Match Date: Saturday, January 27 2001
Competition: Scottish Cup 3rd Round
Goram, Corrigan, Kemble, Brannan, Strong, Hammell, Townsley, Leitch, Adams (Spencer 45), Goodman, McMulloch (Twaddle 74).
Subs not used: Woods, Lasley, Ouiefio.
Motherwell scorers: McMulloch (32), Spencer (64).
NINE-MAN ‘WELL WIN THROUGH
Scottish Cup Third Round
Saint Mirren 1 Motherwell 2
MOTHERWELL RECORDED THEIR THIRD Win of the season over the Buddies and, despite having to play for the last ten minutes with only 9 men won through to the Fourth Round of the Scottish Cup. Indeed, they had to contend with some quite shocking decisions from Referee Young who clearly lost the place during the match.
The home side began brightest and came close twice in the first few minutes. Firstly Renfrum broke upfield and supplied Rudden but he sent a deep cross well over the bar. Then Baltacha beat Kemble before setting up Gillies with the former Don striking the woodwork after Goram had managed to deflect the shot. Motherwell were taking some time to settle and Saint Mirren came close again. MacKenzie beat Kemble who was clearly still suffering the effects of a recent injury to shoot wide of the target. The visitors at last woke up with Brannan’s long ball being headed into the path of Adams. He appeared to be caught late by Murray and that was enough to allow the ball to run out of play. There was a claim for handball when Baltacha looked to have controlled Goodman’s header with his hand but Referee Young ignored the appeals. Baltacha then conceded a free kick when he brought Don Goodman down from the back. Brannan curled the ball in and although Turner met it the clearance was poor and fell for Townsley. He turned to fire in a low shot which Roy managed to turn onto the post with the ball running for Hammel but his cross was poor.
Motherwell then won another free kick some 40 yards out. Walker cleared as far as Hammel and his return was blocked behind by Renfrum though no corner was awarded. A clever turn by Goodman forced Kerr into conceding a corner seconds later which was subsequently returned behind by Renfrum. This time the ball in was better and dropped nicely for Kemble by Adams’ neat header. The Surinesian shot for goal and was unlucky to see Baltacha somehow get a touch to send it behind again. Walker beat Strong though there was to be no corner on this occasion. Motherwell were getting on top of things and Townsley fast becoming the main man for the visitors. His good play and cross was met by McCulloch whose header, despite falling backwards, went narrowly past.
Don Goodman was brought crashing to the ground when he proved to quick for Walker. Picking himself up he got on the end of Brannan’s free-kick to head inches past. Roy in goals for the home side then made a hash of a clearance which Adams, with his back to goals, turned to shoot and was unfortunate to find Roy had recovered to gather. Young Stevie Hammel almost gave Motherwell the lead they would have deserved at this stage when he turned in the box to send in a fierce angled drive which Roy did well to palm out. The follow up from McCulloch was desperately blocked by Walker at the expense of a corner which Strong headed wide. Don Goodman became the game’s first yellow card for a late tackle on Turner. A definite free-kick but Turner’s theatrics ensured Goodman was booked.
Just after the half-hour, however, Motherwell did make the breakthrough. Goodman and Leitch combined with the latter crossing towards the penalty spot where McCulloch beat everyone and flicked a looping header beyond Roy. The home side then had Walker booked when he tugged at Leitch as the midfielder looked set to race through on goals. It was almost two to Motherwell soon after. Corrigan picked out McCulloch whose header had Roy at full stretch, the Keeper pulling off a good save. A minute later there was controversy when Goodman was sensationally sent-off. Receiving Corrigan’s pass he was clattered from behind by Turner inside the box. There was most certainly contact but Referee Young incredibly chose to book Goodman and sent the Motherwell striker off. Seconds later Fenton should have joined Goodman when he aimed a kick at Strong and was booked.
As the interval approached Referee Young further incensed the Motherwell party by ignoring the blatant dive by Renfrum inside the box. Play continued despite Kemble being injured and he received treatment after Motherwell had retained possession and Leitch knocked the ball out of play. Saint Mirren were rarely seen as a threat but Renfrum managed to find space to test Goram, the Goalie equal to the task. Hammel then had to knock the ball behind for a corner but the resultant shot from MacKenzie was way over.
Half-Time Saint Mirren 0 Motherwell 1
Motherwell made a change at the interval taking Adams off in place of John Spencer. The Buddies made another lively start to the half with Kerr sending in a deep, dangerous cross which Hammel did well to clear. Renfrum then gathered but another dramatic fall was once more ignored by Referee Young. The ball broke for Townsley and he made a great run which carried him all the way to the opposing area. His progress was crudely halted by Kerr and although contact was made with the player and not the ball play was waved on. Saint Mirren then made a change with Renfrum being replaced by McGarry. Motherwell continued to look the more menacing and it took an important interception from Turner to stop Hammel connecting with McCulloch’s knockdown.
Gillies of Saint Mirren became the next booking when he was very late on Derek Townsley, the tall winger recovering. Fenton then left to be replaced by Quitongo but it made little difference to proceedings as Motherwell doubled their advantage. Brannan’s free-kick near the half-way line was partially cleared by Turner, the ball falling to Spencer and from just inside the 22-yard mark he drilled the ball home inside the far post. Brannan then brought Quitongo down some 30 yards out but the free-kick was ultimately wasted by the home side. They played their last card when bringing on Yardley to replace MacKenzie with 23 minutes to go.
The Buddies came close when McGarry gathered a loose ball on the edge of the box though his low shot was well saved by Goram. Kerr then made ground down the wing and his cross was well tipped away by Goram with Hammel forced to concede the corner. Greg Strong was then booked rather harshly for a trip on Kerr, a card which was to prove costly. Shortly afterwards Lee McCulloch left the field to be replaced by Kevin Twaddle. Big Derek Townsley almost capped a superb performance when he picked the ball up inside his own half and made a great run to the other box before unleashing a shot which Roy did well to parry.
Brannan then had a great shot from 25 yards out and once again Roy did particularly well to save. Although Motherwell had a man less they were still looking likely to add to their tally. Twaddle ran onto Spencer’s pass but the cross was knocked wide by Leitch. After Murray had driven well wide the home side pulled a goal back which looked to surprise them as much as anyone. Quitongo got the break of the ball 30 yards out and taking advantage of a bounce off Kemble ran forward to send a low shot into the bottom of the net. Strong, upset at losing the goal, booted the ball away in anger. Much to the amazement of all the Linesman flagged and after consultation Referee Young sent Strong off, a decision which incensed all in claret and amber.
An error by Walker then almost allowed Twaddle in, the home defender recovering to block for a corner. Saint Mirren, now with a two-man advantage aided and abetted by some weird and wonderful Refereeing, pushed forward with Kerr seeing a 20-yard drive deflected behind by Townsley. Motherwell then had Leitch booked for bringing down Walker. With the clock well into injury time Ged Brannan made a brave block to deny Murray after a scramble in front of the Motherwell six-yard box. Spencer was booked for a tug on Turner but eventually time ran out and, against the odds, Motherwell won through.
Full Time Saint Mirren 1 Motherwell 2