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  • Women

    Women put four past Aberdeen

  • Women

    Condie: Our levels won’t drop

  • Women

    Donald Jennow issues semi-final rallying call

  • Women

    Women draw Spartans in cup semi-final

  • Women

    Women reach Scottish Cup semi-final

  • Women

    Montgomery relishing Scottish Cup tilt

  • Women

    Women record biggest win

  • Women

    Caitlin Russell vows women will keep fighting

  • Women

    Donald Jennow takes over head coach role

  • Women

    Women claim SWPL2 title

  • Women

    Women put four past Aberdeen

    Women put four past Aberdeen

    Motherwell are closing in on a record SWPL 2 points total after defeating Aberdeen 4-0 at the Aberdeen Sports Village.

    The women of steel have racked up 49 points so far this season on their way to clinching the league title.

    With three league games remaining, Donald Jennow’s side are moving ever closer to Forfar Farmington’s league record tally of 52.

    The visitors broke the deadlock after eight minutes when top scorer Suzanne Mulvey turned provider for Lesley Condie, sending over a delightful cross that the defender nodded home from close range.

    Following the opening goal, the Dons responded positively, and it took a wonderful stop by Claire Johnstone in the Motherwell goal to deny Amy Phillips an equaliser.

    It looked as if ‘Well would take a slender lead into half time, but they would double their advantage in the final seconds, with the goal coming in bizarre fashion.

    Hayley Cunningham’s whipped corner evaded all inside the box and nestled inside the roof of the net.

    After the restart, Motherwell began to stamp their authority on the game and the third goal arrived after 57 minutes.

    Megan Burns capitalised on Anna Blanchard’s short goal kick, heading the ball through to Mulvey who made no mistake with her finish.

    The ‘Well captain added to her tally with 19 minutes remaining, seizing on a defensive mix-up to head the ball beyond the keeper and into the net.

    Jennow used the remainder of the game to give some game time to a number of his fringe players, as well as Kerry Montgomery, who missed last Sunday’s Scottish Cup clash with St Johnstone due to injury.

    Montgomery almost made an instant impact when she closed down Blachard’s clearance, but the ball spun inches past the post.

    In the final minute Sophie Jamieson breached the ‘Well backline to go clear on goal, but with just Kendall Welsh to beat, she pulled her shot wide of the target.

    Motherwell have now racked up three successive clean sheets and remain 16 points ahead of FC Kilmarnock at the top of the table.

    Next up is a home meeting with Hearts at Braidhurst, after which the team will be presented with the SWPL 2 championship.

    Picture: Maureen Lyall

  • Women

    Condie: Our levels won’t drop

    Condie: Our levels won’t drop

    Lesley Condie says Motherwell won’t let up in their pursuit of perfection this campaign.

    The women of steel travel to Aberdeen on Sunday for their penultimate away league fixture of the season, with a SSE Scottish Cup semi-final also on the horizon.

    Following a points deduction, the Dons require four wins from their last four games and a massive swing in their goal difference to avoid relegation.

    Despite their opponents’ struggles, Condie insists there will be no easing up from Motherwell when the two sides meet at the Aberdeen Sports Village.

    “Although we have already won the league, we are all still motivated to do as well as we can and continue on our successful run,” she added. “I think we would be disappointed in ourselves if we let our standards slip.

    “Everyone wants to be on the pitch playing, especially when the spotlight turns to the semi-final so it is keeping the tempo and standards high at training.

    “We had a tough game last week and we didn’t play as well as we could have, so the game against Aberdeen is a chance to put things right again and play the way we have the majority of the season.”

    The defender ended a four-year absence from the game when she joined the women of steel at the beginning of the season.

    Over the course of the campaign Condie has played a major role in ‘Well clinching the SWPL 2 title and in their progression to the last four of the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup.

    Motherwell have conceded just 16 goals across 21 games in all competitions this season.

