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  • First team

    Liam Kelly: the modest but ambitious goalkeeper

  • First team

    Story of the season // Round one

  • First team

    Stephen Craigan to join Hall of Fame

  • First team

    Manager looks ahead to Rangers

  • Women

    Katie Rice returns

  • First team

    Next up: Rangers

  • Club

    Get your limited edition 1991 Scottish Cup commemorative whisky

  • First team

    Manager reacts to St Mirren draw

  • First team

    Motherwell 2-2 St Mirren

  • First team

    Get your tickets for Aberdeen

  • First team

    Liam Kelly: the modest but ambitious goalkeeper

    Liam Kelly: the modest but ambitious goalkeeper

    Over the years there have been plenty of examples to back up the theory that you must be a certain level of crazy to be a goalkeeper.

    As supporters, we have been captivated by the antics of the likes of Fabien Barthez, Jorge Campos and Rene Higuita. Plus, who could forget ‘Well legend Sieb Dijkstra?

    Though it seems like times are changing.

    Motherwell and Scotland keeper Liam Kelly’s personality could not be further removed from the names mentioned above. A cool and composed figure on and off the pitch, the 25-year-old prefers to take a more laid-back approach over berating his defence.

    His methods seem to be paying off. In the first three months of the new campaign, Kelly has continued the sparkling form he demonstrated during his loan spell at Fir Park last season, producing several big performances and captaining the Steelmen in the absence of Stephen O’Donnell.

    “I just want to be a normal guy,” Kelly said. “I’m quite relaxed off the pitch and try to be composed in everything that I do.

    “For me to go on the pitch and start shouting and bawling, that’s not what I’m like.

    “On the pitch, I’ll try to speak normally and give clear instructions from what the manager has said before the game. Of course, there are times that you will need to shout, but I never speak negatively or get on anyone’s back if they make a mistake.

    “The crazy goalkeeper thing, I suppose it comes down to each person’s personality, you get very calm goalkeepers, and you get ones who are a bit crazy.

    “It’s only a game of football at the end of the day. You’ll probably be going home to do the same thing no matter what the score is. I go out there and give everything I’ve got, if that’s good enough then amazing, if it isn’t on that day you’ve got to move on to the next game and try again.

    “When I’m shouting it’s to be positive and to encourage. If I’m speaking to the centre backs then I’ll not have to raise my voice. Obviously the further away the player is on the pitch, the louder I need to be.

    “I try not to be generic or waffle for the sake of it. That’s the last thing I want. I hate it myself when I hear players shouting the same generic rubbish that’s having no effect on the actual match.”

    After his superb displays during his loan spell in the second half of last season saw him scoop the club’s Players’ Player of the Year award, Motherwell fans were desperate to see Kelly sign a permanent deal at Fir Park.

    In early July they would get their wish as the keeper signed on a permanent basis, joining from Queen’s Park Rangers on a three-year deal.

    It was a signing that was hailed as a real coup for the Steelmen. But it was a decision that the keeper says came easy – dismissing the notion that swapping the English Championship for the Scottish Premiership was in any way a backwards step.

    “If I was going back to Queen’s Park Rangers I was going back as a number two to a good goalkeeper there,” he added. “For Motherwell to give me the opportunity to come and play was great and took me a step towards where I want to get to.

    “I know the process at Motherwell, how the manager works and how the staff are. I really liked the plan sold to me by the manager. Returning here is a chance for me to progress and get better. That was the main driving force in me coming back to the club in the summer, he told me where I fitted in to his plans.

    “From the minute I walked in the door at Fir Park I felt welcome, everyone couldn’t have been more helpful. I also get on great with my goalkeeping coach Craig Hinchliffe too, he is one of the top goalkeeping coaches in the country.

    “I knew that coming back here I’d be happy, settled and would enjoy coming to my work every day.”

    Having continually performed brilliantly between the sticks for Motherwell, it came as little surprise when Steve Clarke rewarded Liam’s displays with a call-up to the Scotland squad for the fixtures against Denmark, Moldova, and Austria.

