Stephen Robinson reflects on his sides victory over Dundee, which secures Premiership status for the Steelmen.
- First team
Robinson: We showed great characterSaturday 28 April 2018
- First team
Motherwell 2 – 1 DundeeSaturday 28 April 2018
Phil McGhee at Fir Park
Motherwell tightened their grip on seventh spot after edging out Dundee in a tightly contested affair.
After falling behind to a Genseric Kusunga goal, Ryan Bowman netted an equaliser before Cedric Kipre, with his first goal for the club, grabbed the winner shortly after half-time.
‘Well kicked off in the knowledge that they were mathematically clear of the automatic relegation spot. Stephen Robinson’s men, though, were determined to distance themselves from the dogfight to avoid the play-off spot. With Dundee still among that pack a tough ninety minutes was anticipated from a side which hadn’t lost at Fir park since 2015.
The ‘Well line-up had that familiar look and shape about it. Curtis Main, with a splint to protect his left wrist, was able to lead the line alongside Bowman who passed up the first chance of the game. Only Andy Rose was missing from last week’s starting line-up.
After only six minutes Chris Cadden’s cross picked out Bowman in the six yard box. Having directed his header onto the post, the big striker then stooped to meet the rebound only to aim the ball straight at the startled ‘keeper.
Dundee’s response was immediate with Mark O’Hara’s low shot forcing Trevor Carson into an early save.
The Fir Park ‘keeper then produced another couple of saves, standing firm to repel Simon Murray’s thumping drive, before turning Steven Caulker’s header over the bar.
The ‘Well defence struggled to match the physical presence of the former Liverpool man and paid the price after 24 minutes. He climbed highest to direct Paul McGowan’s corner towards a packed goalmouth where Kusunga applied the touch to carry the ball over the line.
That prompted an immediate response from the Steelmen with a bit more urgency about their play. Charles Dunne failed to get enough purchase on Cadden’s first corner. But from the second the full back powered his header towards goal with Bowman steering it high into the net to level the scores.
A few minutes later Alan Campbell won the ball in the middle of the visitor’s half providing Curtis Main with the chance to hit a ferocious 25 yard drive which Elliot Parish was happy to parry wide.
For the remainder of the half the the action switched from end to end with neither team dominating, although ‘Well were dealt a blow five minutes from the break when Bowman limped off and replaced with 17-year old James Scott.
The start of the second half was delayed for five minutes while Dundee scorer Kusunga received treatment on the pitch before being stretchered off. When the game finally got underway it was the home side that looked more fired up – taking the lead within five minutes.
In a well-worked free kick Cadden exchanged passes with Main before curling a tempting ball to the back post where Kipre gladly accepted, powering his header between Parish and his left hand post.
However, with the Dens Park side desperate to take something from the game Carson was still the busier ‘keeper producing two decent stops to deny Kevin Holt and O’Mara.
For the the final ten minutes Carson’s goal was under siege from a succession of corners and crosses. The 913-strong travelling support behind the ’keeper’s goal thought they had snatched a point only to see O’Hara fire over the bar from close range, ending the visitors hopes.
- First team
McHugh: We’re fully focusedFriday 27 April 2018
Carl McHugh vows the squad will continue to battle and push for seventh spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
With just four league matches remaining, the skipper has his sights focused on Saturday’s clash with Dundee.
And while the excitement builds around Motherwell ahead of May’s Scottish Cup final, the Irishman is confident that the showdown with Celtic won’t serve as a distraction for the Steelmen.
“The next four games will be tough for us,” the midfielder admitted. “We’ll be playing against sides who are scrapping for their lives and they may not be the prettiest of games.
“But we’ve shown that we’ll be committed in these last four games to get as many points on the board as possible before the final.”
He added: “We have to play at a high intensity. We can’t play any other way. Any time we’ve dropped our standards, we’ve come unstuck.”
- First team
Walsh in charge for Dee clashWednesday 25 April 2018
The referee for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership match against Dundee is Nick Walsh.
It marks the referee’s fourth ‘Well appointment of the 2017/18 campaign, after the 1-0 loss to Aberdeen back in September and the 1-1 draw against Patrick Thistle, both of which were played at Fir Park.
He was also in the middle the last time the Steelmen played at home in the 2-2 draw with Rangers.
The young official took charge of his very first Premiership game in the 2016/17 season, and his involvements with the Steelmen last term were his only involvements with the club prior to this campaign.
Before the 1-0 loss against Aberdeen at Fir Park, ‘Well had a 100% record, albeit just in the two matches the official had taken charge of.
In the five games he has overseen, Walsh has handed out 22 yellow cards, 10 of those flashed at a player in claret and amber.
