After the joy of drawing Falkirk at home, it began to sink in that this would not be an easy game. They were run away leaders of the First Division; certainties for the Premier and they had won their 3rd round tie with two late, late goals having been a goal down with just seconds left to play.
The thing that you worry about when you play a lower league team is that Motherwell will be nervy and tense while the opposition go for it knowing they have nothing to lose. An astonishing crowd of over 10,000 saw a superb game with both sides playing attacking football. We set the tone early on with a great goal when Ferguson took a quick corner to Cooper on the edge of the box. He skipped past his marker and slammed the ball across for Nick Cusack to prod home.
A second goal would probably have wrapped it up and Phil O'Donnell twice came close. A flying header flew just wide and he forced Gordon Marshall into an excellent save. After the first chance, the camera cuts to the crowd on the Knowetop Avenue - and oh yes, IT IS ME ON THE CUP FINAL VIDEO! I'm the wee guy with home made tammy looking worried about O'Donnell being injured.
Back to the game and as suspected Falkirk weren't lying down. Peter Hetherston blasted wide from the edge of the box before they got the equaliser they just about deserved. A punt from the goalie was missed completely by Philliben and Sammy McGivern ran on to slot through Maxwell's legs.
The second half started and once again we began to push forward. A superb cross field ball by John Philliben (yes, the same Philliben that was a danger to all those in row K and behind in the stand) found Joe McLeod who proceeded to lump his cross behind. Nothing special about that but IT'S ME ON THE CUP FINAL VIDEO AGAIN! This time leaning against the wall but still with home-made tammy.
Our pressure meant a goal looked inevitable but sometimes the cup can do brilliant things. Joe McLeod never won over the Motherwell fans but he guaranteed he will always be remembered. Countless fans who otherwise wouldn't have recognised him would buy him drinks all night long for what he did. Ian Angus made a nuisance of himself in the box and when it broke, wee Joey slammed the ball into the roof of the net. His only goal for Motherwell - could he have picked a better time to score it?
Falkirk showed why they were winning the First Division with ease by stunning the home support with a brilliant second equaliser. Tommy McQueen played the ball to Derek McWilliams fooled the entire Motherwell defence (and most of his own team as well as everyone in the crowd) with a superb backheel which released Alex Taylor. He slammed the ball home and it was the Falkirk fans who were in dreamland.
It was round about now that Motherwell fans started believing in fate. All the good karma we'd built up for decades was going to be repaid with interest this year. We could easily have folded but the introduction of super sub Kirk galvanized the team when we needed it. Cusack won a header to knock the ball across goal. With fabulous timing Kirk arrived as the ball slipped through John Hughes' legs and he nicked the ball past Marshall. Less than eight minutes to go and there was no way Falkirk were coming back. Davie Cooper hit the side netting with a deflected free kick and Craig Patterson headed the resulting corner off the bar.
The killer goal was close though and it arrived when Cusack turned to thump the ball into the far corner after Kirk had a shot blocked.
So, two wins and I was about to see Motherwell in my first quarter final. Nice - I was beginning to like this cup run thing.
|Cup Win 1991 Index|