The Benchman: Old Firm hysteria has begun

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The Benchman pays tribute to Bo’ness United and has more harsh words for the English Premier League.

BLACK CATS FOR COMPANY: Spent an interesting three hours on a train in the company of two Sunderland fans. We were all fairly relaxed as our respective teams hadn’t been beaten (neither Falkirk or Sunderland had been playing!) I didn’t realise the depth of the rivalry between Newcastle and their neighbours, until they tore into the Magpies and their players. The real bad news hadn’t been their 8-0 defeat at Southampton on the previous weekend, it was the fact that Alan Pardew’s side had won. They are now off to look up Evelyn Morrison and Joe McDonald in their history books.

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Slowly, but surely they are beginning to realise what many of have suspected for some time. It might be the richest league in the world, but the best? Too many over-paid and pampered foreign players and too many foreign owners. Fewer opportunities for home-grown young players. Extortionate admission prices. Watched Villa and Spurs and couldn’t believe the empty sky blue seats.


BACK FROM THE DEAD: Credit to the boys from Bo’ness for a fantastic achievement up in Elgin. To be 3-0 down in a cup-tie against a League team on their own patch must have been dispiriting. A 4-4 draw was a tremendous result. What a coincidence that their equaliser came from a certain A.Scott. Older Bo’ness fans still recall the exploits of the Scott brothers, Alex and Jim.


REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: Falkirk will be represented again at the Haymarket Remembrance Day service on Sunday. If anyone can get through to Haymarket, it is a moving and memorable event. The singing of Hearts of Glory is a real tear-jerker. The Sportsmen’s’ Regiment had many sports players and supporters from this area.


ANSWERS: Last week’s mystery picture was Ralph Brand of Rangers. The last Bairns goal of season 2013/14 was scored against Hamilton by Mark Beck in the 1-1 draw.


TEASER: From which club did Falkirk sign Alex McCrae?


OLD FIRM OBSESSION: Set your watch. When does the hype surrounding the Old Firm League Cup semi-final encounter begin? Answer- immediately. Even BBC Five Live had it as a headline item on their news bulletins. You can only imagine how many column inches are taken up between now and the actual match. Previous encounters, former stars, silly pictures - we’ll get them all. No doubt the famous 7-1 game will be resurrected.


TAMING OF THE SHREWS: Well done to Micky Mellon and his Shrewsbury players. They gave Mr Mourinho and his multi- million pound squad the fright of their lives. It was a great advert for cup football and the fact that it was a night match added to the excitement.


NIGHTMARES: Fright Night? Every night for Blackpool and Leeds fans. What a sorry tale. Did you ever think you’d see a day when on November 1 a club had had more managers than they had wins?