We came into the year with twenty one hard won points and league position of sixth. Our first game of the year was against Dundee United who were just a point behind. The encounter at Fir Park turned out to be a thriller. After a dire first half, in which we conceded a goal, David Clarkson took control and raised the roof with a hat trick in the last half hour. Terry Butcher remarked, “He’s a wonderful, wonderful boy!”
'Well fans at Parkhead
Clarkson then bagged a pair at Perth in the third round of the cup but he was substituted by McDonald before he could complete a six goals tally ion consecutive games.
We had a couple of losses against Rangers and Dunfermline before restoring our high confidence levels with a run of five home wins from the next six games. The only blemish was a defeat at Livingston. The Doonhamers were dispatched in the fourth round of the cup before the arrival of a dozen points as Dundee, Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Thistle were beaten at fortress Fir Park. Our place in the top six looked secure.
Goalscorer Hammell looks after Cadette
Indeed, our form was such that the quarter final cup tie against ICT in early March looked like it should have been a formality.
Not so. We had no answer to Wilson’s ten minute strike and dreams of a visit to Hampden were shelved for another year.
League business resumed at Parkhead where we faced a Celtic side complete with Pearson. The point we gained, thanks to an Adams opener and a Larsson equaliser, consolidated out fifth position. It was by now abundantly clear the loss of Pearson after the saga of his transfer at the start of the year had not stopped our progress.
His departure (together with that of Faddy at the start of the season) had many predicting that the Mighty Well would be relegation candidates and it was a tribute to Terry and his lads that we were about to qualify for the top six.
We earned our top half status with a game to spare when an Adams penalty gave us a one-nil win over Dunfermline at Fir Park. To reinforce the claim that we fully merited the position we then secured a two-nil win at Pittodrie (our second victory in Aberdeen during the season).
The last five games were a bit of an anti climax. Our faint hope of a European place disappeared and we collected only one point from the last fifteen on offer. That hardly seemed to matter as we were able to look back on a momentous season. The club had emerged from the financial uncertainty of administration and lost two of the best young prospects in Scotland yet we had a wonderful season.
Last game before the pitch was relaid.
Many of the squad were out of contract and it was inevitable that several would be moving to new clubs during the close season. They would go with our grateful thanks.
Part 2 of this review is here.
Review of 2003 here.
Review of 2002(1) here.
Review of 2002(2) here.
Review of 2001 here.