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    Jennings lauds talented Blackman

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    Inverness win in pictures

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    Inverness CT 1 – 2 Motherwell

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    Getting back to form

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    Brown keen to carry on good away form

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    Score Selector

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    Semi Final Date Confirmed

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    Tumilty’s in charge

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    Inverness: Tickets & Travel

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    A Cooper Brick for Christmas?

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    Jennings lauds talented Blackman

    Steve Jennings has urged Well loan star Nick Blackman to stay at Fir Park – after the striker apologised to his mates for his showing against Caley.

    The Blackburn frontman bagged a lucky winner in the Highlands to cement third spot in the SPL for the Steelmen.

    But after one of his poorest performances since arriving from Ewood Park in the summer, Blackman said sorry in the dressing-room at half-time and was eventually hooked by boss Craig Brown.

    Despite that, midfield ace Jennings would love Blackman to hang around in Lanarkshire until the end of the season and is almost certain he will stay put. Blackman’s deflected goal and Alan Gow’s header were enough to see off Inverness who replied late on with a Stuart Duff strike but now drop to fifth.

    Jennings was terrific in midfield and said: “I would love Nick to stay beyond January and I’m 99 per cent sure it will happen. I don’t see any reason for either party not to allow it.

    “He’s playing first-team football up here and I know he’s enjoying it. He came in at half-time and apologised to the boys for not playing well. But he still got the winning goal and he’s a fantastic player for us.

    “He has everything you want in a striker – he’s strong, sharp and can take people on. Hopefully he’ll still be here after January to help us to maintain our position in the SPL.”

    Well gaffer Brown was pleased with the win but not his side’s performance.

    He said: “We’re grateful for the three points but not proud of our display. We can do much better than that. It was patchy from us. On balance we deserved to win but it was a nail-biter near the end.”

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    Inverness win in pictures

    Pictures from the 2-1 win against Inverness CT in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at The Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.

    [svgallery name=”invernessct061110″]

  • Archive

    Inverness CT 1 – 2 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    First half goals from Alan Gow and Nick Blackman earned Motherwell a hard-fought three points against Inverness Caley Thistle this afternoon.

    Gow opened the scoring on 33 minutes with a neat header from a Chris Humphrey cross. Then, just before the break, Blackman doubled the lead with a deflected strike from distance which looped over Ryan Esson.

    Stuart Duff pulled one back for the home side in the second half but the Steelmen held on to record another away win and consolidate third place in the table.

    ‘Well boss Craig Brown made just one change from the side that lost to Hamilton seven days ago. John Sutton returned to the starting eleven in place of Ross Forbes, with the youngster having to be content with a place amongst the substitutes. Jamie Murphy returned to the squad but could only make the bench.

    Both sides started brightly in the highlands and there were early chances at both ends. It took just three minutes for Nick Ross to flash a low shot just wide of Darren Randolph’s post with the Irishman at full stretch.

    At the other end, Humphrey outpaced Graeme Shinnie on the right flank before cutting it back for John Sutton. The big striker managed a decent low shot but Esson brilliantly turned it round for a corner.

    The game settled down with both teams trading possession in midfield. However, Inverness almost got ahead via former ‘Well fans favourite Richie Foran on19 minutes. Jonny Hayes’ cross from the right looked comfortable for Steven Saunders but the defender slipped allowing the winger in. However, Randolph was quick off his line though and did brilliantly well to turn round.

    Three minutes later, Hayes was again involved, this time firing a low shot across goal but again the former Charlton man was on hand to tip round.

    ‘Well weathered a the storm and then had two quick-fire opportunities to take the lead as the half hour approached. Blackman almost took advantage of slack defending from a corner but his snap shot was instinctively beaten away by Esson again. Two minutes later, the keeper made another save, this time denying Tom Hateley from a free-kick.

    Brown’s men were beginning to get the upper hand and Esson was eventually beaten on the half hour. Humphrey played a quick one-two corner with Hateley before hanging a lovely ball towards the back post where Gow had the simplest of tasks to convert from close range.

    Two minutes later, he almost grabbed a second but his stinging drive from the edge of the box was tipped over by Esson with the Inverness defence at sixes and sevens.

