The Story of '97
by Craig Benson
by Craig Benson
Still buoyed by our exploits against Hibs, hopes were high for the visit of a Motherwell team containing Killie old boy Shaun McSkimming. Those hopes were dealt a blow after just 8 minutes. A big punt up the park by John Philliben sprang our offside trap, allowing Andy Roddy to get in line with the 6-yard box unchallenged before squaring it for perennial boo-boy target Tommy Coyne to slam home. 0-1 to Motherwell.
Big Shaun seemed to be on a one-man mission to foul every Killie player on the park. He had a bash at The Legend Dylan Kerr after a short corner. Next it was Tom Brown's turn to be body slammed to the ground. If this was World of Sport in the mid-80s, Shaun would have had his 1st public warning by now. (ask your granny).
HALF TIME: Kilmarnock 0 - 1 Motherwell
Three minutes into the second half and a curious goal for Motherwell. Another hoof down field and Billy Davies played a ball across the box where Kevin McGowne sliced his attempted clearance into the air and Meldrum leapt into the air to catch it. Referee Andrew Waddell ruled it a pass back and, much to the chagrin of everyone not of a Motherwell persuasion, awarded an indirect free kick on the 6-yard line.
When everyone had mostly calmed down, a line of Killie players stood on the goal line with the chessboard shirted Meldrum in front of them, but even that wasn't enough to prevent Philliben from finding a way past them when the ball was laid off to him. 0-2.
This forced Killie into action and we started being more positive in our play. The often shaky 'Well defence was breached just 6 minutes later. We ripped them wide open by switching play out wide & as they moved to deal with that, a wave of blue and white marauded through the middle.
The initial ball in saw claims that the visitors' defence had handled, and while their, by now, 6-man defence turned to see if a penalty was being given, John Henry got the ball back in for Paul Wright to bundle in from no yards out. 1-2.
4 minutes later, and it was our defence that was ripped apart. Tommy 'Boooooo' Coyne doing the damage once again. An extend 1-2 between Coyne & Davies ended up with Gus MacPerson being turned inside out by the 'Well attacker, who slotted the ball under the advancing Meldrum to make it 1-3.
With time against us we needed a stroke of inspiration. Step forward the inspirational legend that is Dylan Kerr. He sorted out the scrappy aftermath of a throw-in to burst forward with the ball. His low cross was just about to be received by Paul Wright, who was unceremoniously dumped to the ground in the box. Penalty.
Bunion picked himself up, and promptly slammed the right down the middle to set up a grandstand finish which, considering it was on Scotsport, and not Grandstand is no mean feat...
Unfortunately, it would be Motherwell who completed the scoring, and Ray Montgomerie who would be having nightmares that evening.
An absolutely nothing ball up the park from the visitors, just to clear their lines, went out for a throw in to us. It was taken short to Monty, presumably for him to hoof up the park to give us one more chance. Whether he just took his eye off the ball, or whether it was just a bad touch, the ball bobbled over his foot as he attempted to control it. Unfortunately for him, that man Tommy Coyne was waiting, just in case. And so it was that the case was indeed just inned (No. We don't know either. - Ed.)
As the ball broke away from Monty, Coyne spun on his heels & hit a hopeful first-time shot at goal. And, with Meldrum caught off his line, the ball looped over him, into the net, to give Coyne his hat-trick, Monty nightmares, visiting fans joy, and increased pressure back on Alex Totten.
Boos from the home fans filled the air at the final whistle, as we slumped back to 9th. We wouldn't play again, until we would meet bottom side Raith Rovers on St Andrew's Day...
Meldrum, MacPherson, Kerr, Findlay, Monty, McGowne, McKee, Henry, Wright, McIntyre, Brown
Subs: Reilly & Mitchell
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