    It was the first time he had been included in the squad since 2019 and he was selected again for the October encounters with Israel and the Faroe Islands, in which the Scots took massive strides towards earning a World Cup play-off place.

    With caps at every level from Under 16 through to Under 21, a full Scotland cap is still the one accolade missing from Kelly’s international CV, and he is determined to keep pushing towards the goal of making his debut for the national team.

    He also admits the chance to play a part in helping Scotland to their first World Cup in almost a quarter of a century would be a dream.

    “The atmosphere inside the Scotland camp is amazing,” he explained. “It’s a real pleasure and joy to go work with these guys.

    “Ultimately you want to stay in the squad and the only way to do that is by playing well for your club – that’s the most important thing.

    “The manager has a great relationship with the players and there’s a massive element of trust there, it’s a really great place to be a part of. It helps that the results have been good recently, but even after the Denmark game when we lost 2-0 we never got too low – the manager was very calm and level-headed. That made a huge difference in us picking up big wins in the games that followed.

    “I love going away with Scotland and I love playing with Motherwell. My main target is to keep doing well for the club and to stay into the Scotland squad for as long as I can.

    “Going to the World Cup would be amazing. It’s something that many unbelievable players haven’t managed to do. If I was ever so lucky enough to get the opportunity, it would be the best thing that has happened to my career and probably ever would happen.

    “There’s still a long way to go though, and we have to take it one step at a time. I’m not daft, I’ve got enough awareness to know that Craig Gordon is playing unbelievably well and I’m a big fan of how he plays. It’s not a surprise to me to see him playing so well at Hearts and the position of him playing for Scotland is totally justified.

    “You are only with Scotland for such a short period of time, but I think we’ve pushed him hard in training and Craig continues to play out of his skin. Long may that continue for the benefit of the country.”

    With the experience of having played over 150 professional games and being involved with the national team, Kelly is well placed to offer advice to the young goalkeepers at Fir Park.

    The 18-year-old Matty Connelly is currently out on loan with Gretna 2008, while PJ Morrison has had spells with Ayr, Falkirk, Cowdenbeath, Clyde and Albion Rovers.

    Liam is no stranger to having gone out on loan to build his experience, having had time out on loan at East Fife and Livingston while he was at Rangers, as well as his five months with ‘Well at the end of last season.

    He credits those moves as being crucial for his development and believes that both Connelly and Morrison have bright futures ahead of them.

    “I’ve said this to Matty and PJ on a number of occasions, you are better playing at a lower level than not playing at the highest level,” he explained. “If you aren’t playing then people don’t know anything about you, they don’t see what you can do.

    “You are better just playing games, no matter what level presents itself and whatever level you are meant to be playing at, that’ll work out itself based on your performances and ability.

    “Matty is above the level he is playing at just now in my opinion and that’s been clear by his performances. Unfortunately, he’s picked up a really bad injury, but he’ll be back from that no problem knowing what type of character he is.

    “PJ is a brilliant keeper with a lot of attributes that will help him play in the Premiership when he is a bit older. He just needs to get some games under his belt.

    “It’s so important, as you get older you get used to the environment of a first-team dressing room and a key factor in that is racking up the games. Matty is doing that just now and PJ did it early on in his career, he’s sort of stuck just now as he’s third-choice keeper and is required here, but he trains hard every day and by that, I mean at a top, top level.

    “The goalkeeping department at Motherwell is in a good place, we just need to keep trying to push each other. Everyone is fighting for the number one jersey and I’m aware of that. It is strong competition and that’s something that I enjoy.”

    Competition and footballing talent is something that seems to run throughout the Kelly family, with Liam’s older brother Sean playing for Livingston and his 14-year-old sibling on the books of St Mirren as a goalkeeper.

    Earlier this season, Liam and Sean had their first-ever meeting in a competitive fixture as Motherwell edged out Livingston 2-1 at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

    Although he was pleased that his team claimed victory on the day, the ‘Well stopper confesses that given his time with the Lothian club, fixtures against Livingston bring with them mixed emotions.

