Stephen Robinson was left frustrated by a poor second half showing as Motherwell slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Kilmarnock.
The ‘Well boss felt the hosts had the quality needed to win the game and was disappointed by his side at Rugby Park.
He said: “I was really disappointed with our second half performance. We put forward thinking players on to try and win the game, but Kilmarnock just had that bit more quality than us.”
Kilmarnock 3 – 1 Motherwell
Saturday 29 September 2018
Motherwell surrendered a one-goal lead as they lost 3-1 at Kilmarnock in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Curtis Main opened the scoring for a visiting side who flew out of the starting blocks. But the striker would then miss a penalty soon after that the Rugby Park side took advantage of, with Chris Burke, Greg Stewart and Eammon Brophy all netting afterwards.
Stephen Robinson made one change from the team who battled but lost out late in the cup to Hearts in midweek. Allan Campbell dropped to the bench, with Aaron Taylor-Sinclair coming into the side.
Kilmarnock were without the hero of their win last weekend over Celtic, with Stuart Findlay dropping out of the team altogether. Scott Boyd came in in his place.
Motherwell started the brighter of the two sides, launching ball after ball into wide areas to try and build attacks.
The first big chance of the game would fall to Grimshaw. A cross from the right found him in plenty space at the back post but the ball just wouldn’t sit right quickly enough, allowing the defender to get back across and stop him from getting a shot away.
‘Well would make no mistake with the next. A long ball forward was brilliantly met by the flick of Bowman 40 yards from goal. Anticipating his strike partner winning the ball, Main made an excellent run in between the centre backs to collect the through pass.
Bearing down on goal, it looked as though Boyd might just get there in the nick of time but the striker picked his moment perfectly, rifling the ball under the dive of MacDonald into the bottom left corner of the goal to open the scoring.
Motherwell continued their control on the game and, mounting attack after attack, they were awarded a penalty when Taylor-Sinclair was felled in the box as he found himself with space for the shot.
Main stepped up to try and get his second in quick succession, but his low penalty to the right was read perfectly by the goalkeeper, who dived low to collect.
Spurred on by MacDonald bailing them out, Killie came flying out of the traps and they came within a whisker of an equaliser with 25 minutes on the clock.
A corner from the right saw Broadfoot peel off to find himself with all the time in the world to aim his back post header back across goal, but the alert Tait rose bravely to head the ball off the line at the last possible second.
Both teams fought and scrapped in an end-to-end battle, carving out half chances until the hosts levelled things with five minutes to go ’til the break.
Gathering the ball on the left, Jones drove at Tait before cutting inside and firing low at goal. Carson did brilliantly to tip it away, but Burke read the rebound to steal in at the back post and knock home the equaliser.
That advantage would be doubled before the break. Stewart’s surging run against McHugh and Donnelly saw him twist and turn before finally settling on a shot from 25 yards which bounced beyond the dive of Carson.
Killie started the stronger after the interval and were awarded a penalty of their own 13 minutes into the half. Donnelly left out his leg as Brophy surged through, leaving Don Robertson with no choice but to point at the spot.
Brophy stepped up to extend the lead and he sent Carson the wrong way, slotting his penalty low to the left to make it 3-1.
Danny Johnson and David Turnbull almost immediately replaced Tait and Bigirimana, as the Steelmen went on the offensive to get back into the game.
Chances started to come. First Tom Aldred had a goalward header denied at close range from Turnbull’s corner, with the Killie defence alert to make the block.
Bowman would be next to test the resolve, with MacDonald reacting well to gather another header at close quarters.
A remarkable let-off for the visitors would follow. Stewart had time to get in behind down the right and drive inside. In the chaos that ensued, McHugh’s attempted clearance cannoned back off his own post and, as everyone threw themselves at it, the ball was thankfully cleared.
Donnelly would later be taken off for Conor Sammon as Motherwell went with four strikers on the pitch. But it would ultimately prove fruitless, save for two attempts from distance from Johnson which amounted to nothing.
Instead it was Kilmarnock who continued to look the more likely, with Carson being called upon late on to keep the score down.
Need to Know: Profiling Kilmarnock
Friday 28 September 2018
Motherwell travel to Rugby Park for their third game in the space of a week as they search for a return to winning ways.
Following Betfred Cup heartbreak on Wednesday night, the Steelmen now face a tough task against Steve Clarke’s side.
