“It was an absolute kick in the teeth. We have to learn how to manage games.”
Stephen Robinson reacts to Motherwell’s loss at St Johnstone.
“It was an absolute kick in the teeth. We have to learn how to manage games.”
Stephen Robinson reacts to Motherwell’s loss at St Johnstone.
Motherwell suffered a late, late blow as St Johnstone scored at the death to defeat the 10 men at McDiarmid Park.
Christopher Kane’s goal at the death gave all three points to the hosts in stoppage time, as the visitors desperately clung on after the dismissal of substitute Christy Manzinga for a second bookable offence.
Callum Hendry had opened the scoring for the Saints in the first half, before Christopher Long levelled with an opportunistic long-range effort.
Manager Stephen Robinson made one change from the team which drew 1-1 at St Mirren in the Scottish Cup at the weekend, with Allan Campbell replacing Liam Polworth in midfield.
Both sides had big chances in the opening exchanges. Long saw a shot from outside the box fizz past the left post, while Hendry saw a fierce cross bounce off him and go behind from close range.
With 27 minutes gone, St Johnstone had the lead. Mark Gillespie’s ball out to Liam Donnelly was seized upon in midfield, setting Hendry on his way to goal. His initial effort was blocked but fell kindly back into his path as he broke into the area, before firing past the goalkeeper into the bottom right corner.
Five minutes later, Motherwell were level in strange circumstances. An attempted ball through to Allan Campbell was blocked on the edge of the area and bounced clear.
Sensing an opportunity, Long swept a snap shot back towards goal from 30 yards. Goalkeeper Zander Clark got caught in two minds as the ball rolled under him and off the left-hand post.
With the ball almost appearing to move in slow motion, it rolled along the line and finally ended up in the goal to bring Motherwell level.
Motherwell finished the first half brighter but the second was a different story, as St Johnstone dominated affairs.
Manzinga – on as a substitute – was booked for hauling down Anthony Ralston and then saw his second yellow soon after. Bursting into the box between the bodies, he fell to the ground and was ruled to have dived by referee Nick Walsh, leading to his dismissal.
Motherwell held on in the face of relentless pressure and looked to have held on for the point that would send them back to third in the Premiership table. But there would be late heartbreak as Kane stole in ahead of Hartley from a cross from the right to take the points at the death.
We’ve still got availability in our hospitality suites for our forthcoming match with St Mirren.
The Paisley club come calling on Saturday, 15 February in another crucial Ladbrokes Premiership fixture.
You can buy online now to secure your place instantly. Alternatively, give our hospitality team a call on 01698 338012.
A two-course meal with half-time refreshments served within our Centenary Suite with main stand seating and a pay bar for £70 per person, or £45 per person for season ticket holders. A fully-inclusive bar is also available for £120 per person.
Inclusive bar with two-course meal and half-time snacks with indoor seating for £70 per person for our beer and wine package, or £90 for our spirits, beer and wine package.
View the match from the comfort of one of our boxes at the top of the Davie Cooper Stand. With access to the Cooper Bar before and after the match, and half-time refreshments, tea, coffee, pies and cakes, our deal is available for £50 per person.
If you’re a season ticket holder, you can upgrade for £35 per person.
Enjoy hot snacks with half-time refreshments with main stand seating for £70 per person, with an inclusive bar one hour before and one hour following the match. We also have an offer for Under 18s priced at £35.
The dress code for all areas is smart, with no jeans, trainers or colours. To book, please phone our hospitality team on 01698 338012 or book online at tickets.motherwellfc.co.uk.
St Johnstone lie in wait next for Motherwell in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Wednesday night.
Here’s a look at our opponents.
After a rocky start to the campaign, the Saints have stepped up to be in contention of a top six place at the split.
Sitting three points behind sixth-placed Hibernian and with a game in hand, the Perth side are making a strong push to be on the right side of the league after game 33.
Looking over their shoulder, an eight-point gap on play-off placed Hamilton Academical is also a considerable cushion, considering they were only two points clear at the end of 2019.
With three wins and one draw in their last five matches – and only two defeats in their last 10 – Tommy Wright’s team have picked up significantly in form.
A 2-1 Scottish Cup win at Ayr United at the weekend followed a 1-0 away win at Aberdeen in the league.
A 3-3 draw at home to Hearts, a 3-0 home loss to Celtic and a 2-1 win at McDiarmid Park against Kilmarnock preceded those results.
Tickets are available online now to collect at Fir Park.
