St. Mirren v Motherwell in the Scottish Cup, 2009
(first published in the match programme for St. Mirren v Motherwell, 8th February 2020)
Motherwell v St. Mirren 2009
St. Mirren last met Motherwell in the Scottish Cup when the two were paired in the Fifth Round in 2009. In the previous round, Saints had overcome Brechin City 3-1 at Glebe Park through two Jim Hamilton goals either side of a Dennis Wyness effort. Motherwell’s away tie to Inverurie Locos was postponed no fewer than four times and finally took place on the Monday before the scheduled Fifth Round ties. With the help of an opening goal in 90 seconds, the Steelmen prevailed 3-0.
The tie, at Fir Park on 7th February 2009, was a dour affair on a tough pitch. Motherwell failed to exploit their home advantage in the early stages and Andy Dorman pounced on slack defending to round the ‘keeper and fire Saints into the lead on 12 minutes. In the second half, the home team pressed a bit more and Hughes equalised in the 65th minute with an accurate finish. St Mirren could have won the tie in injury time when Scott Cuthbert had a close-range shot saved, but a draw was a fair result.
If the tie was disappointing, the programme certainly wasn’t. The 64-page issue was packed full of reading, with only 11 pages of adverts. The cover was a departure from the usual Motherwell issue of that season, and provided the match details below an image of the Scottish Cup, bedecked in ribbons bearing the “Homecoming Scotland” logo of that season’s Cup sponsors. Following welcome messages from Manager McGhee and Captain Craigan, there was a six-page feature on former Steelmen captain Tom Boyd. There were then four pages on St. Mirren and another feature, this time about Paul Lambert, a stalwart for both Clubs. There were thoughts on the infamous 1977 Cup meeting between the sides, when Motherwell beat Fergie’s Furies 2-1 and the centre page spread displayed the home team with the Cup after their win over Dundee United in 1991. The second half of the programme continued with more historical articles on Motherwell’s 2001 season and a memory match from 1989 against Saints. Match reports from the recent games against Falkirk, Hibs and Inverurie Locos followed, as well as the mandatory Club news, statistics and sponsorship items. All in all, it was excellent value for the £2.50 cover price.
St. Mirren v Motherwell 2009
The replay at New St. Mirren Park on Thursday, 19th February was watched by 4,555 spectators and a live TV audience. The teams kicked off in the knowledge that the winners would earn a money-spinning home Quarter-Final tie against Celtic. Saints had the better of the early exchanges and the visitors came back strongly in the latter part of the first half, but overall it was another disappointing forty-five minutes. In the second half, play began to open up and Saints should have taken the lead after 65 minutes when a careless clearance was pounced on by Dorman. He set Mehmet up with a simple chance, but the effort was wide of the post. The tie looked to be heading for extra time when, with five minutes to go, Motherwell lost possession in the home half and Dargo’s pass quickly found its way forward to Mehmet, whose fine low drive found the net for the winner. It was the first Cup match to be played at the new stadium and Saints’ first ever win there, following the opening two draws against Kilmarnock and Falkirk in the League.
The programme for the replay was Saints’ third edition of the new format adopted after the move to Greenhill Road and consisted of 56 B5 pages, costing £3. Gus MacPherson’s notes on recent events were followed by Jim Hamilton’s “On This Day”, in which he gave his take on previous Cup meetings between the sides. Allan Gallagher’s “Football Bloody Hell” also took on a Scottish Cup theme and was followed by facts, figures and results of the two teams’ previous Cup encounters. Brian Wright compared Saints’ Cup exploits with those of the Old Firm and the “Thoughts of a West Stand Buddie” also had a Cup flavour to them. “The Love Street Years” provided an alternative slant on the criteria for induction to the Hall of Fame, and Jim Crawford’s “Attic Attack” reviewed the 1980’s booklet “Love (Street) Affair; Some Saints”. A photo of Dennis Wyness, in recent action against Kilmarnock, occupied the centre spread. Much of the second half of the programme contained action photos from the recent matches against Motherwell and Falkirk, and of the 1987 Cup Final. As with the Motherwell issue, a number of pages were devoted to Club News, statistics, sponsorship information and, unfortunately, a larger proportion of adverts.