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    First SPL win

  • Archive

    McCall delighted to add goals

  • Archive

    Hibs win in pictures

  • Archive

    Motherwell 2 – 0 Hibernian

  • Archive

    Hibernian Programme Preview

  • Archive

    McHugh’s Thistle move off

  • Archive

    Semi Final Mascot Competition

  • Archive

    Grella loan cancelled

  • Archive

    Randolph ready for revenge

  • Archive

    SPL Community Report 2011

  • Archive

    First SPL win

    I’ve not long managed to sit down after another hectic day matchday. Thankfully, this week, we’ve had a positive result against Hibs which puts in right back in the mix in the race for fourth.

    I told the press after the game that I would like us to be more creative but, at the same time, we’ve kept four clean sheets in the last five games which is extremely positive.

    Another very pleasing aspect of today’s match was the performances of some of our younger players. We almost expect a performance from the likes of Steven Saunders and Jamie Murphy but Shaun Hutchinson has turned in yet another excellent display and I thought both Steven Meechan and Jonathan Page didn’t look out of place at all.

    We had some bad news in the shape of a knock to Tom Hateley but I am pleased to report that I don’t think it is as bad as we first feared, and he’s in contention for Wednesday night’s game in Perth.

    I’d also like to take the time to thank the fans who came along and gave the team great support today. I know Steve Jones, in particular, was delighted with the reaction he got and I that is a testament to the great fans we have here at Fir Park.

    At the same time, I would encourage you all to keep at your friends and family to come along to Fir Park. We had 4,202 fans watching us today but I am hopeful with improve displays and the re-emergence of some of our younger talent, we can swell those numbers.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I’ll hopefully see as many as you as possible at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night.

    Forever Claret and Amber,

    Stuart McCall
    Manager

  • Archive

    McCall delighted to add goals

    Stuart McCall watched his side keep yet another clean sheet, but pleasingly ‘Well also got back on the goal trail with a 2-0 win against Hibs.

    Before this match Stuart McCall’s ‘Well had kept three clean sheets in four games but were still to claim their first SPL win.

    [onlymembers]Naturally the gaffer was delighted to keep one of those records going – while decimating the other.

    “That is now four clean sheets in five games which we are pleased with,” the former Bradford boss praised.

    “We would like to be more creative at times but the park was a bit bumpy so we have to be happy with the result.

    “People had been talking about Hibs going through a bad run, but we hadn’t won in ten weeks of SPL football. There was a lot of pressure on us too.
     
    “It was a good game for us and it was one we were delighted to win. A massive three points for us from a game we needed to win.”

    Motherwell were fully deserving of their three points. The Steelmen were particularly impressive in the first period, and went in ahead at the break thanks to goals from Jamie Murphy and Stevie Saunders.

    ‘Well were aided by a wasteful Marouane Zemamma penalty kick which the Moroccan smashed over the bar following a Saunders handball.

    “We were then a bit fortunate with the penalty, which was missed,” McCall admitted.  “Then after that I thought we dug the result out, and there are lots of ways to win football matches.

    “We also worked hard on set pieces and we delivered some great balls and I was delighted to get the goals that way.”

    This result is a massive boost for Motherwell, and puts ‘Well one point behind fifth placed Inverness Caledonian Thistle, with a game in hand and only four points behind Killie in fourth, with one game in hand over Mixu’s men.

    All of a sudden the campaign has a more positive hue, and the gaffer is still in the market for a couple of new faces after the disappointment of missing out on Mike Grella due to a cross-border technicality.

    In the meantime the former Everton and Rangers midfielder was full of praise for his young ‘Well stars Jonothan Page and Steven Meechan who performed admirably when called upon.

    “We are getting a load of names fired at us but we have to make sure we get the right people in,” the 46-year old boss insisted. “It will only be loan players and it will have to be from England. We will be looking to get somebody in before the end of the window.”
     
    “We need everyone to contribute when called upon especially when you have a small squad like we’ve got.
     
    “Page has never played in that position (central midfield) before but I just felt Zemmama was beginning to get some space and cause us some problems. We were in the fortunate position to hold on to what we have got, and Page and Meechan did their job for the team.”[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Hibs win in pictures

    Pictures from the 2-0 win over Hibernian in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.

