The 2000 Scottish Cup ended in disappointing fashion (don't they all?) but we endured an epic third round tussle with Arbroath. The first tie at Gayfield was abandoned due to high winds at half time despite us leading 1-0 from a Derek Townsley cross which found the net after being caught by a particularly strong gust. We returned north to secure a 1-1 draw thanks to a goal from Don Goodman but the replay at Fir Park also had plenty of problems. The game was postponed twice, once incredibly late, and this meant we actually played the game when everyone else was playing their 4th round ties! We progressed thanks to another inspired performance from Goodman and met Ayr in the next round. We knew a win would set us up nicely with home quarter final against Partick Thistle but needless to say we blew it big style and lost a thriller 4-3.
The last replay but one was actually ten years ago in the 1998 Cup. We played four games that year yet still managed to go out in the fourth round - not too impressive! It all started at Boghead, one of the 'classic' Scottish grounds from years gone by. A large travelling support saw us pummel Dumbarton yet as the game ticked on we only had one goal to show for our efforts. Then, horrifically, they equalised with a penalty kick. We fell apart and with just minutes remaining a defensive lapse allowed their centre forward through on Stevie Woods. Glory waited for the Sons but Woods produced a breathtaking save to keep us in it. The replay at Fir Park was an absolutely dire match as we failed to create many chances against the lower league side. Late in the game we finally got the break when Arnott headed across goal for Coyle to poke home but we had some nervous minutes to deal with as Dumbarton threw everything at us in search of an equaliser. They even hit the post with virtually the last kick of the game but we held on to meet Rangers in the fourth round.
Readers of a nervous disposition should look away now. The fourth round tie went to a replay but only because of one horrific career defining moment in the career of Stevie Woods. Woods was frequently a disaster for Motherwell but he did do some good - the Dumbarton tie, for instance - but even his staunchest supporters were left speechless here. A big crowd huddled inside Fir Park to see Coyne give us the lead before Rangers equalised inside the first half. The game swung from end to end and with fifteen minutes to go McMillan whipped in a free kick which Gough could only turn into his own net and the home fans erupted. Fir Park was rocking as we were within touching distance of eliminating Rangers from the cup for the first time in 37 years. It wasn't to be though as the tale of two goalkeepers cost us. Woods received a harmless pass back and rather than belting it down the pitch inexplicably gave it to Durie as he tried to play a cute pass. Durie, unable to believe his luck, missed the target with his shot but it hit Woods' leg and went in anyway. At the other end Goram then produced an incredible save to keep his side alive. The replay at Ibrox was predictably an anti-climax. We fought hard but lost 3-0 but the damage had been done in the first game.
Another cup horror show was ingrained on the psyche of the 'Well support.
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