His assistants are David McGeachie and Ralph Gordon, with Willie Collum on fourth official duties.
Cup final ticket informationWednesday 25 April 2018
Tickets for our 2017/18 William Hill Scottish Cup final against Celtic will go on sale on Friday, April 27.
Motherwell will receive a maximum allocation of almost 15,000 tickets for the match.
Supporters will be located in the west and south stands at Hampden Park. Ticket prices will start at £30 for adults and £15 for concessions.
Motherwell fans will be seated in areas A1 through to B3 in the west stand, areas P1 to P6 in the William Hill south stand lower and sections Q1 to Q6 in the William Hill south stand upper.
We encourage supporters to purchase their tickets as early as possible. Our initial allocation of tickets will be for 12,700, with the potential to receive the additional sections B4 and B5 in the west stand, should we sell.
The club has until Tuesday, May 8 to request these tickets from the Scottish FA, or they will be reallocated to Celtic.
The ticket office will be open from 9am until 6pm on Friday and will be open on the morning of Saturday’s game with Dundee.
2017/18 season ticket holders and Well Society members will have exclusive access to purchase up to four tickets each first.
Tickets can either be purchased in person at Fir Park or by calling 01698 333333. Please note, phone sales will not be taken at weekends.
A general sale will then commence on Thursday, May 3.
Chief Executive Alan Burrows: “We have worked extremely hard over the last week to get as many tickets as possible for this match, whilst agreeing to be flexible depending on how sales are going.
“Like the Betfred Cup Final back in November, we have agreed to sell them block by block and request B4 and B5 in the west stand if we sell out in time.
“After prolonged negotiations, we have managed to secure tickets in top tier of the south stand, above Motherwell fans, which was extremely important to us.
“I would urge as many ‘Well fans as possible to get their tickets as early to avoid disappointment and to maximise the potential support at the final.”
OPENING TIMES FOR SEASON TICKET HOLDERS / WELL SOCIETY MEMBERS
Friday, April 27: 9am to 6pm
Saturday, April 28: 9:30am to 12:30pm (no telephone sales)
Monday, April 30: 9am to 5pm
Tuesday, May 1: 9am to 5pm
Wednesday, May 2: 9am to 6pm
OPENING TIMES FOR GENERAL SALE
Thursday, May 3: 9am to 6pm
Friday, May 4: 9am to 5pm
Saturday, May 5: 9:30am to 12:30pm (no telephone sales)
William Hill south stand
£35 Adult/£20 Concession
£30 Adult/£15 Concession
Accessible seating in the William Hill south stand
£18 Adult/£10 Concession
Accessible seating in the west stand
£15 Adult/£8 Concession
Concessions are deemed to be those aged 15 and under, or 65 and over.
Singing section will be in sections A4 and A5.
For disabled association tickets, please contact Brian Davidson on 07428225254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reserves & Under 18s
U20s: Highlights from LennoxtownMonday 23 April 2018
Extended highlights as Motherwell Under 20s make it two wins from two games against Celtic in the SPFL Development League this season.
- First team
Injury update on eight playersMonday 23 April 2018
Motherwell have a number of players currently sidelined through injury.
Andy Rose suffered an injury to his clavicle during the 0-0 weekend draw with Ross County.
After having an x-ray on Sunday, the club are monitoring how long it is necessary for him to be out and are, at this stage, still hopeful he will make the William Hill Scottish Cup final on May 19.
Curtis Main was also injured during the game in Dingwall. The striker had an x-ray on his wrist on Monday which didn’t show any initial fracture.
He will undergo further tests this week to determine the extent of the injury but is not expected to spend long on the sidelines.
Carl McHugh also damaged his front teeth during the match with County and had dental treatment on Monday. He is not expected to spend any time out.
As has already been announced, George Newell fractured his cheekbone during the William Hill Scottish Cup semi final win against Aberdeen. It is not yet known whether the young striker will need surgery.
The medical staff are also continuing to monitor an ankle knock sustained by Nadir Çiftçi in training.
Ellis Plummer, Peter Hartley and Craig Tanner remain our long-term injury absentees.
- Reserves & Under 18s
Craigan: We stuck to our taskMonday 23 April 2018
Stephen Craigan gives his post-match thoughts as the young Steelmen make it two wins from two against Celtic in the SPFL Development League.
- Reserves & Under 18s
Under 20s win at CelticMonday 23 April 2018
Motherwell Under 20s sealed a 100% record against Celtic in the Development League this season with a 2-0 win in Lennoxtown.