    So it was no surprise that just before the break, ‘Well doubled their lead. Blackman picked up the ball about 30 yards from goal and his first time shot deflected off Grant Munro and looped over a stranded Esson and into the net.

    It was the last action of a good first-half for the Steelmen and Brown’s men started the second with the same intent; both Sutton and Blackman went close to adding a third but neither could take advantage of decent chances inside the area.

    Motherwell continued to dominate proceedings, playing some lovely football to boot. However, they were struggling to add the decisive third despite numerous chances.

    Steven Saunders almost got his first of the campaign but his shot, after a bursting run, was deflected away for a corner. Two minutes later, the same player got on the end of a Hateley cross from the right but could only head a yard or so wide of the post.

    Inverness had rarely threatened in the second half but they almost scored when Ross Tokely reacted first to a quick free-kick and delivered a lovely ball into the middle for Rooney, but the striker could only head over the bar.

    They did get back into the game with 15 minutes remaining though following a super goal by former Abderdeen man Stewart Duff. Rooney teed up the midfielder and from all of 30yards and he smashed a low drive past Randolph and into the net.

    The home crowd were buzzing and Rooney almost produced an equaliser two minutes later. Picking up on a loose ball on the right flank, he cut inside and curled a shot that flew inches wide of Randolph’s post.

    Shortly after, substitute Sutherland again went close with a shot from the edge of the area but Randolph always looked comfortable watching it wide despite the screams from the home support.

    It was certianly a nervous finish to the game but Motherwell held on for all the victory to put a four point gap between the two sides.

    [tab:As it happened]

    90mins FT: Inverness 1 – 2 Motherwell

    80mins – Caley are battering the ‘Well goal. Rooney fires wide, as does Sutherland. Come on ‘Well – please hold on!

    73mins – GOAL Inverness CT! Stewart Duff. From nothing Inverness are back in the game. Long range shot by the former Don that flies past Randolph.

    70mins – Great chance for Caley. Quick thinking by Tokely from a free kick followed by a great ball into the middle but Rooney heads over

    67mins – Free-kick for ICT on the right but the cross is cleared by Hammell!

    65mins – Saunders goes close again… Hateley ball from the right is met by the full-back but his header drops wide.

    63mins – Motherwell are playing some great stuff! Saunders broke into the box but his shot is deflected wide.

    54mins – Great free-kick from Hateley almost leads to a third but Saunders can’t connect at the back post.

    51mins – Superb ball from Gow plays Blackman in. Defenders do well to get back to cover but his shot flies just over the bar.

    48mins – Motherwell almost make it three. Great wee free-kick has Hammell dinking it up for Sutton but the header drops wide.

    46mins – Inverness get the second half underway. No changes from either side!

    HT: Fingers crossed for the second half! Good on Nicky Blackman for getting his fifth of the campaign.

    HT: Great first-half from the Steelmem. Game is still alive though and you fancy we’ve not seen the end of the scoring.

    45mins – HT: Inverness CT 0 – 2 Motherwell.

    43mins – GOOALLLLLLLLL Nick Blackman! Out of nothing, Motherwell double their lead. Long range shot deflected off Grant Murno before looping over Esson and into the net.

    33mins – GOOOOALLLLLLL Alan Gow! Humphrey plays a 1-2 with Hateley from a corner. Cross takes out the GK and Gow heads home from a few yards out,

    30mins – Hateley free-kick from 20-yards is once again well saved by Ryan Esson. Good wee game here at Caley!

    28mins – Down the other end, ‘Well almost take advantage of slack defending in the Caley area but a Blackman shot is well saved by Esson

    25mins – Low shot by Hayes is turned round by Randolph for another corner. Caley on top at the minute…

    22mins – Caley should go one ahead. Hayes cross from the right looked comfortable for Saunders but he slipped. Foran in, shot is saved by DR

    19mins – Craigan loops a header at goal, following a Hateley free-kick, but it is comfortable for Esson in the home goal.

    14mins – ‘Well fans are singing the name of former boss Terry Bucher… Still appreciative of what the big man achieved whilst at FP.

    5mins – Great move by the Steelmen there and an even better save by the ICT keeper. Good start to the match…

    5mins – ‘Well almost take the lead… Humphrey bursts down the right. His cut back finds Sutton but his low shot is turned away by Esson.

