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    Motherwell U19s 2 – 2 Aberdeen U19s

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    Forbes keen to retain his place

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    Latest bids get underway

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    St Mirren Hospitality

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    McCall can’t wait for Accies derby

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    Officials appointed for Accies derby

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    Youths take on Aberdeen

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    An Exorcising Experience

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    McCall hails Steelmen spirit

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    Aberdeen win in pictures

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    Motherwell U19s 2 – 2 Aberdeen U19s

    Motherwell twice came from behind to rescue a point against Aberdeen at Bathgate this afternoon.

    Aberdeen went ahead at the start of the second half; Dominco Gibson tucking home from close range. ‘Well hit back through Josh Watt but were pinned back again when Joe Shaughnessy looped a header over Tom Bradley.

    However, with fifteen minutes left on the clock, super sub Keiran McGachie pounced to level things up and claim a point for his side.

    It was a fairly even start to the game with both teams looking to make a positive early impression. The visitors had one or two half chances, but nothing that would overly trouble Tom Bradley in the home goal.

    The first real chance of the game came on the thirteenth minute mark. A well-worked short corner on the right eventually found Steve Howarth inside the area but his intelligent near post flick ended just over the bar with the keeper grounded.

    Shortly after, the same player raced clear of the Aberdeen defence, after a lovely through ball by McKinnon, but dragged his shot just wide of the post.

    ‘Well were starting to get the upper hand and a super move involving McKinnon, Halsman, Griffin and Howarth was almost completed when Keiran McDonald wrestled space inside the area but his low shot was deflected just the wrong side of the post as the Dons survived again.

    The visitors began to creep their way back into the game and Tom Bradley had to look smart to keep out a deflected shot from Jamie Masson that the Dons had come close from a testing free-kick on the right flank.

    With eight minutes left of the first half, Aberdeen had the ball in the net with a bizarre own goal, Stephen O’Neill’s ball across the face met by Griffin whose clearance cannoned off Ewan Murray into the net. Thankfully the assistant referee had his flag up for a goal kick as the ball had already crossed the line before the initial cross.

    Neale Cooper’s side continued to push for the opener and Masson was denied again when his shot, from a Gibson cutback, was headed clear by Murray when it looked to be heading into the far corner of the net. And, on the stroke of half-time, Jordon Brown got in on the action but his back post header drifted harmlessly wide of the post.

    The second half was devoid of some of the quality play in the first-half but was far more exciting as a game.

    Evident when Aberdeen took the lead just seven minutes in. A cross from the right flank was touched away by Bradley, allowing O’Neill to collect. He got past Halsman before cutting the ball back for Gibson who was left with the simplest of tasks, tucking home from almost underneath the crossbar.

    Motherwell hit back eight minutes later with an equaliser of some quality. Ross McKinnon collected the ball on the half way line and put ‘Well on the attack with a terrific ball out towards Josh Watt who was lurking on the right flank. The little winger twisted and turned, leaving Clark Robertson on the ground before smashing home a terrific left footed shot high into the top left hand corner.

    Incredibly, within sixty seconds, Motherwell had the ball at the edge of the Dons area but Howarth’s attempted block was crowded out by a host of diving defenders.

    Another seven minutes past and, unbelievably, Aberdeen somehow got themselves back ahead. A corner kick from the right was knocked away by McGachie only for the unmarked Shaughnessy to loop a header over Bradley and into the net.

    Gordon Young’s men again chipped away looking for a leveller and found it courtesy of substitute Keiran McGachie. Steve Howarth was fouled on the edge of the area by Conor Devaney, allowing Ross McKinnon to have a dig at goal. The left-sider struck a stinging love drive that was parried by Lukasik, allowing the former Stenny man to pounce and he nodded home his second goal in successive weeks.

    With fifteen minutes left, and the game finely poised, both teams pushed for what would be the winner. McGachie brought out the best in Lukasik with a decent low shot that was saved and Josh Watt came close to grabbing his second when he got on the end of a Chris Connor cross from the right but his header bounced just the wrong side of the post.

    Connor himself had a late shot fly just over the bar on the stroke of full-time but neither side could add to their two goal haul and the game finished, probably deservedly, all square.

    Motherwell: Bradley, Griffin, Halsman, Murray, Sloan, McKinnon, Watt, McDonald (Connor – 75mins), Carswell, Howarth, Erwin (McGachie – 59mins)

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    Forbes keen to retain his place

    Ross Forbes hopes that an excellent midfield display against Aberdeen in midweek will herald a return to form – and regular first-team action.

