The Motherwell boss emphasises it is points, not league placings, that matter at this stage of the season as Hibernian visit Fir Park.
- First team
Graham Alexander looks ahead to HibernianTuesday 25 January 2022
Hibernian next in SWPL1Tuesday 25 January 2022
Motherwell will be looking to follow up on their fine Lanarkshire derby win when they take on Hibernian.
Kick off at Penicuik Athletic Park on Wednesday 26 January is at 7pm.
Tale of the Tape
Last time out, Hibernian ran out 4-0 victors at Alliance Park at the start of the season in SWPL1.
In the two games prior to this meeting, the Hibees won by a one-goal margin on both occasions, winning 1-0 and 3-2 respectively.
After their 2-1 victory against Hamilton on Sunday, the women of steel are one place and six points behind Hibernian going into the game.
Hibernian faced off against top of the table Rangers in their previous outing, where the Gers won 2-1.
They have accumulated five points out of a possible 18 in their last six matches, scoring six goals in the process.
Motherwell climbed up to fifth in the table and bettered their 2020/21 SWPL1 points total after a victory at New Douglas Park against Hamilton.
Leanne Crichton and Carla Boyce got the goals, whilst Chelsie Watson rattled the post from the penalty spot in the first half.
- First team
Next up: HibernianMonday 24 January 2022
We host Hibernian next at Fir Park in the cinch Premiership.
Kick-off on Wednesday is at 7.45pm.
Get your ticket
Home fans can get their tickets online now or by visiting the ticket office at Fir Park.
Away supporters should contact Hibernian directly for tickets. If tickets remain unsold, a ticket booth will be in operation on the approach to the Tommy McLean stand before the game.
Due to a change in legislation by the Scottish FA, Covid-19 certification checks will not be in place.
Only venues with over 10,000 in attendance are required to carry out checks.
Join us before the match
The Cooper Bar is open from 5pm for food and drink. Table service is in operation for this match.
Watch live online
If you can’t make Motherwell v Hibernian in person, there’s still a way to watch.
A pay-per-view online stream of the game is now available for all fans to buy for £12.
To get your pass, head to ppv.motherwellfc.co.uk.
Motherwell’s 2-1 win against Morton in the Scottish Cup on Saturday followed on from defeat in the first league game back after the break at Ross County.
Hibernian came through their cup tie against Cove Rangers 1-0 after extra time, having lost to Celtic 2-0 in their first game back.
Tale of the tape
Hibs’ 3-2 win at Fir Park on the opening day of the 2021/22 season was followed by a 1-1 draw at Easter Road in early December.
‘Well’s last victory in the fixture came at Easter Road in February 2021, with Jordan Roberts and Devante Cole netting in a 2-0 win.
Victory in the derby for ‘WellSunday 23 January 2022
Motherwell cruised to their fourth league victory and second Lanarkshire derby triumph after defeating local rivals Hamilton 2-1.
Paige McAllister’s close-range finish put the women of steel in the ascendency midway through the first half, before Carla Boyce netted the second early into the second half.
In the dying stages of the game, Josi Giard netted Hamilton a late consolation.
Looking for their second Lanarkshire derby victory of the season, ‘Well applied the early pressure and came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock after 15 minutes.
Lori Gardner skillfully worked her way into the box, nutmegging her opponent in the process, before picking out Amy Anderson at the edge of the box, but the midfielder lost her footing and sent her effort well over the bar.
After controlling much of the early possession, Motherwell continued to threaten and deservedly netted the opener minutes later.
Leanne Crichton’s pinpoint delivery was poorly misjudged by Hamilton stopper Jeni Currie, and her looping cross ricocheted off the bar to the feet of McAllister, who coolly slotted her strike home from close range.
Hamilton thought they had brought themselves level 10 minutes later. Tiree Burchill quickly closed down Khym Ramsay’s clearance, and the striker raced through to tap in the rebound. However, the referee adjudged that Ramsay was fouled in the build-up, and the equaliser was soon disallowed.
With the half-time whistle looming, Motherwell pressed forward in search of a vital second goal as Gardner continued to cause the hosts problems.
The winger skipped past several lacklustre Hamilton challenges before being impeded in the box, leaving the referee no alternative but to award the spot kick. Boyce stepped up, but the striker’s low effort rattled off the post, allowing the keeper to easily gather.
Minutes into the second half, the visitors doubled their advantage.
Katie Rice’s perfectly weighted cross fell kindly to Boyce deep into the Hamilton penalty area, and the forward calmly placed her strike past Currie to put the visitors in control of the tie.
With the final few minutes ticking away, the hosts netted a late consolation. Giard latched onto Hannah Coakley’s long ball, and the striker’s exquisite finish left Ramsay with no chance.
This result will be a confidence booster for Motherwell as Paul Brownlie’s side move into fifth place and two points clear of Spartans, who they will face at the end of the month.
