1957 Scottish Cup: Falkirk 3 Aberdeen 1

Aberdeen were beaten by the Bairns in round six
Aberdeen were beaten by the Bairns in round six

Round Six: The Falkirk Herald looks back at the 1957 Scottish Cup run that earned the Bairns the famous trophy 60 years ago.

Falkirk with a masterful exhibition of goal-snatching and power-backed defensive play sent a flabbergasted Aberdeen out of the Cup at Brockville last week. Aberdeen with their impressive post-war Cup record were, at the end of last Saturday’s match, a torn, smashed relic of the Dons of old. Falkirk’s display was undoubtedly their best of the season.

Playing as a team, solid in defence Falkirk, however had no individual to match the Dons international left-half and captain Archie Glen. Glen did everything expected of one man. He was in defence and attack, all over the field, but alas, apart from Jackie Hather, found little constructive support. What is more important is that Falkirk were the better team.

Alex Parker though, had a most uncomfortable game and was often down in Hather’s wake. But to the rescue would step Alex Wright with his strong tackling then on to Grierson who would carry the fight upfield.

Dougie Moran is perfect at the long, low through pass down the middle, the type of pass George Merchant thrives on. Merchant apart from the penalty miss was again very effective. He had Clunie looking worriedand his two goals were expertly taken.

To Andy Irvine I offer praise. He did his job well, completely stopping the lively Norman Davidson and playing cool calculated soccer. All told Andy impressed me.

However, to get back to the early minutes when so much depended on halting the famous opening “killer” burst of the Dons. During this period it was cut and thrust play packed with incidents and it was Falkirk who almost fell first.

Irvine, in one hectic Aberdeen attack, hooked a high pass back to Slater. For one dreadful second Brockville was silent as the ball seemed to be rising higher than the leaping keeper.

After Grierson had opened the scoring Slater could not be faulted for Davidson’s equaliser. Surely Wishart’s cross should have been cut out before the Aberdeen leader headed home?

But all’s well that ends well, and both Slater and Irvine finished on top.

It was the Bairns who almost drew blood in nine minutes when Dougie Moran through on a Merchant pass, was grassed by Mitchell on the six-yard line with a goal almost certain. Merchant took the spot kick but his shot - shoulder high and too straight – was pushed out by Reggie Morrison. This was the type of chance Falkirk could ill afford to lose but despite the disappointment they continued to attack.

With a quarter of an hour gone Falkirk went into the lead. Wright started it with a long pass to Merchant. On went the ball to Murray whose pass found Grierson right in the centre but looking suspiciously off-side. Referee Bowman did not think so and the inside man went on to score although his first attempt came back off the post. The whole terracing exploded with joy as Grierson headed a Hay cross onto the bar.

Three minutes later a Hather pass saw the roving Wishart cross perfectly for Davidson to head home. Slater appeared to have the inside-left’s cross covered but the ball swirled out from his reach to Davidson and the teams were level. Merchant atoned for his earlier penalty miss by scoring a fine goal in 26 minutes to restore the lead. Grierson engineered the ball into the Aberdeen half before cutting it through the centre for Merchant to slip wide of Morrison into the goal.Taking encouragement from this, Merchant added a third in 33 minutes.Aberdeen tried everything in the second-half, but only a Hather shot that struck a post before going past and a long Glen shot, were the efforts to note.