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  • Women

    Canavan to miss title celebrations

  • First team

    Setting the scene for the trip to Kilmarnock

  • First team

    In numbers: Taking on Kilmarnock away

  • First team

    Watch highlights from Hearts cup defeat

  • First team

    Players react to cup exit

  • First team

    Robinson reflects on Hearts defeat

  • First team

    Hearts 4 – 2 Motherwell

  • First team

    Robinson ready for Hearts clash

  • First team

    Aldred relishing quarter final showdown

  • First team

    Previewing Hearts v Motherwell

  • Women

    Canavan to miss title celebrations

    Canavan to miss title celebrations

    Kaitlyn Canavan is gutted to be missing out on the celebrations as Motherwell lift the SWPL2 title on Sunday.

    The 17-year-old will join up with Northern Ireland’s Under 19 side on Saturday, ahead of their triple header against Estonia, Kosovo and Germany.

    While she’ll have to wait to pick her up her league winners medal, Canavan is determined to make an impact on the international stage in what is set to be a busy week for the ‘Well forward.

    “It would have been nice to have been a part of the title celebrations, but it’s a huge honour to be part of the Northern Ireland squad,” Canavan said. “We have three games in six days and I really want to make the most of the opportunity.

    “Sunday will be a great day for everyone involved with Motherwell, everyone has worked so hard and deserves to get their hands on the trophy.”

    After a tireless shift in the women of steel’s 1-0 SSE Scottish Cup win over St Johnstone, Canavan played the full 90 minutes in last weekend’s 4-0 success at Aberdeen.

    At times patience has been key for the youngster, but she has now set her sights on an extended run in the team.

    “I feel for me this has been my best season playing football, the coaches and players who have come in have taught me so much,” she added. “Personally, I feel as player I’ve progressed and as a team it’s been great to have achieved as much as we have.”

    “My season has really kicked on in the last few weeks, that gives me confidence – I’m improving and learning every time I play.

    “Donald [Jennow] and Eddie [former boss, Wolecki Black] have played a massive part in my development, their experience has been vital and that’s shown in our results on the park too.”

    Motherwell host Hearts at Braidhurst on Sunday prior to the trophy presentation.

    It’s sure to be a special day for all involved with the team and also represents a final competitive fixture for Donald Jennow’s side ahead of their Scottish Cup semi final clash with Spartans on 14 October.

    With fierce competition for places throughout the squad and the team chasing a record SWPL2 points tally, Canavan is certain there will be no dip in standards.

    “If we keep the standards high then I see no reason why we can’t keep our winning streak going,” she said.

    “It won’t be an easy game against Hearts and we’ll need to fight for the three points, but everyone is determined to lift the title on a high.

    “We know preparation is the main thing going into a semi final against a top league team. If we play the way we know we can, then I see no reason why we can’t challenge Spartans.

    “It will be another big day for the team and we really hope the fans can get along to Stirling and get behind us.

    “We’re all in this together and the more support we can get along the better.”

  • First team

    Setting the scene for the trip to Kilmarnock

    Setting the scene for the trip to Kilmarnock

    Kilmarnock are next up for the Steelmen, as Stephen Robinson’s men look to bounce back from the disappointment of exiting the Betfred Cup at the quarter-final stage.

    Let’s set the scene for the return to Ladbrokes Premiership action.

    Contrasting fortunes

    Motherwell put in a fighting performance against Hearts in midweek, before being hit with two late goals at Tynecastle to bow out the cup.

    The display from Stephen Robinson’s men showed the sort of character and determination commonly associated with the team and will provide encouragement for the trip to Ayrshire.

    Kilmarnock have had a mixed campaign so far in 2018/19, but their comeback, last-minute 2-1 win over Celtic last weekend will undoubtedly spur them on.

    Score first to win?

    Of the last three outings between the two sides, the team that has scored first has gone on to win the game with a clean sheet.

    Kilmarnock won the last two games by one goal to nil, while the Steelmen picked up a 2-0 victory earlier in 2017/18 at Fir Park.

