“We will enjoy tonight. But we know we are still right at the start of things.”
Stephen Robinson speaks after Motherwell’s 3-2 win over Hearts.
“We will enjoy tonight. But we know we are still right at the start of things.”
Stephen Robinson speaks after Motherwell’s 3-2 win over Hearts.
Motherwell took a big three points back home in a commanding 3-2 win at Hearts.
Declan Gallagher’s header, a stunner from Sherwin Seedorf and Jermaine Hylton’s clincher ensured the win, although the hosts set up a nervy finish in front of an urging home crowd.
The Steelmen went into the game off the back of two consecutive victories, but with the feeling still of a point to prove having lost to Hearts earlier in the Betfred Cup.
Stephen Robinson made one change from the team which had blown Hibernian away before the international break. Devante Cole came into the team, with Christopher Long swapping to the bench. Mark O’Hara and Bevis Mugabi both came in on the bench.
After a tepid start, the game exploded into life from a Motherwell set play with 20 minutes on the clock.
Liam Polworth’s pinpoint corner found Gallagher at the back post, where he was waiting to bullet the header home for his first Motherwell goal.
From there, the visitors took control. Liam Donnelly rattled the crossbar as he went in pursuit of his ninth goal in nine games, while Cole also went agonisingly close to opening his account.
Motherwell remained in control in the second half, and it took seven minutes for the advantage to be doubled.
Peter Hartley’s excellent harrying of Uche Ikpeazu forced the defender into trying to bounce the ball back to his team-mates from deep. But his attempt went into acres of space in the right back area, with Jamie Brandon having bombed on.
That left acres of space for Seedorf to open up and run at goal. Closed down 25 yards from goal, he took his opportunity to rifle an unstoppable effort in at the near post, via the crossbar, to send the travelling support wild.
A home crowd growing in anger and desperation got something to give them hope nine minutes later. A scramble in the box eventually allowed the strength of Ikpeazu to give him a goal, after Mark Gillespie had done so well to keep out an initial effort.
Undeterred, Motherwell ploughed on. Five minutes later, and less than 30 seconds after entering the field as a substitute, Hylton restored the two-goal cushion.
Chasing a supposed lost cause down the flank as Sean Clare looked to have things under control, the winger took his opportunity to steal the ball on the edge of the area.
With goalkeeper Colin Doyle committed and the angle tight, the Englishman still had it all to do. But he composed himself brilliantly to squeeze the ball through the bodies and into the net.
Substitute Ryotaro Meshino set up a nervy end, after being given room to shoot past Gillespie with four minutes remaining. Then, with four minutes added, Motherwell held firm to take a huge three points home from the capital.
Supporters will be able to buy tickets for Hearts v Motherwell outside the ground on Saturday.
Fans can buy from a ticket booth situated near the away stand at Tynecastle Park from 2pm.
Sales at Fir Park will end at 4pm on Friday.
|Under 13s and students||£5|
Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Andy Sim on 07428 225254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student tickets are available on special offer and ID must be provided when buying at the ticket booth.
Can’t make it to Tynecastle on Saturday for Hearts v Motherwell?
We’ve a live stream of the match direct from Edinburgh available to viewers outside of the UK and Ireland for just £12 a month.
To subscribe and get all Motherwell home matches – and the majority of away games – head to tv.motherwellfc.co.uk now and sign up.
If you’re in the UK or Ireland and can’t make it, don’t worry. We’ve also got live audio commentary from the stadium for just £5.99 a month.
Head to tv.motherwellfc.co.uk to sign up. Just choose the UK/Ireland commentary option.
2019/20 Motherwell streaming service matches
|14 September 2019||Hearts v Motherwell||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|21 September 2019||Motherwell v Ross County||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|28 September 2019||St Johnstone v Motherwell||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|5 October 2019||Motherwell v St Mirren||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|19 October 2019||Motherwell v Aberdeen||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|27 October 2019||Rangers v Motherwell||Live audio only|
|30 October 2019||Motherwell v Kilmarnock||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|2 November 2019||Motherwell v Livingston||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|10 November 2019||Celtic v Motherwell||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|23 November 2019||Hibernian v Motherwell||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|30 November 2019||Motherwell v St Johnstone||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|4 December 2019||St Mirren v Motherwell||Live audio only|
|7 December 2019||Motherwell v Hearts||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|15 December 2019||Motherwell v Rangers||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|21 December 2019||Kilmarnock v Motherwell||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|26 December 2019||Ross County v Motherwell||Live audio only|
|29 December 2019||Motherwell v Hamilton||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|22 January 2020||Aberdeen v Motherwell||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|25 January 2020||Motherwell v Hibernian||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|1 February 2020||Livingston v Motherwell||Live audio only|
|5 February 2020||Motherwell v Celtic||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|12 February 2020||St Johnstone v Motherwell||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|15 February 2020||Motherwell v St Mirren||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|22 February 2020||Hamilton v Motherwell||Live audio only|
|4 March 2020||Motherwell v Ross County||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|7 March 2020||Hearts v Motherwell||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|14 March 2020||Motherwell v Aberdeen||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|21 March 2020||Motherwell v Kilmarnock||Live video outside UK/Ireland, audio to all|
|4 April 2020||Rangers v Motherwell||Live audio only|
Stephen Robinson spoke of the benefits and pitfalls of the international break on Friday, as he spoke to the broadcast media.
