Motherwell have reached their first League Cup final in fifty years – a proud achievement. Let's give some recognition to the players who made it possible.
Here are their contributions, so far.
Gordon Marshall – 90 v Morton (clean sheet), 90 v ICT, 90 v Livi (clean sheet), 120 v Hearts. Totals: 4 appearances, 390 minutes, 2 clean sheets.
Gordon Marshall has had his critics throughout his Motherwell career but there is little doubt that overall he has been one of our most reliable ‘keepers in many years.He is an automatic starter for the final and if we are to succeed, he will need to have an inspired game both in terms of shot stopping and organising the defence.
Best moment(s): a magnificent penalty save against Morton and coming out ten-twelve yards to take a cross with a sensational one handed catch late in the semi final.
Martyn Corrigan – 90 v Morton, 90 v ICT, 90 v Livi, 120 v Hearts.Totals: 4 appearances, 390 minutes.
One of our most reliable performers over the last couple of seasons, Martyn will be a definite starter – if he is fit.A broken hand has meant that Mr Consistency finally missed a game through injury.He should be fit in time for the final but it could be a close run thing.
Best moment – the news emerging he had played on through the semi final with the broken hand.What a warrior!
Stevie Hammell – 90 v Morton, 90 v ICT, 90 v Livi, 120 v Hearts.Totals: 4 appearances, 390 minutes.
It is hard to forget that Stevie is still only 22 years old (although his 23rd is coming up on Friday 18th February).According to soccerbase, he is rapidly approaching his 200th game for us and he is our longest serving player.He has had sticky patches at the club but seems to be firmly back on track again.Hell will freeze over before Terry Butcher voluntarily drops him for the final.
Best moment – a wonderful curling free kick right onto the head of Craigan for his goal in the semi final.
Steven Craigan – 90 v Morton, 90 v ICT, 90 v Livi, 120 v Hearts (1 goal).Totals: 4 appearances, 390 minutes, 1 goal.
Whilst Steven has not quite hit the heights he did in his first season back at Fir Park, he is still our number one centre half.He is surprisingly good in the air for a centre half who is not that tall although a lack of pace will probably stop his career going much further.Has been a regular in the Northern Ireland squad for some time and will definitely start in the final.
Best moment – can only be his goal to open the scoring in the semi final.
William Kinniburgh – 90 v Morton, 90 v ICT. Totals: 2 appearances, 180 minutes.
Willie made a good start to the season in place of the injured David Partridge.He has shown that he has a big future in the game with some excellent and commanding performances but at times his inexperience has probably cost him his place.He won’t feature in the final unless someone else is hit by an injury but he is more than capable of doing a good job if called upon.
Best moment – er…he had a great block against Morton at 1-0.
Jim Paterson – 58 v Morton (1 goal), 16 v ICT, 90 v Livi, 75 v Hearts. Totals: 4 appearances, 239 minutes, 1 goal.
It has been a mixed season for Stepover.At times he has looked like a skillful winger capable of delivering good crosses and hitting good shots.At other times he has looked overweight and out of place in an SPL side.Ironically, the Morton game probably hampered his season quite a lot.After finally beginning to look fit, he had turned in a good performance only to be scythed down by two thumping late tackles.A good player if fit but his cup final place is far from secure.
Best moment – a lovely jink round the Morton goalie and finish from a tight angle.
Scott Leitch – 70 v Morton, 90 v ICT, 120 v Hearts. Totals: 3 Appearances, 280 minutes.
After an injury plagued season a couple of years ago, this author named Scott Leitch as the player at the top of the list to be leaving Fir Park.A happily embarrassed retraction took place last year and this season Scott has shown was he is still a valuable member of the team.He can put in tackles and whilst his distribution is sometimes lacking, we would miss him if he wasn’t there.A cup win would round off a satisfactory football career for Captain Scott.
Best moment – sprinting forty yards to celebrate with the ‘Well fans at the end of the semi.Where did he find that energy from?
Kevin McBride – 90 v Morton (1 goal), 86 v ICT (1 goal), 75 v Hearts. Totals: 3 appearances, 251 minutes, 2 goals.
When Keith Lasley left Motherwell in the summer there was a bit of panic as to who would come in on the right wing.We should have known just to leave it to Terry to sort out.Kevin came from Celtic, initially on loan, and made his debut from the bench against Hibs.He is now firmly established on the right of midfield although he has filled in for Leitch and O’Donnell on occasion.It would be a big surprise if he didn’t play in his first final come the 20th of March.
Best moment – managing to keep Richie Foran away from the ball when the penalty was given against Morton.
Phil O’Donnell – 90 v Morton, 90 v ICT (1 goal), 78 v Livi (1 goal), 120 v Hearts.Totals: 4 appearances, 378 minutes, 2 goals.
