The manager of Motherwell’s women’s side talks about his stroke treatment in the USA, his recovery and his review of how the team are performing so far.
Eddie Wolecki Black interviewMonday 07 May 2018
Women see off KilmarnockMonday 07 May 2018
Motherwell defeated Kilmarnock 2-0 in a top of the table clash to go five points clear at the top of the SWPL2 table.
The win at Braidhurst marked the third consecutive clean sheet for Eddie Wolecki Black’s side, as they continue to fight for promotion to the top flight of the women’s game.
However, it was the visitors that started the game more brightly, Clare Docherty was causing the ‘Well defence problems as she passed up two great opportunities to put Killie in front. Both were from one on ones, with Clare Johnstone in the Motherwell goal keeping them out.
As the game progressed, the women of steel eventually settled into the game and it became a well contested encounter with little separating the sides.
But at the tail end of the half, the Steelwomen flexed their attacking muscles and began to create the better chances of the half.
With 37 minutes played, Caitlin Russell was causing problems for the Killie defence on the left wing. She managed to fend off two defenders before working the ball to a shooting position, cutting in from the wing, with her driven shot flashing just wide of the post.
Just two minutes later it would be Russell who would break the deadlock for Motherwell. From a Hayley Cunningham corner, Russell towered above the Killie defence and powered her header home past the helpless keeper.
With the goal coming late on in the half, Motherwell would go into the interval ahead, despite Kilmarnock’s attempts to nick an equaliser just before the break.
The Fir Parkers came out for the second half looking the better side. Their early attacking pressure paid off when Cunningham slotted home Motherwell’s second of the match.
The former Scotland striker rounded off the perfect start to the second half for the ‘Well by finishing off a superbly worked goal after just two minutes played.
Captain Suzanne Mulvey done well to hold up the ball in the Kilmarnock box, fending off the defence before passing the ball back to the oncoming Cunningham to place in to the bottom right corner of the goal.
Straight from the kick off, Motherwell could’ve extended their lead with Lauryn Reside being played through for a one on one. Beating the offside line, she held up the Killie defence before letting fly her shot which unfortunately sailed just wide of the post.
What followed would be end to end attacking football for both sides, with the Motherwell defence withstanding the best Kilmarnock could throw at them.
On 63 minutes, Mulvey had the chance to put the game to bed. From a corner, she attempted a half volley from just inside the box, but she couldn’t keep the shot down as it flew over the bar and out for a goal kick.
The Steelwomen came close again from a free kick. Whipped in by Cunningham, Ashley Nicolson tried her best to flick the ball goalward, but the shot cannoned off the defender and Kilmarnock subsequently cleared.
As the game approached the final 15 minutes, Kilmarnock increased the tempo of the game by stepping up a gear to get back into the match. But despite their possession in the Motherwell half, they couldn’t find a way through to score.
With ten minutes to play, the ever dangerous Mulvey had another excellent opportunity to add to the Motherwell tally. Russell done brilliantly down the wing as she took it past two defenders to get her cross away at the byline and the cross would reach the feet of Mulvey, who couldn’t find the net.
Despite trailing, Kilmarnock had another excellent opportunity to get a goal back with nine minutes to play. The ‘Well defence was split open by a through ball in which Lauren Sloan got on the end of to find herself in on goal with another player in support. Despite this she opted to shoot and her shot was well saved by Johnstone.
It was yet another clean sheet for the resilient Motherwell defence, meaning its now 330 minutes since they last conceded a goal. Twinned with the clinical attacking prowess of the side, the ‘Well claimed what could be a vital three points.
Next up is Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale at Fir Park on Wednesday, 9 May.
- First team
Robinson: We got punishedSaturday 05 May 2018
Stephen Robinson bemoaned an uncharacteristically poor defensive showing as ‘Well lost at home to St Johnstone.
The Steelmen have built a solid reputation for a team that is well-organised and difficult to break down.
However, the claret and amber men were disjointed and were picked apart by a Saints side who scored five at Fir Park for the first time.
“That’s the first time I’ve seen us defend like that this season,” Robinson said.
“Every mistake we made throughout the game we were punished. We’ve kept 18 clean sheets this season, but we didn’t look or perform like a team that has 18 clean sheets.
“The only positive I can take from it is that it’s not something that happens all that often. Sure, we’ve turned in poor performances, I think back to the Hamilton game a few months ago, but it’s not often I can be as critical.
“We can work on that though. We lost five goals from five crosses and we need to be, and will be, far, far better than that.”
- First team
Motherwell 1-5 St JohnstoneSaturday 05 May 2018
Motherwell’s attempts to secure seventh place took a dent as St Johnstone put the Steelmen to the sword at Fir Park.
