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  • Women

    Building for the future

  • First team

    Manager reacts to victory over Dundee United

  • First team

    Motherwell 1-0 Dundee United

  • First team

    Connor Shields keen to put down roots at Motherwell

  • First team

    Two potential opponents in Scottish Cup fourth round

  • First team

    Get your tickets for Hibs

  • First team

    Manager looks ahead to Dundee United

  • First team

    Next up: Dundee United

  • First team

    Graham Alexander reacts to loss at Dundee

  • First team

    Dundee 3-0 Motherwell

  • Women

    Building for the future

    Building for the future

    Paul Brownlie is a veteran in Scotland’s women’s football game all things considered, but the challenge he faces at Motherwell is one of his biggest.

    Taking on a side in need of a lift after taking 12 points during the 2020/21 season, Brownlie is helping the women’s wing of the club reach its potential, both on and off the park.

    Brownlie has extensive experience in the women’s game, having been a senior member of Celtic’s women’s academy for seven years.

    The Scottish FA then headhunted him to be their high performance football manager, which involved the planning, coordinating, delivering and evaluating all aspects of the National Performance Centre’s programme.

    He has also been involved in the youth and senior women’s international teams, including the Under 15s, 16s, 17s and the A squad. Brownlie has enough to guide Motherwell through a pivotal stage of the building process.

    There was also a smaller stint in the youth side of the men’s game. Brownlie coached in the Motherwell elite men’s academy at Braidhurst between 2018 and 2020.

    But this season has proven promising for his new and young women’s team, taking 10 points already before Christmas, closing in on last season’s tally of 12 overall. Seventeen out of the 21 games played behind closed doors ended in defeat during a bruising term.

    In a league where full-time operations like Glasgow City, Celtic and Rangers reside, it has proven challenging for provincial clubs to keep up with the rest.

    But Brownlie says his side are giving it their best shot as smaller clubs work around the clock to try and maintain standards that allow them to be competitive at Scotland’s top table.

    “We’re only six months into the project and it’s been really enjoyable,” said Brownlie. “It’s been challenging, but I think we are going in a really positive direction.

    “I think our game last week against Glasgow City when we lost 5-1 showed the quality we are coming up against. Their quality was just the difference.

    “For 55 minutes of that game we matched them, and then the calibre of player came into it.

    “They can afford that as they pay money for it – as do Celtic and as do Rangers.

    “There’s still a long way to go. Even for us as a football club, we still have a long way to go, but we are getting there. Our league position I think shows that.

    “We already have 10 points for the season and that’s just two off what we got in total last season.

    “So it gives you an idea of the transformation that is happening at this football club. I think it shows how seriously the club is taking this project and we are moving forward in a really positive manner.

    “I think the challenge for the clubs in the same boat as us – Hamilton, Partick Thistle, Aberdeen and Spartans – is we are all aiming to be the best of the rest. That is probably the goal.

    “Every team I have mentioned thinks they can beat each other. And everyone is entitled to think that way as they have belief in their players. That’s how I think as well.

    “We’ve been quite fortunate that in this period of games we’ve had, we have beaten Hearts, we have beaten Aberdeen.”

    Finances can be the difference at any level of the game, but it’s been very apparent in Scottish football’s elite women’s division. There’s some hope that a title sponsorship with Park’s Motor Group can help bridge some of the gap.

    It won’t make up the full distance, but it will go some of the way. Celtic and Rangers’ decision to go full-time is indeed a positive move for the game, but it has created initial gaps in quality.

    Alongside Glasgow City and Hibs, the top four are beginning to break away, with Motherwell leading the best of the rest column. Rangers’ 40 goals scored to three conceded over 10 games highlights the gulf.

    It was only in 2017 when prize money for the winners of SWPL1 was introduced. But things are improving and coverage across the spectrum is on the rise.

    There are more independent networks like Anyone’s Game providing regular coverage on the Scottish women’s game while on a more national level, BBC coverage has brought a weekly highlights package, live-streamed games and BBC Alba showings.