Alternatively, you can buy online direct from St Johnstone and print your ticket at home, or use a mobile ticket.
|17-18 year olds||£13|
|13-16 year olds||£10|
Children aged under 13 can get in for free with a paying adult or over 65.
Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Andy Sim on 07428 225254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re outside the UK/Ireland, you can watch St Johnstone v Motherwell on our live streaming service.
Priced at £12 a month, just head to tv.motherwellfc.co.uk to subscribe.
Wherever you are, there’s also live audio commentary available on our streaming service for £5.99 a month.
Stephen Robinson discussed facing St Johnstone, the form of Mark O’Hara, the emergence of Tony Watt and the impact of the club clearing its debts when he spoke to the broadcast media on Tuesday.
Here’s what the Motherwell boss had to say.
We’ve had to train inside. Obviously you saw the game on Saturday turned into a little bit of a farce in the second half, to be honest, in terms of the conditions.
But credit to both sets of players. Both teams tried to win it. I thought we had two great chances to win the game as well. But we’ll go again next Tuesday.
Obviously training has been affected. We’ve had to train indoors at Ravenscraig yesterday and again this morning. But it doesn’t affect preparations. It just affects where you have to train.
Mark’s suffered unfortunately from the form of the midfield three. The four boys fighting for three spots are arguably my best trainers every day and the most consistent players at the club.
I can rotate that midfield three without it having too much of an effect. And I have to because if you see the stats, they do a lot of running for our front boys who get the credit for it.
We have to rotate it a little bit. But I don’t think we need wholesale changes. I think there’s a lot of good stuff and other people have to wait their chances like Mark has done. And when he’s got in, he’s certainly taken it.
Tony got 10 minutes in the hurricane and he played another 45 minutes in the reserves yesterday. I think he’s still a couple of weeks away from being fully sharp and fully fit.
When you haven’t played for a little while, obviously it takes its toll. So at the moment, he’ll be involved from the bench and hopefully gives a spark when he comes on and we’ll continue to work over the next couple of weeks.
There’s a lot of games coming so, he may get a start coming very soon. But we still need to make sure his sharpness and understanding of what we want from him as well gets better as the weeks progress.
They’ve gone on a decent run. They’ve got similar players still and they’ve a similar style. They’ve not changed their style, they’re not changed the way they play.
They’re a tough team to play against. They put balls down the side of you. They’ll be aggressive in midfield and they are on a good run and so they’ll go into the game with confidence.
But again, we go in sitting in third place. We’ve got to go in, believe in what we do and try stamp the way we play on the game.
It’s massive for the football club. You’re always having things hanging over your head and every time we sold a player or we got to a cup final, it was always, well, we have to pay off the debts again.
Now it’s the time to build again. To invest in the playing squad, the infrastructure, the ground, the training ground.
Our training ground and our academy, as much as we’ve done so well from it, it needs to be upgraded massively to continue to try and attract players and go forward.
As a manager, I won’t stand still. I want to keep trying to push the club forward. Alan Burrows wants to keep pushing the club forward, as do the board.
I’m sure they’ll have a plan for the next five or 10 years. They’ve done what they said. Fantastic credit to everybody involved.
As a football club, we’ve made a lot of money from selling players and been relatively successful on the pitch as well, backed by the Well Society.
So it’s now time to move on. It’s now time to start building again and trying to keep the club where it is and, within our means, keep building.
I’ve got a very good relationship with the board and the chairman. I know the parameters. We aren’t going to change that we get 4,000-4,500 people coming.
I’d love to get more money to spend on players. But I also know the reality of the situation. We can’t take the club back into debt again. My budget won’t change. It’ll stay exactly the same. That’s what it is. It’s not something that they’ve sold me something and taken it away. That’s what it is.
What I will say as we have to invest into the youth setup more. We have to invest in the infrastructure more and keep building on that.
As I say, the [playing] budget might go up and down by a few hundred pounds, but it’s not going to change massively. We are what we are, and we live within our means, and we’ve been very successful doing it.
I think it might take a little while for them to come through again. But we’ve got boys in the background I think will come next season. I don’t think they’ll come this season if I’m being honest. I think they need another six months of football. Some we’ve put out on loan, some we are keeping here to develop.
Youth players come in cycles. You get a really good three or four years and then it sometimes takes another year or two for the next cycle to come through.
Speaking to Steven Hammell, I know we’ve got a really good squad, particularly at under 14 level. So if I’m still here at the time they come through into the first team, I will be absolutely delighted.
But we’ve got Dean Cornelius, Ross MacIver, David Devine, Jamie Semple, David Turnbull who is coming back again. We’ve got younger boys that are training with us all the time and we’ll continue to push them this as a football club.
