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  • Women

    Hibernian at home next in SWPL1

  • Women

    No fear for the women of steel

  • Women

    ‘Well lose SWPL1 opener

  • Women

    Women return to league action

  • Women

    ‘Well progress in SWPL Cup

  • Women

    ‘Well in crucial SWPL Cup clash

  • Women

    ‘Well lose to Forfar in SWPL Cup

  • Women

    SWPL Cup action on Sunday

  • Women

    Motherwell awarded Kilmarnock SWPL Cup tie

  • Women

    ‘Well start SWPL1 season with win

  • Women

    Hibernian at home next in SWPL1

    Hibernian at home next in SWPL1

    Motherwell return to home action in SWPL1 action on Sunday, with the visit of Hibernian.

    Having lost the opening fixture at Forfar Farmington, Eddie Wolecki Black’s team are in action at Airdrie’s Penny Cars Stadium. Kick off is at 12.30pm.

    The game is closed to supporters.

    You can watch a live stream of the match for £5. Click to buy your pass and watch.

    Tale of the tape

    Hibs have won all six encounters between the two sides, dating back to a first encounter in the Scottish Cup in June 2017.

    The last home match for the women of steel resulted in a 2-0 loss back in September last year.

    Form guide

    A 4-2 loss at Forfar Farmington kicked off the campaign for Motherwell two weekends ago.

    Hibernian meanwhile were 2-1 home winners against Spartans.

    Manager looking to bounce back

    “We didn’t start the season the way we wanted against Forfar,” said manager Eddie Wolecki Black.

    “Hibernian are obviously a tough test but we’ve shown in our last few home matches with them that we can cause problems.

    “Again, the team will play with no fear. Every game is an opportunity and we’ll be ready for the task in hand.”

  • Women

    No fear for the women of steel

    No fear for the women of steel

    Glasgow City going for their 14th successive league title. Celtic and Rangers pouring big investment into the teams. Hearts joining the division. Hibs continuing to look strong.

    If the Scottish Women’s Premier League 1 was previously a formidable league for Motherwell, that challenge has only intensified further in the last 12 months or so.

    But despite that strength elsewhere, the women of steel also have plenty to offer. One of those things is the lack of fear when taking on the challenges that lie ahead.

    With Eddie Wolecki Black at the helm, Motherwell returned to league action with a 4-2 loss at Forfar Farmington on Sunday.

    Scottish women’s football’s most successful coach has made it clear to his squad that he wants more success in Lanarkshire.

    “He’s very ambitious,” says forward Lori Gardner. “His message to the squad is just not to fear anything. We’ve got nothing to lose, go into every game to win.

    “We’re not just there to take part. We want to compete and win in every game. And that’s his message in every training session, about how we can hurt teams in the league.”

    Wolecki Black famously led Glasgow City to four successive domestic trebles between 2011 and 2015, and also took them as far the Women’s Champions League quarter-final for the first time in his final season.

    He returned to the women’s game in 2017 and was instrumental in securing Motherwell promotion to the top flight and helping them reach the 2018 Women’s Scottish Cup final.

    In December last year, he made the move back to Lanarkshire, hoping to improve on last season’s sixth-place finish.

    He set to work strengthening the side all over the park with with the likes of goalkeeper Khym Ramsay, defender Lauren Gallon and midfielder Kodie Hay all joining, while he has added more firepower up front in the shape of Lisa Swanson and Nicole Pullar.

    “We want to be competitive in every game,” said Gardner. “Last season I think we were just stuck in mid-table, but obviously this season we want to push on from that.

    “We’ve got a lot of new players in, we’ve got a good squad. There’s no reason why we can’t compete with the top teams and get further up the league.

    “I think it’s good to have a manager who’s got that experience. He’s brought in a lot of good players as well that have been at clubs he’s previously worked with. So there’s a good mix and there’s a good feel about the place.

    “Obviously there’s other coaching staff there as well, there’s not just Eddie. There’s Stewart Hall and Willie Kinniburgh and they bring great experience. Stewart has worked in the women’s game for a long time and Willie’s worked in the men’s game. There’s a good balance around the club.

    “All the girls get on really well which helps. Everyone is wanting to be part of a team. We’re all helping each other. It’s just a good environment to be around just now.”

    In Motherwell’s next two games, they host last season’s top two Hibernian and champions Glasgow City.

    The headlines around the SWPL have cantered on Rangers and Celtic going full-time, setting the stage for the most competitive season the league has ever been.