    “It’s been fantastic, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season,” Condie said. “I had been out of the game for four years, so I was feeling a bit apprehensive about coming back. But it has been the best thing I have done.

    “We have a great group of girls, many of whom I used to play with and of course it’s nice for the defence to get a bit of credit for that success.”

    Having defeated St Johnstone in last Sunday, Motherwell will face Spartans in the semi final, looking to top off an incredible season in style.

    As the only remaining SWPL 2 side in the competition, Condie believes Motherwell will be considered underdogs, but says she and her team-mates are relishing the opportunity to test themselves on the big stage.

    “It’s massive for us, especially being a SWPL 2 team and then other three being top league sides,” she said.

    “We are looking at it as an amazing opportunity to see how well we can do on the big stage.

    “We know we are underdogs but that’s the beauty of the cup and we will certainly put everything we have into it. It will be a very exciting day for everyone associated with the team.”

  • Women

    Donald Jennow issues semi-final rallying call

    Donald Jennow issues semi-final rallying call

    Motherwell boss Donald Jennow has issued a rallying call to fans to turn out to support the women’s team in their forthcoming SSE Scottish Women’s Cup semi-final.

    After securing the SWPL 2 title, the women of steel booked the place in the last four with a battling 1-0 victory over St Johnstone on Sunday.

    Jennow is delighted that the players are reaping the rewards of all their efforts and believes they deserve all the attention that will come with a Scottish Cup semi final, which will take place on 14 October at Forthbank Stadium against Spartans.

    “From our perspective we went into the draw against a big three,” he said. “They are all SWPL 1 sides and all of them therefore would go into a tie against us as favourites.

    “The excitement comes in it being a Scottish Cup semi-final, it was well earned courtesy of a very hard fought quarter-final.

    “The more Motherwell fans we can get along there the better it will be for us. I know the reserves play a number of their games at Forthbank, so it’ll be a familiar ground for a number of ‘Well supporters.

    “My big thing is it’s the same badge on that shirt, it’s your club and we’re a part of it and trying to do the club proud.

    “If you can come along and give us a wee bit extra support then it would be more than appreciated.”

    Having wrapped up the title early and standing just one game away from a prestigious final, the head coach has rightly heaped praise on the achievements of his squad over the course of a magnificent season so far.

    “It’s a platform that the players deserve,” he said. “There’s a whole number of off-field issues that individuals have had to deal with this season

    “Football can be a different world at times, but there is a life away from the game and there are a number who haven’t had their troubles to seek.

    “I’m incredibly proud of the team of how they’ve handled and managed that, together with their dedication and commitment to playing for Motherwell.

    “Those two things together make them deserving of a place in the semi-final and the attention that comes with that.”

    Since taking over from Eddie Wolecki Black, Jennow has overseen two victories, a 9-0 win over Central Girls in the league, followed by the cup victory over St Johnstone.

    Currently 16 points ahead in the table, the team now have their sights set on finishing their league campaign on a high.

    Sunday will see the third visit to Aberdeen in as many months, the Dons will be reeling for a points deduction that almost certainly will see them relegated, but the ‘Well boss insists his team won’t drop their standards.

    “The first league game was so important,” he added. “We spoke about momentum and how easy it can be to lose that despite having worked so hard over the course of the season, so to win so well against Central was very pleasing.

    “We’re very keen to show the league the respect it deserves, we don’t want to end the season on a whimper and reduce the gap that we’ve worked incredibly hard to create.

    “I was also told the other day that there’s potentially some records there to be broken, so as competitors that obviously holds motivation for us too.

    “The plaudits always go to the players at the end of the day, they are the ones who win the games, score the goals and keep the clean sheets.

    “Wounded animals can often be the most dangerous and we know we’ll have to be at our best to win at Aberdeen.”

  • Women

    Women draw Spartans in cup semi-final

    Women draw Spartans in cup semi-final

    Motherwell will face Spartans in the semi-final of the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup.

