“We got punished for mistakes. But we are still third and we will pick ourselves up again.”
Stephen Robinson reacts to Motherwell’s defeat to Aberdeen, as the Steelmen lose out 3-0.
“We got punished for mistakes. But we are still third and we will pick ourselves up again.”
Stephen Robinson reacts to Motherwell’s defeat to Aberdeen, as the Steelmen lose out 3-0.
Motherwell passed up the chance to strengthen their grip on third place as Aberdeen eventually cruised to a comfortable win to haul themselves to a point behind the Fir Park men.
With the Dons sitting fourth, the Steelmen were aiming to increase the gap between themselves and Derek McInnes’ men.
However, an early goal from Sam Cosgrove and a quick double from Niall McGinn and Zak Vyner at the start of the second half killed off the home side’s ambitions.
It might have been so different had Liam Donnelly been free of suspension as in the early stages, his presence was missed at both ends.
Within five minutes his deputy penalty taker James Scott failed to score from the spot.
Then 10 minutes later and with Peter Hartley off receiving treatment, Aberdeen exploited the defensive gap to take the lead and the initiative.
In an otherwise unchanged ‘Well line-up, Chris Long was rewarded with a starting place, following his goal after coming off the bench against St Mirren.
In an explosive start Joe Lewis was the first ‘keeper in action, firmly holding James Scott’s curling drive from 18 yards.
The Dons’ keeper was in the thick of the action a minute later. Under pressure from Sherwin Seedorf, Shay Logan was short with his pass back.
With Long racing to intercept, Lewis’ attempt at clearing the ball only succeeded in bringing down the ‘Well striker and concede a penalty.
James Scott’s effort had power and height, but Lewis redeemed himself with a sensational one handed save to turn the ball onto his bar and over.
James Wilson then tested Mark Gillespie with a powerful drive from 30 yards, which the ‘Well ‘keeper comfortably beat away from his goal.
A minute later a similar thumping effort from Wilson crashed off Peter Hartley’s head forcing the ‘Well captain off the field for treatment.
Unable to continue and before Bevis Mugabi could take his place, Aberdeen had punished the 10 men to open the scoring.
Cosgrove powered his way beyond Barry Maguire and into the penalty box before deftly clipping the ball over Gillespie and under the bar for a terrific finish.
Despite the setback the Fir Park side remained composed as they faced the prospect of breaking through the Dons’ five man defensive wall.
In the 21st minute the home side came close to the equaliser when Long nipped in front of Lewis at the corner of the six yard box but from a very tight angle he rattled the ball off the outside of the ‘keeper’s post.
Seven minutes later Cosgrove almost produced a copy of his opener. This time, though, Declan Gallagher matched his run into the box before his timely tackle deprived the Dons’ striker of the ball.
Although tight at the back, Aberdeen’s distribution from defence was sloppy and ‘Well enjoyed plenty of possession in the middle of the park – but half-time arrived with no real pressure on Lewis’ goal.
The Dons were perfectly placed for the second half, tightly holding onto their lead with the prospect of sneaking a second on the break as ‘Well pushed forward in search of an equaliser.
And the second goal duly arrived eight minutes into the half – as ‘Well contributed to their own downfall.
A series of short passes 50 yards from their own goal culminated in McGinn robbing Alan Campbell and the Northern Ireland international made the most of the chance by curling a stunning effort high beyond Gillespie’s reach and into the ‘keeper’s left hand corner.
A couple of minutes later Jermaine Hylton replaced Scott but by then the Pittodrie side and their fans were on song and on their way to a comfortable win.
As ‘Well wilted Zak Vyner hit a low 25 yards drive ball in off the bottom of the post to make it 3-0 and literally wrap up the points.
On the hour mark Barry Maguire made way for Devante Cole who arrived in time to see Liam Polworth drive a long and powerful effort just wide of goal.
Polworth then slipped the ball through to Long who turned McKenna at the edge of the box only to fire over the crossbar.
From the other corner of the penalty box Hylton fed the ball to Long and although his angled drive was on target it was a comfortable save for Lewis.
The Steelmen kept plugging away and ten minutes from time Cole got the better of McKenna at the edge of the six yard area to turn and force a shot which was blocked by the ‘keeper.
It was then Gillespie’s turn to produce a fine save low to his left, to deny Vyner a second goal.
