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  • Club

    Putting a pin in it

  • Women

    Defeat to Celtic in SWPL1

  • First team

    Motherwell 0-1 St Mirren

  • First team

    Manager reacts to St Mirren loss

  • First team

    Bevis Mugabi embracing life in ML1

  • Club

    Get 50% off at Papa John’s

  • First team

    Manager looks ahead to St Mirren

  • First team

    Tony Watt speaks ahead of St Mirren

  • First team

    Storylines: Motherwell v St Mirren

  • Women

    Celtic round off year in SWPL1

  • Club

    Putting a pin in it

    Putting a pin in it

    When looking back on 2020, many of us will reflect on the ways in which we passed the time during difficult circumstances.

    Whether it has been turning our hands to DIY, testing ourselves in a Zoom quiz against friends and family or lacing up our trainers with the aim of taking on a 5K – keeping busy has been the name of the game.

    Others have demonstrated their creative side and after being furloughed from work back in May, ‘Well fan Pete Smith put his artistic skills into action and launched ‘Steelmen Pins’ – a collection of pin badges celebrating Fir Park heroes both past and present.

    It is an idea that has quickly captured the imagination of Motherwell fans young and old – with many turning into obsessive collectors in a relatively short period of time.

    “After being placed on furlough I started some sketches on my iPad and showed them to a couple of my friends,” Pete explained.

    “To be honest I wasn’t overly aware of the growing trend of badge collecting when I started on some ideas for Motherwell based designs.

    “Louis Moult was the first player I used for a design and I then tried one for Michael Higdon, my friends advised to check out the work by badge makers at Celtic and Kilmarnock which helped show me how good they can turn out and how excited people get about collecting.

    “It’s sort of like the Panini stickers with your got, got, needs – everyone wants to complete their collection. I wanted to keep the numbers low at the start, but at the same time keep everyone happy too.

    “So far the badges have gone down really well with the Motherwell fans. It can be tricky trying to gauge quantities sometimes as I certainly don’t want any of those who bought from day one missing out.”

    With a new badge release on the last Friday of every month, fans of Steelmen Pins have learned they have to be quick off the mark to ensure they can add to their collection.

    Last week, a batch of 125 Louis Moult badges were snapped up in less than two hours, leading Pete having to request a further batch in order to cater for demand.

    Commemorating Louis’ wonderful second goal from the 2-0 Betfred Cup semi-final victory over Rangers, the man himself got in touch to give the badge design his seal of approval.

    Pete admits he feels humbled by the reaction from the players featured in the badges, as well as from supporters of the Steelmen and has enjoyed seeing the ways in which they display their collections.

    However, he feels there is still one thing missing – seeing fans display his badges inside Fir Park.

    “It’s so rewarding seeing that heroes of mine and so many ‘Well fans for that matter, are delighted to see themselves being made into enamel,” he added. “When the time comes that we’re back inside Fir Park it would be crazy to see fans with my badges on their scarves – I’d love that.

    “I would say a cork board is a good way to display your badges, though I’d recommend keeping the backers on.

    “I’ve seen it mentioned that Steelmen Pins has helped spark memories of watching our greatest players and it has been brilliant getting to speak to some of those who have bought a badges and hear their stories on their favourite moments watching that particular player. It’s fantastic that a small pin can spark such memories into life.”

    Another major positive for Pete has been the opportunity to contribute to the club through sales of his pin badges – with £1 from each sale being donated to the Well Society.

    Steelmen Pins has also recently supported ‘Cardiac Risk in the Young’ charity through sales of a special Phil O’Donnell charity double pack and will be supporting the Community Trust’s backing of Clyde One’s ‘Cash for Kids’ over the festive period.

    “Motherwell are a positive community club, and it goes without saying that Motherwell fans are incredibly generous,” Smith explained. “I think it’s important that we give back to the club when possible, especially given we can’t get to Fir Park at this moment in time.

    “’I’ve been going to the football with my dad since I was five, but never had much more of a contribution to the cause. Steelmen Pins has been a great thing to be involved and I hope the craze continues.