- First team
Aberdeen next in Scottish CupSaturday 22 January 2022
We’ll face Aberdeen in the fifth round of the 2021/22 Scottish Cup.
Having defeated Morton after extra-time on Saturday, we’ll host the Dons.
The tie will be played on the weekend of 12 February 2022.
The confirmed date and kick-off time will be confirmed in due course.
2021/22 Scottish Cup fifth round draw
Motherwell v Aberdeen
Celtic v Raith Rovers
Arbroath v Hibernian
Annan Athletic v Rangers
Hearts v Livingston
Peterhead v Dundee
Partick Thistle v Dundee United
St Mirren v Kelty Hearts
- First team
Manager reacts to cup win over MortonSaturday 22 January 2022
“We didn’t let it become a hard-luck story. We kept going to the end and did not quit.”
- First team
Motherwell 2-1 Greenock MortonSaturday 22 January 2022
Motherwell dug deep to come from behind and progress after extra time against Greenock Morton.
After a goalless 90 minutes, Robbie Muirhead threatened to cause a shock for the visitors with a strike on the counter on the stroke of half-time of the first period.
But Kevin van Veen’s penalty and Liam Donnelly’s wonder strike at the death ensured progression to the last 16.
Graham Alexander made two changes from the side that lost to Ross County. In the absence of Bevis Mugabi, Jake Carroll came in to the central defence to partner Sondre Solholm.
Up front, Connor Shields was given the opportunity to lead the ‘Well attack with Van Veen dropping to the bench.
Shields had an early half chance but with his back to goal, he failed to make good contact with Jordan Roberts’ cross from the right side of the penalty area.
The former Queen of the South striker then produced a terrific burst of speed to race away from former Fir Park defender Brian McLean, but from a tight angle, Shields fired low and saw his effort turned round the post by goalkeeper Hamilton.
From the resultant corner, Carroll’s downward header gave the goalkeeper his comfortable first save of the match.
The former Hearts’ ‘keeper was forced into a better save after 15 minutes when a Sean Goss free was only cleared to Barry Maguire at the edge of the box and his fine drive was beaten away by Hamilton.
As Motherwell tried to pick up the pace, Goss tried his luck from fully 35 yards but his powerful left foot was palmed away by the Morton ‘keeper.
After that period of pressure from ‘Well, the Championship side settled into the pace of the game and comfortably dealt with the home threat.
Most of the play was contained to the midfield where Maguire was dominant. But when the Fir Park men broke forward, notably through the trickery and speed of Roberts and Kaiyne Woolery the ball in the final third was poor and failed to find the rather isolated Shields.
Although Morton contested well in the first half, it took them until the final minute of the first half to produce a shot on goal.
And while Gavin Reilly’s angled shot from 12 yards was straight at Liam Kelly, it posted a warning that the Steelmen would have to raise their game in the second half and impress the ‘Well fans.
As the hour mark approached and most of play continued around the home goal, manager Alexander acknowledged a change in personnel was required.
As Van Veen was just about to replace Woolery, Shields’ close-range header brought a fine reflex save from Hamilton.
It didn’t take long for Van Veen to make his presence felt and within two minutes his clever footwork had worked an opening at the edge of the box but his left foot shot was straight at the ‘keeper.
A couple of minutes later, the Dutch striker produced a similar run across the box only to fire his shot over the crossbar but at least he was getting the home fans on their feet.
A Goss drive across the six-yard box found no takers in claret and amber as the ‘Well fans frustrations started to grow.
With 15 minutes remaining, the tireless running Shields made way for recent acquisition Ross Tierney to make his debut.
It was still end-to-end stuff as Morton continued to push towards Kelly’s goal in search of a shock winner.
Four minutes from time van Veen was denied what would have been the winning goal. Advancing on Hamilton’s goal from an angle the striker’s low finish was destined for the far corner of the net until the ‘keeper’s outstretched leg diverted the ball beyond the post.
A minute later, Donnelly’s thumping drive from 25 yards was smothered by the Morton ‘keeper as the Premiership side pushed to prevent the tie going into extra time.
Despite applying an urgency missing from the previous 80 minutes, Motherwell failed to kill off a determined Morton as the boos from the home fans signalled the end of regulation time.
The ‘Well boss no doubt urged his men to begin extra-time maintaining the pressure on the ‘Ton goal. But with Imrie’s side reorganised at the back, the game settled into its familiar pattern with the away side looking as likely to find the opening goal.
Both ‘Well substitutes – Van Veen and especially Tierney – looked determined to influence things but it was Morton sub Muirhead who had the greatest impact on the game when he broke the deadlock just before the end of the first period of extra-time.
The former Kilmarnock and Dundee United striker chased a hopeful long ball upfield before dragging the ball into the box and whipping an angled shot beyond the diving Kelly to put Morton in the driving seat.
Facing the Cooper Stand for the final 15 minutes, Alexander made a double change bringing on Amaluzor and Slattery.
The former Southampton man was involved after only three minutes when his ball into the box found Tierney eight yards in front of goal.