Following a stunning campaign in 2017/18, Kilmarnock have managed to string together a fine start to the new season too.
In the Ladbrokes Premiership, they have only suffered defeat against the two sides from the capital, Hearts and Hibernian, and find themselves one point behind second placed Rangers.
The Ayrshire outfit may have lost two in their last four matches, but their heaviest league defeat has only been by a single goal this term.
Against league leaders Hearts, Killie lost 1-0 before being on the wrong end of a five goal thriller against Hibs.
The steel struggle
They may have won two out of three matches against Motherwell last season, but Killie have not had the strongest run against the Fir Park side on their own turf in recent years.
In the last five matches in Kilmarnock, ‘Well have won four and Killie once, but manager Steve Clarke has a perfect record against the Steelmen in his two games.
And Stephen Robinson’s men are certainly in for a tough encounter as they bid to get back on track in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Richard Tait ready for Rugby Park
Friday 28 September 2018
Richard Tait is confident that results are just around the corner for Motherwell after suffering cup heartbreak on Wednesday.
The defender is hungry to get back in to action just three days after the trip to Tynecastle.
But with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park up next, Tait is expecting a difficult game.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted on Wednesday,” he said. “But I think it showed in our performance that we’re back to ourselves.”
Lasley looks ahead to Killie clash
Friday 28 September 2018
Keith Lasley is eager for the Steelmen to get back to action after Wednesday’s Betfred Cup defeat against Hearts.
Kilmarnock are up next for the Fir Parkers on Saturday as Premiership football returns.
“It’s good to have a quick turnaround after the cup defeat,” he said. “We have a chance to get straight back out there.”
Previewing Kilmarnock v Motherwell
Friday 28 September 2018
It’s back to Ladbrokes Premiership action on Saturday as Motherwell head to Kilmarnock.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the match.
Head to head
Kilmarnock have 10 points from six games so far in the 2018/19 season, compared to Motherwell’s four.
Motherwell though have won six of the last 10 trips to Rugby Park, although Killie won the only outing in the 2017/18 campaign, with Scott Boyd’s header the difference in a 1-0 victory.
Due to emergency gas works, temporary three-way traffic lights are now in place at Campbell Street’s junction with Holmquarry Road and Low Glencairn Street.
The lights will be manually controlled from 7am to 7pm to help minimise inconvenience. SGN have also put in place lane restrictions for southbound traffic in Campbell Street, near the junction.
To help improve traffic flow along the B7038, SGN have also closed Old Street at its junction with Campbell Street. Please plan your journey to Rugby Park accordingly.
You can pay at the gate at Rugby Park. Adult tickets are priced at £22. Concessions, deemed to be over 65s, under 21s or students, can get in for £17. Children aged under 16 can get tickets for just £5.
Please note that there will be no live television pictures from this game. Live audio is available to our streaming subscribers at tv.motherwellfc.co.uk.
Peter Hartley and Andy Rose will be assessed late to see if they are fit. Conor Sammon is free to play after being ineligible in midweek. Craig Tanner and Charles Dunne remain on the sidelines.
Headlines from Keith Lasley’s press conference
Friday 28 September 2018
Keith Lasley spoke to the broadcast media ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Kilmarnock at the weekend.
Here’s what the assistant manager had to say.
ON WHAT THE TEAM CAN TAKE FROM WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S PERFORMANCE
“We felt a lot went right in the game for a start. Obviously the result is ultimately what you have to get in cup football and we managed that last season, more often than not, but not on Wednesday. What we will take from the match is the overall performance, there was a lot of good things: the energy, drive, determination and desire and some good play amongst it as well.
“When you look at the overall picture, there was a lot of good in it. It’s an obvious cliché about ways to win a match, but conversely, there’s also ways to lose a match and for us, as much as the result is hard to take, we thought we put a lot into it and there’s a great deal we can take out it.
“We’ve got to move on now, that’s football and we wish Hearts luck in the rest of the tournament, they’re a good side. We are now fully focused on Kilmarnock now and taking a lot of elements of our performance from Wednesday into this weekend.”
ON WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS A SENSE THE TEAM HAD GOT BACK TO WHAT THEY WERE RENOWNED FOR LAST SEASON
“Last season we worked hard at trying to create an identity where the team would show that energy and all the words I used previously in terms of drive, determination and good play in the right areas and I think a lot of that was there on Wednesday.