    3mins – Nick Ross almost puts Caley ahead with a low shot that drops inches past the post. Close shave…

    1mins – Motherwell kick-off


    Motherwell midfielder Tom Hateley:

    “It was great for Nick to get a goal as well. Sometimes they go over the stand and other times they go in the net but thankfully this one went in.

    “He worked hard, up against two good centre-halves. It was always going to be a battle for him and sometimes our delivery wasn’t great.

    “But he did what he had to do and got on the scoresheet as well. He’s been great for us since coming here and hopefully he stays longer when his loan spell is up. Everyone at the club wants to keep him here including the fans because he’s scored so many important goals, like against Rangers and Hearts.

    “With that left foot of his he must be one of the most entertaining players in the SPL in full flight.”

    Inverness Caley goalscorer Stewart Duff:

    “I don’t know how we can do so well against Rangers then be so poor just a week later. Our gaffer Terry Butcher has said some harsh words to us and we’ve all held up our hands.

    “All the boys realise the performance was not acceptable but maybe we’ve believed a bit of our own hype last week after what we did at Ibrox.

    “What we’ve achieved so far has all been about hard work and determination but that wasn’t on show out there against Motherwell.

    “It looks as though we’ve rested on our laurels after last week’s result.My goal gave everybody a lift and we tried to get back in the match. But it would have been a robbery if we had taken a point.

    “We now need to get ourselves up for the game on Tuesday night against Aberdeen.”


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  • Archive

    Getting back to form

    Darren Randolph admits he is desperate to get back into action and right a few wrongs from last weekend’s derby day defeat.

    Despite being expected to beat the neighbours from the south, Craig Brown’s men slumped to a 1-0 defeat to the Accies and the Irish keeper is honest enough to express his disappointment at the way things went.

    “Everyone was a little bit embarrassed by the defeat,” The big stopper said candidly. “We were expected to win and we didn’t play well and we lost at home. So everyone is itching to get back on the pitch and correct last week.

    “We seem to react well to setbacks. There is a lot of belief in the squad. We know we can play a lot better so we will go to Inverness with a positive mentality.”

    It may take more than just a positive mentality to defeat Terry Butcher’s side.

    The Highlanders have started this season in blistering form, and welcome ‘Well to town on the back of a superb 1-1 draw at Ibrox – ending the champions’ 100% record this season.

    The challenge of the trip north is certainly not lost on Randolph, who has some inside knowledge of the Caley camp: “You can tell by their league position that they have been doing okay. Hopefully they are better away from home than they are at home, and we are good away from home – apart from the Rangers game.
    “Jonny Hayes and Adam Rooney were both in my Irish team when we were younger and hopefully they make me look good on Saturday! I’ll have to have a word with them before we play.

    “Adam and Jonny have had a great start to the season and when you think about Inverness they are definitely the danger men. So if we can stop them, hopefully it will make the game a little bit easier.”

    Talking to the assembled press, the 23-year old’s keenness for a shut-out shines through, and he is looking to combine that with a winning performance which will see Motherwell extend their lead in third spot.

    Caley have overachieved magnificently this season and a win will see them jump into third spot, adding more spice to a match the ‘Well keeper is already itching to get played.

    “I’m happy I’ve managed to keep quite a few clean sheets, and hopefully I can get another one at the weekend on the way to a win,” he insisted. “But I’m more interested in just keeping that third position.

    “As long as we win, I’m not really bothered. We have played everyone now apart from Inverness and we believe we can keep third place.”

    Randolph’s belief in Motherwell’s best-of-the-rest credential is admirable, but he is analytical enough to realise there will be plenty of challenges between now and the end of the season, in an SPL where it seems anyone can beat anyone.

    That was perhaps summed up best last week as Hamiton (11th at the time) defeated ‘Well (3rd).

    “Even the teams that we’ve played that were at the bottom of the table have impressed me,” he admitted. “Some of them certainly haven’t played like they were at the bottom. It’s a league where everyone can beat everyone”

    “Obviously that doesn’t count – barring the odd upset – the top two, but we hope to be just below them.”

