GLF78 - Christopher investigates our strikers' first goals.
The sense of relief more than euphoria from Michael Higdon's goal celeb against Clyde last month showed what it means to get that first goal for your new club. Despite it being only his fifth game in Claret and Amber, the fans were already divided as to the merits of the big Englishman and so it was vital for our latest number nine to ensure that he got his name on the score sheet sooner rather than later. This got me thinking as to how long previous 'Well strikers had taken to hit the net for the mighty 'Well in seasons gone by ............
Lukas Jutkiewicz - 6 matches The big youngster from Everton reserves didn't exactly sparkle during September 2009, but a winning header against Falkirk at Fir Park settled him down and he went on to have a great season culminating in THAT equaliser against Hibs !!!!!!
John Sutton - 1 matchSutty was brought in by McGhee to giving an end product to our flowing footy, and we got an instant return courtesy of a one-yard tap-in to earn us a home draw v Dundee United in August 2008.
Chris Porter - 4 matchesPorts' first couple of games had many fans questioning if this cross-border free transfer raid was all it was cracked up to be. In classic 'any sort of goal will do' style, Chris got out of the blocks by deflecting a Ross McCormack shot past the Gretna goalie in our 'away' visit to Fir Park!!!!!!
Ross McComack - 11 matchesNot only did it take our signing from Rangers reserves into double figure starts before netting, it was also SEVEN MONTHS into his 'Well career (due to a mystery illness) before he notched his first. Sadly even that was forgettable as it was but a consolation in a horror home 2-1 Cup exit to St Johnstone......
Jim Hamilton - 7 matchesThe archetypal journeyman striker found his way to Fir Park to make his debut in February 2005 and hit the mark in a fine 3-1 victory at Pittodrie in early April.
Scott McDonald - 1 matchAn instant impression from the diminutive Australian as he came off the bench to score in our Cup win at Perth in January 2004. Skippy only scored once more that season (and on the final day at that) but went on to notch another 43 in the next three season, including a memorble brace on Helicopter Sunday!!!!!!
Alex Burns - 18 matchesThe return of Toastie ( along with Crags ) from Partick Thistle was seen to strengthen us at both ends of the park - well I suppose one out of two ain't bad ?!?!?!??! From an August debut, it took until February to find his way to goal, but at least his long-awaited brace saw us avoid another lower-league Cup humbling as we edged out QOS by the odd goal in five at Fir Park.
Dirk Lehmann - 2 matches Our German porn star look-a-like used a sub appearance at Dunfermline as a sighter before opening his account days later in a 2-0 home win over Kilmarnock. The combative striker left us with a record of eleven goals and six yellow cards !?!?!?!?
Don Goodman - 8 matches The Don took his time to find his feet during our 'Third Way' experiment, but came onto a game and scored in a win at East End Park in May '99.
John Spencer - 1 match A stunning debut from Spenny saw us defeat Rangers 1-0 at Fir Park (those were the days eh!!?). Played like a demon for us whilst on loan from Everton - mibbe no' as much when we finally signed him though..
Tommy Coyne - 3 matches Tommy McLean pulled off another transfer coup when he signed TC for £125,000 (those were the days eh!!?) in November 1993. He netted the first of 59 goals in Claret & Amber at Easter Road the next month and left us with many great memories, including a stunning hat-trick at Rugby Park in a 4-2 win.
Dougie Arnott - 14 matches Plucked from the junior ranks, Doooggaayyyy took from an April '87 debut an astonishing TWO YEARS to trouble the scoring charts against (who else) Celtic in a 2-2 draw. He did improve a little after this time mind you ......
John Hendry - 2 matches He got off to a relative flyer netting in a Hibs defeat. He did deteriorate a lot after this time mind you............
Willie Falconer - 5 matches Willie was brought in by McLeish to help avoid relegation & after a slow start in a struggling side he netted at Ibrox, and his goals did save us from the dreaded drop in 1996.
Iain Ferguson - 5 matches Fergie was another man of many clubs, but he converted at Easter Road in February 1991 as a warm up for a more important strike at Hampden a few months later......
Joe McLeod - 16 matches What can you say about Joe, except for the fact that his first goal for us WAS worth the wait and means he has his name attatched to the aura of '91 forever, courtesy of his strike in our 4-2 Cup win v Falkirk at Fir Park.
Nick Cusack - 1 match A bustling English centre-forward, a stunning debut goal at Tannadice in 1989 followed by the sort of in-the-crowd goal celebrations with the travelling terraced fans that would probably see you locked up these days - and lo, a cult hero was born!!!!!! Remembered for much more too, including a running feud with the Jambo's and scoring in Europe against Katowice.
Stevie Cowan - 6 matches Opened his account in November '87 in a 2-1 home win over Dundee Utd and went on to both spawn his own fan club and commit to history his own song about his body size and value !!!!!!!!!!!
John Reilly - 6 matches John was one of the signings that Tommy's McLean's older brother at Tannadice seemed to do us over with..... Netted during a Dens defeat in 1985
Paul Smith - 4 matches Smudger did a decent job for us back in the mid-eighties and hit the scoring charts with a brace in a 4-0 trouncing of Arbroath!!!!
Andy Walker - 6 matches My first ever 'Well hero took half-a-dozen opportunities to make his mark, but did so in a way to bring a smile to any 'Well fan's coupon - a 2-0 win against Airdrie!! Scored a memorable equaliser against Celtic in a League Cup semi that we only lost after Softie almost snapped the bar with his penalty kick. Not for the first time we eventually lost a talented striker to the lure of Celtic...
So there we have it - twenty-one previous strikers over the last 25+ years and on average it took them just over SIX MATCHES to get up and running - so big Higgy is ahead of target!!!!!! It has to be remembered that forwards signing on at Fir Park will be neither world-beaters nor over-supplied with gilt-edged goalscoring opportunities week in, week out, so thst scarcest of commodities in our stands (patience) is required. Here's hoping the big Scouser can get around the penalty box a bit sharper now he has managed to cast that biggest of monkeys off of his broad shoulders !!!!!!!!!!!
by Christopher Hutton
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