    “The Phil O’Donnell pins are the badges that I’m really trying to push just now. I had an extra allocation of those ones made up to help raise as much money for the two charities as possible.

    “I think the pin recreating a young Phil celebrating winning the Scottish Cup is my favourite one yet.”

    Having reacted positively to the final designs of 2020, fans of Steelmen Pins are already anticipating what comes next and Pete already has set the wheels in motion for what he hopes will be another big year.

    When it comes to making requests for their favourites to be made into enamel, the ‘Well supporters have made their feelings known and there is one name that is proving to be extremely popular.

    “Tommy Coyne is definitely one of the most requested players and I can’t wait to release his badge,” he smiled. “I’d love to complete the set of the full squad from the 1991 Scottish Cup final too. If I could get to that point it would be great.

    “We are lucky as ‘Well fans to have had so many cult heroes and brilliant players. I have had requests from players from our league winning team in 1932, right up to members of our current squad such as Allan Campbell. There’s so much choice and I’m delighted that people have generally agreed with the players featured so far.

    “It’s good to hear requests from those buying the badges and I’ll see what I can do to squeeze them in without over saturating obviously.

    “I’m really enjoying doing Steelmen Pins and hopefully that can continue into next year. I think a few badges would make the perfect stocking filler and it would be great for the ‘Well fans to wake up to them on Christmas morning.”

    It is not just Steelmen Pins that are proving to be a must-have this Christmas. The ‘Well shop have a massive selection of Motherwell merchandise, guaranteed to bring a smile to a smile to any fan of the Steelmen this Christmas.

    Here is a look at our top-three gift ideas:

    2020/21 away shirt
    from £37

    This season’s Motherwell away kit pays homage to our original colours when we played our first game in 1886 and has been one of the most popular ‘Well tops ever. Back in stock in all sizes, you will have to be quick to avoid disappointment – these are flying off the shelves yet again.

    Official 2021 calendar
    £10

    Who else is desperate to see the back of 2020? The official Motherwell FC alendar. will help you plan for better times, has space for to add all ‘Well fixtures and make note of those important dates that may have previously slipped your mind…

    Motherwell Ready2Music Headphones
    £120

    Why not celebrate your support for Motherwell with a unique pair of Ready2Music wireless headphones? The popular RIVAL model connects with any Bluetooth device, can be used for music, phone calls and gaming with an in-built microphone. The headphones are also easily foldable making them perfect for travelling too.

    By Andy Ross.

  • Women

    Defeat to Celtic in SWPL1

    Defeat to Celtic in SWPL1

    Motherwell ended 2020 with a home defeat against Celtic in SWPL1.

    The visitors left with a 5-0 win, netting four in the second half after finding the women of steel difficult to break down early on.

    Motherwell almost got in at the break level, but the resistance was broken three minutes from the interval. Robertson’s volley from just inside the area beat Ramsay and put Celtic ahead.

    Seven minutes into the second period, it was 2-0. Robertson played in Ewens, who clipped the ball over the outrushing goalkeeper.

    The third came five minutes later. Ross’ commitment to chase a ball to the byline and lift in a cross, which Donaldson cushioned in with a header.

    Craig’s shot into the bottom corner in the 69th minute made it four, before McAllister’s through ball to Ewens saw her net her second of the afternoon.

    Motherwell now enter a winter break, which ends when Forfar Farmington come calling on 17 January.

    Motherwell: Ramsay, Baillie, C Watson, Connor, K Watson, Sinclair, Adams, Skelton, Gardner, Callaghan, Hay.

    Subs: Pollard, Crooks, Rice, Trialist, Roberts, Swanson, McDonald-Nguah.

  • First team

    Motherwell 0-1 St Mirren

    Motherwell 0-1 St Mirren

    An early goal from Jamie McGrath was enough to consign Motherwell to a fourth consecutive home defeat.

    Despite having 77 minutes to respond to that setback and a spirited spell in the second half, when Jordan Archer was a spectator, once again the Fir Park men failed to make an impression on the visitors’ goal.