    These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.

    [svgallery name=”hibs220111″]

  • Archive

    Motherwell 2 – 0 Hibernian

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell picked up their first three points under Stuart McCall against a struggling Hibs side at Fir Park this afternoon.

    First half goals from Jamie Murphy and Steven Saunders ensured the Steelmen claimed their first league win since November 10th last year.

    The visitors didn’t create too much in the way of clear-cut opportunities but did force a penalty after Steven Saunders handled inside the area. Thankfully, Merouane Zemmama ballooned his effort over the bar ending Hibs’ hopes of a comeback.

    McCall made two changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Inverness last weekend. The injured Keith Lasley dropped out, replaced by the returning Steven Saunders and new signing Steve Jones was given his first start with Ross Forbes forced to accept a place amongst the substitutes.

    Motherwell started brightly and John Sutton came within inches of putting ‘Well ahead after just two minutes. A quick thinking throw by Steven Saunders played Murphy in. His ball across the face of goal almost found Sutton but a last ditch tackle from Francis Dickoh saved a certain goal.

    Hibs reply, some five minutes later, was a John Rankin free-kick that bobbled way wide of Darren Randolph post. Former ‘Well player Kevin McBride had his own long-range effort shortly after, but it troubled the ball boy in the lower tier of the South Stand more than ‘Well keeper Randolph.

    But it was Motherwell who finally broke through prolific striker Jamie Murphy. A free-kick from about thirty yards out was met by the young striker, as he got the faintest of touches to take it past Graeme Smith who appeared to lose the flight of the ball.

    Four minutes later Motherwell were in dreamland as defender Steven Saunders made it two. Chris Humphrey won a corner on the right, and the in-swinging kick from Hammell was met by the youngster at the near post who powered a header home.

    Motherwell continued to press in search of a third and Sutton almost provided it. It was corners again causing problem, with Sutton meeting another Hammell delivery, but his effort flew way over. Murphy followed that with a low shot from the edge of the box that former ‘Well stopper Smith smothered comfortably.

    Motherwell looked to be cruising to a comfortable half-time lead but gave Hibs a road back into the game with a needless penalty. A cross towards the back post was handled by Steven Saunders and the referee pointed to the spot. Thankfully for the Steelmen, Merouane Zemmama blazed his kick over the bar.

    Hibs made a change at the interval as Colin Nish, so often the scourge of Motherwell, came on to replace Darryl Duffy. Five minutes into the second half, ‘Well made a change of their own with young Steven Meechan replacing Tom Hateley who limped off.

    The visitors were desperate for a goal to get them back into the game and Zemmama almost made up  for his penalty miss with a shot that brought out a good save from Darren Randolph. ‘Well switched off from a throw in, allowing the Morrocan in, but his fizzing effort was saved at the second attempt by the Irish keeper.

    John Rankin ballooned a shot way over the bar and Zemmama, again, thundered a free-kick just over the bar as the away side continued to chap at the door in search of a goal.

    The game slowed in pace but it was still the away side that were creating the chances. Colin Nish got on the end of a deep free-kick but his half-volley flew over Randolph’s crossbar.

    Calderwood introduced Derek Riordan in place of Rankin and the enigmatic striker almost brought his side back into things with a testing free-kick but, once again, Darren Randolph was well placed to catch.

    That would prove to be the last chance of the match as ‘Well held out for the crucial win. Other than the win, McCall can celebrate his fourth clean sheet in five games as the Steelmen move to within a point of fifth placed Inverness with two games in hand.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Graham Barnstaple at Fir Park

    Full time – excellent 2-0 win with what ended up a very young team. First League win for McCall – well done – bring on Saints on Wednesday

    90mins+3 – McBride’s a lucky boy only to get yellow for a kick at Murphy as he got away from him

    90mins – We are now into three minutes of added on time

    89mins – Sponsors have just announced that they have awarded John Sutton their man of the match

    88mins – Riordan free over well but easily held by Randolph – we are making hard work of closing this out!