Not to be outdone, Lewis was at full stretch to push away Cole’s angled drive, as the goalmouth action continued until the final whistle.
Aberdeen are Saturday’s visitors to Fir Park, as third-placed Motherwell take on the fourth-placed Dons in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Here’s the lowdown on our opponents.
Fourth in the league with eight games played, on paper Aberdeen are sitting strong, even if recent results of late have dipped.
Injuries and suspensions are starting to rack up. Lewis Ferguson and Curtis Main miss Saturday’s match through suspension, after picking up red cards in their last match with Hibernian.
Midfielders Funso Ojo, Craig Bryson and Stephen Gleeson have been out injured, although the latter two have stepped up their recoveries. Ash Taylor also remains out, as does Scott Wright.
Aberdeen have won one of their last five, with a 2-0 win at Livingston putting a positive result in their run.
Home draws with Hibernian and St Johnstone have also been picked up. Cup defeat to Hearts on penalties, and a 5-0 loss at Rangers in the league, make up their last five.
Lewis Ferguson and Curtis Main will definitely be missing from the team which drew 1-1 with Hibernian last time out.
A mainstay between the sticks for the Dons so far this season, Joe Lewis will be looking to go one better than last season in which he played in all but one of Aberdeen’s 38 Scottish Premiership fixtures.
Committing his future by signing a new five-year contract during the summer, the 32-year-old has set his sights on winning silverware with the Reds.
Lewis has already accumulated three clean sheets in league action so far, though he’s had to pick the ball out on the net on 10 occasions – a figure inflated by the five goals conceded in the heavy defeat to Rangers – the first time the former Cardiff keeper has conceded five goals in his time with the Reds.
After helping Barnsley earn promotion to the Sky Bet Championship last season, winger Ryan Hedges opted to turn down a new deal with the Oakwell side and instead opted to join Aberdeen on a three-year contract.
The Welsh international got off to a great start when he came off the bench to net the winner against Hearts on his Scottish Premiership debut and he’s added further goals against Ross County and St Johnstone.
Hedges has won three caps for his country and his most recent appearances was also his first start for Wales – winning the man-of-the-match award in a 1-0 success over Trinidad and Tobago.
There can be little doubt that Aberdeen would be much worse off without the goals of Sam Cosgrove.
The former Carlisle striker has netted 14 times in 15 appearances so far, including a Europa League hat-trick against FC Chikhura Sachkhere. He carried his scoring streak form into the league fixtures and has scored half of the Dons’ 10 league goals.
It’s been the perfect response to the critics who jumped on his slow start to his career with Aberdeen. After failing to score in his first 16 appearances there were suggestions that the powerful forward wasn’t capable of making the step up.
Those doubts have been well and truly put to bed now as his next 43 matches have brought an incredible 35 goals – an average of a goal every 110 minutes.
Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows has been recognised as the SPFL’s CEO of the Year at the prestigious Football Business Awards.
A chief executive from the four English senior leagues, and the Scottish top flight, have all been recognised and are all now in contention to win the overall CEO of the Year prize.
The other finalists for this year’s awards are Peter Moore (Liverpool FC), Mark Ashton (Bristol City FC), Gary Sweet (Luton Town) and Carolyn Radford (Mansfield Town).
Burrows has been recognised by industry publication fcbusiness for his leadership throughout the 2018/19 season. He will receive his award at a ceremony on 28 November at City Central at the HAC in London.
Recognising the valuable contribution of the game’s executives in the UK has seen fcbusiness present the CEO of the Year Award each year since 2012, with previous winners including Ian Ayre (Liverpool), David Baldwin (Burnley FC), Daniel Levy (Tottenham Hotspur), Ivan Gazidis (Arsenal), Karren Brady (West Ham United), Mark Catlin, (Portsmouth) and Tony Scholes (Stoke City) to name a few.
Speaking of the nominations, fcbusiness editor and Football Business Awards judge, Aaron Gourley, said: “This year’s CEO of the Year sponsored by Reznor represents the very best in football business.
“The five divisional winners are without doubt the best in their leagues and have shown outstanding leadership over the course of the 2018/19 season.
“The pressure on football clubs each year to improve both on and off the pitch calls for leadership of the highest level and these five nominees represent that.