    “I think that’s the first time it has happened in a professional game, I previously played against him when I was at Rangers and he was at Queen’s Park,” Kelly recalled. “When we play Livingston it’s the only time that I want them to lose, I’ve got such a strong connection with the club and the staff there. I’m never that high if I get a win against Livi.

    “In terms of my brother, I was delighted to see him play in Livingston’s win at Ross County. He had a positive impact in a great result for them. It’s the first result I look out for after our own games.

    “Hopefully he can stay in the team and help them push up the table. You just want to see your family do well.”

    As we approach a hectic run of fixtures between now and the end of the year, Kelly is looking forward to trying to help ‘Well move up the league table.

    In his typically relaxed nature, he is keen to stress the importance of not looking too far ahead, though he is determined to continue to play a big role at the club and reward the fans for their support.

    “Motherwell have been really good to me, and I think I’ve been good for Motherwell too. Ultimately I want that relationship to continue.

    “That’s the only thing I’m in control of now, I control how I train and if the manager picks me, then I have control of how I play in the matches.

    “I’m not trying to look too far ahead and say I’m going to do this and do that. That’s not my character at all. I want to do well at the things that I control and everything after that is a bonus.

    “I’m absolutely delighted the fans are back, we all want to make them as happy as possible. We have had some good results so far and now we need to get back to picking up wins and kicking on to finish as high up in the table as possible.”

    By Andy Ross

  • First team

    Story of the season // Round one

    Eleven games into season 2021/22, Motherwell have completed the first round of cinch Premiership fixtures.

    The opening games have been nothing short of dramatic, with big wins, frustrating defeats, controversial decisions and fans’ favourite Liam Grimshaw finally scoring his first career goal.

    But despite everything that’s happened on the pitch, it will be most fondly remembered for the noise, colour and atmosphere the fans have generated in the stands.

    After a full season locked out due to COVID-19, the supporters have made a huge difference to the match day experience this season.

    The Steelmen end round one sitting sixth in the table on 15 points from a possible 33, and there’s no time to stop.

    Next up, they face league leaders Rangers as the second round gets underway.

  • First team

    Stephen Craigan to join Hall of Fame

    Stephen Craigan to join Hall of Fame

    Stephen Craigan is the latest member of the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame.

    The club stalwart will formally be inducted at our event on Saturday 13 November. Limited tickets remain available.

    Motherwell have had real success with players from Northern Ireland in recent history.

    Whether it was the infectious work rate and goals of Stuart Elliott, the physicality and industry of Colin O’Neill or the reflexes and distribution of Trevor Carson, the province has provided a rich source of talent.

    However, none come close to matching the achievements of Newtownards-born central defender Craigan.

    Crags’ Motherwell career had an unusual start. He was part of a youth team playing for Castlereagh College in a tournament in Ayr back in early 1994. The then Motherwell recruitment chief John Park was in attendance and was impressed not only by Craigan, but over half a dozen of his teammates.

    After a recommendation to Tommy McLean, they were all invited to Scotland to play in a trial match. Craigan couldn’t join them though, with a pre-booked family holiday getting very much in the way.

    However, Park thought enough of him to invite him back over again on his own shortly after, where he would take part in a bounce game at Fir Park, with the youths and reserves taking on the first team.

    The fresh-faced, but enthusiastic, Craigan would be put through his paces when he was asked to directly mark Motherwell’s Republic of Ireland international striker Tommy Coyne, who had just returned from a successful World Cup in the United States with Jack Charlton’s side. No pressure.

    He made an impression, and the newly appointed Alex McLeish saw enough to offer him, along with fellow countrymen David Williamson and Roy Essandoh, contracts to be Motherwell players.

    His first season at ‘Well was very much about learning the ropes as a professional footballer, and he was farmed out to Junior side Carluke Rovers, with who the club had a formal tie with at that time through 1991 Scottish Cup hero Jim Griffin. His second season was also spent serving an apprenticeship, this time with Blantyre Victoria.

    He had gained enough experience to then start to force his way into the Motherwell side, and he made his full debut against St Johnstone at Fir Park in August 1997.