    Indeed, 56,000 people tuned in for the SWPL highlights show via the national broadcaster in one September show, with a further 18,000 catching it on replay. It proved the largely untapped audience Scottish football has to build upon.

    But everything loops back round to finances. Already this season, close to half of Motherwell’s prize money from last season has been used on bus travel to Aberdeen alone. That’s not including other associated factors that come with running a football club.

    SWF chair Vivienne MacLaren said of the league’s new sponsorship deal: “This is a historic moment for SWF, the SWPL, and the entire game.

    “To have a brand such as Park’s Motor Group show their support to girl’s and women’s football in Scotland is a sign of the work that has been done and the progress we plan to make.

    “The Covid pandemic was difficult for everyone and I’m sure many had concerns about the momentum of the game. However, today’s deal showcases that the Scottish game is more attractive to commercial sponsors and partners than ever before.”

    Brownlie acknowledges the progress that has been made in getting women’s football in Scotland more into the public eye, but there’s still a long way to go before it’s in full view.

    “I hope the sponsorship can make some sort of difference,” explained the Motherwell head coach. “Certainly for us as a club, we are trying to drive things commercially. That side of things is really important.

    “We are still waiting to see what we will be getting off the back of the sponsorship. We are working out the costs and different things we’ll get in terms of the BBC Alba TV deal and things like that. So right now, we don’t know the full extent of what the bottom line will look like.

    “I think last season in terms of where we finished in the league, which was third bottom on 12 points, the money we got was roughly around £4,000. That’s not exactly a lot of money.

    “You think about the cost of buses. We paid nearly £700 for the bus to Aberdeen for our away game there. We still have to go up there once more this season.

    “So we will be about £1,400 on buses to Aberdeen alone this season and that eats into the £4,000 we earned from our league position last season. When you begin to break things like that down, it isn’t a lot of money.”

    Attendance figures prove another challenge for Brownlie’s team to try and overcome. While figures at home games for the men’s team at Fir Park have traditionally been between 3,500 and 5,000 in the last 10 years, the women’s game is trying to catch up on the numbers.

    They are still to hit the 100 attendee mark in the league, but Brownlie is confident that the figures will rise and rise as his team continue to build on the park.

    He’s got eyes on swapping Bothwellhaugh for one afternoon and hitting the Fir Park turf in an attempt to boost attendances.

    The Edinburgh derby between Hibs and Hearts this season has proven a template. 5,512 people attended September’s derby match at Easter Road, followed by a swathe of media coverage and external interest in proceedings.

    Taking everything that has been done on the league’s promotion into account – and the women’s national team now playing their home matches at Hampden Park – Brownlie says there’s plenty going on to bring more eyes to the game.

    “The attendances have actually been ok for us,” explained Brownlie. “At the game against Glasgow City, there were 97 people there. We are still trying to make it past the 100-mark in a league game. We are actively chasing that total.

    “I think the highest attendance we had was 115 for the game against Rangers in the League Cup. But in the league, we have been falling just short of that 100 mark.

    “I think the attendances are roughly about what we have been getting. I think that by nature, the likes of Celtic and Rangers, the city clubs, these attendances tend to be a bit bigger.

    “Then some of the games get higher attendances because they are higher profile. I think every club is trying to market games and try to provide a bit of coverage.

    “Obviously the Alba coverage does that for us and the BBC streams have been good as well. So these are all positive things. I know every club is working hard to try and generate interest in their games.

    “Whether that’s capturing external clubs or trying to attract fans of the football, with the latter being something we are working on. We are trying to work out at Motherwell how we get the people who are watching the men’s team on a Saturday to watch our matches on a Sunday.

    “That’s part of the challenge we are facing at the minute. I don’t think Hearts and Hibs are bigger clubs than Motherwell either to be honest. As a club, we are trying to go in the right direction and hopefully at some stage this season, we get the chance to play at Fir Park.

    “We know that is something that is on the radar for the football club. But again, it’s about us trying to generate our profile with the club and work with the support. That comes with the product on the park too and we want to develop what we are offering on the park.

    “That will allow supporters to hopefully get along and support us. For us as a club, we can only control what we can at this football club. We are trying to work in the right direction and there’s been real positivity since I got here. So I want to try and continue that.”