    The women of steel will travel to face the Edinburgh club in the last four at Forthbank Stadium on Sunday, 14 October.

    Donald Jennow’s SWPL2 champions defeated St Johnstone on Sunday to book their place.

    Hibernian will host Glasgow City in the other semi-final tie.

  • Women

    Women reach Scottish Cup semi-final

    Women reach Scottish Cup semi-final

    Motherwell booked their place in the semi-final of the SSE Scottish Cup with a hard fought 1-0 victory over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

    The SWPL 2 champions are the only second tier side left in the competition, another fine achievement in what has been an incredible season for the Lanarkshire side.

    ‘Well boss Donald Jennow had to do without the services of Northern Ireland International Kerry Montgomery and the free-scoring Sammy Hare.

    Both teams came out the traps attacking, hoping to set tone for the rest of the game.

    Saints’ Rebecca McGowan had the first real chance of the match, with her early-hit shot heading for the bottom corner until Claire Johnstone got down well to make a strong save.

    It didn’t take long for the Fir Parkers to break the deadlock, with the opener coming after just ten minutes.

    Kirsty McLaughlin‘s deep free-kick found the head of Suzanne Mulvey inside the box, she knocked it on allowing former Scotland star Megan Burns to nip in between the defender and the keeper to bravely head home from close range.

    Although ahead, ‘Well were forced to make an early change when Caitlin Russell went down with a suspected hamstring injury and was unable to continue. She was replaced by Lauryn Reside.

    Ashley Nicolson came agonisingly close in the 30th minute when she got on the end of Hayley Cunningham’s corner, her glancing effort spun just wide of target.

    At the other end, Saints squandered a great chance to level when Rachel Todd intercepted a slack pass, the striker dribbled all the way to the by-line but was unable to wrap her foot round the shot and it went out for a goal kick.

    Just before the end of the half, another chance came and went for the Fir Parkers.

    Kaitlyn Canavan broke free down the flank before putting in a great cross into the box. The home defence managed to scramble the ball away from goal, but only as far as the supporting McLaughlin, whose driven shot drifted past the post.

    It was the hosts who started the brighter in he second half. Johnstone’s heroics in the ‘Well goal prevented Saints from squaring it up with just under a minute played.

    McGowan caught the Motherwell defence napping, intercepting a loose pass before bursting through on goal unchallenged. She looked likely to net, but the ‘Well stopper stood up to the challenge and got down well to keep the lead intact.

    With 55 minutes played, an unmarked Lesley Condie was just inches away from reaching Cunningham’s pinpoint cross as ‘Well looked to extend their advantage. However, Saints immediately broke on the counter attack, Ellie-May Cowie’s through ball fell perfectly for McGowan, but her weak shot was comfortable for Johnstone to collect.

    As tensions rose and the game became scrappier, substitue Reside had a golden opportunity to put the game to bed. Finding space in behind the defence once more, she raced towards goal and, with only the keeper to beat, opted to try and take it round Rebecca Cameron in the Saints goal. However, much like her counterpart at the other end earlier in the half, the Saints stopper was up to the challenge and got a foot to the shot before the follow up was cleared for a corner.

    With ten minutes to play, St Johnstone found another gear and upped the tempo as they chased the elusive equaliser. McDonald came close on two occasions when she found herself unmarked in the box, but was unable to convert as the women of steel held tight.

    Despite the late Saints push, Motherwell dug deep to win the game and book their place into the last four of the SSE Cup, with Burns’ eighth goal of the campaign proving to be the difference.

    Motherwell will face either Glasgow City, Hibernian or Spartans in the semi-final at Forthbank Stadium on Sunday 14 October.

    Photograph: Stuart Cowper

  • Women

    Montgomery relishing Scottish Cup tilt

    Montgomery relishing Scottish Cup tilt

    Kerry Montgomery is relishing the prospect of taking on St Johnstone in the quarter-finals of the SSE Scottish Cup and continuing an incredible season for the women of steel.