    If Motherwell are to compete then the form of tenacious forward Gardner will be pivota. But it’s an expectation the Bellshill-born 23-year-old is happy to take on.

    “Obviously I want to score as many goals as possible but I just want to help the team,” said Gardner, who made the move from Hamilton Academical in 2019.

    “I’ve been playing up front for the past few seasons but I quite like playing out wide so, getting more assists to my game is something I look forward to trying to do this season.

    “The strength of the league is good for the women’s game in Scotland. Rangers and Celtic are now pushing on with Hibs and Glasgow City. So there’s a more competitive edge to the league, especially for the title and Champions League spots.

    “It’ll be good to be part of this year. It’s exciting with all the new players coming to the Scottish game.”

    For now, games are being played behind closed doors due to the current pandemic, but when the gates do open again Gardner has pinpointed one team-mate fans should look out for.

    “Abby Callaghan,” she said. “She’s in and around the Scotland Under 19 squad just now, she’s an exciting young player. I think she’s one to watch.”

    By Andrew Southwick

  • Women

    ‘Well lose SWPL1 opener

    ‘Well lose SWPL1 opener

    Motherwell lost their SWPL1 opener 4-2 at Forfar Farmington on Sunday.

    After the initial 2020 campaign was cancelled in its infancy due to Covid-19, the new 2020/21 season brought a rematch of the opening game.

    The women of steel were victorious back at the start of the year but that wouldn’t be the case this time around.

    Doubles from Donna Paterson and London Pollard did the damage, despite Lauren Gallon also scoring two for the visitors.

    The hosts took the lead after 40 seconds. With goalkeeper Ramsay misjudging that the ball was going behind for a Forfar corner, an early set play opportunity arose.

    Working a short corner, the ball eventually came into the box from the left where the header was powered home by Paterson.

    Forfar dominated possession in the opening exchanges before Motherwell started to grow into things, with Lori Gardner being denied what looked like a stonewall penalty.

    Surging in from the left into the box, her run was cut short by the trailing leg of a defender, but the referee waved appeals away.

    As the game started to even out in terms of possession, the hosts got a second.

    Stopping a promising attack, Forfar swung the ball forward for Pollard  to chase. Showing power and poise, she rounded the goalkeeper before making it 2-0 with 38 minutes gone.

    ‘Well kept at it and would halve the deficit before the interval.

    Forfar failed to clear a corner and the ball broke nicely to Gallon on the right 12 yards from goal. Her first touch was perfect, before unleashing an unstoppable effort back across goal into the top left corner of the net.

    The next goal would be crucial but it would fall to Forfar 10 minutes into the second period.

    A run into the box down the left was ended by Roberts’ challenge from behind, with the referee pointing to the penalty spot.

    Paterson would make no mistake from 12 yards, slotting low to the left as Ramsay went the other way.

    The power of striker Pollard in attack had been causing frequent trouble which arose again with 21 minutes left.

    Playing a quick one-two just inside the Motherwell half, she sprinted through and kept Watson’s challenge at bay, before slotting low into the bottom right corner from just outside the area.

    Motherwell got one back only a minute later. Bursting up the park from kick-off and winning a corner, the flick on from the front post landed again to Gallon at the back to poke in.

    Rice would go close with a header as Motherwell pushed on to try and salvage a result but it would be Forfar who would start the season with the three points.

    Motherwell: Ramsay, Connor, Watson, Gallon, Roberts, Hay, Adams, Rice, Swanson, Gardner, Pullar.

    Subs: Crooks, Reside, Baillie, Sinclair, Callaghan, Skelton, Trialist.

  • Women

    Women return to league action

    Women return to league action

    Over seven months have passed since the last competitive game of football for our women’s team.

    This Sunday sees the return of SWPL1, with the women of steel traveling to take on Forfar Farmington. Kick off is at 2pm.

    You can watch the game live for £4 on our opponents’ live streaming service.

    Tale of the tape

    The sides met twice before the Covid-19 pandemic brought a halt to action.

    Motherwell were victorious in the first game at Station Park in SWPL1, before Forfar took the win in the SWPL Cup group stage.

    Shaping the squad

    The bulk of the team which started the aborted 2020 campaign has been retained by manager Eddie Wolecki Black, with further additions made.