“The CEO of the Year award is one of the most prized in football and through their hard work and dedication each of the nominees has led their respective clubs to achieve outstanding performances both on and off the pitch.”
Speaking of his award, the Motherwell chief executive added: “I am exceptionally honoured to win this award.
“It was a great but welcome surprise, and I am thankful to those at fcbusiness and the Football Business Awards for the recognition.”
Richard Leese, Managing Director UK & Belgium for CEO of the Year sponsor, Reznor, said: “Reznor are proud to sponsor the CEO of the Year awards, celebrating the very best of football, recognising their commitment and dedication on and off the pitch.
Simon Burton, founder of the Football Business Awards, added: “Football clubs aren’t just businesses – they are global brands and community assets. It takes a special type of leadership to steer them and we are delighted to celebrate these wonderful CEO’s at the Football Business Awards.”
Stephen Robinson spoke to the broadcast media on Friday, ahead of the clash with Aberdeen at Fir Park.
The Motherwell boss talked about the international break, Declan Gallagher’s form and the challenge Aberdeen will pose.
“I think that it was seven or eight [players] away, which is hard to work with at times.
“But we’ve got so many good young players at the club. It gives them a chance to be up with the first team and you know, you’re starting to get to know the boys that are 15 and 16 and that are in on day release from school as well.
“And they are training with people like Peter Hartley, you know, so it’s real experience for them. So, yeah, yu can’t do loads of tactical work, but you can certainly bring the club together.”
“Really pleased for him. I think he thoroughly deserved it.
“He’s been a real standout performer for us this season and he’s worked very very hard. You know, he’s come in and he’s improved and I think he’s got better and better with each game.
“He’s taken more and more responsibility and he’s becoming a complete player at our level so he’s got his just rewards.
“He didn’t get game time, but that’s just the start. You know, he’s got his call-up. And what he has to do is keep working harder, keep improving and he will be on Steve’s radar.
“I think we’ve got a driven squad of players. We are very young and very much a work in progress.
“We won’t get too carried away with what we’ve done. It’s eight games into the season.
“We’ve started well. I think we can continue to improve, you know, if we can put a full 90 minutes of the quality that we seen against St Mirren, we will be a decent side. But we are yet to do that, so we’re still trying to achieve that.
“I think Aberdeen are a very good side. They’ve got a very good coaching staff in Derek and Tony as well.
“It’s third versus fourth at the moment. It’s only eight games as I said, the league table doesn’t matter too much at the moment, but it’s a test for us. A real test for us.
“We’ve been very good lately and you know, we’ll have the rise to that occasion again and match the physical element Aberdeen bring with it as well, and then try and take the game to them.
“I don’t think it’s just Aberdeen we have to beat. A win for us at this stage of the season, and to stay up in the top regions of the league, is vitally important for us. But I won’t read too much into it all of a sudden we if we manage to beat Aberdeen and then say ‘we’re definitely going to finish third’.
“That’s not the way we look at it. We try and build each week, each game try and keep improving.”
“We’ve got a couple of knocks and bruises, which is always a danger when you run with such a small squad that we have.
“Mark O’Hara and Jake Carroll both are maybe struggling a little bit for tomorrow. It may come again too soon for them. They picked up little niggles during the international break.
“Obviously Charles Dunne, David Turnbull, David Devine are the long-term injuries, and Liam Donnelly is suspended. So we’re down to the bare bones, so to speak, and everyone will be utilised in the squad tomorrow.
“I genuinely believe there’s still a lot more to come, especially from our forward players.
“I think probably for the first time this week, I could probably start both wide players if I chose to.
“Obviously James Scott playing in that area of the pitch scored a wonder goal the other week. So now I’ve got real competition.
“I think before that I could only start either Sherwin or Jermaine, because I didn’t think they could give me 90 minutes.
“Now I think we’re getting to that stage and we’ve used the international break really well to get to that stage. So we’ve got some difficult team selections now to come.”
Motherwell were made to pay for an off-colour performance as they slumped to a 4-3 defeat against Rangers on Wednesday night in SWPL1.
Looking to bounce back from defeat in the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup semi-final to Hibernian at the weekend, the women of steel headed to the Rangers Training Centre knowing a win would keep up the pressure on the side they’re chasing in fourth spot.