    The SWPL 2 champions travel to McDiarmid Park on Sunday with a place in the last four up for grabs.

    Saints present familiar opposition for ‘Well, with the two sides having faced off in league action twice this season.

    On both occasions Motherwell have come out on top. The first was an impressive 6-0 success, while the meeting at McDiarmid Park last month was a much closer affair in which Megan Burns’ late winner secured a 2-1 victory.

    “St Johnstone proved a tough opposition in the last meeting, so on Sunday we will need to be at our best to book a place in the last four,” Montgomery said. “We expect a hard challenge, but I think that’s the games the girls relish and when we show our best on the pitch.

    “To reach the semi-finals and face a potential top three SWPL side would be massive for us and provide a great opportunity to test ourselves and see what level we are really at.

    “A cup semi final would be a game everyone would be excited and desperate to play in, so Sunday is vitally important for us to go and get the win to give us that massive opportunity.”

    Despite having clinched the league title with six games of the season remaining, Donald Jennow’s side showed no signs of complacency as they produced a superb display to defeat Central Girls 9-0 in their last outing.

    Northern Irish international Montgomery is sure that the targets set among the players will help drive them on through the final games of the season.

    “The win over Central signaled our intent for the remainder of our season, we want to finish on as many points as possible,” she added.

    “It was a great team performance after the international break everyone was glad to be back on the pitch.

    “I think especially our striking duo are keen to keep banging the goals in to claim the top scorer prize.”

    With the step up to the top flight of Scottish women’s football on the horizon, Montgomery is excited about what lies ahead for Motherwell.

    The close season brought overhaul among the squad, but the midfielder feels the togetherness within the squad is very strong.

    “We are a very tight group for only being together nine months. There’s a good amount of experience among us which I think has helped us to be as successful as we have been so far.

    “The banter between everyone is great even with the staff too, training is always enjoyable which I think is important. I believe the club has a promising future going into the top flight next season.”

    Last month saw Kerry feature in Northern Ireland’s World Cup quaifiers against Ireland and Slovakia, moving her on 10 international caps. Despite losing on both occasions, she believes the experienced gained will stand her in good stead going forward.

    “The World Cup qualifiers were a brilliant experience. It’s always an honour getting selected in the squad and representing your nation.

    “We have a very talented group of players so I’m always learning and being challenged at the highest level, I’m looking forward to the next campaign and pushing for more senior caps.”

  • Women

    Women record biggest win

    Women record biggest win

    Motherwell handed new boss Donald Jennow the perfect start as they recorded their biggest victory of the season, beating Central Girls 9-0 at Braidhurst.

    Sammy Hare bagged four goals and Suzanne Mulvey a hat-trick, while Hayley Cunningham netted from the spot and Megan Burns added her name to scoresheet with a trademark long range strike.

    It was a highly impressive display from the women of steel, who showed no signs of taking their foot off the gas despite having secured the SWPL 2 title with five games of the season remaining.

    Hare opened the scoring within the first three minutes, Cunningham’s corner was only cleared as far as Mulvey who did well to turn her market and deliver the perfect cross for her strike partner to turn home from close range.

    It was one way traffic towards the Central goal and on the 10 minute mark, Hare doubled her tally and Motherwell’s advantage.

    Cunningham’s cross was parried out by Sarah King, but only as far as Hare who was left with the simple task of knocking the ball into the empty net.

    The visitors had struggled to settle into the game but did offer a rare threat on the counter attack and Kennedy almost reduced the deficit before Motherwell struck for the third time inside the opening half hour.

    Clare Johnstone in the ‘Well goal started the move with a smart kick out to Kirsty McLaughlin. The midfielder split the visiting defence with a superb pass to skipper Mulvey who drove forward before finishing in her usual composed fashion.

    Five minutes later Hare completed her hat-trick, McLaughlin again played a pivotal role in the build-up and the striker calmly slotted the ball low into the net.