At this football club, if you’re good enough, you’ll play. Simple. If you’re not in the team as a young player, you’re probably not doing it yet or you’re not ready yet.
So we will continue to put them in and keep searching for those people that we’re finding from England as well.
There’s a live stream and live audio available from St Johnstone v Motherwell on Wednesday night.
We’ve live video of the match available to viewers outside of the UK and Ireland for just £12 a month. Kick off is at 7.45pm GMT.
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
|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|
|18 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|
Tickets for our William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round replay with St Mirren are now on sale.
Adult tickets are priced at £12, with concession prices £6. Children aged 15 and under can get in for our normal price of £3.
Tickets can be bought online now for both the home and away sections. St Mirren fans will be housed in our South Stand.
The match will be played on Tuesday 18 February with a 7.45pm kick off.
Our ticket office is also open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and until 4pm on Friday, for in-person sales. You can also call 01698 333333 to buy.
Cash gates will also be available on the night.
|Over 60s / 16-17s / full-time students||£6|
|Children aged 15 and under||£3|
This match is not covered by the season ticket.
Season ticket holders will have their seats reserved for them to purchase. Season cards can be used if you purchase your ticket in advance and it is added to your card.
To buy, season ticket holders should log in to their ticket account at tickets.motherwellfc.co.uk. After login, you will be see a note that your seat has been reserved for the match, after which it will be possible to purchase.
It’s easy to buy multiple tickets using our online system. All you need to have to hand is the season ticket details of the other people you want to buy for.
Our guide on how to set up your network can be found here.
Come and enjoy a two-course meal with half-time refreshments in our Centenary Suite for the match.
Motherwell Football Club has now cleared all of its outstanding external debt.
A final payment of around £80,000 has been made to five individuals who invested in the club in November. The balance has been settled following the transfer of James Scott to Hull City on 31 January.
Over £2m of debt has now been cleared in three years. Motherwell FC now operates with zero external debt and – for the first time in 40 years – will work with no fixed or floating charges over Fir Park Stadium to external parties.
“When we made the full and final payments to Mr John Boyle and Mr Les Hutchison late last year, we did so by swapping a small amount of their debt with an investment from a small number of lifelong Motherwell fans close to the club,” Motherwell FC chairman Jim McMahon said.
“We were confident that this would be repaid in a timeous fashion, so it is very satisfying that we have managed to do so in less than three months.
“The aim of both the club and Well Society boards, following the transition to fan ownership, was to ensure we got ourselves to this position, as it is vital for the long-term health and prosperity of Motherwell Football Club.
“Together, both boards are now working on what the key strategic priorities should be for the next five to ten years.”
Motherwell lost out 4-2 at Queen of the South in the SPFL Reserve League on Monday.
Jamie Hamilton netted a hat-trick for the hosts, with Tony Watt netting for the Steelmen during a 45-minute first-half appearance.
Callum Semple’s header from a corner to make it four compounded the result in the second half, before Ross MacIver grabbed a late consolation goal.
Several first-team players got the opportunity to get game time at Palmerston Park.
Christian Ilic and MacIver featured alongside Watt, while Barry Maguire made a return after a spell out with an ankle injury.
It took Queen of the South nine minutes to get in front. Hamilton got to the left corner of the box and fired home to open the scoring.
MacIver then missed a penalty for the visitors, before Watt headed in a cross from a trialist to send in Motherwell level at the break.
Eight minutes into the second half, Queens were back in front. Hamilton headed in a cross to make it 2-1, and he would be handed the chance to get his hat-trick soon after.
Two minutes later, he stepped up to send the ball past PJ Morrison from the spot to claim his third of the afternoon.
MacIver then got Motherwell’s second with eight minutes left on the clock, putting the ball into the corner of the net from a through ball.
Motherwell: Morrison, Brown, Johnston, Hussain, Maguire, Hale, Cornelius, Trialist, MacIver, Ilic, Watt (Starrs).
Subs: Connolly, Quinn, Muir, Robertson, Starrs, Hutchison, Kettings.
Motherwell could potentially face Aberdeen or Kilmarnock in the sixth round of the 2019/20 William Hill Scottish Cup.
The winners of a replay between the Steelmen and St Mirren, due to be played on Tuesday 18 February, will host in the quarter-finals.
The sixth round tie will take place on the weekend of Saturday 29 February and Sunday 1 March.
Hibernian v Inverness CT
St Mirren/Motherwell v Aberdeen/Kilmarnock
St Johnstone v Celtic
Hearts v Rangers