When McLean thundered into the back of the Irishman, referee Nick Walsh had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.
Despite protests from the Morton players, Van Veen confidently hammered home the spot kick for his eighth goal of the season and raise ‘Well’s hopes of finding a winner.
And it almost arrived three minutes from the end when van Veen latched on to McGinley’s ball down the left channel but after cutting inside his side foot finish was palmed away by Hamilton’s raised glove.
Two minutes later, Tierney was then denied a memorable debut goal when his header was cleared off the goal line.
However, the ball landed at the feet of Donnelly through Goss and, from the edge of the box, his stunning drive found the top corner of the net for a wonderful winning goal.
Motherwell: Kelly, O’Donnell, Solholm, Carroll, McGinley, Donnelly, Maguire (Tierney), Goss, Woolery (Slattery), Roberts (Amaluzor), Shields (Van Veen).
Subs: Fox, Ojala, O’Connor, Shaw, Cornelius.
- First team
Graham Alexander previews Greenock MortonFriday 21 January 2022
The Motherwell boss speaks ahead of the Scottish Cup fourth round tie at Fir Park.
- First team
INSIDE MOTHERWELL // The winter breakThursday 20 January 2022
The end of 2021 brought with it a fraught spell at Motherwell FC, with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 threatening to play havoc.
With the Scottish Government imposing a limit of 500 fans for games at Fir Park, the league decided to bring forward the scheduled winter break to minimise the potential damage.
One game – against Livingston on Boxing Day – was played in front of limited numbers, an experience nobody enjoyed or wants to return to.
A win in that match then brought the start of some well-earned rest for a playing squad in form.
But there would be no respite for Paul Matthew and the groundstaff, who made the most of the time to carry out remedial work on the pitch.
The time off also allowed us to catch up with summer recruit Sean Goss.
A reserved, laidback character off the pitch, it turns out there’s much more to him than originally meets the eye.
The business benefits of an effective workplace wellbeing strategyThursday 20 January 2022
The world of workplace wellbeing has been turned on its head over the past two years – with the importance of a happy and healthy workforce becoming ever more apparent in light of the individual and business struggles we’ve all experienced.
Because it’s not just team members who benefit from a focus on physical, mental, financial and emotional health: their employers also stand to benefit from implementing an effective workplace wellbeing strategy.
Here, the team from Paycare – proud sponsors of Motherwell Football Club – share their expert insights, having supported employee health and wellbeing since 1874.
Healthy employees take less time off sick
Sickness leave has been reduced to 3.6 days on average per employee per year – with carefully thought out policies that promote early detection and intervention of illnesses, meaningful support for those with long-term conditions, and assistance in the case of injury having the potential to improve employee health further.
Introducing mental health assistance alone sees sickness absence fall in a third of companies. This is far more preferable than the alternative: creating a culture where employees feel they must come to work even if they are unwell.
While on the surface this approach may look to be beneficial for the company in question, presenteeism has an even more damaging impact when it comes to business revenue: costing the UK economy £15.1 billion each year.
Increased productivity and loyalty
In workplaces where mental health is addressed, productivity rises by 12%, while more than half of companies also see engagement and morale rise. And this translates to visible and substantial benefits when it comes to weighing up the financial costs too. For every £1 a company invests in employee mental health, they can expect to see £5 back in reduced absence, presenteeism and staff turnover.
Companies not yet realising the importance of workplace wellbeing are not only losing good employees to other firms, one in every eight people leaving the labour market does so because of ill health. Those dismissing the importance of healthcare perks might also find themselves missing out on top applicants – a third consider wellbeing benefits as a top priority when considering whether to accept a job offer.
What should a Wellbeing Strategy include?
To prove truly impactive, a formalised Wellbeing Strategy should be implemented to ensure consistency of offering across the business and ease of communication about perks and benefits to existing and potential staff, as well as external stakeholders and clients.
A Wellbeing Strategy should protect the emotional, mental, physical and financial wellbeing of every team member. Naturally, employees should be supported through any specific problems which arise. Still, the strategy should also focus on preventing issues and making health and wellness a priority at all times, not just when a specific team member is experiencing a problem.
As well as covering specific benefits available, the strategy should also focus on the company’s flexible working policy, who employees can approach for support, and whether adjustments can be made in light of long-term conditions.
The bottom line
A well-thought-out strategy offering effective benefits focused around all aspects of employee health – physical, emotional, mental, and financial – has been shown to reduce absenteeism, presenteeism, and absence leave, while simultaneously increasing loyalty, staff retention, and productivity.
An investment in staff wellbeing isn’t just good for individuals. It’s good for business – and it needn’t be a huge investment, as Paycare has proved with its Bundle package.
For just £2 per employee per month, Bundle members have access to three core wellbeing services: round-the-clock virtual access to a GP, confidential telephone support and counselling, and discounts on everything from utilities and sports gear to holidays and days out.
Visit paycare.org/wellbeing-bundle for more information.