    The hosts took a 4-0 lead into the interval and they made a blistering start to the second 45 – netting twice within three minutes of the restart.

    Firstly, Cerys Gilbride brought down Mulvey allowing Cunningham to drill home the resulting penalty and Mulvey would then add her second goal of the match converting the rebound after King had kept out Hare’s initial effort.

    Mulvey, Cunningham, McLaughlin and Hare all passed up opportunities before the seventh goal eventually arrived just before the hour mark.

    Kerry Montgomery and Cunningham linked well down the right and when the ball reached the penalty area, it was Hare who yet again was there to turn the ball home.

    Hare is enjoying a quite remarkable run of form in front of goal and has now netted 12 times in her last four appearances, taking her total to 20 for the season.

    Despite having a seven-goal lead, Motherwell continued to look to add to their advantage and with 20 minutes remaining, Mulvey would complete her hat-trick when she nodded in McLaughlin’s pin-point cross.

    The final goal of the game came with 11 minutes remaining, as Burns blasted home from range after a mix up in the Central defence.

    Incredibly, Burns’ goal brings Motherwell to 77 in 17 league fixtures this term, with a positive goal difference of 62.

    It also completed a dominant display from Jennow’s side that will set them up nicely for next Sunday’s big SSE Scottish Women’s Cup quarter final clash with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

    Report: Andy Ross
    Pictures: Craig Murray

  • Women

    Caitlin Russell vows women will keep fighting

    Caitlin Russell vows women will keep fighting

    Caitlin Russell insists there will be no let up in performance levels, despite Motherwell having already clinched the SWPL2 title.

    With five games still to go, the women of steel return to action after the international break when they take on Central Girls at Braidhurst on Sunday.

    Donald Jennow’s side still harbour aspirations of SSE Scottish Women’s Cup success, having progressed to the last eight of the competition, and Russell believes that is all the motivation they need in their remaining league fixtures.

    “We were delighted to wrap up the title so soon,” she said. “Now we can now use the game on Sunday as preparation for the big cup game against St Johnstone and the remaining games as preparation for the step up to SWPL1.

    “It’s been a remarkable season in many ways, when you consider all the changes during the close season and the mixture of young players and experienced players, including some who came out of retirement to join Motherwell.

    “Central have caused us problems in the past meetings this season, it has never been an easy game.

    “As a team we just want to keep the winning run going, we won’t let up just because the league is won, it’s our aim to go end the league season unbeaten on the pitch.

    “Looking at the cup game, we’ve beaten St Johnstone twice this season. But we still know it’ll take a massive fight to get into the semi-finals. If we can do that then it will present a great chance to challenge ourselves against the calibre of side we’ll be facing next season.”

    Following the departure of Eddie Wolecki Black to Celtic, ‘Well moved quickly to promote his assistant Jennow to the position of head coach.

    It’s an appointment that has went down well among the squad and Hibs loanee Russell says the familiarity between Jennow and the squad has made the transition an easy one.

    “Eddie was regarded very highly among the players, but Donald was always a big part and took a lot of the training drills, that has ensured the transition has been quite a smooth one,” she said.

    “Greg [Harrison] has also joined the coaching staff and he’s settled quickly, so we’re just looking forward to getting back to action after the international break.”

    Russell has enjoyed an excellent season in which she has found the net on 11 occasions and featured regularly throughout.

    She admits she is unsure as to where her future lies beyond the end of the season, instead focusing on finishing the campaign in style.

    “The reason I came out on loan was to get game time and to get my confidence back up and that’s exactly what Donald and Eddie have done,” she added.

    “From day one I’ve been made to feel very welcome and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the rest of this season will bring.

    “I’ll see out the remainder of the season before speaking over my future, I’m enjoying my football and as for what happens after that I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”

  • Women

    Donald Jennow takes over head coach role

    Donald Jennow has been appointed as the new head coach of Motherwell’s senior women’s team.