    There’s a gradual building process happening with Brownlie’s plan and it will not all click into gear overnight. It will take time, patience and a lot of effort to get it to where he wants it to go, eventually.

    He has ambitions for the club to fight right at the top of the game. And signings like ex-Scotland international Leanne Crichton certainly go a long way to fulfilling that ambition.

    There’s one more game to go before the end of the calendar year – and it comes in the form of a big test against Brownlie’s former side, Celtic.

    Motherwell aren’t near the level, on and off the park, to compete with a club like Celtic over the course at the moment. But Brownlie is hopeful of one day getting close to that.

    “We need to be able to access the same resources to make sure we can compete with the top teams,” he added. “Celtic and Rangers are full-time professionals. They are both a long time into their projects.

    “We are just at the start of our journey. That is something we are working towards but there is a process to get to that point.

    “We’re in that process at this moment in time. There’s been a real integration from the football club right from the first minute I walked in the door here at Motherwell. That bond between the women’s team and the club is getting stronger.

    “That can only be a really positive thing for us.”

  • First team

    Manager reacts to victory over Dundee United

    “Our approach was superb. It was a brilliant performance and we deserved to win the game.”

  • First team

    Motherwell 1-0 Dundee United

    Motherwell 1-0 Dundee United

    Motherwell overcame monsoon conditions and Dundee United to claim all three points and close the gap on fourth place to a single point.

    On a night that began dreich and then just got worse, ‘Well had to overcome a stubborn United and a flooded pitch to stubbornly defend the only goal of the game, most especially when they were reduced to 10 men for the final 10 minutes after Barry Maguire was sent off.

    Thankfully the goal lifted the game above at times a dreadful rain-drenched spectacle, as Tony Watt claimed his eighth goal of the season with a wonderful curled effort after only 12 minutes.

    Aiming to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat and close the gap on United in fourth place in the cinch Premiership table, the Steelmen showed great determination ensuring that Liam Kelly had a trouble-free evening, to register another significant win.

    Graham Alexander looking for an immediate response from his players following their poor performance against Dundee on Saturday, made two changes.

    Sean Goss was fit again and returned to the midfield at Liam Grimshaw’s expense. Up front Kevin van Veen, who replaced Connor Shields at half-time on Saturday, retained his place from the start.

    Accused of being a step off the pace on Saturday, the Steelmen started n the front foot and immediately pressed United deep into their own half.

    Chasing every loose ball in packs forcing the visitor’s into unforced errors, the chances quickly came ‘Well’s way.

    The scene was set within 90 seconds when in the first in a stream of quick breaks down the right from Bevis Mugabi, Maguire latched onto the cut-back but his shot took a deflection providing Benjamin Siegrist with a comfortable catch.

    Four minutes later a Goss free kick toward the penalty spot found Watt but his cushioned header was straight at the ‘keeper.

    The Fir Park striker made amends after 12 minutes.

    Maguire’s through ball sent Kaiyne Woolery racing towards the United box. When he tried to thread a pass to the waiting van Veen the ball was deflected to Watt just beyond the corner of the box.

    His immediate instincts were rewarded as he curled high beyond Siegrist and inside the ‘keeper’s far post for an exquisite finish.

    It could have been 2-0 minutes later as United failed to get the ball out of the danger area and Woolery’s fierce drive from six yards was blocked.

    The rain was still relentless but gradually United managed to stem the flow of attacks towards Siegrist. And after 22 minutes they managed their first shot on goal but Declan Glass’ low shot from 16 yards posed no problems for Kelly.

    At the other end some neat footwork work from van Veen set up a cut back for Callum Slattery but his diving header steered the ball over the bar.

    As the teams headed to the dressing room for a dry set of strips, the only complaint from the home fans might be that Motherwell should have had more to show for their first-half superiority.

    There appeared little chance of letting United off the hook as ‘Well restarted the second 45 where they had finished the first. Within a minute another speedy attack ended with a Goss drive from 20 yards skidding narrowly past Siegrist’s right hand post.

