“There was a game there for us to win. But the defining moments didn’t go for us.”
- First team
Manager reacts to Celtic lossSaturday 16 October 2021
- First team
Motherwell 0-2 CelticSaturday 16 October 2021
Celtic emerged victorious as Motherwell came up short in a 2-0 loss in the cinch Premiership.
Goals from Jota and David Turnbull sealed it for the visitors, although ‘Well were denied the chance to get back into the game when a stonewall penalty for handball was denied midway through the second half.
Motherwell came out the traps flying, dominating the ball and pressing their opponents high up the pitch denying them the chance to get out.
Both Watt and Woolery flashed low crosses across the face of goal with no takers, as ‘Well threatened to take an early lead.
But Celtic were vicious when they got on the ball in the higher areas and it proved with a clinical strike with 17 minutes gone.
Caught cold on the counter, ‘Well let Jota in behind down the left and the Portgeuese forward unleashed his shot before Mugabi could arrive, finding the inside of Kelly’s near post.
Falling behind took the wind out of Motherwell’s sails and Celtic were able to camp themselves in the host’s half.
That dominant spell fell apart though when, on the half hour mark, referee Willie Collum approached the sidelines to indicate he had received an injury.
A six-minute delay allowed Motherwell to regroup and they finished the first half stronger, setting up a shot at getting back on level terms in the second half.
But that evaporated quickly. Six minutes into the half, Turnbull found space 30 yards out and sent an unstoppable shot into the top-right corner of the net to make it two.
Motherwell didn’t give in, and dragged themselves back into the game.
The turning point could and should have come in the 68th minute. With Van Veen introduced, his attempt to latch onto Woolery’s quick throw was palmed away by defender Bolingoli.
Despite happening in front of the assistant, the Motherwell protests were waved away.
‘Well kept going and Goss saw two attempts go over, while McGinley’s exceptional cross from the left just eluded the finishing touch from the lurking Van Veen and Watt.
To the last, the Steelmen showed their determination but they couldn’t get themselves back into the game and ended up with the loss.
Motherwell: Kelly, O’Donnell, Mugabi, Ojala, McGinley, Grimshaw (Amaluzor), Goss, Slattery, Woolery, Roberts (Van Veen), Watt.
Subs: Fox, Solholm, Carroll, Donnelly, O’Hara.
- First team
Kevin van Veen’s long path to fan favouriteFriday 15 October 2021
Kevin van Veen was not tempted to drink with a crowd of bleary-eyed Motherwell fans that greeted him off the team bus like a king after last month’s draw at Rangers.
However, the Dutchman is committed to getting the beers in if the squad continue their promising start through to the end of the season.
“The gaffer was there so I needed to be on my toes and not do anything stupid,” he jokes.
“But if we have a good season we will be happy to have a proper party and I will buy some beers for everyone, not an issue.
“Everyone had left the car park and I was still there for at least another 15 minutes, they didn’t let me go.
“I had my song blasting in my ear, but I don’t mind any of that. It’s up to me now to give them something to be excited about and get them off their seats.
“I’ll always make time for the fans. I never ignore them, it’s how I’ve always been. I’m really appreciative from my side. Everyone wants to be loved and I couldn’t wish for anything more.”
It goes without saying that Kevin has had to work the hard way to become a fan favourite at the clubs he has turned out for.
The Eindhoven-born man has had a career that has spanned from a heart-breaking release at boyhood club PSV, to being a part-time plasterer while banging in the goals in the Dutch second tier.
And Kevin feels his unconventional route into the full-time professional game has shaped his personality both on and off the pitch.
“Nowadays kids earn so much money and lose the value of what life is about,” he says.
“They work hard for it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s different from being ice cold while doing a 12-hour plastering shift.
“It’s who I am. I am one of the most down to earth people you’ll meet. I’ll never forget where I come from.”
Kevin’s football career started at PSV, the club he supported as a boy and still supports today.
If that was not good enough, our number nine was also coached by his idol Ruud van Nistelrooy.
With well over 400 career goals to the former Manchester United and Real Madrid man’s name, he proved quite the mentor.
And while Kevin was coached by a footballing legend at club level, he also played with future superstars at national team level, even if he did not know it at the time.
“At the Dutch Under 15s I played with Memphis Depay, Virgil Van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum,” Kevin says. “The funniest bit about that is I was starting over them in that team.
“But at PSV my striker coach was van Nistelrooy. I really looked up to him, but he was so normal and down to earth. It was a privilege to work with him and I learned so much, we all did because we scored so many goals when he worked with us.”
Kevin’s dream of securing a professional contract at PSV was brought to a crushing end in his late teens, as the Eindhoven club opted to release the striker due to a lack of height at the time.
The forward was devastated to the point he decided to throw the towel in on the prospect of playing professional and instead chose to play at amateur level with friends and family, but he also required money in his pocket.
After a jolt from his father to get involved in some proper work, Kevin swapped the day-to-day life as a youth team footballer for the glamourous life as a plasterer, something he continued doing all the way through his career in the Netherlands until his move to England.
“When PSV told me to leave my dream was broke in two,” Kevin recalls. “My whole young life was there, between training and the private schooling they set up.
“I was plastering at same time as playing amateur, training twice a week at night then plastering the whole week – starting from 6am and working sometimes until 7pm. I started to get recognised by scouts, but I didn’t even want to go professional.
“I had so many enquiries, but I said no because I just wanted to play for fun and do a normal job. When I eventually turned professional I still plastered, I couldn’t let it go.