    Unbeknown to the young Craigan at the time, his dad had made the trip over to Scotland and was in the main stand to watch his son lock horns with fellow countryman George O’Boyle. Although it was to be a proud day for the Craigan family, a Roddy Grant goal midway through the second half spoiled the party.

    He would go on to make 14 other appearances in a season that was, generally, a struggle for the Steelmen as McLeish had to navigate with the breaking up of that successful team that had challenged for the league title in the mid-1990s.

    He didn’t feature much more for Alex McLeish until his departure in early 1998, when Finn Harri Kampman took the reigns in what was a very left-field appointment by the Motherwell board, who were monitoring his progress ever since he plotted MyPa 47’s infamous victory over ‘Well several years earlier. Sadly, Kampman had other ideas and game time was again limited, with the Steelmen doing their best to avoid the drop.

    With the John Boyle era sweeping into Fir Park in the autumn of that year, Billy Davies was appointed as the spending on players began to increase dramatically. The expectations at the club, and the money to back it up, had risen exponentially with a raft of big names including Andy Goram, John Spencer, Ged Brannan, Don Goodman and others all arriving from England.

    Space and opportunities were limited and Craigan found himself coming to the end of his contract and the realisation that if he was to make it as a professional player, he would have to end his Motherwell dream after six years at Fir Park.

    John Lambie, enjoying an Indian summer with his beloved Partick Thistle, offered him a lifeline and it was to prove an inspired choice. The Jags had sunk to the depths of the third tier and the Thistle board had brought their legendary boss back for a third spell.

    The club had only just managed to save itself from extinction through the ‘Save the Jags’ campaign, run by the Thistle fans to protect their club. On an incredibly low budget, Lambie performed miracles to get them into the Scottish Premier League in 2002 via back-to-back promotions, having rebuilt the team by signing the likes of Craigan, Martin Hardie, Danny Lennon, Scott Paterson and Alex Burns, as well as bringing through youth players such as Alan Archibald and goalkeeper Kenny Arthur.

    Not only did they make a successful return to the top flight, but they also thrived too and finished a respectable 10th ahead of Dundee United in 11th and a then administration-hit Motherwell, who despite the flourishing of young talent like James McFadden, Stephen Pearson and others, finished in last place, only to be spared relegation by Falkirk’s uncompliant stadium.

    He had also made his full international debut for Northern Ireland, winning his first cap under then-boss Sammy McIlory’s side against Finland in a friendly match at Windsor Park in February 2003, quickly followed by his second and third against Armenia and Greece respectively.

    Craigan, who had formed the backbone of that successful Thistle team playing 121 matches in red and yellow, consolidated his status as a bona fide Premier League player.

    He then had to make another big career call, which was to return to Fir Park, together with Jags teammate Burns and experienced stopper Gordon Marshall, on a free transfer, joining Terry Butcher’s revival plans.

    It was to prove a masterstroke by Butcher, as those experienced heads together with the likes of Scott Leitch, Derek Adams, Martyn Corrigan and Phil O’Donnell complimented the immerging talent like David Clarkson, Paul Quinn, Stephen Pearson and Scott McDonald. ‘Well would finish in the top half of the table for the first time in four seasons, with Craigan, a virtual ever-present, forming a solid defensive partnership with David Partridge, Martyn Corrigan and Steven Hammell.

    Butcher’s side would kick on again the following year with one of the most memorable in the modern era, with the club again finishing in the top, reaching the League Cup Final after an incredible semi-final 3-2 win over Hearts at Easter Road, which also included Craigan’s first-ever ‘Well goal, and deciding the fate of the league championship with a famous and dramatic 2-1 win over Celtic at Fir Park to prevent Martin O’Neill’s Celtic lifting the title on Motherwell’s home soil.

    The now experienced defender was taking his club form into the Northern Ireland group and was involved in famous wins over England in 2005 and Spain in 2006, marshalling Michael Owen and Raul when both were at the height of their powers.

