There’s no such thing as a meaningless game.
This is the Story of the Match from our final day fixture with Livingston.
There’s no such thing as a meaningless game.
This is the Story of the Match from our final day fixture with Livingston.
Trevor Carson will return to the international fold after being named for a Northern Ireland training camp.
The goalkeeper returned to the bench on Saturday, after a long lay-off after developing deep vein thrombosis in November last year.
Michael O’Neill has now named him for a get together in Manchester, before naming a final squad for games with Estonia and Belarus in June.
Motherwell headed into SWPL1’s summer break with a narrow 2-1 defeat at home to Celtic.
Facing an in-form side looking for a fifth straight win, Donald Jennow’s team knew they’d already been a match for their opponents this season, having drawn 0-0 at the start of the season.
The women of steel faced early pressure and fell behind in the 14 minute through a combination play from two ex-Well players.
Emma Black’s lofted ball put Kirsty McLaughlin through on goal, and she converted from a tight angle to have the visitors ahead within 15 minutes.
Motherwell, however, were not deterred, and had the game level within two minutes.
A swift counter and great play down the left saw the ball cut back for Katie Rice, who arrived at the back post to fire home the equaliser.
In a ferocious few minutes, Celtic then had the chance to go ahead from the spot moments later. But Morgan Hunter stood tall to deny Chloe Craig.
The second half saw Celtic regain the lead through Kathleen McGovern on the hour mark and that was how the game would finish.
Motherwell now head into the summer break on 11 points in sixth spot, having dropped a place owing to Spartans’ win over Stirling University.
Their return to action will come on Sunday, 4 August with the visit of Spartans.
Motherwell: Hunter, Doran-Barr, Rolph, Rafferty, Knox, Montgomery, Adams, Rice, McEachran, Gardner, Callaghan.
Subs: Arbuckle, Crilly.
Motherwell will contest their final SWPL1 fixture before the summer break when Celtic visit Ravenscraig.
Donald Jennow’s side have picked up some crucial results in recent weeks that have helped move them clear of the foot of the table.
They will now hope to gather some momentum ahead of a 10-week break from league action.
The test facing them is sure to be a tough one, with Celtic currently enjoying an excellent run of form that has seen then enter the battle for top spot.
Kick off at Ravenscraig is 2:30pm.
Celtic visit Ravenscraig looking to continue their title challenge.
The Hoops have enjoyed a strong start to the 2019 season and at the midway point sit in joint second place five points behind Glasgow City.
Challenging at the top of the table represents an improvement for Celtic who, despite finishing third last season, finished 20 points behind Hibernian and 23 behind eventual champions City.
There are signs that this season may be different though. What seemed like a significant turning point in their campaign came when Celtic recorded a highly impressive 3-0 triumph over Hibernian, to end a losing streak against the capital side that stretched to over 20 matches.
Eddie Wolecki Black’s side have already faced Motherwell this campaign, drawing 0-0 at home.
Motherwell: SWPL1 – fifth – 11 points
Celtic: SWPL1 – third – 22 points
Motherwell head coach Donald Jennow feels the first half of the season has been a mixed bag for the women of steel.
The ‘Well head coach has been challenged by the lack of depth within his squad during the opening 10 games of the season, but praised his squad for their resilience and togetherness.
“We have had an up and down first half of the season,” Jennow said.
“I look at the volume of changes to the squad and I am proud of the strong core we have both in terms of doing a bit extra when we have been short and also welcoming the new additions.
“Celtic will be another tough challenge, If we can play to the best of our capabilities then we will be competitive and that’s all I can ask of a newly promoted club.”
‘Well midfielder Katie Rice is hoping the team can recover from the disappointing loss against Hibernian on Wednesday and go into the break on a high.
“Against Hibs we put in a poor performance against a really top side, but it’s done now,” Rice said.
“Our focus now will be completely placed on Sunday’s game and I think we owe it to ourselves to put in a better performance and end the first half of the season on a high.”
David Turnbull bagged a double to add to Liam Donnelly’s opening strike as Motherwell ended the season with a 3-2 win over Livingston.
Tom Aldred, Gboly Ariyibi and Dean Cornelius speak as Motherwell bring down the curtain on the 2018/19 season.
“It was a good entertaining game and a fitting way to end the season.”
Stephen Robinson reflects on the closing day win over Livingston.
Motherwell rounded off their Ladbrokes Premiership season with a thoroughly entertaining 3-2 win over Livingston – taking their points tally to 51 and their highest haul since season 2013/14 when they finished league runners-up.
An action packed first half saw a Liam Donnelly headed goal and a David Turnbull double provide ‘Well with a three goal advantage – not to mention two penalties saved inside an amazing minute.
Not surprisingly the pace of the game and chances diminished in the second forty-five until 10 minutes from time when Livingston substitute Scott Tiffoney grabbed a quick double to set up an exciting finale to the game and the league season.
The only change to a familiar looking line-up was Carl McHugh making way for Liam Donnelly to make his first start of 2019. And while Trevor Carson made a welcome return from serious illness to take his place on the bench, there were no seats for the out of contract quintet; Curtis Main, Jake Hastie, Elliot Frear, Alex Gorrin and former captain Peter Hartley.
In an attempt to give the match more than an end of season atmosphere, ‘Well invited 4,000 school kids to occupy the South Stand and while they noisily enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining game, for older spectators the match had an element of deja vous.
A week shy of 16 years ago James McFadden, on the eve of collecting his PFA Scottish Young Player of the year award, conjured up a majestic hat-trick as ‘Well demolished Livingston in a 6-2 thriller. That proved to be his last game before heading to Everton in August for £1.25 million.