    The last game in which both teams have scored came in May 2017, as Motherwell won 3-1 at home.

    Sharing the spoils

    On league duty this season, neither team has a player who has netted more than twice. Instead, the goals have been largely shared out.

    For Killie, Eamonn Brophy and Greg Stewart both have two strikes to their name, with Scott Boyd, Chris Burke and Stuart Findlay netting one.

    Saturday’s visitors currently have Danny Johnson on two goals, with Carl McHugh, Gaël Bigirimana, Alan Campbell and Peter Hartley all on one.

  • First team

    In numbers: Taking on Kilmarnock away

    In numbers: Taking on Kilmarnock away

    Motherwell return to league business on Saturday with a trip to face Kilmarnock on Saturday.

    Here’s the game previewed in numbers.

    Six

    The number of times Motherwell have emerged victorious from their last 10 trips to take on Killie.

    The Ayrshire men won the only outing at Rugby Park in the 2017/18 campaign, with Scott Boyd’s header the difference in a 1-0 victory.

    Six

    Six is also the number of points separating the two sides going into Saturday’s match.

    Kilmarnock have 10 points from six games so far in the 2018/19 season, compared to Motherwell’s four. Wins over Celtic, Aberdeen and St Johnstone, as well as a draw with Livingston, have been their results so far.

    22

    Of the last 10 games played between the two clubs at Rugby Park, a total of 22 goals have been scored.

    Those goals have been equally shared between the sides, each netting 11 each.

    90

    The minute in which Stuart Findlay struck against Celtic last weekend to secure a 2-1 win over Celtic that will live long in the memory of Kilmarnock fans.

    After a run of two home defeats at the hands of Hearts and Rangers, Clarke’s men came from behind to stun the Scottish champions.

  • First team

    Watch highlights from Hearts cup defeat

    Motherwell put in a fighting performance but were undone by a late double from Hearts, exiting the Betfred Cup at the quarter-final stage in the process.

    Curtis Main and Ryan Bowman netted for the Steelmen, but Steven MacLean, Peter Haring, Olly Lee and Steven Naismith scored for the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders.

  • First team

    Players react to cup exit

    Liam Grimshaw, Ryan Bowman and Curtis Main react after the 4-2 quarter final defeat against Hearts. 

    Despite a resilient showing in the capital, the Steelmen were knocked out of the competition they finished runners-up in last term.

    Grimshaw said: “Coming to a place like Tynecastle and going up against a team in the form Hearts are in was going to be tough. We took them all the way though, but it just wasn’t to be.”

  • First team

    Robinson reflects on Hearts defeat

    Stephen Robinson praised the spirit of his side as they fell just short of another trip to Hampden. 

    The Steelmen produced a solid display against an in-form Hearts side, but were stung late on in Edinburgh as they pushed for a winning goal.

    And the manager, despite being dejected in defeat, made sure to praise his team and their efforts as he suffered just his third loss in cup competition.

    “I asked for a performance tonight,” he said. “We showed resolve but we need to cut out the individual mistakes.

    “Hearts are a good side and they are clinical up front.”

  • First team

    Hearts 4 – 2 Motherwell

    Hearts 4 – 2 Motherwell

    Motherwell put in a fighting performance against Hearts in the quarter-final of the Betfred Cup but were stung by a late, late show.

    Curtis Main and Ryan Bowman scored for the Steelmen but came unstuck as Steven MacLean, Peter Haring, Olly Lee and Steven Naismith netted for the Jam Tarts.

    Motherwell started with ferocious intent, harassing their opponents and snapping into challenges with an intensity that was the hallmark of their cup performances last campaign.

    They got their reward with just 10 minutes on the clock. Bigirimana’s drilled free-kick from left to right was met by the head of McHugh at the back stick. But his ball across goal was handballed by Dunne, leaving Willie Collum with no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

    After a short spell out the team injured, it fell to Main to mark his return to the team by sending Zlamal the wrong way with an assured penalty to fire the Steelmen into the lead.