    85mins – Hibs sub – Zemmama replaced by Kurtis Byrne

    83mins – another Hibs yellow as Thicot goes through Murphy out wide.

    80mins – Rioran booked for dissent as ref actually gives a foul in Sutton’s favour

    74mins – Ref Alan Muir has given more free kicks against us today than in any other game this season

    68mins – Riordan on for Rankin, his first touch sends a free kick into arms of Randolph

    63mins – Page on for debutant Jones, new man work hard and showed a few nice touches

    59mins – Zemmama sends a free kick just over as Hibs have us on the back foot a bit in the early stages

    55mins – Crowd of 4202 turned up today

    53mins – Zemmama shot from 12 yards looked to be squirming through keeper’s hands but Randolph holds on

    50mins – Meechan on for Hateley who limps off

    47mins – After ref consultation with 4th official Derek Adams is sent to the Stand – must’ve been something he said – just back from ban too!

    45mins – Forgot to add Saunders was booked for the handball at the penalty

    45mins – Teams back out – Hibs change with Nish on for Duffy

    45mins+1 – That’s half time, and we leave the field with a well deserved two goal lead, if they had scored from the pen it would have been a travesty

    44mins – pen for Hibs, Saunders handles Galbraith cross, Zemmama takes and thankfully blasts miles over – that was an escape.

    41mins – Murphy trundler from 25 yards is an easy save for Buzz – who gets applause for the save from the Cooper Stand

    28mins – Rankin shown yellow for a challenge on Hateley, looked a bit harsh from this distance

    24mins – GOOOOOALLLLLL! – 2-0, Hammell in swinging corner to front post headed in by Saunders – no doubt about scorer this time

    20mins – First league goal under Stuart McCall, it was a bit like the goal Smith lost to Nancy at Fir Park

    20mins – GOOOOAAALLLL – Hammell free kick from about 30 yards out, floated over the defence and over a flapping Smith, although Murphy claiming

    15mins – Stuart McCall is still wearing shorts despite how cold it is – either mad or brave

    12mins – Assistant ref resorts to sending semaphore signals as he tries to help the ref!

    10mins – two long range efforts for Hibs but neither trouble Randolph in the Well goal

    1min – early chance for Well when a long throw reaches Sutton via Murphy but defence see it out.

    Pre-Match – Well kick off and are kicking towards the Cooper Stand, who give Graeme Smith a warm welcome

    Pre-Match – Teams out and the handshakes are all complete just waiting on the toss before we get underway

    Pre-Match – Steve Jones is wearing the number 17 jersey vacated by Marc Fitzpatrick when he moved to Ross County

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “It wasn’t a classic, people had been talking about Hibs going through a bad run but we hadn’t won in 10 weeks of SPL football. There was a lot of pressure on us after Hibs having a bad result against Ayr in midweek.

    “It was a good game for us and it was one we were delighted to come away with three points.”

    “We were then a bit fortunate with the penalty, which was missed. Then after that I thought we dogged it out, and there are lots of ways to win football matches.

    “That is now four clean sheets in five games which we are pleased with, we would like to be more creative at times. The condition of the park was a bit bumpy and made it hard to play but overall satisfied with the result.”

    Hibernian manager Colin Calderwood:

    “I’m frustrated because there were bits of that game that were good for us. What was pleasing was the application from 2-0 down.

    “We then created one or two very good opportunities but the team that made the least mistakes has won the game. There is nothing else the winning team has done better than us.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”30″]

  • Archive

    Hibernian Programme Preview

    The twelfth edition of the Motherwell Matchday Magazine hits the streets tomorrow when Hibs visit Fir Park.

    This week, ‘Well gaffer Stuart McCall shares his pre match thoughts, talking candidly about the pressures of management and the pitfalls of making knee-jerk reactions. The former Bradford City boss also looks back at last week’s 0-0 draw with Inverness CT and welcomes new assistant Kenny Black to the club.

    [onlymembers]Shaun Hutchinson talks about his return to action last week against Inverness and the frustrations of the last thirteen months in the “From the Dressing Room” feature.

    We also have an exclusive 8-page interview with the enigmatic Esteban Casagolda who chats about his first six months in Scotland and his desire to prove he has what it takes to make it as a striker at Motherwell.

