St Mirren - 24 Hours On

Let’s face it, I was very confident going into the game but there was no reason not to be. St Mirren, decent though they may be, are still a First Division club. They played well against us earlier and failed to beat us and that was when we had a mini-injury crisis. Yesterday, if not a walk in the park, was a game we should have been able to win. But no, we blew it big style. Those older than myself will remember similar horror stories from the Cup in years gone by. Even I have learned by now that occasionally Motherwell throw in an inexplicably bad performance on the big occasion, just to test your resolve. Remember the League Cup semi final 11 months ago? It was universally agreed that it made up for losing quarter finals and seeing the likes of United and St Johnstone beat us by five goals. Yesterday can only be looked at as a huge investment in the pain column that will be paid back eventually – perhaps even on February 1st!

Well fans at Love St

However, the real pain started on Sunday afternoon. Celtic losing to Clyde was highly amusing but it gave me that nagging feeling in my stomach that someone will get a clear run to the final without having to play the old firm. But even so, the 4th round draw was the real killer. We would have been given an away trip to Spartans – and we should have been able to cope with them!. The other ties were what pushed me over the edge – Hearts v Aberdeen and Rangers v Hibs will be sensational games no doubt but it means that in all likelihood there will only be two (or three at the most) top half SPL teams in the quarter final draw. That’s the worst part of this weekend. Knowing that Motherwell will rarely ever have a chance at being favourites to win something but if we had been in this fourth round draw we would be looking at as good a chance of making the final as we’ve ever had.

Of course, that is just the feeling just now. The quarter final draw may have given us Hearts or Rangers away – in which case Spartans could reach the final for all the difference it makes to us. We just have to accept that along with the sensational highs we all feel when things go well we must take the punch in the guts that comes when we inevitably blow it. This Motherwell side is not great but we are safe financially and in the league and if we want to improve radical change might be needed. But remember it is only three years ago we in administration and staring the First Division (and with it potential oblivion) in the face. A third round exit is disappointing but ultimately it is the massive swings from low to high (and back) that make supporting Motherwell such an experience. If season 2002/3 had finished slightly differently we might still be scrapping about in the First Division so losing one cup tie isn’t such a big deal when you put it into perspective and on the bright side, it’s only about 363 days till we can try again…