“We need to try and kick on now. The season is still early enough where we can still mould our own patch whichever way we choose, as long as we work hard enough and perform the way we can. It’s up to us to do that and show that now.
“As I’ve said, Wednesday was a disappointment as we had such success in the cups last year, but it’s still early in the campaign and still another cup to go and play in when that comes around and we’re confident we can still go on and have a decent season.”
ON WHAT SORT OF TEST KILMARNOCK WILL POSE
“A massive test. I don’t think there’s much to add to the conversation about how good a job Steve Clarke’s done, it’s all been said. He really has turned the club around and I seen a stat the other day on social media that showed them top of the table when it comes to the 2018 calendar year. That’s a perfect indication of the job he’s done.
“It’s obviously down at there place and it’ll be a tough test for us. I was there watching their match with Celtic last weekend which they deservedly won, so we know what we’re up against – a group of players who have a real spirit amongst them, a great work ethic and some really talented individuals.
That all being said, it’s about us and what we do. Our focus over the last two days has been very much on that going into the match.”
ON THE DECISION TO PLAY BOTH BETFRED CUP SEMI FINALS AT HAMPDEN PARK ON THE SAME DAY
“I’ve got to say I was surprised, that was my first reaction, certainly from a security point of view, and a logistical one in terms of turning the stadium around. Obviously I have no expertise in those areas, obviously, but if they feel they can do it and I am sure BT Sport will package it well on the television.
It’s two good semi-finals and hopefully it can showcase Scottish football, but I have to say, I was surprised about it. Hopefully it works out, although we’re just upset we’re not going to be part of it as I am sure it’ll be an exciting day.”
ON WHETHER A RUN OF DEFEATS HAS IMPACTED THE BELIEF IN THE DRESSING ROOM
“Not at all, it’s still early and we still have it within our power to mould the season whatever way we want in terms of our own performances. It’s up to us to get results to back that up now as we are well aware it’s a results driven business.
“However, last Wednesday has convinced everyone that we’re capable of performing to that standard and we believe if we play like that we’ll win more games of football than we’ll lose and that’s what we’ll look to show on Saturday.
“So whilst we were hugely disappointed to lose, there were a lot of elements we were happy with and it’s now up to continue that level, but also getting results. We want to get up the table and give ourselves a chance of pushing on and having a good season.”
ON GETTING BOWMAN AND MAIN TOGETHER ON THE SAME PITCH
“We’ve had a few niggles and injuries that have impacted us from the start of the season and have held certain guys back – that said, I am sure a lot of clubs could say the same. When we have got everyone available, particularly in the striking area, we feel as if we have combinations up there that can cause teams some problems and one of them is Main and Bowman, who on their day are a real handful for anyone.
“I think they proved last season and hopefully, when we get them both up to full fitness and niggle free, we hope they can again go on to show their worth and how much of a handful they actually are. Wednesday showed some good signs of that and in the coming weeks, we hope we can improve on that even more.”
ON OTHER TEAM NEWS
“We’ve got late decisions to make on Andy Rose and Peter Hartley. Andy trained Friday so that will be a late check. Charles Dunne is still a little bit away but he’s on the pitch again, which is a great to see him back.
“Craig Tanner had to have another operation and I believe everything has gone well with that. It was obviously a very serious injury at the time and with this setback, he’s still going to be a little bit of time away.
“That said, things went well with the latest surgery and with the determination he has, I am sure he’ll be back as soon as he can and when he does, it’ll be a big boost for us.”
Cadden and Campbell get Scotland Under 21 call
Friday 28 September 2018
Chris Cadden and Allan Campbell are in Scotland’s Under 21 squad for their next 2019 European Championship qualifiers.
The pair, regulars in Scot Gemmill’s squad, will face Ukraine and England on 12 and 16 October respectively.
Cadden, who also has full international honours, has been capped 10 times at Under 21 level, while Campbell has 11 caps.
The young Scots still have a chance of reaching either top spot or second in their group, with four of the nine runners-up automatically qualifying for the tournament.
The Ukraine match will be played in Kiev, before the Auld Enemy clash with England goes ahead at Tynecastle Park.
Story of the Match from Hearts cup loss
Thursday 27 September 2018
Looking for a hat-trick of cup semi-final visits to Hampden, Motherwell travelled to face in-form Hearts in the last eight of the Betfred Cup.
This is the Story of the Match.
Canavan to miss title celebrations
Thursday 27 September 2018
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.”