    The Paisley Saints, undefeated in eight games, were aiming to right the wrong of their loss to Motherwell awarded on the premise of breaking Covid-19 protocols. And after taking the lead Jim Goodwin’s men, compact and well organised, seldom looked like surrendering their advantage.

    Stephen Robinson made a couple of changes with Liam Grimshaw and Barry Maguire starting at the expense of Nathan McGinley and Liam Polworth. Devante Cole was fit again but on the bench as the ‘Well attack remained unchanged, from the side that carried no luck against Hibs last week.

    Incredibly, from the ‘Well side that lost to the Buddies when they last visited Fir Park in February, only four ‘Well players remained in the starting line-up.

    In a positive and encouraging start from the home side they came close to the opener after only four minutes. Stephen O’Donnell sent Christopher Long down the right channel and his cross to the far post had Callum Lang sliding in but just failing to make contact.

    Lang then turned provider and his deep cross into the six-yard box had former Fir Park favourite Richard Tait scooping the ball over his own crossbar.

    In their first real attack, though, Saints grabbed the opening goal. Jon Obika raced on to Ethan Erhahon’s through ball but Jordan Archer spread himself well to block the striker’s angled drive. Unfortunately for the ‘Well ‘keeper the ball rebounded to McGrath at the edge of the box and he confidently smashed the ball into the empty goal.

    Eight minutes later it might have been 2-0 when Dylan Connolly got in front of Declan Gallagher to head the ball just wide of goal.

    A minute later it was the visitor’s goal which was under threat. Maguire’s corner was headed back across goal by Gallagher and when Bevis Mugabi nodded the ball towards goal Jan Alnwick had to stretch above a packed goalmouth to punch the ball off his line.

    Gradually the ‘Well players regained their confidence and possession but their steady build-up from the back suited the tightly organised Saints’ defence.

    Restricted to play outside the box, Lang found space before driving his low shot straight at the waiting Alnwick.

    Just before the interval, the ‘keeper was tested again when Tony Watt worked his way towards the right-hand side of the box before driving the ball hard towards the near post and force Alnwick to beat the ball away.

    Undoubtedly more pressure was required on the Saints’ goal in the second half and after nine minutes Watt’s header from O’Donnell’s cut-back could only produce another comfortable save from the ‘keeper.

    A minute later Robinson made a double substitution, Devante Cole and Jake Hastie replacing Lang and Long.

    With 23 minutes remaining and ‘Well desperately searching to make an impression on the visitor’s defence, Liam Polworth replaced Mugabi, and the midfielder made an immediate impact.

    Within a minute his pass set up Cole but his low drive was smothered by Alnwick. A few minutes later Maguire’s long throw bounced its way to the back of the six-yard area where Polworth’s header sent the ball just over the crossbar.

    Suddenly there was a lot more activity around Alnwick’s goal and Hastie’s run and drive across goal was diverted past his own goal by Joe Shaughnessy. Cole then dragged the ball beyond the defence
    before his strike for goal was blocked in the six-yard box.

    Motherwell’s momentum was halted when Mark O’Hara took a heavy tumble and despite treatment had to be replaced by Ricki Lamie.

    When play resumed only a fine save from Alnwick, diving low to his left to parry Polworth’s measured drive, denied ‘Well a deserved equaliser.

    Two minutes from time Grimshaw, who had a fine game on the left side of the defence, could only drive his shot from 18 yards straight at the Saints’ keeper.

    With Saints comfortably playing out the five added minutes, Maguire was denied a stunning equaliser when his speculative 30-yard drive almost caught Alnwick off guard but the ‘keeper reacted in time to palm the ball beyond his post as Saints held out for three points.

  • First team

    Manager reacts to St Mirren loss

    “We all know that without that end product, we won’t win football matches.”

    Stephen Robinson speaks after the 1-0 loss to St Mirren.

  • First team

    Bevis Mugabi embracing life in ML1

    Bevis Mugabi embracing life in ML1

    Bevis Mugabi says he and his Motherwell team-mates have embraced “the new normal” that’s been thrust upon the world as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Normally this time of year is an occasion for laughter, turkey dinners, and busloads of football teams dressed up Mario Kart characters heading on a minibus for Newcastle.