    Despite the sodden conditions the Fir Park players tried to keep the ball moving on the deck.

    After 55 minutes some slick passing found Woolery on the right and when his ball into the box landed at van Veen’s feet, he swivelled 10 yards from goal only to fire the ball narrowly over.

    Two minutes later the home side was forced into an enforced change when Solholm Johansen limped off allowing Stephen O’Donnell to make his return to the right-back berth, with Mugabi moving to the centre of defence.

    With most of the pitch underwater, a tremendous run from Woolery was ended at the edge of the box by Scott McMann’s sliding tackle which carried the defender several metres on the saturated surface.

    As both sides found it increasingly difficult to move the ball on the sodden surface, openings at both ends started to appear, particularly as defenders toiled to clear their lines.

    Conditions summed up 15 minutes from time. Watt’s control took him past Adrian Sprole on the right of the box but with Van Veen and Woolery waiting in front of goal, both could only watch as the ball slowed down and stopped a couple from them.

    Watt then sent his strike partner into the box but from a tight angle, Van Veen fired the ball over the bar.

    Ten minutes from time the conditions cost Motherwell a second goal. Slattery’s free-kick was backheaded across goal by Lamie and as O’Donnell drifted in unmarked at the back post he seemed certain to score until the ball skidded under his feet.

    With six minutes of regulation time remaining, Maguire was shown a second yellow card. Graham Alexander decided it was time to batten down the hatches, sending on Jake Carroll and allowing van Veen to head for a well-earned warm shower.

    Still work to do on the pitch, though, and with three minutes remaining Charlie Mulgrew hoisted a free kick onto Kelly’s line but before United could react to the loose ball, the ref awarded ‘Well a free kick and a chance to get the ball downfield.

    Just before the start of the five minutes added time, Watt epitomised ‘Well’s display. Undoubtedly man of the match, he earned a standing ovation from the home fans, when he showed tremendous determination and skill to hold off three United players as they slithered and skidded on a treacherous surface, as the Steelmen deservedly held onto all three points.

  • First team

    Connor Shields keen to put down roots at Motherwell

    Connor Shields keen to put down roots at Motherwell

    After spending the last three years on the move, Connor Shields is hoping Motherwell will be a place to call home in the long term.

    The 24-year-old was the first new arrival in a summer that saw 12 new faces join the ranks at Fir Park. However, he would endure a frustrating start to life at the club as injury ruled him out of all four Premier Sports Cup fixtures and the Premiership opener against Hibernian.

    A week later, Shields was handed his debut when he started against St Johnstone in a 1-1 draw at McDiarmid Park and in ‘Well’s next match, he played 66 minutes of the cup defeat at Dens Park, before having to play the waiting game.

    Aside from a few substitute appearances, the striker had to watch from the sidelines as Motherwell made an impressive start to the campaign. During his time out of the team, he enquired about the possibility of going out on loan for some much-needed game time.

    Steelmen boss Graham Alexander had other plans for the former Sunderland man, however, persuading him that he had an important part to play. Shields’ patience was rewarded when he netted his first goal for the club – smashing home the opener in the impressive 2-0 victory over Hearts earlier this month.

    Now, after making his breakthrough, Shields‘ next target is holding down a starting berth amidst strong competition for a forward role in ML1.

    “Obviously there was a bit of fortune in there with Kev being suspended, and I got brought in for the Hearts game,” he explained. “The manager has been brilliant, having arrived at the club in January he is also relatively new as well.

    “This is the first time I have played in the Premiership, and he understands that. I’m thankful for the opportunity he has given me. Obviously at the start, it was unfortunate with my injuries, but I was given my chance against Hearts and hopefully I have shown what I can do.

    “I wanted to get my first goal as soon as possible, and it was brilliant to score. I thought the team performed brilliantly against a good Hearts team who are right up there – it was a good day all round.”

    Although it is not spoken about internally at Fir Park, the wait for a striker to score their first goal for the club often leads to supporters making comparisons to two strikers from the recent past.

    Alex Fisher and Jordan White joined Motherwell from Scottish clubs and failed to break their duck before departing in a relatively swift fashion.