    1Khym RamseyGoalkeeper
    2Rachel ConnorDefender
    3Lauren Doran-BarrDefender
    4Chelsie WatsonDefender
    5Lauren GallonDefender
    6Georgia CrooksMidfielder
    7Kodie HayMidfielder
    8Claire AdamsMidfielder
    9Jordan McLintockForward
    11Katie RiceMidfielder
    12Lauryn ResideMidfielder
    13Natasha RobertsDefender
    14Gill InglisMidfielder
    15Lisa SwansonForward
    16Lynsey BaillieDefender
    17Kaela McDonald-NguahForward
    18Lucy SinclairMidfielder
    19Lori GardnerForward
    20Abby CallaghanMidfielder
    21Ailey TebbettGoalkeeper
    22Nicole PullarForward
    23Georgie RaffertyDefender
    24Abby SkeltonMidfielder
    Setting the tone

    “Our expectations remain the same from earlier in the year,” manager Eddie Wolecki Black said.

    “We have players with top-flight experience, players who have been across the course with us before, and some young talent.

    “The early weeks of the season will give us the chance to build momentum and see where it takes us, in a league which has grown massively in strength.

    “We won this fixture at the start of the failed season, so we are capable of doing the same again.”

  • Women

    ‘Well progress in SWPL Cup

    ‘Well progress in SWPL Cup

    Motherwell progressed to the knockout stage of the SWPL Cup after a convincing 6-1 victory over Partick Thistle.

    Jordan McLintock netted a hat-trick, with Kaela McDonald-Nguah bagging a double and an own goal rounding off the scoring as Eddie Wolecki Black’s side topped their group with six points.

    After picking up three points from Kilmarnock and then being defeated at home by Forfar Farmington, the permutations were simple for the women of steel. Win – and progression would be secured.

    They wasted little time in making sure that would be the case in Airdrie, despite the visitors starting the brighter of the two sides and having the first effort of the match, with Craig’s drive testing Ramsey in the horrendous conditions.

    The opener came soon after though an own goal. Gallagher’s header skimmed off the surface and into the far corner of her own net.

    Motherwell then doubled their lead at the perfect time right before the break, the final action of the half seeing a brilliant team goal.

    Sinclair drove through the midfield and played in Puller, who had the vision to pick off McLintock for an open goal to give a two-goal lead at half time.

    McDonald-Nguah added to the scoring with a wonderful drive only a minute into the second half. She then added to her tally with another outrageous strike, with the ball floated to the back post, her acrobatic volley flew into the net.

    McLintock was next on the scoresheet, spinning the defender and slotting home with conviction to put Motherwell five up.

    Her hat-trick was complete when she controlled the ball in a tightly contested box and calmly finished another great move.

    Thistle pulled a goal back ten minutes from the end, with ex-Well striker Suzanne Mulvey rewarded for closing down Ramsey’s attempted clearance.

    First team coach Stewart Hall was delighted with the performance.

    “We had a poor result last week against Forfar, so we asked the girls for a positive reaction,” he said. “With six goals and three points, the girls delivered ten-fold. It was fantastic.

    “Kaela has two outstanding finishes, I couldn’t tell you which one was better. It was also great for Jordan McLintock to get a hat-trick.

    “We now have a squad of 23 strong, competitive players. Everyone is fighting for a place.

    “We will look for a positive performance against Hibernian and it is a match we know we can get a result in.”

    The women of steel now look forward to a return to SWPL1 action after an impressive victory, when they take on Hibernian at Ravenscraig on Sunday. Kick-off is 2pm.

    Motherwell: Ramsey, Black, Gallon, Watson, Inglis, Hay, McDonald-Nguah, Sinclair, Rice, Puller, McLintock

  • Women

    ‘Well in crucial SWPL Cup clash

    ‘Well in crucial SWPL Cup clash

    A win against Partick Thistle on Monday will send Motherwell through to the knockout stages of the SWPL Cup.

    Having picked up three points from Kilmarnock and then lost to Forfar Farmington, victory is required to top the group.

    Kick-off at the Penny Cars Stadium in Airdrie is at 8pm.

  • Women

    ‘Well lose to Forfar in SWPL Cup

    ‘Well lose to Forfar in SWPL Cup

    Motherwell’s hopes of progressing from the group stage of the SWPL Cup took a dent on Sunday, as Forfar Farmington took the points at Ravenscraig.

    Eddie Wolecki Black’s side were victors against the same side away in the league last weekend, but it wasn’t to be the same outcome on home turf.

    The hosts were dealt a blow 14 minutes into the came when full back Rachel Connor had to be subbed with a bad cut to her lip that required her to be taken to hospital to get stitches.