The prodigal son returned half way through last season and when he’s played this season he has been excellent.The pace has gone but the football mind is still there and it’s easy to see why he was once transferred for £1.75m (when that was a lot of money!).Having scored in the 1991 Scottish Cup win, a winners medal against Rangers would present Phil with a rare double.He has fitness problems but his entire regime will now be geared towards the final and it will be a major blow if he doesn’t play.
Best moment: a great run and finish showed his class against Inverness.
Scott McDonald – 76 v Morton, 90 v ICT, 120 v Hearts. Totals: 3 appearances, 286 minutes.
Scott McDonald is one of our major goal threats but surprisingly he hasn’t found the net in the cup run.He was unlucky against Morton admittedly and played a huge role against Hearts.His back problems now seem to be behind him and out of all our attacking players, he is probably first on the team sheet for the final.
Best moment – skipping past his man and playing a delightful ball to release Fitzpatrick against Hearts.
David Clarkson – 90 v Morton (1 goal), 74 v ICT, 90 v Livi, 45 v Hearts.Totals: 4 appearances, 299 minutes, 1 goal.
David seems to be suffering the same lull which Hammell went through a couple of seasons ago.After his 14 goal haul last year, expectations seem to have been set to high for him to match this time.That said, he has contributed more to the team than just his 4 goals and continues to work his socks off even when things aren’t going for him.A goal in the cup final would more than make up for his miss the last time he was at Hampden!
Best moment – not been the most prominent in our cup run but it was his cross which set up the o.g. in our romp at Livi.
Shaun Fagan – 20 v Morton, 4 v ICT, 26 v Livi. Totals: 3 appearances, 50 minutes.
Shaun has fallen down the pecking order and it is questionable whether he has a long term future at Fir Park.If he is starting in the final, something bad will have happened to someone else.However, he probably can be trusted not to blow it if we’re protecting a lead although the return of Brian Kerr might even threaten his place on the bench.
Best moment – umm….
Alex Burns – 14 v Morton. Totals: 1 appearance, 14 minutes.
Toastie definitely won’t be playing in the final since he has been sent to Clyde.His re-signing was a good idea but it was not a clear cut success last season and he hardly featured this year before being allowed to move.
Best moment – you’ve got to be joking.
Richie Foran – 22 v Morton, 90 v ICT (1 goal), 64 v Livi (2 goals), 113 v Hearts (1 goal).Totals: 4 appearances, 289 minutes, 4 goals.
Richie is one of the players in our team who has the ability to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and take charge.He has managed to displace McBride as our penalty taker and despite a reputation for having temperament problems, he has focused his energy well this year.He’ll be involved in the final but whether he starts or not will depend on form and the formation Butcher wants to use.
Best moment – took a great pressure penalty against Hearts although his dominance of the quarter final at Livingston possibly edges it.
Marc Fitzpatrick – 90 v Livi, 45 v Hearts (1 goal).Totals: 2 appearances, 135 minutes, 1 goal.
One of the latest babes to be brought through by Butcher, Marc has shown a resemblance to a young Phil O’Donnell.He has also shown that he has a lot to learn and despite his massive contribution to the cup run, it would be a bold move by Terry to start him in the final.Almost certain to come off the bench though.
Best moment – he played a good pass against Livingston.Do you really need to ask!?!
Paul Quinn – 90 v Livi, 7 minutes v Hearts.Totals: 2 appearances, 97 minutes.
Paul has shown himself to be fairly solid at right back even if that is not his natural position.He still has things to learn though and whilst he is good for a place on the bench, a starting position will only be his is Kaiser Corrigan fails to recover from his hand injury.One for the future though.
Best moment – tricky, but he was on the pitch when Fitzy scored 70 yards away.
David Partridge – 90 v Livi, 120 v Hearts. Totals: 2 appearances, 210 minutes.
David is Terry Butcher’s pet project and he seems to be coming on leaps and bounds.Despite struggling at left back with United, Terry saw something and rushed to take him to Fir Park when he was released.After some shaky performances at centre half, he is now a stable regular in the side and will start in the final.His improvement has been rewarded with a first full Welsh cap this year.
Best moment – was outstanding in the semi final.
Kenny Wright – 12 minutes v Livi (1 goal).Totals: 1 appearance, 12 minutes, 1 goal.
Kenny is definitely on the fringes of the side but is averaging a goal every 12 minutes in this years League Cup!He has only made a handful of appearances in the league and will only be called up to waste time or incase of dire emergency in the final.
Best moment – lovely lob at Livi.
Richie Foran is our top scorer with four goals…we have been awarded three penalties, McBride and Foran (2) converting them…only Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan and Hammell have played all 390 minutes of League Cup football…in addition to those four, Foran, Clarkson, O’Donnell and Paterson have also appeared in every game.
Read more about our CIS 2005 campaign.