The record shows that Motherwell can win at Ibrox

Last updated : 15 December 2009 By Firparkcorner

Owen Coyle
Season 1996/97 was drawing to a close and Motherwell were in a poor state. We were firmly in the play-off spot and it looked like we would need something special to avoid a do or die clash with Airdrie to avoid the drop.

Only two games remained - Rangers at Ibrox and Dunfermline at home. To make matters worse there were plans for a huge party at Ibrox as a win for the home team would secure their ninth consecutive league title. There were few who suspected that the struggling Steelmen might be party poopers.

The game was played on the May Day holiday (5 May 1997) in front of 50, 059 spectators. Rangers had been on a goal spree (they had scored 10 in the previous two games) but we attacked right from the kick off. Micky's Weir's corner was half cleared but Stephen Mcmillan's return let Owen Coyle give us the lead with a low shot.

There was a second half onslaught and the magnificent Brian Martin and his fellow defenders had to fight off the attentions of Gasgoine, Laudrup, Durie, Hateley and McCoist. As the game drew to a close Durrant fouled Weir inside the box and referee Rowbotham pointed to the spot. Coyle sent Dibble the wrong way and a famous victory was sealed.

The following week Mitchell Van der Gaag's stunning goal against Dunfermline ensured that our top division status was secure.

This history will be unknown to Jim Gannon and he will be more concerned with the performance than the result as he tries to fashion a side for the longer term. But those who make the trip from Motherwell on Saturday will know that maybe, just maybe, there might be a surprise in store.