    The gifted young technician struggled to hold down a place in the starting line-up under the previous management regime and has been a flitting performer for Stuart McCall in recent weeks.

    But, against Aberdeen in midweek, the 21-year old looked back to the form which saw him talked up as one of the hottest young properties in Scottish football in 2009, scoring five goals in ten matches form midfield under Jim Gannon.

    “It’s a fresh start for everyone and I’ll do my best to impress everyone at the club, and if I do well enough then I’ll stay in the team,” Forbes, who excelled on the left of a midfield diamond against the Dons, said.

    “It’s good to be back in the team and to bounce back with a 6-0 defeat with a great win up in Aberdeen is really pleasing – especially considered how well we played on the night.

    “The gaffer was a top player in the same position as me and I’ll be trying to take as much as possible from him and really learn the game more.”

    Forbes must hope that his accomplished display up north is enough to claim a place in the starting eleven on Saturday afternoon.

    Hamilton are the visitors to Fir Park for a Lanarkshire showdown, and the former Dumbarton loan-star admits that he is desperate to be involved in a game which he acknowledges has an extra edge.

    Ross continued: “We’ll take massive amounts of confidence from the win on Tuesday. Aberdeen is such a hard place to go and it was important to get the result with the derby coming up at the weekend.

    “There’s an extra edge to these games and we will be going all-out to claim all three points. But we know that we will have to play very well to achieve that.

    “We have to take the game seriously; we have lost and drew with Hamilton this season and it’s up to us to prove a point – you can’t look at the form, it means nothing for a derby game.”

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    Latest bids get underway

    The club’s official eBay store is full of claret and amber goodies you won’t find anywhere else!

    From signed merchandise to hospitality packages and money can’t buy experiences, fans have the chance to get their hands on some exclusive Motherwell memorabilia.

    Previous auctions have included match-worn shirts, signed footballs, programmes, tickets, and even sponsor rights. Right now, we have Steve Jennings and John Sutton’s Co-operative Insurance Cup Semi Final shirts, 1991 10th Anniversary Programme, Breidablik Home and Away programmes and a money-can’t-buy Restaurant Review with top ‘Well fan Tam Cowan.

    CLICK HERE to browse everything at our official eBay store.

    The club also run charity auctions from time to time where all proceeds go towards one of the many local charities we support.

    If you wish to donate an item please contact us on 01698 333 333 or email bid@motherwellfc.co.uk.

    Standard eBay terms and conditions apply to any purchases made on eBay. All items subject are to availability. Happy bidding!

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    St Mirren Hospitality

    Join us this midweek and enjoy the St Mirren game in style with one of our fantastic hospitality packages.

    Available from just £35 to Season Ticket Holders, a Season Ticket Family of four can book from just £110 (2 adults & 2 kids).

    Match Day Host, Stevie Kirk will meet and greet you at the door before showing you to your table. Expect a visit from First Team players and of course matchday photographer who will be on-hand to snap your lasting momento of your day.

    Meet your heroes of the past as MFC welcome our Former Players Club this weekend to join us in the Centenary for Stevie’s pre-match banter and fun and don’t forget to visit Motherwell Legend Dougie Arnott at the Bar!

    To book

    Virtual Tour

    Motherwell visual

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    McCall can’t wait for Accies derby

    Stuart McCall expects Saturday’s Lanarkshire derby to be a lively spectacle after making his ‘Well bow in a tame affair at New Douglas Park.

    A 0-0 draw with Hamilton, low on quality and incident, represented McCall’s first match in charge of the Steelmen, but the Motherwell boss expects much better this weekend after witnessing the passion of his troops in midweek.

    “I thought, in my first game in charge, it was quite mild really, but it was a poor match,” the former Bradford boss acknowledged.

    “I expect something fiercer at home. I looked at the boys in the dressing room on Tuesday and saw the desire they have, and they took that out on to the pitch. We need to show the same again.

    “In a derby match you can expect it to be frenetic and we need to be up for the fight, that’s for sure.”

    The ‘Well boss was quick to laugh off any suggestions that his side may take Accies lightly.

    Billy Reid’s charges lie rooted to the bottom of the SPL and look likely to be entrenched in a relegation battle for the rest of the season, but their form against Motherwell has been excellent.

    “There will be no chance of us underestimating them – we’ve played them twice this season and still haven’t scored against them,” McCall vehemently insisted.

