BENCHMAN: Lies, damn lies and statistics

The Benchman looks back at a sensational win over Dundee United and other football matters.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 11th January 2018, 1:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th January 2018, 1:45 pm
Can you name this mystery man? Clue: Ex-Hearts
Can you name this mystery man? Clue: Ex-Hearts

DEJA VU: Where did that result come from? In one of the best displays seen at The Falkirk Stadium, The Bairns simply blew Dundee United off the park and could have won by a record score. The assembled press pack were keen to know if that was a record win over United, but back in season 1951/52 a B Division encounter ended in a 6-0 win for Falkirk at Brockville. A crowd of around 8,000 saw the match and the goals came from Angus Plumb (2), two penalties from Jock Wilson, Davie Campbell, and Jimmy Brown. The team was Scott, McDonald, McPhie, Gallacher, Wilson, McKenzie, Brown, Dunlop,Plumb, Campbell, Devlin.

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS: The match statistics said it all. Falkirk were ahead in terms of possession, shots- both on and off target -and corners. But the ones that really mattered were the goals.Some of them were stunning and there were so many near things. The chasing and harrying were impressive and United simply collapsed under the continual onslaught. Their players and manager were at a loss to explain what had happened to the one time title favourites. In truth, they were shell-shocked. Tam Scobbie was blunt to the point of embarrassment when he admitted that they were “less than excellent”, as they say in downtown Westquarter.

ANSWERS: Falkirk transferred George Watson to St.Johnstone.

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MYSTERY PIC: Can you identify the player above?

TEASER: Which club did Falkirk play in the first ever floodlit game in Ireland?

TRANSFER TRAIL: With the transfer of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, the papers were keen to show how the price of players has escalated over the years. Falkirk remain the only Scottish club to have been involved in the world record transfer fee and the story is an amazing one. In 1922, Bairns fans raised the money through bonds and the Directors went to West Ham to pay the fee in ready cash. Syd Puddefoot returned to Brockville for a fee of over £5,000 and was paraded through the town in an open-top carriage.

CLEAR AND OBVIOUS ERRORS: Video Assistant Referees were trialled in the game between Crystal Palace and Brighton with Neil Swarbrick watching in London and able to direct referee Andre Mariner to review controversial incidents. In recent weeks, there have been several incidents, notably in the Edinburgh derby and the Arsenal games, where the ability to review “clear and obvious errors” would have been helpful. Let’s hope the fourth official can get a meaningful role- at last.


Match rating: 10

Team rating: 9

Opposition: 6

Referee: Walsh 7

Best Bairn: Louis Longridge