The Motherwell boss said the time off allowed him to work with his squad on improving play and fitness. But it came at a cost, with injury to Charles Dunne.
“We got a chance to continue working on things we’ve been doing over the early part of the season. We’ve worked hard on things.
“We’ve worked to get people fitter as well. It was something we spoke about before we broke up.
“But all in all, it’s been very good. Very positive and very refreshing with the attitudes. Because the week when you don’t have a game is very hard sometimes when you’ve got nothing to aim for.
“But the attention to detail the boys have taken on board, and the application, has been superb.”
“Unfortunately we’ve picked up an injury with Charles Dunne. We are still waiting to assess how bad that is.But he will be out for a period of time.
“We’re not sure how long yet. We are still waiting for the scan results to come back. But we will deal with that.
“We’ve brought big Bevis in as well. He was training with us anyway, so it sped up that process.
“It’s a groin injury [with Charles]. It’s similar to what he did last year against Stranraer right at the start of the season.
“We don’t want to put any timescale on it on how serious it might be yet. But it will be a period of time.
“It will be a minimum of a month, we think, already. We will get that confirmed hopefully today.”
“Hopefully Hearts will face a different team than what they faced against us. That was, as you say, the blip in our season so far.
“We didn’t take the game to them. We had too many people that underperformed. We didn’t play with a tempo. We played in front of them a lot. We didn’t hurt them at all. We passed the ball about with lots of possession.
“So that’s things I think we’ve improved on over the last few weeks. There’s an end product to our game. There’s balls going down the sides into strikers. There’s more penetration in our game. That’s something I think Hearts will have to look at.
“We’ll face, I’ve said it time and again, arguably the third strongest squad in Scotland. They are a huge club with a massive fanbase.
“It’s somewhere I love going to play football. It’s a great stadium with great atmosphere. So we will face a hard task with a strong Hearts squad.”
“I’m delighted for [Liam Donnelly]. We’ve worked hard with Liam.
“He hated me last season because I kept pushing him and pushing him and telling him it wasn’t good enough. Now he’s finally believing why we pushed him.
“A boy with tons of ability. It has come to the fore now but it’s come to the fore because of how hard he has worked and what condition he has turned up in this season and how hard he has pushed himself in training.
“For me he has got his just rewards. Another international cap and hopefully he’ll be involved in future squads.”
Motherwell have signed Ugandan international defender Bevis Mugabi on a short-term deal until January, subject to international clearance.
The 6ft 3in centre back, who can also fill in at full back, has agreed a deal until January after impressing on trial over the last week.
Mugabi, 24, is a product of Southampton’s youth academy, signing for the Saints at the age of 16 at the expense of an offer from Celtic.
He left for Yeovil Town in 2016, making 39 appearances in his rookie season at Huish Park, prompting then-boss Darren Way to give him a new two-year extension.
Mugabi left the club at the end of that deal back in June of this year, having played 102 games across three seasons, netting five times.
“I’m excited for a new challenge at Motherwell,” said the new signing. “I can’t wait to get started.
“I spoke to some of my old team-mates who had played in Scotland, including Alex Fisher.
“They told me it was a great opportunity, with Alex telling me how great a place Motherwell was.”
Although born in London, it was around the time of his move to Yeovil when he received his first call-up from Uganda, by the virtue of his parents, who were born in the capital Kampala.
However, he would have to wait two years before making his first appearance for the Cranes, deputising against São Tomé and Príncipe in Namboole.
He has gone on to earn a further six caps, including several appearances in this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt when he lined up against Mo Salah, Sadio Mané, Kalidou Koulibaly and Britt Assombalonga amongst others.
“We’ve an injury concern over one of our centre backs, so Bevis comes in to shore up the gap that might leave,” ‘Well boss Stephen Robinson said.
“He’s an experienced player with a lot of games under his belt in England.
“He’s big, strong and will give us another option at the back.”
Motherwell head to face Hearts in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday.
The Edinburgh club play host to the Steelmen, having already won at Fir Park earlier in the campaign.
Craig Levein set about turning his squad around in the summer, bringing in seven new faces and also tying down Steven Naismith on a permanent basis.
Craig Halkett arrived from Livingston, and was joined by Conor Washington, Loic Damour and Glenn Whelan.