    There was a mixture of joy and relief as Shields opened his scoring account against Hearts, and Jambos fans must now dread the sight of the Coatbridge-born forward – it was his first goal in eight months – and on that occasion, he also scored against Hearts – netting a double in Queen of the South’s shock 3-2 win at Tynecastle.

    “It’s not really spoken about, though as a striker, you want to get a goal as soon as possible, especially when you go to a new club,” he added. “I’m glad it is out the way, and now I can focus on scoring more and playing more often.

    “I wasn’t playing at the start, and I felt like I needed to play games like every player wants to do. I had a conversation with the manager, and he told me he wanted me to stay here and be coached by him.

    “He explained he brought me to the club for a reason, and it would take a bit of time to settle. Hopefully, that’s behind me now. I know in terms of the strikers that I am one of the younger ones, it will take time, but hopefully I can play a few more games and cement my place in the starting XI.”

    The Steelmen boss has plenty of attacking options at his disposal, with Kevin van Veen, Tony Watt and Kaiyne Woolery all having got among the goals during the first 16 games of the league campaign.

    Shields is enjoying the chance to play alongside his fellow strikers and believes their experience and knowledge of the game is helping move his game to a higher level.

    “It’s good competition,” he said. “There are a lot of forwards at the club, but having players that good in training every day is good for me as one of the younger players.

    “I’m 24 and the other strikers are a few years older than me. It’s great to learn from them – the standards they set in training every day – it lets me know what I need to match and go above to get a chance.

    “I need to prove myself at this level. Obviously, guys like Kev and Tony are proven at a high level, whereas this is my first time in this league. Last season I did not too bad and got my move to Motherwell, and that’s my next challenge – I got off to a rough start, but hopefully the Hearts game was a turning point.

    “I speak to Kev quite a lot about his time at other clubs and as forwards, we do separate stuff in training. Tony has played at a high level too – they both pass on really good knowledge, as do Kaiyne and Robbo (Jordan Roberts) – it is good to learn from them and I take it all in my stride.”

    Although this is his first season in the Scottish Premiership, Shields is no stranger to having to make a step up in his career.

    In 2018, he swapped part-time football at Albion Rovers to join Sunderland in the English Championship.

    The whirlwind transfer would see him go from mixing training and work to training five days a week at the Sunderland Academy, which produced the likes of Jordan Henderson, Jordan Pickford and Peter Hartley. After arriving in January 2018, he was a regular in the Black Cats’ Under 23 side.

    It was a far cry from Cliftonhill, and although he did not manage to make a first-team appearance, Shields holds no regrets over the move.

    During his time with the Wearside club, he had a loan spell at Alloa before joining Aldershot in the National League – making 22 appearances and scoring once. His time in England ended after a short spell with Billericay Town, and he would return to Scotland to sign for Queen of the South in the summer of 2020.

    “At the time, it was brilliant. I couldn’t really turn down the opportunity to go full-time from part-time,” he recalled. “It was a massive jump. Obviously it was a big standard – I don’t regret moving away and going down there and trying it.

    “You learn a lot from going elsewhere and trying things at different levels, it didn’t work, and I came back to Scotland.

    “I was pleased to get the opportunity in the Championship with Queen of the South – I felt I had to prove myself, and I knew I could do better.”

    Shields proved to be a hit at Palmerston last season, scoring 11 times and winning the Championship ‘Player of the Month’ award for January.

    As the season ended, many clubs expressed an interest in signing the powerful forward, including this evening’s opponents Dundee United. In the end, it was a positive meeting with Alexander that sold Shields on a move to North Lanarkshire, and he put pen to paper on a three-year deal.

    As well as Shields, ‘Well have signed Sondre Solholm, Liam Kelly, Callum Slattery and Kaiyne Woolery on deals until 2024, demonstrating the Fir Park boss’ long-term vision for the club.

    “I spoke to all the managers interested, and when I spoke to the gaffer, he showed me about the club and told me what he expects of his teams and the way he wants to play,” he explained. “There’s a real feel-good factor about the club, it felt like Motherwell were the club that suited me, and it’s proving to be the right decision. Hopefully I can repay them.