    “It’ll be a battle; a scrap. But we’ll do our best and hopefully get the result – which is the most important thing. They are fighting for their lives and we know it will be tough.”

    The Motherwell gaffer was typically focused ahead of a massive Lanarkshire derby this weekend but, as he addressed the assembled press, he did take a moment to revel in a superb midweek victory at Pittodrie.

    Despite conceding and early goal – which would have been a death knell to weaker sides on a run of one win in twelve league matches – the Steelmen fought back to earn a deserved victory thanks to goals from Jamie Murphy and new striking star Franny Jeffers.

    It was a win which propelled the men in claret and amber back up in to fifth place in the SPL.

    “It was a massive result for a number of reasons,” a delighted McCall said. “We needed a result on the back of our defeat at Ibrox and then for us to go a goal down in two minutes was a big blow – but the lads showed great character.

    “The manner of the result really pleased me. I watched the game back the other night, before the Arsenal-Barcelona match, and I thought we were superb…then I watched those sides; we still have a way to go!

    “We played some terrific football, especially in the first half, and we thoroughly merited our victory. We’ll now look to kick on from that on Saturday, and look forward to three home games on the bounce.”

    Looking ahead, there looks to be some good news on the injury front, as McCall’s battered, thin squad gradually gets back to fitness.

    It’s been something of a nightmare for the former Scotland midfielder since his arrival, with the likes of Saunders, Hammell, Lasley, Jones, Craigan and Murphy all suffering injuries at one time or another.

    But there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel ahead of Accies’ visit, in terms of injury recoveries and the promising form of a new arrival.

    “We were only ever going to get an hour out of Franny (Jeffers) but, even apart from his goal, his movement and team ethic was superb,” the 46-year old praised. “He was unlucky not to get on the score-sheet more than once.

    “When a striker comes to a club he wants to get off the mark as quickly as possible so I’m delighted for Franny.

    “Hammy (Steven Hammell) is available now and we left Humphrey out at Pittodrie – he could come back in. This is the first time I’ve had a bit of a selection headache since I’ve been here, and that is what you want.

    “We still have a couple of people out but it is certainly clearing.”

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    Officials appointed for Accies derby

    Referee for this Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Hamilton Accies at Fir Park is Crawford Allan.

    It will be 43-year-old Allan’s seventh SPL game of the current campaign, having previously taken charge of Hibernian’s 1-1 draw with Inverness CT in September, Hamilton’s 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock two weeks later, St Mirren’s 2-1 win over Aberdeen, Hearts’ 2-0 win at New St Mirren Park and, most recently, the Jambo’s 1-0 success at home to St Johnstone last month.

    It will, of course, be his second Motherwell game of the current campaign after previously taking charge of the 4-0 destruction of St Johnstone in November of last year. He is also no stranger to the Steelmen or Fir Park having overseen two games here last season too.

    He was the man in the middle for the 3-1 success early in Jim Gannon’s reign when John Sutton, Ross Forbes and Shaun Hutchinson gave the ‘Well all three points.

    Some three months later, and almost a year ago from tonight, he officiated the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen when Gary McDonald, who would later be ordered off, cancelled out a Lukas Jutkiewicz opener.

    Tragically, Allan took charge of the ‘Well game on the 29th December 2007, forever etched in history as the date when Phil O’Donnell tragically passed away in the 5-3 victory over Dundee United.

    Phil’s death had a profound effect on the whistler, a Grade 1 official for nine seasons, but he won heartfelt praise for the way he handled what was an extremely difficult situation and his sensitive approach is and was appreciated by everyone at Motherwell Football Club.

    In another twist of fate, Allan is only one of two referees to have ever refereed a Motherwell away game at Fir Park as the Steelmen faced hosts Gretna during the 2007/2008 campaign.

    His record in charge of the ‘Well is a fairly decent one, with the Fir Parkers winning four and drawing three of the seven games in total. In those games, 23 players have seen yellow, nine in Claret and Amber, whilst three have been sent for an early bath.

    Allan will be ably assisted by Brian Templeton and Ross Haswell with Steve Conroy on fourth official duties.

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    Youths take on Aberdeen

    Motherwell U19s will look to get back to winning ways when the face Aberdeen at Bathgate tomorrow.

    Young’s men have lost two from the last three, going down to Kilmarnock and Hamilton, and need to pick up all three points to consolidate their position near the top of the table.

    A win for the Fir Parkers could, depending on goal difference swing, put them above the Dons and into fourth, still with a game in hand.

