The Benchman: It’s all kicking off in the Highlands

The Benchman mystery pic features Sammy Baird Rangers and Ian St John and Sammy Reid of Motherwell.
The Benchman mystery pic features Sammy Baird Rangers and Ian St John and Sammy Reid of Motherwell.
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The Benchman is not surprised that few people want to watch England play Norway, and recalls Shire’s international star.

ROAD MILES BONUS: Talk about petrol lag? Bairns fans should get vouchers for every mile travelled and cash them in for discounts to Tynecastle and Easter Road when we go there again. Place the following in order of admission cost- entry to the Edinburgh Dungeon, entry to Edinburgh Castle or entry to the Edinburgh football grounds. Football is the dearest ticket by far.


SHOCKING! The away fans made their way home escorted by the police. Home fans were waiting to ambush the coach and bricks and stones were hurled through the windows. This is not the first incident of its type this season and police are investigating. Millwall 1970? Leeds 1980? No. Last week as Brora Rangers made their way back from Wick. Honestly.

WELSH CONNECTION: Owain Tudur Jones is a first for the club - a full Welsh internationalist. James Bloom was the last Welshman we had and he was in their under-21 squad. Welsh internationalists are not unique in the town, however. The Shire’s most capped player was Humphrey Jones, who represented Wales on five occasions – as a Shire player.

WINDOW CLOSES: Have you ever seen such a load of exaggerated self-indulgence as that transfer window show. Jim ‘Look at Me’ White thinks it is the biggest day of the year, much more important than Ukraine, ISIS, Ebola and other items of substance. The scenes of two-fingered salutes, silly chanting and attention-seeking street urchins has become too boring for words. And that’s just the reporters outside the grounds waiting for a manager’s car to go past.

THE DIDDY CUP? Try telling that to the supporters of Stranraer and Alloa who are one game away from a highlight of their lifetime. Rumour has it that there are still some down in Wigtownshire celebrating their 1-0 win over St Johnstone in 1996/97.

DEJA VU? Falkirk were odds-on favourites. Stranraer were in a lower division. Stranraer scored in the first-half. There were long queues of traffic to get to the ground. Falkirk had countless chances but lost. Sounds familiar? January 29, 1994 - Stranraer 2 Falkirk 1.

ANSWERS: Last week’s mystery pic was George Niven, the former Rangers and Partick Thistle keeper, and the Israeli club hammered 10-1 at Brockville in October 1957 were Maccabi Petah Tikva.

TEASER: Which club played Falkirk in the first competitive match at The Falkirk Stadium?

HALF-BAKED FRIENDLIES: A sign of the times? More people watched the Great British Bake-Off than watched England v Norway. Wembley was half-empty and many people switched over after 30 minutes of turgid after-you play. Still you could have watched paint dry if you had switched again to one of the many DIY programmes on rival channels. When will they ever learn - people want to see real football at reasonable prices.

MYSTERY PIC: Can you name the two players pictured above? Tweet your answers @FalkirkHeraldSp