    Previously number two to former boss Eddie Wolecki Black, Jennow steps in after his predecessor’s departure to Celtic, after the women of steel claimed the SWPL2 title.

    Jennow has extensive experience both within the women and men’s game. He was assistant manager with Wolecki Black at Glasgow City for almost five years, followed by an almost two-year spell at League One side Airdrieonians.

    “It’s a fantastic opportunity,” said the new head coach. “We’ve got the foundations of a really good set-up here and it’s something I’m very excited to take on.

    “We’ve had success this year, just at the weekend we won the league, so to continue on is something that’s important to me.

    “I don’t like leaving a job half done, and while we’ve had a great start to things, there’s a lot more to come.”

    With the league title wrapped up last weekend with a 5-1 win against Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale, ‘Well still have interest in the SSE Scottish Cup. They will play St Johnstone for a place in the last four on Sunday, 16 September.

    Jennow, who is currently working towards his UEFA Pro Licence, will retain the services of goalkeeping coach Andy Moran. He will look to appoint an assistant of his own in due course.

    “Following Eddie’s departure for Celtic, Donald was the only name I considered and I am delighted he has accepted the job,” Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows added.

    “From the relatively short time we have worked together, it’s clear that Donald not only has the talent and the temperament to be a head coach in his own right, but that he’s very much ready for it too.

    “I think he’ll have the respect of the current squad and we’ve already had positive discussions about our first every season in the Scottish top flight, something everyone at Motherwell is very excited about.

    “I would also like to take one last opportunity to thank Eddie for his time at ‘Well and the infrastructure he helped created in just under one year. We wish him all the very best both in his personal and professional life.”

  • Women

    Women claim SWPL2 title

    Women claim SWPL2 title

    Motherwell are SWPL2 champions after defeating Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale 5-1 at Peffermill.

    The women of steel sealed promotion to the top flight of Scottish women’s football with five games of the season remaining.

    Victory over Hutchison Vale was rarely in doubt after from early in an encounter played out in driving rain.

    Lauryn Reside replaced Megan Burns in the only change to the ‘Well starting team from last week’s victory over Kilmarnock and she blasted home a wonderful shot from range to put the visitors ahead after only two minutes.

    Claire Johnstone in the Motherwell goal made a superb stop to keep the scores level as Hutchison Vale looked for a way back into the game. But they would find themselves 2-0 down on 17 minutes when Hayley Cunningham’s driving running ended with a shot that was parried only as far as Sammy Hare who tapped home from close range.

    The hosts would reduce the deficit just before the half hour mark, when Nichola Sturrock’s free-kick was nodded on by Anna Hume and Lucy Brown calmly slotted the ball home.

    Four minutes later it took another excellent stop by Johnstone to deny Sturrock an equaliser, but it would be Motherwell who regained their foothold on the match with a third goal.

    Kerry Montgomery’s free kick caught the home defence cold and Cunningham slid the ball across the face of goal for Hare to slot the ball into the net.

    Reside had a chance to add to her tally early in the second half before Motherwell made it 4-1. Cunningham again was the provider as she found Hare, who spun and unleashed a low drive beyond Charlotte Parker-Smith to complete her hat-trick.

    Hare is enjoying a remarkable scoring run and has netted eight times in the last three games, taking her tally to 17 for the campaign.

    There were chances for Kirsty McLaughlin and Caitlin Russell as the match drew to a close, before Cunningham completed a superb showing by converting Kaitlyn Canavan’s cut-back.

    The final whistle brought scenes of delight among the players and staff, who have all played a huge part in an incredible season.

    It was another magnificent display from ‘Well who have led the way in title race from a very early stage, racking up 14 wins and a draw in their last 15 matches and scoring 68 goals in the process.

    Promotion to the SWPL presents the opportunity to come up against the top sides in Scotland including Glasgow City, Hibernian and Celtic.