“Every year I was making a step up, scoring 20 goals a season, and before I knew it I could sign for clubs in the English Championship, League One, Bundesliga and Azerbaijan. I held out so long in my decision then ended up signing for Scunthorpe.”
Kevin made the move to Scunthorpe in 2015, where he played under current Motherwell boss Graham Alexander.
Kevin was coined with the nickname ‘Budget Bergkamp’ by the fans for his eye-catching displays at the club, and an impressive goal return attracted interest from the Chinese Super League in 2017.
A mooted fee of £4m was knocked back for the Dutch striker, with Scunthorpe reportedly holding out for an offer twice as much.
“I wanted to punch the wall,” Kevin says as he reflects on a whirlwind time in his career. “£4m for me? I would drive myself anywhere for that.
“Even though I had a great season, it was unbelievable money. Scunthorpe thought there was more to get, but I think the Chinese club might’ve been offended by that.
“I wouldn’t say there is bad blood between the Scunthorpe chairman and myself, but I do think, what if? What if it did work out and they got it over the line?”
Kevin’s six-year stay south of the border came to an end this summer after an injury-hit season last term.
The striker had offers on the table from his homeland, England and “tropical clubs”, but instead opted for Costa del Well, a decision he has “zero regrets” about after reuniting with his previous manager.
“There was a lot of interest elsewhere,” he says. “But when I spoke to the gaffer it pulled me over the line. I’ve worked with him and Chris [Lucketti] before and I wanted to do it again.
“We were successful together. I know what they want and demand and I know what I need to do to get in the team. Straight away I’ve had a connection with everyone. We are a really compact group, there are no bad apples.
“We’ve had a good start, but as a team we need to keep pushing as hard as we can. If we can do that I really fancy us to have a very good season, but it’s down to us to work hard and get results.”
- First team
Graham Alexander previews CelticFriday 15 October 2021
The Motherwell boss talks about the need to believe the team can take all three points.
- First team
Get your tickets for Dundee United awayThursday 14 October 2021
Tickets are now on sale for our trip to face Dundee United.
The Steelmen head to Tannadice in the cinch Premiership on Saturday 23 October.
Motherwell fans will be located in the Jim McLean Fair Play Upper.
Tickets are priced at:
- Adult: £26
- Concessions: £14 (over 65s, students and Under 18s)
- Under 12s: £5 (only with full-paying adult)
Fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Andy Sim on 07428 225254 or email email@example.com.
Concession tickets are subject to inspection at the gate. Please ensure you bring your ID with you (eg. Young Scot card / Student ID / Bus pass).
- First team
Next up: CelticTuesday 12 October 2021
Motherwell host Celtic next in the cinch Premiership.
Kick-off at Fir Park on Saturday is at 3pm.
Limited tickets remain for home sections.
Please buy now to avoid missing out. There will be no cash gates in operation and tickets must be purchased in advance.
To buy, please call 01698 333333 or visit the ticket office at Fir Park. The ticket office is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4pm on Friday.
Our capacity will be limited to under 10,000 for this match. Vaccine certification is not required.
Away fan sales
Celtic fans should contact their club direct for tickets.
Fans of both clubs can buy a live stream of the game from ppv.motherwellfc.co.uk for £12.
The game is available to purchase in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Please note that due to UEFA restrictions, this game is not purchasable if you are in England.
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
Celtic have won nine of the last 10 encounters between the two teams.
The one positive for Motherwell in that period came in a 1-1 home draw in December 2018, with Danny Johnson netting late at Fir Park.
Motherwell sit a point above Celtic in the Premiership table.
The visitors have won two, lost two and drawn one of their last five league matches, and were 2-1 away winners at Aberdeen in their last outing.
The Steelmen have won three, drawn one and lost one from the last five, with defeat coming in the last game away at Hearts.
- First team
Players try their hand at PictionaryMonday 11 October 2021
It’s the international break so the Motherwell squad are having a bit of time off.
Scotsman Mark O’Hara and Englishman Callum Slattery team up to test their artistic side as they take on the foreign duo of Kevin van Veen from the Netherlands and Norway’s Sondre Solholm.
The aim is to identify your team mate’s drawings as fast as possible to defeat the opposition.
- First team
Steven Lawless leaves MotherwellMonday 11 October 2021
Steven Lawless has left Motherwell, after the club and the player mutually agreed to end his current contract.
The 30-year-old returned to the club in January of this year from English League One side Burton Albion, with a deal to the end of the current campaign.
We would like to thank Steven for his two spells at Fir Park and wish him every success in his future career.
- First team
Tony Watt is your September player of the monthThursday 07 October 2021
Tony Watt has been chosen as the Paycare player of the month for September.
The striker narrowly edged out Juhani Ojala, Callum Slattery and Liam Kelly in the public vote across Facebook and Twitter.
- First team
Three on international dutyThursday 07 October 2021
Three Motherwell players are in senior international action in the coming days.
Stephen O’Donnell and Liam Kelly are on Scotland duty, with Juhani Ojala away with Finland, as the two nations try to reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Scotland v Israel, Saturday 9 October, 5pm.
Faroe Islands v Scotland, Tuesday 12 October, 7.45pm.
Finland v Ukraine, Saturday 9 October, 5pm.
Kazakhstan v Finland, Tuesday 12 October, 3pm.
In the coming weeks, three young Motherwell starlets will be in action for Scotland in the Victory Shield.
Lennon Miller, Bailey Rice and Max Ross are all in the selection for the triple header of games with Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Wales.