    The game roared from end to end, as both sides flew through the midfield at pace to build attacks.

    Hearts had the next biggest chance to get on the scoresheet on the half hour mark. Smith’s dangerous low cross from the right fizzed across goal, but MacLean’s poked effort at the near post spun over.

    Motherwell immediately went up the other end. Main found room inside the box wide on the left, deciding to shoot instead of squaring to Bowman. That sent the goalkeeper sprawling and he just clawed it away, before Bowman went down after claiming to be pushed in the back as he tried to nod home the second.

    It would be a concentration lapse that would cause the equaliser. Bigirimana tried to play his way out in his own box and surrendered the ball, allowing Smith the chance to cross.

    Djoum met the header at the left post, nodding it back across goal for MacLean to steer home the equaliser from close range.

    Motherwell were seeing plenty of the ball but the hosts were looking deadly on the counter, pounding the area with cross balls for the strikers to get on the end of. Naismith was the next beneficiary as the first half wore to a close, his header from close range sailing thankfully over the crossbar.

    Spurred on again, the visitors raced up the other end and Cadden put a ball in from the right for Main, who just steered his header past the post.

    After a pause for breath, the second half got off in similar fashion, with Hearts having a succession of headed chances and Motherwell looking to press their opponents off the ball high up the pitch to engineer an opportunity.

    The resistance would finally break. After being bombarded with cross balls, Souttar’s volleyed drive across goal from right to left was met by Haring at the back post to slide in Hearts’ second.

    Motherwell threw on Frear and Johnson as they tried to fight their way back into the game, effectively playing a front four alongside Main and Bowman.

    Then, in a moment of magic, Stephen Robinson’s men found the leveller.

    Chasing the ball into the channel, Bowman unleashed a spectacular half volley from 25 yards which dipped into the far left corner of the net to spark wild scenes in the away end.

    As the Steelmen pushed and pushed for the winner, the sucker punch came with two minutes to spare. Another cross from the right was met by the free Olly Lee to steer the ball into the left side of the net.

    Throwing everything forward Motherwell had a succession of corners as Hearts desperately clung onto the lead but Naismith would then net on the counter to put the game beyond doubt.

  • First team

    Robinson ready for Hearts clash

    Stephen Robinson has praised his players’ commitment ahead of Wednesday’s quarter final clash with Hearts in the Betfred Cup.

    Following Saturday’s defeat against Aberdeen, the manager is calling on his side to respond in style at Tynecastle.

    “I have 100% commitment from my players every single game,” he said. “They give me everything and they’re a positive bunch of boys.”

  • First team

    Aldred relishing quarter final showdown

    Tom Aldred is hoping to make more cup memories with Motherwell ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Tynecastle. 

    After experiencing the highs and lows of last season’s run to two cup finals, the defender is hoping to go one step further in 2018/19.

    “Any cup game that I’ve been involved in here has mostly been successful,” he said. “So I’m excited for another massive game for the club.”

  • First team

    Previewing Hearts v Motherwell

    Previewing Hearts v Motherwell

    Motherwell make the trip to Edinburgh on Wednesday to take on Hearts in the quarter-final of the Betfred Cup.

    Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the match.

    Get your tickets before you travel

    It is important you pre-purchase your ticket for the trip to Tynecastle, as it is highly unlikely a cash gate will be in operation at the ground.

    Ticket sales and collections are available at Fir Park on Tuesday and Wednesday between 9am and 5pm. You can purchase your online now and collect it from Fir Park.

    Head to head

    Both teams have won two of the last five fixtures between the two sides, with a 1-1 draw at Tynecastle coming in the middle of the matches.

    Ten goals have been evenly shared between the two across those matches, although Motherwell have only scored one in two games in Gorgie.

    Team news

    Conor Sammon is ineligible to play against his parent club. Curtis Main, Alex Rodriguez Gorrín, Peter Hartley, Andy Rose and Liam Donnelly are all fitness doubts. Charles Dunne and Craig Tanner remain on the sidelines.