  • Archive

    Brown keen to carry on good away form

    Craig Brown is desperate for ‘Well to continue their excellent away form this season with a win in Inverness, and at the same time banish the memories of a disappointing Lanarkshire Derby to the recesses of history.

    The Steelmen have only lost one away match this campaign, and can look back on successful trips to Hearts, St. Johnstone and Kilmarnock so far – but the mammoth trip to the Highlands could be the toughest so far.

    Naturally, the gaffer is keen to carry on the excellent record on the road: “Having only lost one away game we can go to any venue without any inferiority complex; we know we are capable of winning in difficult places.

    “We were well in the game against Rangers up until around the hour mark, so even that defeat was not reflective of our performance.

    “I think it is fashionable to win away from because the onus is on the home team to attack, the crowd is sucking them forward and it is hard to keep the defensive discipline when the expectation is that you should attack. That is something we will look to exploit.”

    Despite Brown’s palpable confidence, he is all too aware that Terry Butcher’s high-flying Caley will pose a huge threat to his troops.

    The newly-promoted Highlanders currently sit in fourth spot in the SPL, and could leapfrog the Lanarkshire men into third spot with a win on Saturday.

    By most accounts Caley have overachieved, but it isn’t something that surprises the ‘Well boss.

    He continued: “Inverness have a winning mentality after being promoted last year. Because a team is used to winning matches they keep on winning and play well.

    “Every team which comes up usually does well, you can see that with the likes of Blackpool and, previously, Hull City in the English Premiership. That is the norm.

    “It will be a case of retaining that in the face of adversity, which more established teams might be used to.”

    ‘Well are looking for a good response following the controversial 1-0 defeat against Hamilton last weekend, but the boss refutes any suggestion Motherwell were poor in the defeat. Instead he is looking for a turnaround in fortunes.

    “I thought our response in the second half of the match was good,” he said. “But there were mitigating circumstances last week.

    “We had all the possession and all the attack; the corner count was ten against two. If we were hopeless and never in the game then I would be worried, but apart from the goal we were good, and there is certainly no despondency about.

    “We missed a penalty and arguably should have had another two, but these are ‘ifs and buts’, and I don’t like to dwell on those.”

    Two players who will have a huge bearing on Saturday’s result – whether due to their presence or their absence – will be Keith Lasley and Jamie Murphy.

    Both players missed out on the defeat to Hamilton last weekend, and Brown is keeping his fingers crossed they could make a welcome return at the Caledonian Stadium.

    “Lasley and Murphy will travel to Inverness and they are in contention for selection,” he confirmed.

    “We’ll know more after our final training session, but at the moment we are hopeful they will be available.”

  • Archive

    Score Selector

    With almost a quarter of the season gone how are you performing in this year’s Clydesdale Bank Score Selector?

    Whether you are chasing for glory, falling behind or yet to even feature this season, there are still lots of superb prizes up for grabs.

    The top points scorer every month instantly wins £500 and our weekly winner secures a Clydesdale Bank personal DAB digital radio.  So even if you have missed a couple of weeks or are yet to register, you can still be a winner.

    Our prize of £5000 for the first person to correctly predict all 6 Clydesdale Bank Premier League results over the course of a weekend is also still available.  So if your football knowledge is up to scratch you could secure the prize in the run up to Christmas.

    You can also help us out in the club mini leagues section by securing as many points as possible and guiding us to the top of the Score Selector league.  As well as club leagues Score Selector also offers fans mini leagues so you can pit yourself against friends, family and workmates as you attempt to predict the weekend’s SPL results.

    For your opportunity to win the great prizes on offer visit www.cbfootball.co.uk.

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    Semi Final Date Confirmed

    Motherwell’s Co-operative Insurance Cup Semi Final clash with Rangers will take place on Sunday 30th January 2011 and will be shown live on the BBC.

    Having disposed of Brechin City and Dundee United in earlier rounds, the Steelmen face Walter Smith’s men at Hampden with the winner taking their place in the lucrative Final in March.

    Motherwell last played at this stage back in 2006 when a last-minute Shaun Maloney goal broke hearts and helped Celtic advance.

    Craig Brown will be hoping to go one better this time around but face a difficult task against the current holders.