    “For the last few years, I was in England and then Dumfries. I only live 15/20 minutes away from Fir Park, so it suits me in that respect. I have a long contract – I do my talking on the pitch, and hopefully I can perform well enough to get settled for even longer.

    “I was the first one to arrive in the summer, but there have been a lot of boys who have two or three-year deals. That has been good to see. I know managers come and go, but for the manager to put that level of faith in us for that length of time, that shows he’s wanting to stay here, do well and get us right back up the table.”

    Before his move to ‘Well, most of Shields’ experience of Scottish football has been played in front of small crowds and, in the case of last season, behind closed doors.

    In the aftermath of the victory over Hearts, the players embarked on their now traditional lap of honour, allowing the players to mix and soak up the adulation of the fans.

    Shields feels there is a real bond between the players and the fans and believes that connection can grow stronger if he and his teammates can continue to produce the goods on the park.

    “Especially with fans not being there last season due to Covid, it is brilliant to have them back – especially at home games,” said the former Sunderland man. “I think because of those circumstances, it has brought the players much closer to the fans.

    “We are engaging much more with the supporters. We want to give them good results and good performances – there is a strong connection between us just now, and the more we can win games, then I’m sure that’ll only get better.”

    Tonight’s fixture at Fir Park begins a run of seven matches in just over a month for Motherwell – a crucial period that will play a big part in determining the direction of the remainder of this season.

    After recovering from a difficult run of results, Well recorded back-to-back wins against Aberdeen and Hearts, victories that have helped build a gap over teams outside the top half of the table.

    With little separating the sides in third to fifth place, fans could be forgiven for beginning to turn their minds to challenging for a European spot, and Shields believes that on their day, the Steelmen can prove to be a match for anyone in the Premiership.

    “We definitely have belief in ourselves that we can do well,” added Connor. “If you look back on the first 16 games of the season, we have made a really good start. The games at home to Celtic and Rangers aside, we have given the rest of the teams a strong challenge. There’s no reason we can’t finish in the top six. That is the ambition for a club of our size.

    “We have to keep up the standards that we have produced recently, and hopefully that’ll help us finish as high up the league as possible – we can now look up the table rather than looking over our shoulders.

    “The fact the games come around fast at this time of year is good. The more you play, the more you can build your confidence.

    “If I can bag a few goals and get some wins, it will help with my aim to stay in the side. Obviously it’s up to the manager, there might be times where I come out for different personnel or rest, but if I’m put back in, I’ll make sure I’m ready to go again and hopefully deliver a good performance.”

  • First team

    Two potential opponents in Scottish Cup fourth round

    Two potential opponents in Scottish Cup fourth round

    Inverness Caledonian Thistle or Greenock Morton will be our opponents in the fourth round of the 2021/22 Scottish Cup.

    We will play host to one of the Championship sides on the weekend of 22 January 2022.

    The two sides played out a 1-1 draw in the third round, with a replay set for 7 December at Cappielow.

    Motherwell enter the competition at this stage. Last season, Graham Alexander’s side reached the quarter-finals, before losing in a penalty shootout to Hibernian at Easter Road.

  • First team

    Get your tickets for Hibs

    Get your tickets for Hibs

    Tickets are now on sale for our trip to Hibernian.

    Graham Alexander’s side head to the capital in the cinch Premiership on Saturday 4 December. Kick-off at Easter Road is at 3pm.

    You can buy your tickets online now.

    Tickets must now be collected from the ticket office at Fir Park. We are open 10-5 on Thursday and 10-4 on Friday, as well as from 10am to 12pm on Saturday.

    Please note there will be no sales at Easter Road on Saturday.

    Prices are:

    • Adult: £26
    • Over 65s and students: £14
    • 12-17 year olds: £13
    • 2-11 year olds: £11
    • Under 2s: Free of charge

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

    Covid-19 information

    Vaccine certification is required for this fixture.

  • First team

    Manager looks ahead to Dundee United

    Graham Alexander previews the visit of Dundee United in the cinch Premiership on Tuesday evening.