    The Reds were demolished 3-0 on their own patch by Celtic in their last match, two weeks ago, so it’s all to play for.

    The match will take place at the Creamery Park, Bathgate with kick-off at 1pm.

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    An Exorcising Experience

    It has taken slightly longer to get my feelings down on email and out to you this week – my apologies for that. It’s been a hectic week and this morning, before training, is the first real time I’ve had to actually sit down and put it together.

    What a week it has been! I spoke after the Rangers game and asked you, the ‘Well fans, to remain patient as our long term plan will, at times, be painful as our young squad mature. To that, I would like to thank each and every single fan that travelled to Pittodrie on Tuesday night. I hope we restored some pride after the defeat at Ibrox with what I think was probably the best performance since I arrived at the club.

    We were excellent! The players did everything I asked of them and more and proved, even to themselves, that they are good footballers who are capable of going to difficult places like Pittodrie and not only winning, but doing so in style.

    I know the fans were hurt by what happened at the club in December – I hope that win goes some way to exorcising some of those negative feelings.

    However, what is important now is that we build on that positive result. We play Hamilton tomorrow and I expect an extremely tough encounter despite their league position. I’ve been told from some of the Motherwell fans on the staff that we haven’t quite had the results against our Lanarkshire neighbours that we would want. I really want to put that right tomorrow and the players will be up for it as much as the Hamilton boys are, that’s for sure.

    I’ve been in charge now for 11 games, and only three of them have been at Fir Park. We played well against Kilmarnock and lost, we were poor against Hibs and won and only played for a half against Inverness and got a point. In the next nine days we have three games and I want to try and pick up as many points as possible and, if possible, put on a show for our fans.

    A big part of that is down to you, the fans. You can help us by coming along, supporting the team and pushing us to the wins we need to consolidate our place in the top six. This week could define our season, positive and negative, and hopefully, together, we can build on our three points at Pittodrie with a couple of wins at Fir Park.

    Thanks again and all the best,

    Stuart McCall
    Manager

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    McCall hails Steelmen spirit

    Stuart McCall felt character was the main facet of their victory after his team bounced back from the loss of an early goal to win 2-1 at Pittodrie.

    Goals from Francis Jeffers and Jamie Murphy overturned Sone Aluko’s second-minute strike to move ‘Welll back into the top six of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

    Motherwell moved the ball around with some confidence in the first half as they showed no lasting damage from their 6-0 weekend thrashing by Rangers, with the impressive Jeffers coming close on several occasions after heading a 14th-minute equaliser.

    The Lanarkshire side regained control following a scrappy period that followed Aberdeen skipper Paul Hartley’s red card and Murphy kept his nerve to fire a 71st-minute winner.

    McCall said: “It was all about character. We had a good word in the dressing room about not coming for a point and having a go.

    “We knew if we won tonight we could go fifth, albeit having played a couple of games more.

    “When you go a goal behind so early it’s easy to cave in, obviously after what happened on Saturday, but I thought in the first half we bounced back superbly.

    “There were a lot of big, big performances from a lot of players, even more so when we went a goal behind against a resurgent Aberdeen side, so character was the key.”

    The Motherwell boss dedicated the win to the ‘Well fans, insisting the Steelmen owed the Fir Park faithful with a performance after the defeat at Ibrox.

    He said, “I am absolutely delighted for the band of supporters that made it here tonight. I am so pleased for them.

    “It’s nice to be on a winning side. We played exceptionally well against Kilmarnock at home and didn’t deserve to lose. We went to St Johnstone, it was a poor game that should have finished 0-0, but we lost to a soft penalty.

    “You saw us in the cup semi-final against Rangers, we played some good stuff there. We have a limited squad but there’s a lot of quality in it.

    “It’s just trying to keep them fresh. We’ve got a game on Saturday, a game on Wednesday; there were a lot of tired legs out there tonight.”

    McCall hailed the “excellent movement” of Jeffers on his first start for the club and dismissed suggestions that Keith Lasley should have followed Hartley down the tunnel.

    Lasley caught the former Scotland International  when both men challenged for a header; Hartley responded by kicking the Motherwell midfielder.

    “I haven’t seen it again but I didn’t even think it was a free-kick,” McCall said. “Lasley challenged for the ball and won it and both players fell on the ground. I didn’t see what happened after that but I think Paul lashed out with his feet.”

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    Aberdeen win in pictures

    Pictures from the 2-1 win over Aberdeen in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Pittodrie.

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

    [svgallery name=”aberdeen150211″]