Benchman: You Better You Bet

Mystery picture: Can you ID this ground?
Mystery picture: Can you ID this ground?
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It’s just that time that Sir Alex Ferguson so famously described...

THESE THINGS HAPPEN?

Over the sixty-five years or so that I have been watching Falkirk, I have seen some “strange” results that defied all logic, whether that understood by an impressionable wee boy or by a seasoned, and at times, cynical senior citizen. How could Falkirk lose 11-1 at Broomfield on the last day of the season in 1950/51? Why did they lose 7-1 at the same ground in 1971 when they had a defence that just didn’t give goals away? How could a team go off at half-time 9-0 down as we did at Fir Park in a League Cup tie in 1962? Was there collective resignation, was it a fluke, or was there dirty tricks at the crossroads? One game stands out above all the others. The last game of season of 1958/59 saw Dunfermline needing a big score against Partick Thistle to send the Bairns down. Dunfermline 10 Partick Thistle 1. No enquiry. No investigation. These things happen.

YOU’D BETTER, YOU BET

Joey Barton is unlikely to win many friends or influence people, but there is a real irony that he has received a sentence that virtually ends what was left of his career from a body that has effectively sold its soul to the gambling industry. Leagues, cups and individual teams are only too keen to take the money from bookmakers. TV coverage is saturated by adverts from betting companies. Is it too surprising that many people in the game take up the invitation to “Bet Nahhhh” and join “the world’s most exclusive” betting company?

SQUEAKY TIME

As a well-known former Falkirk striker- now a knight of the realm - once said- it’s that time of the year again. Off we go to Dumbarton with the knowledge that we still have our destiny in our own hands. Dundee United are at Cappielow and there will be the usual spate of rumours emanating from those without access to phones. It’s Station Park Forfar and Kilbowie Park Clydebank all over again. Not for those of a nervous disposition.

SOME BODY UP THERE LIKES US?

History repeated itself on Saturday, when Falkirk slipped up and yet again Dundee United failed to capitalise. It meant another agonising BBC ALBA watch for Bairns fans as the minutes ticked down and we all knew that one defensive slip from Dumbarton could have proved fatal.

MANAGER OF THE YEAR

The nominations for these awards come out far too early. Obviously, Brendan Rogers has done a great job at Parkhead- but where was the challenge? Deserved candidates would be those who have worked on limited resources and those who have performed great escapes. In our division, Jack Ross and Stephen Aitken deserve great credit. Consider the situation at the end of January when Falkirk went to Paisley. Saints were SEVEN points behind Ayr.

ANSWERS

Last week’s picture featured a match being played at Pittodrie and John Markie was signed from Newcastle United.

BENCHMARKS

Match rating: 7

Team rating: 7

Opposition: 6

Referee:Allan 7

Best Bairn: Tom Taiwo