    The defender would go on to be a mainstay under almost every ‘Well boss he worked with, including playing a starring role in Mark McGhee’s hugely entertaining 2007/08 side that overcame the unspeakable tragedy of Phil O’Donnell’s death to finish third and return the team to European football for the first time in 12 years.

    He had the honour of following O’Donnell as club captain, and helped the Steelmen to more success with consecutive top six finishes, regular outings in European football and a Scottish Cup final in 2011, when he was again a semi-final scorer against St Johnstone before the Steelmen were edged out at the last hurdle at Hampden.

    He was rewarded with a testimonial in July 2011 against his only other senior club, Partick Thistle, when he scored the only goal of the match in a 1-0 win at Fir Park.

    It was fitting his last season as a player in claret and amber came in 2011/12, with Motherwell finishing in third spot under Stuart McCall and the skipper leaving a departing present of a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Panathinaikos. He had also earned a further 51 caps for Northern Ireland whilst playing for the Steelmen, taking his total haul to 54, a now Motherwell record that is unlikely to ever be surpassed.

    He retired to take up a full-time role in what was becoming a blossoming media career that has carried him across the BBC, ESPN, BT Sport and Premier Sports and is rightly considered amongst the best and most knowledgeable pundits in the game.

    However, it would not be the end of his love affair with the Steelmen and in the summer of 2015, he returned to the club in the capacity of the club’s Under 20s manager. Craigan’s contribution again was immense, as his professionalism and skills as a coach were demonstrated by the nurturing of talent that would go on to earn the club millions of pounds in transfer fees.

    His side that not only competed at the top end of the league each season, but the pinnacle was the club’s first, and to date only, Scottish FA Youth Cup success, when the Fir Parkers ran riot, beating Hearts 5-2 at a rainy Hampden in the spring of 2016.

    Chris Cadden, Allan Campbell, Jake Hastie, David Turnbull and James Scott were all mainstays in his side. They all went on to play an important role in the firs -team and earned the club almost £5m in transfer fees. It was hard to believe Craigan could match his contribution as a player whilst on the coaching staff, but he did.

    With the squad having been promoted and broken up, Craigan decided to concentrate fully on his media career again and left the club with an enhanced reputation in December 2018, three-and-a-half sterling years after returning.

    Over 375 games for Motherwell as a player spanning 15 years, a distinguished club captain, a record number of international appearances whilst at Fir Park, 14 games in Europe, appearances at two major cup finals and a cup-winning youth coach who was responsible for the cultivation of some of the most exciting young talent of their generation. That alone would easily grant Stephen Craigan legendary status at Fir Park, but for ‘Well fans it is much more than that. His passion and commitment on the field was clear, he wore his emotions on his sleeve and the fans loved him for it.

    Anything he ever lacked in ability, and he was a far greater player than people, including himself, give him credit for, he more than made up for with sheer hard work and determination.

    That’s something all fans across the world would expect, but at a working-class club, with working-class values supported by a largely working-class fanbase, it’s essential. Although he wasn’t born in this country or even grew up supporting the Steelmen, the fans will always class him as one of us, and Fir Park will always be home.

    Our Hall of Fame will welcome its new inductees in a special event in November.

    Taking place at the Bothwell Bridge Hotel on Saturday 13 November, the event will induct the classes of both 2020 and 2021.

    The event is priced at £60 for adults and £30 for children aged under 12. Limited tickets are available.

    We will induct both the 2020 and 2021 intake at the event.

    Buy your tickets online here now.

    Current Hall of Famers include George Stevenson, Willie Pettigrew, Phil O’Donnell, Ally Maxwell and James McFadden.

    The delayed 2020 class, who will also be inducted on the night, includes John Hunter, Andy Paton, Joe Wark, Davie Cooper and Steven Hammell.

  • First team

    Manager looks ahead to Rangers

    The Motherwell boss looks ahead to Sunday’s cinch Premiership match at Fir Park.

  • Women

    Katie Rice returns

    Katie Rice returns

    Motherwell have signed attacking midfielder Katie Rice.