    Kick-off for the match will be 3pm.

    Ticket Information has yet to be confirmed.

  • Archive

    Tumilty’s in charge

    Referee for Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Inverness Caley will be Mike Tumilty.

    Despite it only being week 11 of the 2010-2011 SPL calendar, 39-year-old Tumilty will be taking charge of his third ‘Well game of the campaign, having previously been the man in the middle for the 1-0 win at Rugby Park back in August and the 2-0 away success at Tynecastle at the end of September..

    It will be Mike’s fifth SPL encounter of the season; he overseen Dundee Utd’s 3-1 win over Aberdeen, infamous for former ‘Well boss Mark McGhee been sent to the stand for kicking a wayward ball and St Johnstone’s 2-1 win over Hamilton at New Douglas Park.

    He was also the man in charge as Rangers ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over Kilmarnock in the Co-operative Insurance Cup Quarter Final last midweek.

    Three games is more than he managed the whole of last season, where he took charge of just the one ‘Well game. That was at Fir Park; a single Lukas Jutkiewicz goal was enough to give the Steelmen a 1-0 win over local rivals Hamilton Accies in February.

    The season before last, he overseen the home win against Accies (again) as well the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Kilmarnock in a miserable Monday night at Fir Park – live on the now defunct Setanta Sports.

    His overall record in charge of Motherwell is pretty good. Of the nine Motherwell games he has officiated, the Steelmen have won seven, drawn nil and lost two. Sixteen goals have hit the back of the opponents net, whilst only seven have been conceded.

    30 yellow cards have been flashed in those games, 18 to a player wearing Claret and Amber. Thankfully, not one single player has seen red.

    He will be ably assisted by James Bee and Keith Sorbie with Brian Colvin appointed as fourth official.

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    Inverness: Tickets & Travel

    Motherwell will hope to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat at home to Hamilton when they take on Terry Butcher’s Inverness in the Highlands.

    ‘Well fans will make the long journey up the A9 hoping the Steelmen can continue their very decent record at the Caledonian Stadium, having won eight times from twelve in the Highland Capital.

    However, Butcher and Malpas, who enjoyed a successful spell at Fir Park, have Caley playing excellently well and a point at Ibrox last Saturday was warning enough, if it was required, of their quality.

    Craig Brown will also remember all too well the Scottish Cup tie their last January when the home side ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.

    It’s third versus fourth; the scene is set for what should be an enthralling encounter.

    Motherwell fans will be housed in the usual South Stand with tickets available on the gate priced at:

    Adult: £20
    Concession: £15

    * Concessions are listed as Senior Citizens (born on or before 31st July 1950) and Full-Time 10/11 School, College or University students.
    * Fans requiring Wheelchair Accessible Area tickets should contact the club at
    tickets@motherwellfc.co.uk or telephone 01698 338068



    The Motherwell Supporters Association will run a joint coach to Saturday’s match in Inverness. Picking up at Wishaw at 9.30am, then at the Bentley Hotel at 10am.

    To book seats please phone Anne on 01698 470601 or email andrew.sim48@btinternet.com as soon as possible OR Phone Jim on (01698) 299650 or e-mail Christopher on christopher_hutton@btinternet.com to book seats.

  • Archive

    A Cooper Brick for Christmas?

    With Christmas just over seven weeks away, why not order your commemorative brick at Fir Park so it is fitted and in-place for when Santa visits.

    For a nominal sum, you can purchase a brick fascia with your own personal message; your name, motto or date of birth; to commemorate an anniversary or celebrate the life of a loved one.

    Or given the festive season is now approaching, perhaps a message with a touch of winter cheer

    Each new brick is added to our ever growing wall, which is situated at the turnstile entrances of the Davie Cooper Stand. It’s the perfect way to make your mark at Fir Park and show your unswerving loyalty to Motherwell and celebrate the holidays.

    Each brick comes with an Official Certificate, which can be framed and kept by the recipient as a permanent reminder. If you order now, this – along with the brick placement – will be yours in plenty of time for December 25th.

    Cement your name in Fir Park history now by contracting the club. Cooper Wall Bricks cost only £30, so call our commercial team on 01698 338008 or email buyabrick@motherwellfc.co.uk.