The opening spell of the game saw the hosts have all the ball. The first effort from Motherwell came from captain Georgie Rafferty, as her free-kick was held by Nicolson in goals.
Inevitably, Rangers broke the deadlock on 25 minutes. Napier tapped in at the back post after she found herself free in the box.
Motherwell were camped in their own half, with Morgan Hunter making two fine diving saves to keep the ball out of the net.
Just before the break, Rangers’ lead was doubled when Boyce blasted the ball into the net, Hunter’s previous block only pushing the ball into the path of the on-rushing forward.
The second half saw Brown sent off for the hosts after an altercation with Lauren Doran-Barr on the hour mark, and it gave the visitors a way back into the game. Rachel Connor scored on her debut just after, as she raced through on goal to place the ball into the far corner.
But Gregory Vignal’s side managed to extend their lead further on 67 minutes. Bourma put the home side back in the driving seat, working her way through the defence and finishing well in to the far corner to put Rangers 3-1 up.
In a match filled with defensive errors, Abby Callaghan found herself one-on-one with Nicolson and she calmly finished with 15 minutes to go to give the women of a steel a chance of taking a point.
But, in the 82nd minute, Brownlie floated in an excellent cross on the counter-attack that was headed home by Gemmell to make it 4-2 and seal the points.
Callaghan was sent through on goal in the last few seconds, slotting home to make it 4-3 as she scored her third in a week, but it was too little, too late for Motherwell.
Head coach Donald Jennow admitted his side’s display wasn’t what he had come to expect.
“To be honest, it just wasn’t good enough,” he said. “For everyone involved, it wasn’t anywhere near the standards we set as a group.
“We didn’t work as hard as them, we sat far too deep. Ultimately, we didn’t do ourselves justice today.”
The ‘Well boss however did take positives from a debut goal from Rachel Connor and a brace for Abby Callaghan.
“It was good for both on a personal level, it is good to have you forward scoring and Abby is doing that at the moment,” he added.
“We now need to focus on Sunday and the trip to face Celtic, who have been tough opponents this season.”
Motherwell: Hunter, Roberts, Rafferty, Rolph, Doran-Barr, Connor, Adams, Cairney, McEachran, Gardner, Callaghan.
Subs: Vincenti, Otto, Munro, Montgomery, Inglis, Fyfe.
There’s live video and audio available from Motherwell v Aberdeen on Saturday.
We’ve a live stream of the match 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 of the match 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
|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|
Motherwell travel to take on Rangers in SWPL1 on Wednesday evening.
The game at Rangers’ training ground kicks off at 8pm. Entry is £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and free entry for Under 12s.
Defeat to Hibernian in the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup semi-final at the weekend made it back-to-back defeats against the Edinburgh club, having also lost 2-0 on league duty last time out.
That said, the women of steel started the second half of the season in scintillating form, winning five and drawing one.
Rangers also exited the Scottish Cup on Sunday, at the hands of Glasgow City.
Gregory Vignal’s team have had mixed results since returning from the summer break, winning five and losing four.
A 3-3 draw in the last league outing between the two sides came at Ravenscraig back in April.
For the two sides, it’s about the battle for fourth spot. Motherwell sit four points behind Rangers in fifth, and know a win will go a long way towards chances of a top half finish in the club’s first season in the top flight.
“We were obviously disappointed to go out of the cup to a very strong Hibernian team,” head coach Donald Jennow said.
“But we have shown in our last two matches that, despite defeat, we are showing a lot of encouraging signs with a young squad.
“Our form since the return from the summer break highlights that. Rangers will be another tough opponent, but we must retain our positivity and believe we can get a result.”
Declan Gallagher is your Tullibardine Motherwell player of the month for September.
The consistent defender, who also netted against Hearts and contributed to two clean sheets, has been rewarded in the public vote.
Gallagher was up against Liam Polworth, Liam Donnelly and Allan Campbell for the fans to decide.
Motherwell head to Glasgow to take on Rangers on Sunday, 27 October.
The Steelmen go to Ibrox on league duty to take on Steven Gerrard’s side for the first time in the 2019/20 season.
Tickets are available online now or from the Fir Park ticket office, and must be purchased in advance.
|Over 65s / 16-17 year olds||£22|
Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Andy Sim on 07428 225254 or email email@example.com.