So far the team has been knocked out of the League Cup by Aberdeen in the quarter finals and suffered a humiliating Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Albion Rovers.
The result is that ‘Well are now ejected from any Cup football even before Keith Lasley’s November Calendar page gives way to December's Simon Ramsden. Not much of an improvement on last year then!
Stuart McCall's choice of line-up came in for some criticism, ultimately though, it was accepted that it was strong enough to see off Albion Rovers. The Motherwell section of the stadium filled up very quickly and was around ¾ full at 2.30pm. Therefore, fans had the opportunity to witness the very relaxed attitude adopted by some of the 'Well squad. The Albion Rovers lads arrived on the field to warm up at just past 2 o’clock, whereas the Motherwell team only wandered out at around 2.25pm and lots of laughing and smiling ensued. It was slightly alarming, and, in retrospect, a sign of what was to come, particularly when compared to the serious, focussed and professional approach taken by the Albion players and staff.
Allan Moore has given Morton fans some good memories; being involved in last year’s promotion race and beating Celtic in the League Cup this season being the most notable.
However, as 1400 fans watched his side slump to a second 5-1 defeat of the season, Moore cut a lonely figure in the dugout as he shook each of his players’ hands as they left the pitch.
A fairly average Livingston side embarrassed Morton and caused rage amongst the on-looking supporters.
The defence was a shambles, gifting Livingston their goals.
Going forward the team had no ideas. Novo and Cham were ineffective up front and the midfield were unable to create more than a couple of chances while failing to cover the shambolic defence behind them.
Shaun Hutchinson returned from suspension and promptly re-entered the First Eleven. 19 year old Craig Moore was given his starting debut after some impressive substitute appearances and Paul Lawson replaced the injured Stuart Carswell.
However, I think it would be widely agreed that the defensive line up was still far away from being our strongest. Francis-Angol isn’t highly rated amongst the ‘Well support as a left back, the general feeling being that he is much more suited to a more attacking role on the left flank. Along with this, Fraser Kerr’s occasional lack of discipline (through inexperience) has led to the fans labelling him a weak link on occasion.
So it was incredibly pleasing to see the makeshift backline keep a clean sheet on Saturday!
I left them in May, and said I'd be back in August to pick them up. Instead some chancer has swiped them and left some outfit that looks nothing like the one I used to support.
With the Aberdeen of the past 15 years, you knew where you stood with them. You could act like a football expert and impress opposition fans by gloomily predicting defeats when they had been bought in by false dawns.
Now? Well now it's just embarassing. I'm trying to pretend I'm a know-it-all on the Dons, scoffing at talk of us racking up wins, patronising those daft outsiders who think “This might be Aberdeen's year.”
We have no full backs. A lightweight midfield. Strikers who have lost their scoring touch. A goalkeeper nicknamed Clangers. A manager punted by Bristol City.
Derek McInnes said he wanted Aberdeen to be feared. I thought that was odd, because for years I've been petrified of what they'd conjure up next.
Yet, the Dons had three season defining games over the past fortnight. An on-form Dundee United team and away to a Hibs side who hadn't lost in eight. Then a trip to Motherwell in the cup, a tie that doesn't get much tougher.
This season 180 minutes against the worst Hearts team in history has brought 2 defeats and no goals.
The first half was a fairly even affair and the scores were rightfully level. St Johnstone failed to offer much and Morton were more than a match for them.
The second half was similar, although St Johnstone had the better of the game and created some good chances while Morton were limited to a few breaks up the pitch.
As the game went on, the Ton support began to believe a win was possible and the noise levels were raised around Cappielow.
However, the game was decided in stoppage time when a Stevie May free-kick was spilled by the Ton ‘keeper and Gary McDonald pounced to send the travelling fans wild.
If the old cliché ‘a game of two halves’ was ever applicable, it was here. The 5350 supporters almost fell asleep during the first half but were sparked into life by the action of the second half.
Motherwell were missing some of their firepower with James McFadden absent with a hamstring injury and Lionel Ainsworth also nursing a knock. This probably contributed to the frustrating first half as ‘Well posed a significant threat but struggled to find that cutting edge. Zaine Francis-Angol caused Hearts the most problems and looked the most creative while Iain Vigurs also saw a fair amount of the ball, but struggled to make an impact.
It is taking Vigurs a little while to settle at Motherwell, although having seen him at Ross County , and witnessing some competent play in his Motherwell career, it is evident that he is a really good player. On Saturday he was doing really well, receiving the ball in plenty of space, then spoiling his efforts by cutting inside and shooting a bit too often, rather than finding Sutton or Anier. Maybe when he starts to use his undisputed talent a bit more constructively, he will cement his place in the starting 11 and prove to be the highly influential player that he looks capable of being.
While Motherwell looked distinctly lacklustre, Hearts weren’t exactly setting the heather alight themselves! I think Gary Locke was more intent in sending the healthy Hearts support of 1200 home with a point rather than opening up and trying to win the game.
All of this seemed a world away on Friday afternoon, when Gavin Masterton did his level best to prevent the deal from happening. The whole episode surrounded the lease for the club’s training ground at Pitreavie. Pars United had already stated that they would not take the club on if Pitreavie was a part of the deal due to its cost. Masterton, who had taken out a £500,000 pension fund on the long-term lease that had run from 2006, was clearly alarmed at losing out and attempted to stop Pars United renouncing the leasehold altogether. He raised a court interdict in a move that if he was successful, would see the club liquidated as administrators BDO had already said the club did not have enough cash to continue trading.
A tense hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh eventually saw the former owner defeated, hopefully for the last time. There was a large sigh of relief around the Pars support amidst angry ill-feeling towards Masterton. He had protested that the liquidation of Dunfermline was never his intention and he was "100% certain" that it wouldn’t have happened even had he triumphed. It’s safe to say though; "unpopular" doesn’t quite do justice to the strength of distaste for the former banker.
This was too close a call however. Why this issue had not been given more/any publicity in the previous months is yet to have been answered. Did Pars United know that Masterton was likely to make this move? If so, why were the fans not informed? Or were they caught off-guard? If that is the case then it must be queried, why not? Within the hoopla of the new ownership was a small paragraph about how Pars United could not renounce the lease as they had hoped and would continue with it in the short term. Does this raise the possibility of this issue rearing its ugly head again? Certainly, the fans need to be made aware of these threats in the future if at all possible. We’ve been through the wringer and have seen the football club we all love skate dangerously close to the abyss. If we’re going to have to board that rollercoaster again then some fair warning wouldn’t go amiss. We’re big boys and girls and we can take bad news.