    Ten minutes later, with the home team still coming to terms with the injury, Forfar took the lead with a direct ball over the top that wasn’t dealt with correctly by the Motherwell defence. Billie Simpson run through and knocked the ball by the onrushing Khym Ramsay.

    Going behind kickstarted Motherwell and they would  dominate the remainder of the first half but failed to break the deadlock, despite several attempts on the Forfar goal.

    The closest the home side came to equalising in the first half was a well worked move that saw Abby Callaghan break free and hit an attempt straight at the Forfar goalkeeper from inside the box.

    The second half saw a change of formation for Motherwell but a poor start to the second half. Billie Simpson would double the advantage for the visitors from 30 yards, unleashing a strike that flew in to the top corner despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Ramsay.

    However despite the early goal, the second half was dominated by the Motherwell team who controlled large spells of the game and played most of the game in the Forfar half.

    After a passage of several corners Motherwell opened their account for the afternoon when Chelsie Watson was found at the back post to comfortably head home.

    Wave after wave of attacks saw Forfar defend deeper into their half and consistently make great defensive plays to stop Motherwell from equalising.

    Late on Motherwell were denied a penalty when Katie Rice found herself on the end of a great delivery into the box.

    She beat the oncoming Forfar goalkeeper to the ball and headed it past her, only to then be completely taken out by the Forfar number one. However, the Referee gave a free kick to Forfar, claiming the Motherwell captain had barged into the goalkeeper.

    Forfar now top the group with six points having played all their matches, with Partick Thistle on four points and Motherwell on three. Kilmarnock sit bottom with a solitary point with all three games played.

    Motherwell will face Partick Thistle in their final group match on Monday 9 March at Airdrie’s Penny Cars Stadium. Kick-off is at 8pm.

    With their superior goal difference, a win against Thistle would send Motherwell top and through.

  • Women

    SWPL Cup action on Sunday

    SWPL Cup action on Sunday

    Motherwell host Forfar Farmington in their second of three SWPL Cup group stage matches on Sunday.

    Having 1-0 away to their opponents in the league last weekend, Eddie Wolecki Black’s team play host indoors at Ravenscraig. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

    Motherwell sit with three points so far, having been awarded their tie with Kilmarnock 3-0 after the Ayrshire club were ruled to have postponed the match without due cause.

    The women of steel will take on Partick Thistle to finish off the group in another rearranged match. A date and venue will be announced shortly.

  • Women

    Motherwell awarded Kilmarnock SWPL Cup tie

    Motherwell awarded Kilmarnock SWPL Cup tie

    Motherwell have been awarded three points following the cancellation of their SWPL Cup group stage match with Kilmarnock.

    The league ruled that, due to the Ayrshire club calling the game off the night before the match on Sunday 16 February, they failed to fulfil the fixture.

    Motherwell now move to three points in the table, having yet to take to the field in the competition following the earlier postponement of the match with Partick Thistle due to weather.

    Eddie Wolecki Black’s side take on Forfar Farmington in the group stage at Ravenscraig on Sunday. Kick-off is at 2pm.

  • Women

    ‘Well start SWPL1 season with win

    ‘Well start SWPL1 season with win

    Motherwell opened their SWPL1 campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Forfar Farmington.

    Windy and blustery conditions made for very difficult conditions to play football, but Jordan McLintock’s debut goal ensured ‘Well returned back down the road with three points.

    Both sides made the first half very entertaining with both trying to play despite the conditions. It was Motherwell who were on the front foot, making the most of the wind at their back and pinning Forfar in the own half for the majority of the first half.

    In a strong 15 minute performance Motherwell saw four corners in a row cause the Forfar defenders issues without success.

    In the 35th minute Motherwell’s best attempt in the first half fell to Katie Rice. The visitors pressed high, forcing the Forfar defender to make a cross field pass which was intercepted by Kodie Hay, who drove forward and shot but the attempt was well held by the Forfar goalkeeper.

    The second half saw a much more competitive half, with Forfar changing formation and utilising the wind at their back to their advantage, but having no real efforts made on Khym Ramsay’s goal.

    Motherwell then began having more of the play again and forcing corner and corner without any success.

    Finally in the 85th minute the deadlock was broken. Rice drove down the left and put in a effort which saw they goalkeeper fumble into the path of McLintock. who calmly slotted the ball home.

    The last five minutes saw Forfar pile on the pressure through long balls forward into the box. But ‘Well held firm to take the points.