    There’s a twelve-page section dedicated to our visitors, Hibernian, including a player-by-player account of Colin Calderwood’s side. Peter Elder takes us back through time to recall some of the good and, erm, not so good encounters between the sides and Alan Temple asks – Whatever happened to the Magnificent 7?

    We also have two fascinating articles – the first on some of the Scottish Cup horror shows of the last thirty years and the other looking at the blame culture that exists in football.

    The latest bout of Brainiacs is the battle of two favourites – Jamie Murphy and Stevie Hammell. Both scored high in their first round matches but who will succeed and secure a spot in the last four? It’s a close one – you’ll need to pick up a copy to see who has scraped through.

    And that’s not all… We look back at the 2-0 defeat by Dundee Utd and the 0-0 draw with Inverness Caley last Saturday, there’s an update from the Community Department as well as the latest ticket information for our next six matches.

    The programme, priced at £3, will be available in the ‘Well Shop with sellers in and around the ground from about 1pm.[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    McHugh’s Thistle move off

    Robert McHugh’s proposed loan deal with First Division side Partick Thistle has been cancelled.

    The nineteen-year-old was due to sign a two-month deal with the Firhill club but complications surrounding Mike Grella’s transfer has made any move impossible for the time being.

    [onlymembers]McHugh will be in the Motherwell squad for tomorrow’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Hibs at Fir Park.[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Semi Final Mascot Competition

    The winner of the Co-operative Insurance Cup Semi Final Mascot competition has been announced.

    [onlymembers]The question was who was the last Motherwell player to score in a Semi Final back in February 2006?

    And, of course, the answer was A – Richie Foran.

    The winner, chosen at random from over 50 entries, was Holly Sommerville from Carfin.

    This season is the twelfth consecutive season of The Co-operative Insurance’s sponsorship of the Scottish League Cup. Over the past twelve seasons eleven different teams have participated in the Final with four teams going on to lift The Co-operative Insurance Cup – Celtic, Rangers, Livingston and Hibernian.

    As well as the sponsorship of The Co-operative Insurance Cups in Scotland and Northern Ireland, The Co-operative Insurance has been investing in football since the 1970s and supports grassroots initiatives throughout the UK.

    Since The Co-operative Insurance grassroots programme began in 1999 youth teams have been supplied with over 3,700 sets of kit and 750 sets of equipment and football coaching has been provided for more than 16,500 children.

    The Co-operative Insurance is part of the wider financial services group, The Co-operative Financial Services, which is the name for the group of businesses consisting of The Co-operative Insurance, The Co-operative Investments and The Co-operative Bank including smile and Britannia.[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    Grella loan cancelled

    Motherwell are today disappointed to confirm that the transfer of Mike Grella has fallen through due to a FIFA technicality.

    Grella has played 34 minutes for Leeds Utd at the start of the season, before joining Carlisle Utd on an emergency loan in October and completed eleven games for the Cumbrians.

    FIFA rules state that a player can register for three clubs in any one year but can only play for two.

    It was both clubs understanding that emergency loans do not count when calculating the number of clubs a player has played for however, whilst completing clearance formalities with the Scottish Football Association last night, they highlighted an issue due to the cross border nature of the transfer and his move from the Elland Road club will now not be allowed to be completed.

    Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said, “Motherwell Football Club have benefited from the FIFA cross border rules in previous years however in this instance, things have worked against us which is extremely disappointing.

    “Our focus now is to provide Stuart McCall with all the tools he needs to bring in additional players.”

  • Archive

    Randolph ready for revenge

    Darren Randolph is eyeing up a victory against Colin Calderwood’s side to end ‘Well’s disappointing SPL run and destroy the Hibs hoodoo. 

    Hibs have claimed two victories against Motherwell this season – 50% of the Edinburgh side’s win total this season – but are currently in a sorry situation after losing to Ayr in the Scottish Cup in midweek.

    [onlymembers]The Steelmen stopper is now hoping to compound the misery for the Easter Road club with a weekend win – and gain some revenge, for two tight defeats, along the way.

    “The two losses against Hibs will add a little bit of edge to the game. We feel a little hard done by with the manner of the last two games with Hibs,” he admitted.

