Referee for this Saturday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Hibs at Easter Road will be Steven McLean.
McLean, the brother of former ‘Well defender Brian, is handling his fifth Motherwell game of the current campaign – two of the four won’t live long in the memory.
The first was back in November, when a depleted Steelmen crashed 4-0 at home to Dundee United.
One month later, as ‘Well were hurting from a Scottish Cup exit, he was the man in the middle for Celtic’s 5-0 win at Fir Park.
Thankfully, he was the man in the middle for our 5-1 win at Firhill in late December and, most recently, the controversial 2-2 draw with Aberdeen at Fir Park.
‘Well were holding out in the face of intense Aberdeen pressure and looked to be holding on for the win, but a late (and deserved, it has to be said) Russell Anderson equaliser levelled things up.
It looked a clear handball, and a foul on Jack Leitch on the line, neither of which were given unfortunately.
Steven is a very familiar face to most Motherwell fans having taken charge of six matches last term too.
His first was the exceptional 5-1 success over Inverness CT just over 12 months ago. Henrik Ojamaa, Adam Cummins, Omar Daley and a Jamie Murphy double completed the rout.
His second was perhaps even more memorable as Motherwell came back from 2-0 down at Easter Road to win 3-2. A Doyle double had the home side in a commanding position but a Murphy brace and a late Bob McHugh winner handed the Steelmen all three points.
Third was the New Year fixture against today’s opponents Celtic when a brave ‘Well went down 1-0 after Tom Hateley had missed a second half penalty.
Fourth was the instantly forgettable 2-0 defeat at Rugby Park in February whereas the fifth was a comfortable 3-0 win at Dens Park – Michael Higdon heading home before a Nicky Law double sealed the three points.
His last was the season finale at McDiarmid Park as the Steelmen went down 2-0 to a Saints side that won the race for Europe ahead of Inverness and Ross County.
His overall record in charge of Motherwell reads ten wins, five defeats and one draws from sixteen matches. In those games, ‘Well have scored 36 and conceded 27. 44 cautions have been dished out, 27 flashed at those wearing Claret and Amber.
Four people have been sent off, two for ‘Well (Fraser Kerr and Keith Lasley in the same match against Killie last year).
He has had an extremely busy season – handling nineteen SPFL Premiership matches in the first twelve weeks.
He has also had two League Cup matches, both at the Falkirk Stadium, and two Europa League Qualifiers – Omonia Nikosia’s 1-2 defeat by Romania’s Astra Giurgiu and Serbian side FK Vojvodina’s 2-2 draw with Bursaspor.
He also handled the Europa League Group game between Standard Liège and IF Elfsborg Boras.
McLean will be ably assisted by Andrew McWilliam and Douglas Ross with Des Roache on fourth official duties.