Goal difference keeps Stephen Robinson’s at the summit of the bottom six, but the Saints five goal haul has tightened the gap in the push for seventh.
With a game just around the corner on Tuesday night, Stephen Robinson gave Barry McGuire, Elliot Frear and Nadir Çiftçi a starting place, resting Ricard Tait and Cédric Kipré, with Ryan Bowman dropping to the bench.
In a crazy nine-minute period before half-time, a Steven MacLean double and another from Steven Anderson put Saints in the driving seat.
That scenario looked so unlikely as the Fir Park side controlled the first 30 minutes, with seemingly just a question of time before they opened the scoring.
Curtis Main in particular appeared hungry to add to his haul of eight goals.
The first threat came when Main’s low driven cross from the left was fumbled by Zander Clark on his goal line.
His best chance came after 15 minutes when Liam Grimshaw threaded a great pass into the box but having debated which foot to use Main finally hammered the ball off Joe Shaughnessy from 14 yards.
Cadden was the provider, finding Main from the corner of the box, but the former Portsmouth striker was unable to get the ball out from under his feet and his effort squirmed harmlessly towards Clark.
The pressure mounted on the visitor’s goal and around the half hour mark ‘Well forced three consecutive corners. Despite Cadden curling each of them into the goal mouth, Clark and his defence stood firm.
Within a minute, and in their first real attack, Saints showed them the way to goal.
The Perth men were allowed far too much time to retain possession around the home box before Richard Foster picked out the unmarked MacLean, who buried his header into the corner of the net and beyond Trevor Carson.
Four minutes later, Saints doubled their lead. The home defence failed to deal with George Williams free kick into the box and after Carson clawed away Murray Davidson’s effort, Anderson took advantage of a static defence to ram the loose ball high over the ‘keeper.
Before the 40th minute, Saints were 3-0 up. Matty Willock got in behind and his pass across the face of the goal found the unchallenged MacLean sliding in to force the ball home.
Not surprisingly, the ‘Well boss made two changes at half-time, bringing on Bigirimana and Bowman and withdrawing Grimshaw and McHugh.
That bold move might have been rewarded with a fightback, especially when ‘Well were unlucky not to pull a goal back within five minutes of the restart.
Bigirimana’s measured free kick from 30 yards had Clark scrambling to palm the ball round the post. Frear’s corner found Çiftçi four yards from goal and his stabbed shot was destined for the net until it smacked off the face of the unsuspecting ‘keeper and back into play.
However, any thoughts of a fightback were killed off when MacLean toe poked Davidson’s trundling shot beyond Carson to claim a hat-trick and ensure all three points were heading back to Perth.
Thirteen minutes from time, ‘Well managed to reduce the leeway. Main set up Bowman and when his shot rebounded from the crossbar, Bigirimana nipped in to nod the ball home.
Two minutes later, though, Saints substitute David McMillan headed home a terrific Foster cross back across Carson and into the far corner of the net to complete a miserable afternoon for the Fir Park men.
- First team
Campbell in Toulon squadThursday 03 May 2018
Allan Campbell has been called up for Scotland Under 21’s summer participation in the Toulon Tournament.
The midfielder, who has established himself as a regular member of Scot Gemmill’s side, will come up against France. South Korea and Togo at the competition.
Scotland face Togo on Sunday, 27 May, before taking on the hosts three days later and then South Korea on Saturday, 2 June.
The tournament in the south of France is for players born on or after 1997.
Cup final tickets on public saleMonday 30 April 2018
Our public sale of tickets for the 2017/18 William Hill Scottish Cup final is now underway.
Motherwell have a maximum allocation of 15,000 tickets for the final with Celtic on May 19.
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.
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.
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.
OPENING TIMES FOR SEASON TICKET HOLDERS / WELL SOCIETY MEMBERS
Tuesday, May 1: 9am to 5pm
OPENING TIMES FOR GENERAL SALE
Wednesday, May 2: 9am to 6pm
Thursday, May 3: 9am to 6pm
Friday, May 4: 9am to 5pm
Saturday, May 5: 9:30am to 1pm (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
Under 20s lose to HibsMonday 30 April 2018
A young Motherwell Under 20s ended the season with a 4-2 defeat against SPFL Development League winners Hibernian.
The defeat means ‘Well will finish the season in fifth spot, the same as they achieved in 2016/17.
The young Steelmen made a bright start and created one or two half chances, but nothing that was likely to trouble Maceij Dabrowski.
However, it would be the Hibees who would take the lead after 24 minutes. The unfortunate Shaun Bowers inadvertently headed Fraser Murray’s free kick over his own goalkeeper and into the net.