    “We should have got something in both games; we feel like we should have beaten them twice, so perhaps we can get some revenge on Saturday.

    “They are in a worse position than us right now, and could be suffering with low confidence. Most of the lads watched the game on Tuesday and we feel like we could get a win.”

    You could forgive Randolph for smarting after the departure of his central defence stalwart Mark Reynolds to Sheffield Wednesday but, instead, he is excited about the promise shown by Shaun Hutchison upon his return to top-team action.

    Plus, with new additions and the mooted courting of a couple of others, there is a feeling that the rebuilding process following the departure of Gow, Reynolds, Blackman and Fitzpatrick is now taking shape.

    “Players leaving the club are always a bit of a blow, but that happens in football. We are happy to get up and get on with it,” the Irish custodian said honestly.

    “I was gutted to see Mark go, but he’s a great player and need to look after his own career because he’s going to be a big success. But Shaun Hutchison, in his first game in 13 months, did really well and he’ll get better and better with time.

    “I’ve seen big Hutch in training and it’s no surprise that he’s come in and done really well. Also, everybody we have on the bench is good enough to come in and perform for us. I believe, when they get the opportunity, that they will take it.

    “We’re looking forward to getting some new bodies in. That will add to the quality we have here, and we know that chances will come in games and we need to take them – if we do that the results will come.”

    Transfers news aside, the former Charlton keeper is delighted with the impact Stuart McCall has made at the club in his short time in charge, and he fully expects the results to turn in the near future.

    “The Dundee game (4-0 win for ‘Well) was coming for a while, and I expect us to do that to a team in the SPL soon,” the 23-year old insisted.

    “Everything has calmed down at the club and the gaffer has put his own stamp on things. We’re used to his training methods now and everybody is loving life at the club at the moment and we are full of confidence.”[/onlymembers]

  • Archive

    SPL Community Report 2011

    First Minister Alex Salmond praised the positive impact SPL clubs are having on the economy and local communities.

    Charlie Bennett, Head of Adult Learning and Motherwell FC in the Community, helped launch the SPL Community Report at Hampden on Thursday, which unveils the unique contribution that SPL clubs make to the Scottish economy and society.

    [onlymembers]Motherwell FC has a significant impact on Motherwell and surrounding areas through engaging with the local community on a range of projects aimed at improving the lives of local people. The positive impact on their local area goes far beyond 90 minutes on a Saturday:

    • 1,500 participants per week take part in MFC community projects
    • 360 hours spent on community activity each week
    • 10 separate initiatives currently in operation

    Many of the projects are aligned with Scottish Government National Outcomes and aim to deliver on:

    • Physical activity & healthy living messages
    • Social inclusion to build strong communities
    • Creating employment opportunities and life chances
    • Reducing crime through diversionary activities

    SPL Community Report 2011 – the full document

    SPL Community Report 2011 – summary version

    On the launch of the report, Charlie Bennett said: “Here at Motherwell Football Club we will continue to use the power of football to engage, enthuse and motivate people irrespective of age, ability, or gender 

    “We are fully committed to offering all members of the local community access to the highest quality programme of grassroots football, lifelong learning, employability initiatives and health awareness programmes from which they can fundamentally change their lives for the better.”

    On a national level, First Minister Alex Salmond has given his backing to the Report and said: “I welcome the publication of this comprehensive SPL Community Report, which provides clear evidence of the very positive work that SPL clubs are doing in their communities.

    The Scottish Government recognises the valuable contribution that football clubs make to our local and national economy and to wider society. That is why we are supporting many of these initiatives and we are looking to develop these to ensure we maximise the local and national impact of our investment in football and sport.”

    SPL Chief Executive, Neil Doncaster said: “The SPL Community Report showcases the excellent work that has often gone unrecognised across our clubs. Those in charge of developing community activity have a wealth of experience and expertise that has been used to create new and innovative projects that now deliver benefit not only to their supporters, but also the wider community. 

    “The unique hook of a football club is being used to engage with traditionally hard to reach groups, and we are proud our clubs have such a significant impact on their local community.”[/onlymembers]