With David Turnbull collecting his SFWA Young Player of the Year tomorrow night, the 19 year old had a great opportunity to emulate his hero – only to pass up the chance of his first senior hat-trick.
Similar to the fixture in February Livingston started the livelier side and could have a goal or two to their credit before being blown away by ‘Well’s hat-trick of strikes.
Mark Gillespie was the busier ‘keeper in the opening nine minutes throwing himself left and then right to hold attempts from Lee miller and Alan Lithgow.
Those early threat were forgotten in the 10th minute when the Fir Park side opened the scoring. And it was a first goal for Donnelly who sneaked unchallenged toward the six yard box to nod Turnbull’s inswinging free kick past the flat footed Ross Stewart.
Back came Livi forcing Gillespie into another save and Charles Dunne a timely tackle to block Ryan Hardie before ‘Well double the lead with a wonderfully constructed goal.
Scott drive from 25 yards was palmed over the bar by Stewart. From the resultant corner Gboly Ariyibi cleverly played the ball low toward the front post where Scott back healed into the path of Turnbull who lashed the ball home from 10 yards.
The young fans in the stand behind that goal didn’t have long to wait for number three. Aryibi cutely jinked past two defenders in the box before being tripped by Craig Sibbald. That gave David Turnbull the chance to calmly claim his 14th goal of the season placing the spot kick down the centre of the goal.
On the half hour Livingston should have been rewarded for their positive play but having evaded Dunne, Hardie’s tame effort from a couple of yards was kicked off the line by Gillespie.
Three minutes from half-time the Livingston striker had the chance to make amends when Tom Aldred brought Ricki Lamie’s powerful run to an abrupt end leaving referee David Munro no option but to point to the penalty spot. Although Hardie drove the ball low to the ‘keeper’s right, Gillespie made a terrific one handed save to keep his goal intact.
Incredibly play raced to the other end with Ariyibi playing Turnbull into the box but with little threat to his goal, Stewart clattered into the legs of the ‘Well midfielder to concede yet another penalty. The scene was set for Turnbull to claim his first senior hat-trick but his weak spot kick was pushed away by Stewart to bring a breathtaking first half to a close.
Chris Cadden, perhaps in his last appearance, looked determined to add his name to the scoresheet but a coupe of well driven shots were firmly held by the Livi ‘keeper.
With half an hour remaining 18 year old David Devine was given his debut replacing Charles Dunne at the heart of the home defence.
After 73 minutes Cadden had another chance to make it 4-0 but having cut inside the box his attempt on goal was blocked by Lamie. Four minus later Stephen Robinson introduced another 18 year old, Dean Cornelius coming on for captain Richard Tait.
The youngster was hardly on the park when Livingston deservedly pulled a goal back. Gillespie stretched to push Lithgow’s header across his goal but Scott Tiffoney somehow forced the loose ball inside the post and give the visiting fans something to cheer.
A minute later the Livi fans were celebrating again, Tiffoney cutting inside Devine before slotting the ball low past Gillespie and set up a dramatic end to the game.
Dolly Menga’s powerful angled drive came close to claiming an equaliser before Carl McHugh came on for a final appearance and use his experience to see out the game and earn ‘Well their sixth home league win of the year.
As the players returned to the pitch after the game to take the fans appreciation, a number of them making their final appearance in claret amber, many wondered if David Turnbull, in one final comparison with James McFadden, would be the subject of a record breaking transfer bid over the summer.
The Motherwell boss talks the final, player farewells and transfer business as the 2018/19 season draws to a close.
Motherwell welcome Livingston in the final Ladbrokes Premiership match of the season on Saturday.
Here’s the game previewed.
Don’t forget kick-off is at the earlier time of 12.30pm. Our Cooper Bar will be open from 11am for pre-match food and drink.
We’ve given away over 4,000 kids tickets for the match for our South Stand, with a handful still available.
If you would like some, just email us at email@example.com, call us on 01698 333333 before 4pm on Friday or come to the ticket office early on the day of the game.
If you’re bringing kids along, you can pay at the gate at the South Stand. Adult entry costs £20. If you’re over 60, aged between 16 and 18 or a student, you can pay in for £17.
As we’re expecting a larger than normal crowd, please head along early if you can.
Both teams are locked in their respective league positions regardless of what happens on the final day.
Motherwell will end the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign in eighth spot, with Livingston in ninth.
The Steelmen can better their points and goals scored tally from last season with a win. Stephen Robinson’s side currently have 48 points – the same they finished 2017/18 with.
Motherwell have won one, drawn two and lost two of their last five. A 2-0 loss at St Johnstone last week ended hopes of finishing in seventh spot.
At home, ‘Well have won six, drawn one and lost one in the league in 2019.
Trevor Carson is back and in the squad, after being given the all clear after recovering rom DVT.
Craig Tanner, Ross McCormack and Christian Mbulu remain sidelined. Peter Hartley joins them on the absent list due to a minor injury.
If you’re not in the South Stand, tickets are available online now or from the Fir Park ticket office. You can also pay at the gate.
|Adult||£24 / £20|
|Over 60s / 16-18 year olds / students||£17 / £16|
|15 and under||£3|
The cheaper price on all tickets is for our John Hunter Stand home supporters.
Livingston fans will be housed in our Phil O’Donnell Main Stand.
If you’re based outside of the UK/Ireland, you can watch a live stream of the game direct from Fir Park.
To sign up for our service, just head to tv.motherwellfc.co.uk and choose your package. Subscriptions to see live games start at just £12 a month.
If you’re in the UK or Ireland but can’t make the game, there’s also live audio commentary available on our service.
Our domestic subscriptions cost £6 a month and also get you full game replays.