“We didn’t let it become a bad luck story. We came back out and got a deserved equaliser.”
- First team
Manager reacts to draw at HibernianSaturday 04 December 2021
- First team
Hibernian 1-1 MotherwellSaturday 04 December 2021
Motherwell took a deserved point in a 1-1 draw away at Hibernian in the cinch Premiership.
But the Steelmen may have felt all three points could have been taken back home, with a glut of first-half chances passed up in Leith.
Kevin Nisbet punished Motherwell for that profligacy midway through the opening period, but Tony Watt’s leveller ensured a share of the spoils.
Dean Cornelius made his first league start in place of the suspended Barry Maguire. Injury to Sondre Solhom saw Stephen O’Donnell return to the team at right back, with Bevis Mugabi moving to centre back.
Van Veen seven played in behind by Watt, need to take a touch gave McGinn time to make last-gasp sliding tackle as the Dutchman went to pull the trigger on the penalty spot.
Watt in behind after more great link up with Van Veen, shot denied at left touchline before flag went up 10 seconds late.
Watt was again at the heart of things as Motherell again got in the box in the 20th minute.
Down the left of the area, he looked to cut back to the onrushing Woolery on the opposite side, but his ball across was blocked.
Then with 25 minutes gone, the best chance of the match fell to youngster Cornelius.
A terrific bursting run from the midfielder saw him get between the centre backs and into a shooting chance against goalkeeper Macey.
Composing himself, Cornelius picked his spot from 15 yards but the ‘keeper saved well at feet to deny him a first goal for his boyhood club.
Two minutes later, Van Veen did the work to send a left-footed cross in from the left. Watt got across the face of goal well, but sent his free header over the bar.
The adage of being punished for not taking your chances then became true for the visitors soon after.
A clipped ball from the right over the head of Lamie found the run of Nisbet, who got the run on Mugabi to meet the flight of the ball and volley past Kelly from 10 yards.
Motherwell kept coming and the next chance would fall to Van Veen with five minutes left in the half.
Again getting in down the left, he got one-on-one with Macey on the left touchline. Cleverly lifting the ball over the ‘keeper, he saw the ball bounce across the face of goal without dropping in.
Hibs started the brighter of the two in the second half and manager Alexander reacted just before the hour mark, replacing Woolery with Roberts to freshen up the attack.
Minutes later, ‘Well were level.
A deep cross from McGinley first found Van Veen, who nodded down to Mugabi on the right edge of the box.
His volleyed shot was blocked but dropped into acres of space on the left of the area, where Watt saw his opportunity.
Following in, he placed a perfect shot inside the left post to bring the Steelmen level.
Motherwell continued to offer in attack but could have found themselves behind with 12 to go.
With Goss down in the opposition box injured, the referee allowed play to continue up the park.
First, Nisbet saw a low shot turned away by Mugabi to the edge of the box where Campbell was waiting to unleash a ferocious shot which hit the bar, bounced down on the line and was then cleared.
Motherwell’s endless endeavour saw them in a four versus two breaking on Hibs with five to go after a poor throw infield, but Slattery didn’t pick the correct pass to his left and the chance went begging.
Hibs though also continued to press and Nisbet was denied at point-blank range with two minutes left, with his 10-yard shot gathered by Kelly.
- First team
Pick your November player of the monthFriday 03 December 2021
It’s time to pick your Paycare Motherwell FC player of the month for November.
Graham Alexander’s men picked up three wins from four in the month, defeating Aberdeen, Dundee United and Hearts.
With three clean sheets, Liam Kelly is in contention for the award.
The goalkeeper also pulled off a memorable, world-class save at Aberdeen to set the tone for his form across the month.
Bevis Mugabi has also been a pivotal part of that defence.
Slotting in at right-back, the Ugandan has been an integral member of the squad.
Alongside him in the back four, Ricki Lamie has also been a vital part of that defence.
The centre back also netted in the win over Hearts, and set up Kevin van Veen’s second at Pittodrie.
Also at the heart of creating things in November was Sean Goss.
The midfielder set up Van Veen’s first at Aberdeen, put the ball in the box for the second, and then also had a hand in both goals against Hearts.
- First team
Manager previews HibernianFriday 03 December 2021
The Motherwell boss looks ahead to the first cinch Premiership match of December, with ‘Well in form after three wins from four in November.
- First team
Ross Tierney // His first visit to Fir ParkThursday 02 December 2021
Motherwell have started their January business early with the capture of Ross Tierney from Bohemians FC.
One of the brightest young talents in the Republic of Ireland, the attacking midfielder will officially become a Steelman on 1 January 2022.
Before that though, he paid a visit to Fir Park for his medical and to familiarise himself with his new surroundings, meeting his new team-mates and manager ahead of his big switch.
- First team
Next up: HibernianThursday 02 December 2021
We’re off to Hibernian on Saturday in the cinch Premiership.
Kick-off at Easter Road is at 3pm.
Tickets must now be collected from the ticket office at Fir Park. We are open from 10am to 12pm on Saturday for late sales and collections.
Please note there will be no sales at Easter Road on Saturday.
- 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 email@example.com.
Vaccine certification is required for this fixture.
The match is available to buy on pay-per-view from Hibernian in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Ireland for £15.
To buy, head to Hibs TV.
Due to UEFA restrictions, the game can not be sold in England.
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
Hibernian were the victors in the first league encounter between the two this season, picking up the three points in a topsy-turvy 3-2 victory at Fir Park.
Hibs were also successful in the last meeting at Easter Road in the Scottish Cup, winning on penalties after Motherwell came from 2-0 down to take the tie the distance.
Motherwell won three from four in November, beating Aberdeen, Dundee United and Hearts.
Hibernian’s late 1-0 loss at home to Rangers on Wednesday night means Jack Ross’ side have now lost five of their last six league matches, although they did reach the final of the Premier Sports Cup with a win over Rangers a fortnight ago.
- First team
Ross Tierney signs for MotherwellWednesday 01 December 2021
Ross Tierney has agreed to join Motherwell.
The Republic of Ireland Under 21 international will arrive on 1 January at the start of the winter transfer window.
Joining from Bohemians, Tierney has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal. The club has paid an undisclosed fee for his services.
“We’re really looking forward to Ross joining the club in January,” Motherwell boss Graham Alexander said.
“He’s a young player who has had a couple of excellent seasons with Bohemians and his national squad.
“His attributes will fit in perfectly with how we play and his potential is unlimited at this stage of his career.
“He’s already met the squad and is excited about the move. We mirror those feelings.”
Tierney, 20, is one of the most exciting talents in the League of Ireland, having already made 67 appearances for Bohs.
The attacking midfielder was recently nominated for PFA Ireland’s Young Player of the Year, capping off a season where his side reached the FAI Cup final.
Bohemians also played their way through to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League, defeating Stjarnan, Dudelange and PAOK before eventually losing to the Greek side on aggregate.
Tierney netted twice on that run, scoring decisive away goals in Iceland and Luxembourg.
His talent also saw him included in Ireland’s Under 21 squad, where he scored a headed winner against Australia on his debut in June, in the first of his five caps to date.
Building for the futureWednesday 01 December 2021
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 UnitedTuesday 30 November 2021
“Our approach was superb. It was a brilliant performance and we deserved to win the game.”
- First team
Motherwell 1-0 Dundee UnitedTuesday 30 November 2021
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.