    Rice, who was most recently at Hibernian, left the Edinburgh side last month and is looking forward to being back in the claret and amber for the second time.

    “I am extremely happy to be back at Motherwell,” Rice said.

    “I love the direction the club is going in and I think it is really exciting to know I will be a part of it. I feel like I am back home.”

    Katie Rice will wear the number 20 shirt this season.

    “I’m delighted we have managed to get Katie on board,” head coach Paul Brownlie added.

    “She adds to our attacking threat on the pitch and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she can produce.”

    Rice left the ’Well in January after featuring for the club for two seasons, but has now completed her return.

  • First team

    Next up: Rangers

    Next up: Rangers

    Rangers visit Fir Park in the cinch Premiership on Sunday.

    Kick-off is at 12pm.

    Ticket information

    Tickets must be purchased in advance. Cash gates will not be in operation.

    To buy, call 01698 333333 or visit the ticket office at Fir Park. The ticket office is open 9am to 5pm on Thursday, 9-4 on Friday and from 10am until kick off on Sunday.

    Our capacity will be limited to under 10,000 for this match. Vaccine certification is not required.

    Away fan sales

    Rangers fans should contact their club direct for tickets. No tickets are available to purchase from Motherwell FC.

    Watch live

    The game will be broadcast live in the UK and Ireland by Sky Sports.

    If you’re a Motherwell season ticket holder who cannot make the match, you can still watch a live stream for free at live.motherwellfc.co.uk.

    International viewers can watch through our subscription service at live.motherwellfc.co.uk. Packages start at as little as £12.50 per month to watch all 38 cinch Premiership fixtures.

    Join us for food and drink

    Our Cooper Bar will be open from 11am for pre-match food and drinks, and for two hours after the game for you to talk about the game over a drink.

    Form guide

    A 2-2 draw with St Mirren ended a run of three straight defeats for Motherwell.

    Rangers are unbeaten in nine league matches, coming from 2-0 down to draw with Aberdeen at Ibrox on Wednesday night to maintain their run.

  • Club

    Get your limited edition 1991 Scottish Cup commemorative whisky

    Get your limited edition 1991 Scottish Cup commemorative whisky

    Get your hands now on our limited edition 1991 Scottish Cup commemorative whisky.

    To mark 30 years since our Hampden success, the 10-year-old single malt has been matured in American oak casks and has a perfect balance of fruit notes with hints of honey and vanilla with a light touch of peat smoke.

    Get yours by buying online for click and collect from Fir Park.

  • First team

    Manager reacts to St Mirren draw

    Graham Alexander speaks as Motherwell surrender a two-goal lead in controversial circumstances to draw with St Mirren.

  • First team

    Motherwell 2-2 St Mirren

    Motherwell 2-2 St Mirren

    A dramatic second half saw the points shared between Motherwell and St Mirren.

    While the goals rained in at every other Premiership ground, this game had all the hallmarks of a dull no-scoring affair until the game burst into life in an exciting and controversial second half.

    A quick double from Tony Watt within the first seven minutes of the restart seemed to atone for ‘Well’s poor first half.

    However, thoughts of a welcome three points were quelled when Eamonn Brophy grabbed a quick double, the second in questionable circumstances, to leave the teams settling for a point each and status quo in terms of the league table.

    Graham Alexander was hoping that his players could recapture their winning form and end the first round of matches with three points and strengthen ‘Well’s position in the top six.

    The ‘Well boss made two changes from the side which was unlucky not to return from Tannadice with something to show for their efforts.

    Sondre Solholm was recalled to the defence in place of Bevis Mugabi, while Connor Shields made his home debut, with Kevin van Veen stepping down to the bench.

    Three straight defeats, after a six-game unbeaten run, put pressure on the home side for the visit of an on-form Saints, with Jim Goodwin equally hopeful that his side could respond after Sunday’s reversal to Rangers.

    Despite the torrential rain, the Fir Park pitch looked in great condition.

    It was Saints who made the most of the welcoming playing surface, retaining possession to press Motherwell deep into their own half in the opening spell.

