The Cup Run - 3rd round, Aberdeen (away)

The first thing that struck me about Pittodrie was the size of the place. The Beach End was massive and South Stand seemed to go on for ever. Memory being the funny thing that it is, I can hardly remember anything about the actual game - but one incident stands out!


We started the game in typical Motherwell fashion: we took the kick off, passed it about and then passed it back to the goalie. Excellent. Twenty seconds gone and we're not getting beat yet.

Some of our younger readers may not realise how good a team Aberdeen were at this time. The eighties had just ended with the Dons being the most successful Scottish team. They had won the cup the year before and should have won the league in '91. I can't remember anyone genuinely thinking we could do anything more than fluke a draw and try and sneak it back in Motherwell.

The good start we made in the first twenty seconds ended and Aberdeen soon began to dominate the game. Alex McLeish prodded home a rebound but was ruled offside and Eoin Jess (at that time he was young and full of potential!) thumped a shot against Chris McCart and then miss-hit one from eighteen yards.

Slowly but surely though, we began to get back into the game. Ian Angus drove wide and the inspirational Davie Cooper waltzed through the middle to set up Jamie Dolan who failed to hit the target.

As the second half approached half way, it was clear that the game was ours for the taking. Another mazy run by Cooper saw the ball played wide to Dolan but his cross was inches too high for Iain Ferguson in the middle. Then Fergie turned supplier but when Angus met the ball with his head Theo Snelders made a great save.

Despite not having won at Pittodrie in the Premier League, older 'Well fans were beginning to think back to March '75 when Bobby Graham won the quarter final in the last meeting between the teams.

Tom Boyd was having a field day charging down the left flank and when Peter Van de Ven brought him down many 'Well fans expected the Dutchman to walk for a second yellow card. The booking never came but Tommy McLean took the opportunity to withdraw Ferguson for Stevie Kirk. Kirk ambled on, like only he could, and when Davie Cooper squared the free kick he ran up and thumped it as hard as he could with his weaker foot. Now, I know that Stevie Kirk was a great player but if he intended to curl the ball away from the goalie into the far corner at that speed with his left foot then flying pigs should have carried him all the way home. When he looked as though he was going to hit it, I can remember thinking "Don't shoot, don't shoot, leave it to Cooper". How relieved am I that he ignored me?

Having sent the 'Well fans wild, Kirkie then ran thirty five yards to jump the advertising hoarding to celebrate. He had been on for less than half a minute, had one touch, scored a goal and he was now getting booked. If it hadn't been Kirk no one would have believed it possible.

Aberdeen pushed forward in a desperate attempt to save the game but apart from one half hearted penalty claim I can't remember feeling overly worried. The final whistle was blown and the Motherwell fans could have bounced all the way home. All of a sudden we were every radio pundits "outsider for the cup".

The draw for the fourth round was made while we were in the car home. Home draw - YES! Falkirk YYYEEEEEAAASSSS!


 

Cup Win 1991 Index