Hibs had a second just two minutes later with the ‘Well defence at sixes and sevens. Fraser Murray was again the architect, this time dancing through a couple of challenges before squaring it to the unmarked Josh Campbell, who fired home from close distance.
The hosts’ tails were up and had a couple of chances to score again, one from Innes Murray in particular forcing Peter Morrison into a smart save. However, from the resulting corner, Kevin Waugh rose unopposed at the back post to head home from a yard out.
There would have been harsh words in the away dressing room at the interval, but things went from bad to worse for ‘Well shortly after the restart.
Sean Mackie collected the ball on the halfway line, hared forward and danced round a couple of challenges, before curling a cracking effort into the far corner with Morrison at full stretch.
There was a danger the roof could cave in, but to their credit, the young Steelmen dug deep.
They got themselves a goal just before the hour. Great wing play by Semple was rewarded when Kyle MacDonald impressively headed his cross past Dabrowski.
‘Well then passed up a series of chances to further reduce the deficit with Semple, Hastie and Turnbull all failing to take opportunities.
However, they did finish strongly when Semple latched onto a pass from substitute Stuart McKinstry to finish low past the goalkeeper.
It was the end of the scoring, the end of the game and for ‘Well, the end of another decent season at Development League level.
‘Well net six again to stay topSunday 29 April 2018
Motherwell blitzed Aberdeen for six to retain their place at the summit of the SWPL2 table.
It is the third consecutive game Eddie Wolecki Black’s side have notched a sextuple as they look to secure promotion to the top flight.
After a fairly even but end-to-end start, the deadlock was finally broken on the 33rd minute. The Dons were unable to deal with a testing cross and when the ball landed at the feet of Hayley Cunningham; the former Scotland striker added another to her season’s tally thanks to a smart half volley from just inside the box.
After the goal Motherwell relaxed into the match and continued to search for another to extend their lead. The Dons were playing a high line at the back and were repeatedly catching ‘Well with a disciplined offside trap.
As the half came to a close it was the hosts who were setting the tempo, Caitlin Russell looked dangerous any time she got the ball in the final third, but nothing more materialised and ‘Well would go into the break having to be satisfied with just a single goal advantage.
The Fir Parkers came out the traps strong at the start of the second half, looking to pick up from where they left off. Their initial attacking pressure was rewarded when Heather Magill doubled the Steelwomen’s lead just seconds in.
Cunningham was again involved; it was her corner that allowed Magill to guide her header into the bottom right corner to put ‘Well very much on the path to victory.
The Women of Steel continued to push and after a spell of relentless attacking, found themselves 3-0 up on the 59th minute when Niamh Johnston netted. Picking up the ball out on the wing, Johnston dribbled her way into the box only for her initial shot to be saved before turning the rebound home.
Almost straight from the restart, Motherwell were awarded a penalty when Mulvey was tugged down inside the box. Cunningham made no mistakes from the spot, firing high and down the middle her second goal of the game to put the home side 4-0 up.
Motherwell made a double substitution just after the hour and one of them, Emma Black, made an instant impact, setting up Caitlin Russell to fire home from close range. The 40-times capped former Glasgow City skipper dribbled down the wing before picking out Russell, ensuring a straightforward finish to put the ‘Well five in front.
But the women in claret and amber weren’t done yet. On the 71st minute Megan Burns added her name to the score sheet, striking a half volley into the back of the net from a corner. 6-0 ‘Well.
Prolific scorer Suzanne Mulvey was close to getting amongst the goals on the 79th minute as she was put through for a one on one; however the keeper produced a great save to keep the score at six.
Despite trailing, Aberdeen kept plugging away and had a great chance to grab a consolation goal with just four minutes left, Alexandria Vanous sent a curling effort inches wide of target.
But it was to be Motherwell who after a clinical second half performance ensured that they would extend their stay at the top of the table with yet another 6-0 victory at home, the second in a row.
Next up for the Women of Steel is a top of the table clash against Kilmarnock at Braidhurst on Sunday, 6 May.
Motherwell: Johnstone, Condie (Black – 69mins), Cunningham, Magill, Johnston, McLaughlin, Mulvey, Nicolson, Reside (Canavan – 65mins), Russell, Burns
Report: Andy Ross
Pictures: Sally Neil
- First team
Highlights: Motherwell 2-1 DundeeSaturday 28 April 2018
The Steelmen secure Premiership status, coming from a goal down to beat Dundee 2-1.
- First team
Players react to Dundee winSaturday 28 April 2018
Liam Grimshaw, James Scott and goalscorer Cédric Kipré react to a hard-fought home win against Dundee.