So far so good as Motherwell top SPL

Stevie Hammell strikes for goal against Inverness
Stevie Hammell strikes for goal against Inverness

Motherwell sit top of the SPL after the first round of matches and manager Stuart McCall was thrilled by their convincing 3-0 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Three excellent goals from Stevie Hammell, Jamie Murphy and Keith Lasley were enough to send the Highland club home on the end of a stinging defeat, although McCall was quick to praise their contribution to the match.

McCall said: “I thought Inverness played their part - the first half was an outstanding game of football. In the second half we had to dig in as they certainly could have scored a couple.

“The quality of our three goals were outstanding. Everyone will remember Lasley’s shot, but the movement and passing for the first two goals was terrific.

“Last season we managed a lot of clean sheets against the teams below us as we are confident we can score goals. The woodwork came to our aid on a couple of occasions but I thought our attacking play deserved the win.

“Three goals, three points and a clean sheet. I can’t complain about that!”

After McCall’s hands-off warning to teams interested in Murphy last week, the Phil O’Donnell Stand played host to 10 scouts from English clubs on Saturday, who were sure to have been keeping a close eye on the striker.

He said: “It’s no surprise there were so many scouts there because there were no other games on.

“People talk about the downside of coming back too early is that you can’t get boys on loan from English clubs. The downside for me is that teams have five or six games to watch our players.

“It was a good game to come and watch, and we’ve not only got Jamie, there others too like Chris Humphrey, and Shaun Hutchinson who would all benefit from at least another season in the SPL.”

’Well will be hoping to stay top of the pile of Saturday when they travel down the M77 to face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Full story in July 28 edition of Times & Speaker