Review of 2003/4 (2)

Last updated : 27 May 2004 By Firparkcorner

Racism gets the red card at East End Park
Clarkson came very close to two consecutive hat tricks when he scored the first of two goals which sealed the third round tie at Perth. A big ‘Well support cheered Scott McDonald when he scored his first goal for the club and we were rewarded with a home fixture against the Doonhamers in the fourth round.

Two league defeats followed both one-nil with late goals, against Rangers and Dunfermline and we slipped to seventh. The visit of Queen of the South ended the mini slump. The lower division opposition was dismissed (after a tense last half hour) and we had reached the quarter finals. We avoided the ‘big guns’ and were more than content with another home draw to ICT.

A top six finish was all but secured when we managed to mass twelve points from the next fifteen. The settled defence had its best spell when they secured three clean sheets on the trot. Craigan and Corrigan commanded the centre and Paul Quinn grabbed his chance for an extended run at right back. He eighteen year old played with composure well above his years and he caught the eye of many pundits and scouts. Stevie Hammell continued to deliver impressive performances on the left side and committed himself to the club by extending his contract.

Hammy keeps an eye on Cadette
By the end of February we were six points ahead of fifth placed Livi with seven games remaining before the split but there was the small matter of the cup quarter final to divert our attention. Almost eight thousand turned up on a sunny March afternoon each one hoping that a trip to Hampden would be won. But not even the appearance of 1991 cup winner Phil O’Donnell could bring us the semi final dream. Inverness won the game with a shot in a million. We were unable to find a reply.

The two or three hundred ‘Well fans who made the short journey to Parkhead for the next league game enjoyed a spirited performance and delighted in a Derek Adams’ goal forcing the home side to bring Larsson off the bench to level the score with twenty minutes left. Celtic’s long run of victories at home had come to an end.

We made the top half of the split with room to spare, two wins against Dunfermline and Aberdeen left us with forty five points and a positive goal difference after thirty three games. A magnificent achievement.

The SPL table at the 'Split'

There’s no doubt that the last five games were an anti-climax. There was little to play for but pride and the talk started to revolve around contracts rather than tactics. Our emergence from administration was welcome but one unfortunate side effect was that too many players were out of contract. Adams and Craig decided to move on and speculation remains over Lasley but there’s no doubt that we owe everyone of the playing and managerial staff a huge vote of thanks for their efforts this season. If next season’s achievements come anywhere close to the heights reached in season 2003/4 the support should be well satisfied.

The fixture list for season 2004/5 is due for release on 21 June. The start of the season can’t come soon enough.All the results, match reports and historical league tables are available here.

Review of 2002/3

Review of 2001/2