Another close call...
The Great Escape
Last season was another that many 'Well fans would like to forget, but given the extraordinary circumstances of our escape I doubt many will. We ranged from being mediocre to brilliant and from solid to decidedly shaky. The closing few games were true Roy of the Rovers stuff and here is our breath-taking escape in its gruesome detail.
Sat. 12th April.
Motherwell 5-0 Raith Position - 9th
At this time Raith weren't down and we needed a good win to give us a chance of avoiding the playoff. Goals from Falconer, Weir, Coyle and a Coyne double gave us a crucial win. We were the favourites to win but not even the most optimistic 'Well fan would have foreseen this result.
Sat. 19th April.
Motherwell 1-1 Dundee Utd Position - 9th
Kilmarnock 1-1 Hibs
With a trip to Ibrox looming we needed to take three points from this one. Killie and Hibs were playing and we need a winner there. We started well and a TC penalty put us one up at half-time but ten man United over-ran us in the second half. To make matters worse the points were shared at Rugby Park. A playoff against Airdrie looked a very real possibility.
Sat. 3rd May.
Dunfermline 3-1 Kilmarnock Position - 9th
We really needed the Pars to do us a favour and they did. Kilmarnock never looked like taking anything from the game and they lost Paul Wright to injury after a terrible thigh high challenge.
Sun. 4th May.
Hibs 1-3 Celtic Position - 9th
Sadly we wanted Celtic to win but Hibs losing was the main thing. Celtic were all over Hibs and should have won by a lot more.
Mon. 5th May.
Rangers 0-2 Motherwell Position - 7th
Most 'Well fans thought we'd be doing well to take a point but we ripped into the evil ones with a style and hunger that had been missing all season. Two goals from Owen Coyle gave us a vital win although most Rangers 'fans' would have missed the penalty. As we are all very honest we happily admit it was two nil going on five.
Wed. 7th May.
Celtic 0-0 Kilmarock Position - 8th
Again we wanted Celtic to win but this time we didn't get it. Celtic looked lethargic and tired after a long season. Kilmarnock had the better chances and were unlucky not to take all three points.
Sat. 10th May.
Motherwell 2-2 Dunfermline Kilmarnock 1-1 Aberdeen Raith 1-1 Hibs
Position - 8th
Another big day at Fir Park, almost the sort of game every fan looks forward to! Fir Park was packed and the kick off was delayed to let the fans in. Where were they all season? Just to show how close we came to meeting Doddies diamonds here are the vital moments all over again . . .
3.00pm The Hibs and Kilmarnock games kick off. Due to massive 'Well support the kick off at Fir Park is delayed. At the start of play Hibs are in the playoff spot.
3.05pm The Motherwell game kicks off five minutes late to let the bumper 9676 crowd in.
3.07pm The first roar of the day at Fir Park as Raith go one up on Hibs. This was crucial as if Hibs scored first they would probably of crushed Raith.
3.24pm Hibs equalize and murmurs go around Fir Park. Despite their goal Hibs are still in the playoff.
3.34pm Another roar as Kilmarnock go a goal down. This puts them into the playoff. Although we haven't done anything we are looking very safe.
3.37pm Fir Park erupts when Micky Weir volleys home with the help of a slight deflection. Things were running smoothly as we were winning while Killie and Hibs weren't. Would things continue so well?
3.43pm Obviously things didn't go well as Hamish French scored after an Andy Smith knock down. We gave away a daft free kick and left Ian Ross to mark Andy Smith. Another great Claret and Amber defensive play.
3.45pm Half-time at the other grounds. Neither Hibs or Killie winning so the other teams were doing their bit. Kilmarnock still have the pleasure of meeting Airdrie.
3.50pm Half-time at Fir Park. We're not winning but with other teams slipping up we're still safe.
4.00pm The games in Fife and Ayrshire restart.
4.05pm Restart at Fir Park.
4.19pm Nooooo! Disaster strikes as Dunfermline take the lead. Fir Park despairs as David Bingham smashes home from eighteen yards and we relieve Kilmarnock of the playoff place.
4.28pm To add to our anguish Kilmarnock equalize. Hibs are still drawing, to keep us in the dreaded second bottom place.
4.33pm Yeesss! A screamer, a peach, a stoater, an absolute humdinger from thirty yards! Big Mitch smashes one in and 'Well fans go delirious. Why hasn't he done that before? Hibs go back into the playoff place and have just twelve minutes left at Raith.
4.45pm It's all over (nearly). Hibs can only draw at Raith (any team that draws at Raith deserves to go down). We have five minutes left to hang on.
4.46pm Killie draw and guarantee safety. To skip them we have to win but a draw keeps us ahead of Hibs.
4.51pm We did it! We're safe! Goal difference keeps us from meeting Airdrie. Jubilant Motherwell fans invade the pitch. The team come back out for a lap of honour to celebrate the sacred eighth place.
Safe last year - what this season will bring?
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