    Yet, this year of course is quite different. As a result of the current circumstances, no SPFL team will be racing through Glasgow Airport departure lounge looking like a squad of Smurfs bound for a budget flight to Dublin. Many instead will be at home, sitting in their own bubble, most likely firing up another Zoom quiz.

    In the grand scheme of things, the Motherwell defender – and no doubt every other footballer in the country – recognises it’s a small price to pay as the world clings to hope of a return to the “old normal” soon. Until then, though, we’ll always have Zoom…

    “There’s nothing in the pipeline but hopefully something will be,” said the Uganda international.

    “Christmas nights out or dinners are all part of the team morale and it’s important you all celebrate Christmas, especially this year when there isn’t a winter break. It would have been nice to have something to look forward to but obviously doesn’t look like any chance of that happening.

    “These nights out are normally always good. There was one in particular at Yeovil Town which I can’t go into too much detail about. Nobody got arrested but it was a good night!”

    New protocols have been brought in this season across Scottish football club, and Fir Park is no exception.

    A recent video from the club showed off club captain Declan Gallagher take himself through a Starbucks drive-thru for a frappucino – a grown-up strawberry milkshake – and Mugabi admits the coffee club is one thing he misses from pre-lockdown.

    “It’s become the new norm for us being in our little bubble,” said the centre-half.

    “It’s literally go to training, come back, go to the supermarket, then come home to your flat. It has been very different as normally we have a little Starbucks group that go for coffee after training but that’s not happening obviously.

    “We’ve had to adapt but we’ve done it quite well.”

    In terms of adapting on the field, it has been a frustrating few weeks that have provided unexpected ups and downs.

    The sudden and late loss of both Allan Campbell to self-isolation following a Scotland Under 21 trip was hard to take, and the team struggled against St Johnstone in league and League Cup, drawing the former and losing the latter.

    You can also chuck in the award of two 3-0 victories for cancelled games against Kilmarnock and St Mirren, then the 3-0 defeat to Hibernian on Saturday that could have delivered so much more.

    A header off the post from Mugabi, as well as a goal ruled out that had very little wrong with it at 0-0, could have altered the fate of the match. Instead, the Uganda defender is left with not a taste of victory, but an appetite to put things right today against St Mirren.

    “It was a match of two halves to be honest,” he said. “In the first half we did well, had a few chances. We obviously had the goal that was disallowed.

    “In the second half we didn’t perform well and we let Hibs punish us.

    “In terms of the goal that was disallowed, I was really surprised. The referee blew really quickly so he must have seen something. I think it was meant to be for a foul by Mark O’Hara on one of their players, that’s what the manager told us. When you watch it back, he clearly wins the header without fouling anyone then I knock it in.

    “It was those little moments throughout the game went away from us. I also had a header that came back off the post. It was so unlucky. I thought I’d done everything right to get away from my man and connect well with the ball. When I saw it hit the inside of the post and come out I just thought ‘wow’. It was another one of those moments.”

    Mugabi added: “We are going to be frustrated when we aren’t winning but we need to keep plugging away, but we know things will turn for the better.

    “You can see what the manager is trying to implement on the training ground, I’ve got no doubt things will pick up.

    “We are here to win games and keep picking up points, and Saturday is another good opportunity to do that.”

    A dislocated shoulder ruled the centre-half out of international duty during the last window, but he watched on with a smile at team-mates Stephen O’Donnell and Declan Gallagher become heroes for Scotland.

    “Anyone who knows Deccy knows he doesn’t shut up,” laughed his defensive partner.

    “It’s great for the club. The energy he brings in is amazing and he deserves all the success for Scotland given how he has been played and how he also played last season.

    “He got his opportunity and took it with both hands. It’s great to see that if you perform at your club it gets recognised.

    “I was meant to go away in the last international break but couldn’t because of my dislocated shoulder, so hopefully I’ll be back in March.

    “There’s a lot of internationalists in the defence and it’s good for the club. They are getting the credit of having us playing there and it shows to everyone you can get that recognition at Motherwell.”

    By Scott Mullen.