    The first strike on goal came after 10 minutes when Main was given time 20 yards from goal but his low drive was easily held by Liam Kelly.

    Eight minutes later the former ‘Well striker but from eight yards he headed Scott Tanser’s tempting cross wide of goal.

    By comparison, the Steelmen found it difficult to get into the game and make any real threat towards Jak Alnwick’s goal.

    With 27 minutes on the clock, Alexander was forced into an early change in his defence with Juhani Ojala limping off and replaced with Mugabi.

    As Saints continued to dictate the first half, without ever really testing Kelly, the ‘Well boss must have been quite content that his side were at least still level at the interval.

    No doubt, though, as the players left the field to the disapproval of the home fans, Alexander would have demanded that a big improvement was required in the second half.

    Although there were no personnel changes, there was an immediate change in ‘Well’s attitude and fortunes with the opening goal within three minutes of the restart.

    Shields fed the ball to Goss on the left touchline and when he whipped in a cross to the back of the six-yard box, Watt bulleted his header into the ground to send the ball high past Alnwick and inside the ‘keeper’s far post.

    That injected some much-needed energy into the home side and from Stephen O’Donnell’s run and pass from the right, Watt’s thumping drive rebounded from Alnwick with nobody in claret and amber able to pounce on the loose ball.

    It was turning into Watt’s evening and after showing great determination to power his way through two challenges inside the box the striker was felled as he nudged the ball past Alnwick. There was no doubting it was a penalty and no question that Watt was going to take it, calmly sending the Saints’ ‘keeper diving the wrong way as he stroked the spot-kick into the bottom left-hand corner.

    Two up and with the home fans back on song, the home side looked a threat every time they broke upfield.

    However, as the Buddies recovered from that double whammy they exerted some pressure on the home goal and Kelly had to make a couple of smart saves from Eamonn Brophy and Kyle McAllister to preserve ‘Well’s two-goal advantage.

    With 25 minutes remaining, ‘Well strengthened the midfield replacing Kaiyne Woolery with Mark O’Hara.

    Five minutes later it was almost 3-0 when Solholm stooped to meet a Goss inswinging free-kick but his low header was saved on the line by Alnwick.

    Sixteen minutes from time, Saints pulled a goal back.

    Brophy chased the ball to the byline at the edge of the home penalty area and as Kelly advanced from his goal, the former Accies striker squeezed the ball into the unguarded net.

    Two minutes later, the Buddies were level under controversial circumstances.

    Firstly, Brophy won his side a penalty when he played the ball beyond Solholm and ran straight into the Danish defender. After ‘Well’s protests, Brophy stepped up to take the award and although he struck the kick low to the right, Kelly produced a wonderful one-handed save to push the ball away.

    The Fir Park celebrations were cut short when referee Bobby Madden somehow adjudged the ‘Well ‘keeper had left his line, allowing Brophy to hammer home the spot-kick at the second time of asking.

    There was still a sense of injustice around the home stands as the game moved into the final minutes, as the visitors threatened to steal it.

    As Saints’ fired a corner into a packed box, Kelly made two spectacular saves to prevent all three points heading along the M8 to Paisley. and ensure a share of the spoils.

    Motherwell: Kelly, O’Donnell, Ojala (Mugabi 27), Solholm, McGinley, Grimshaw, Goss, Slattery, Woolery (O’Hara 65), Watt, Shields.

    Subs not used: Fox, Carroll, Maguire, Roberts, Van Veen.

  • First team

    Get your tickets for Aberdeen

    Get your tickets for Aberdeen

    Tickets are now on sale for our trip to Aberdeen.

    The Steelmen head north on Saturday 6 November. Kick-off at Pittodrie is at 3pm.

    Tickets can be bought via our ticket website or from the ticket office at Fir Park. A cash turnstile will also be in operation on the day.

    Prices are as follows.

    • Adults: £26
    • Over 65s: £20
    • Over 75s: £16
    • 18-21s: £16
    • Under 18s: £12
    • Under 12s: £6

    Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Andy Sim on 07428 225254 or email tickets@mfcdsa.com.