A Jake Hastie brace put the hosts to the sword on an afternoon when the young Steelmen controlled the encounter at Celtic’s training complex.
Stephen Craigan included goalscorer Hastie and left wing back Adam Livingstone in the starting 11, despite the duo playing for their development loan clubs just two days earlier.
But that did not deter from hunger and energy displayed by the entire side as they continued their push for a strong end to the season.
It was the dream start for the Fir Park youngsters, who went in front inside three minutes.
Bursting forward from the right, Hastie cut in on to his favoured left foot before curling a low effort past Ross Doohan in the Celtic goal.
Liam Brown went close to scoring two goals in five minutes with spectacular efforts. The first was a volley from the edge of the area which flashed wide and the second a thunderous strike which rose narrowly over the bar.
The determination and fitness of Craigan’s side proved too much for the home side to handle and some intense pressure from Hastie and Jamie Semple robbed the ball from the Celtic back line, but Semple failed to test Doohan with his effort.
The young striker went similarly close before the break, and he was again at the heart of it early in the second half.
A clever ball down the left flank was picked up by Semple, who did well to breeze beyond his man before bursting through on goal. With one defender between him and the keeper, the Scotland Under 17 international failed to pick out the run of Turnbull, who surely would have made it 2-0.
Soon enough, it was two and it was Hastie again.
Punishing some slack play by Stephen Welsh at the back, Semple slipped in Turnbull who struck at goal from a narrow angle. Doohan got a hand to it but the ball spilled perfectly for Hastie to double the lead.
Celtic’s woes were compounded in the 80th minute when Kieran Campbell picked up a second yellow for a foul on Shea Gordon, as the youngsters held on for a clean sheet and another impressive victory.
Women’s team put six past SaintsSunday 22 April 2018
Report by Andrew Scott at Braidhurst
Motherwell produced an emphatic performance on Sunday to win 6-0 against St Johnstone.
The win was their second in a row and it sees the ‘Well retain top spot in the SWPL 2.
The sides were level in points going into the fixture but the ladies put the game to bed in the first half. A hat-trick from Suzanne Mulvey, a double from Hayley Cunningham as well as an own goal, sent the hosts to victory.
The deadlock was broken just after 20 minutes as Cunningham’s corner ended up in the back of the net. The Saints defence was unable to clear the cross as it snuck under the keeper and over the line.
The goal seemed to have revitalised the St Johnstone team as they began one of their better spells in the match. There was controversy as the Perth side’s appeal for a penalty was waved away by the referee, much to the despair of the players.
Motherwell added their second just minutes later, Suzanne Mulvey was brought down just outside the box and the Steelwomen were awarded another free kick after a handball by the wall.
Cunningham stepped up and hit a driven shot through the legs of the wall and into the bottom left hand corner. Not for the first time this season, she demonstrated her ability from a dead ball.
Cunningham’s second goal started Motherwell’s best spell of the match, as skipper Mulvey bagged a fine hat-trick in just over five minutes.
The first came from the corner where Cunningham originally put the ‘Well in front, this time she played an inviting cross straight to the head of Mulvey who fired it past Cameron in the Saints goal.
A matter of three minutes later, the striker added her second. Sloppy play at the back from St Johnstone and a slack backpass enabled her to nip in to intercept, dinking the ball over the onrushing keeper in the process.
Mulvey bagged her hat-trick two minutes later. Great link up play with Sammy Hare allowed Mulvey to break clear from her marker and fire her shot into the net. A superb five minutes from the ex-Scotland capped striker, who showed how deadly she could be to put Motherwell 5-0 up.
It would be the visitors who would come out the traps the better side as the second half got underway, a team that looked re-energised and with a point to prove following the first half performance.
Unlike the first, the second half was a more end-to-end encounter with Motherwell eventually getting a foothold in the game at around 50 minutes.
The Steelwomen showed their attacking prowess shortly after with substitute Reside proving to be a handful down the right flank.
There was another penalty shout with 65 minutes played, this time for Motherwell after Mulvey was brought down into the box, but the referee waved play on.
As the half progressed Sophie Gallagher entered the pitch and boosted the Motherwell attack.
With just over ten minutes to play, the sub helped put the ‘Well 6-0 up as she and Hare produced great link-up play to allow Hare to dribble to the byline and put a pass into the box. Her cross met the foot of a Saints defender, Rihanna Tweedie who put it into her own net.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Motherwell continued to push on to add more goals to their tally but the match would end 6-0, a clinical first half performance ensuring the three points would stay in Lanarkshire.
The victory for Motherwell sees them retain top spot in the SWPL 2. Next up for the ladies is Aberdeen at home on Sunday, 29 April.