  • First team

    Next up: Dundee United

    Next up: Dundee United

    Dundee United come calling on Tuesday night in the cinch Premiership.

    Kick-off at Fir Park is at 7.45pm.

    Ticket information

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

    The easiest way to buy is online from our ticket site. You can choose to print your ticket at home, or use a digital ticket with a QR code.

    You can also call 01698 333333 or visit the ticket office at Fir Park. The ticket office is open 10am to 5pm Monday and from 10am until kick-off on Tuesday.

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

    Away fans

    Dundee United fans can buy tickets direct from us by following this link.

    A ticket booth will be in operation at the Tommy McLean Stand for away supporters. Please note this is cash only.

    Watch live

    The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports. Pay per view is not available.

    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.

    Tale of the tape

    Dundee United were the victors in the first meeting of the season, with Ryan Edwards and Charlie Mulgrew netting either side of Tony Watt’s penalty to secure a 2-1 win.

    Last time at Fir Park, Devante Cole and Christopher Long netted in a 2-1 victory for the Steelmen in February.

    Form guide

    Motherwell’s run of back-to-back wins over Aberdeen and Hearts was ended in a 3-0 loss at Dundee on Saturday.

    United led 1-0 at Ross County on Saturday through Louis Appere, before Jack Baldwin’s 93rd minute equaliser ensured a share of the spoils for the hosts.

  • First team

    Graham Alexander reacts to loss at Dundee

    “Everything we did last week, we didn’t do today. It came down to our choices and mindset.”

  • First team

    Dundee 3-0 Motherwell

    Dundee 3-0 Motherwell

    Motherwell suffered a humbling 3-0 defeat at Dundee in the cinch Premiership.

    Buoyed by recent successes over Aberdeen and Hearts, the Steelmen headed to Dens in a positive mood, looking to extend their winning run.

    But goals from Luke McCowan, Danny Mullen and Ryan Sweeney put paid to those hopes, and delivered a reminder of the work still to do for ‘Well.

    Sean Goss dropped out of the squad completely from the team which defeated Hearts last weekend, with Liam Grimshaw stepping in.

    Kevin van Veen and Jordan Roberts were restored to the bench after missing last weekend’s match through suspension and ineligibility.

    At a bitterly cold Dens Park, both sides were slow to get the paying spectators warm.

    The first major bit of action came on 17 minutes, when Mullen found himself in behind the ‘Well defence.

    Pulling the trigger to the right of the goal 15 yards out, Kelly pulled off a brilliant reaction stop to prevent the hosts opening the scoring.

    Motherwell though didn’t heed that warning and found themselves behind after 20 minutes.

    A cross from the left wasn’t dealt with and the ball fell kindly to McCowan just inside the box to the left of the goal.

    Wiggling free, he found room to fire off a shot from 12 yards which went through the bodies and past Kelly to give the hosts the lead.

    Dundee cranked up the pressure, with Anderson going close and then Ashcroft being denied from the resulting corner by an outstanding tip over the ball by Kelly.

    While Dundee’s intensity lessened as the half wore on, ‘Well were unable to create anything meaningful up top and went in at half-time with plenty to ponder.

    Van Veen and Roberts were introduced at the break in an attempt to shake things up and the Dutchman almost made an immediate impact.

    With the ball falling to him close to the left post, he dug out a shot to crack the crossbar just 90 seconds after his introduction.

    But hopes of Motherwell momentum growing were instantly zapped.

    A free-kick up the other end a minute later was helped back across goal, where Sweeney was the grateful recipient to slide the ball in from close range.

    ‘Well put balls into the box but couldn’t seriously trouble the home ‘keeper thereafter, and headed back down the road with the need to bounce back immediately at home to Dundee United on Tuesday night.

    Motherwell: Kelly, Mugabi, Solholm, Lamie, McGinley, Grimshaw (Roberts 46), Maguire, Slattery, Woolery, Shields (Van Veen 46), Watt.

    Subs: Fox, O’Connor, Carroll, O’Donnell, Cornelius.