. We need to be on it at every minute of every game to make that crucial difference in those moments.
“I think that’s what we were doing at earlier parts of the season. We maybe just lost that slightly on the back of the cup final and in to the break, but we feel as if we’re back now. The group are showing a real hunger and desire to get back to where we were.”