  • Club

    Get 50% off at Papa John’s

    Get 50% off at Papa John’s

    You can enjoy 50% off your pizza this weekend as part of our tie-up with Papa John’s.

    All fans can enjoy the discount on all orders over £25.

    To get yours, just use the code WELL1991 at checkout.

    We’re working in association with Papa John’s Hamilton and the franchise will be sponsoring our upcoming games against St Mirren and Kilmarnock.

    Leading up to those games, five lucky random season ticket holders will be picked out to receive free pizzas.

    Even more promotional offers will be available soon from Papa John’s. To find out more, head to their Facebook page.

  • First team

    Manager looks ahead to St Mirren

    “I’ve told the players that they are nice boys. They just need to get a bit more devilment and demand more from each other.”

    Stephen Robinson previews the visit of St Mirren on Saturday.

  • First team

    Tony Watt speaks ahead of St Mirren

    The forward talks about being settled in ML1, the intensity of manager Stephen Robinson, and how he still has a lot more to achieve at the club and in his career.

  • First team

    Storylines: Motherwell v St Mirren

    Storylines: Motherwell v St Mirren

    St Mirren make their first trip of the season to ML1 on Saturday.

    Here are the main topics going into the match.

    Points to be gained

    Nine points separate the two sides going into Saturday’s game, with Motherwell in fifth and St Mirren occupying the bottom spot in the table.

    A win for the Steelmen would see them hold on to fifth spot, with Dundee United a point behind in sixth.

    The Buddies could rise all the way to ninth if results go their way, with Livingston currently occupying the position with three more points and a six-goal better goal difference.

    Bucking the trend

    St Mirren are unbeaten in three against Motherwell in all competitions.

    A 2-1 league win before the shutdown in 2019/20 came hot on the heels of a penalty shootout win in the Scottish Cup, after Stephen Robinson’s men came back from 4-1 down to level the scores. Before that, a 1-1 draw in Paisley in the same competition set up a replay.

    Prior to that, it was Motherwell who had the upper hand, winning three and drawing one in succession.

    The return of Richard Tait

    The former Motherwell stalwart returns to Fir Park for the first time since his summer switch to Paisley.

    Having made 142 appearances in claret and amber, the 31-year-old has impressed in defence, also netting two goals in his 16 appearances.

  • Women

    Celtic round off year in SWPL1

    Celtic round off year in SWPL1

    The calendar year concludes for Motherwell on Sunday in SWPL1, as Celtic come calling.

    Eddie Wolecki Black’s side are looking to recover from a heavy defeat to Rangers last weekend, and take on another of the league’s full-time squads in trying to do so.

    Kick-off on Sunday 13 December at the Penny Cars Stadium in Airdrie is at 12.30pm.

    The match, which is closed to supporters, can be watched for free live online on the BBC Sport Scotland website.

    Tale of the tape

    Motherwell and Celtic have faced each other four times over the years.

    A Scottish Cup win for the Hoops back in 2015 was followed by a 0-0 draw on the first SWPL1 meeting back in March 2019.

    A 2-1 win for Celtic at Ravenscraig was then followed by a 5-0 victory for our opponents in November last year.

    Form guide

    Celtic sit five points off the top after six games, with Rangers two points ahead and Glasgow City leading by five.

    The Glasgow side looked to be on the end of a shock home defeat to Forfar Farmington last weekend, before two late goals salvaged a 2-2 draw.

    An opening day defeat to Glasgow City was followed by four wins on the bounce, scoring 18 goals and conceding two.

    Defeat to Rangers last weekend made it one win from six for the women of steel on SWPL1 business this campaign, with the sole victory so far coming in a 3-0 crushing at Hearts.

    Gaining experience

    “Facing the full-time players at Rangers and Celtic in successive weeks is going to be a challenge,” manager Wolecki Black said.

    “That said, it is an opportunity for our team to gain experience against top players, and take the lessons learned into the new year.

    “We have been competitive against Glasgow City and Hibernian already this season, and we’ve shown we can compete against the bigger teams. Hopefully, that will be the case again on Sunday.”