The loan signings of Joel Pereira from Manchester United and Ryotaro Meshino from Manchester City followed, but the former will miss out at the weekend.
Jamie Walker returned to the club after a year away at Wigan Athletic, but has since been sidelined by injury.
With four league games played, the Gorgie club sit second bottom of the table with two points gained against Hamilton Academical and Ross County at home.
Cup progression, however, was secured at Motherwell’s expense last month, setting up a last-eight tie with Aberdeen at home at the end of September.
With nine games played, Hearts have won three, drawn four and lost two in all competitions.
In the Betfred Cup, wins over Cowdenbeath and Stenhousemuir came with draws with Dundee United and East Fife, with a bonus point gained in the match with the Terrors. Victory over Motherwell then followed.
Two home games with Hamilton and Ross County yieded the two league points gained so far, with defeats coming at Aberdeen and Celtic.
Out injured: John Souttar, Joel Pereira, Steven Naismith.
Doubtful: Michael Smith
Jake Carroll represented Motherwell at this week’s launch of the brand new SPFL Match Attax 2019/20 trading card game, now on sale.
Topps Match Attax, the world’s most successful football trading card game, offers fans of all ages a fun-filled addition to the new SPFL season.
Featuring amazing new cards, brand new foil sets and the biggest stars of the Scottish Premiership and Championship, the 2019/20 SPFL Match Attax collection is a must-have for fans of Scottish football and promises to be the biggest season ever.
“The 2019/20 SPFL Match Attax collection is our eighth release and the world’s most successful trading card game continues to be ever popular with all ages of Scottish football fans,” Steve Conner, UK Sales Director at Topps, commented. “We’re sure this year will be no different.
“The collection has been upgraded for the new season, with new cards to collect and trade, giving fans the opportunity to play a fresh, modern version of SPFL Match Attax.”
There are more than 300 cards to collect, including Motherwell’s Rising Star and Captain cards, plus a foil Man of the Match and ‘100 Club’ cards. This season sees the introduction of the Star Player card, as voted by the fans, with the all-new Trophy cards rounding off the 2019/20 collectables.
In addition, for the first time there will be super rare ‘Relic Cards’. Each Relic Card features a swatch of shirt actually worn by the player in an SPFL match. There are shirts from 33 different players with one of these fantastic cards found inside one lucky packet in every box.
The SPFL Match Attax Starter Pack retails at £5 and includes a collector binder, A2 play pitch and game guide and a six-card packet containing two gold limited edition cards. A packet of seven cards will be on sale for £1.
There is also the SPFL Match Attax Collector’s Tin available in two sizes, with the mini tin retailing at £7, which includes a limited-edition legends card, all packaged to keep collections safe and travel handy. The mega tin will retail at £10, containing 60 cards and a guaranteed Superstar limited edition card.
Allan Campbell and Barry Maguire featured as Scotland’s Under 21s came from behind to beat Croatia 2-1.
The Motherwell duo were on the park when Connor McLennan netted the winner in the UEFA European Under 21 Championship qualifier.
Campbell again played the full 90 minutes, as he had done in the 2-0 win over San Marino last week.
Maguire made a late substitute appearance, coming on between Scotland’s two goals as Scot Gemmill’s side went joint top of their group.
James Scott was an unused sub, having made his international bow on Friday.
Motherwell closed the gap on Spartans and Rangers in SWPL1 with a 2-1 home win over Stirling University on Sunday.
Chelsea McEachran’s strike and a Kerry Montgomery penalty put the women of steel in control in the first half, before Claire Petersen halved the deficit in the second.
Donald Jennow made two changes to the team which won 5-0 over Inverness CT in the cup two weeks previous.
Morgan Hunter and Nicole Cairney came into the team. Anna Vincenti and Kirsten Rolph dropped to the bench.
Motherwell started the brighter side, hitting the post early on and testing the visiting goalkeeper on a number of occasions.
The breakthrough came just over 20 minutes into the match. McEachran, who netted a double in the last outing, firing home.
Then, with 15 minutes left in the first half, Montgomery stepped up to steer home a penalty to put her side in the driving seat.
Stirling got a goal back in the second half through Petersen, but the hosts were more than good for their victory.
The win, paired with defeats for Spartans and Rangers, means ‘Well are now two points behind fourth-placed Spartans, and one behind Rangers.
Victory also opened a 13-point gap over Stirling at the bottom of the table, with eight games left to play in the league season.
Next up for Motherwell is a home SSE Scottish Women’s Cup quarter-final with Queen’s Park at Ravenscraig on Sunday, 15 September.
Motherwell: Hunter, Doran-Barr, Roberts, Rafferty, Adams, Cairney, Crooks, Montgomery, Callaghan, McEachran, Rice.
Subs: Vincenti, Rolph, Arbuckle, Fyfe, Knox, Otto.