The Benchman: Raith, Rose Reilly and Radio Gaga
This week the Benchman reflects on the 2-2 draw with title rivals Raith Rovers, a Falkirk first and the recognition for a Scot who won the World Cup with Italy.
SNATCHING DEFEAT: Anyone who left after 45 minutes would not have believed the final score. Falkirk were in complete command, and Raith looked a sorry outfit - nothing like a team challenging for promotion. After the break, the home side were a different proposition and Falkirk finished the game hanging on for a draw. A case of two points dropped.
MAN OF HALF THE MATCH: The Raith sponsors chose Daniel Armstrong as their Man of the Match and few would argue with that. After he replaced McKay after 45 minutes, he became the conduit for the Rovers fightback and he caused all sorts of problems for the Falkirk defence. His free kick was an example of a player full of confidence.
THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR?: Older fans always have a wry smile when they see the array of multi-coloured boots being worn by the modern player. Allegedly John Terry wore a different pair for the warm-up, the first half and then the second half as he preferred his boots to fit tightly. Changed days from the leather boots with the hard toecaps and studs hammered in by nails. Remember the days of soaking them in the bath to break them in?
THE WANDERER: Is John Baird trying to beat John Burridge’s record for the number of clubs you have played for? He signed for Rovers for the second time last month and that makes 14 teams whose colours he has worn. He is a proven goal scorer and has returned to Scotland after a spell in Australia. He is fondly remembered at Starks Park after scoring the winner against Rangers in the Ramsdens Cup Final.
RADIO GAGA: Interesting to add another “first” to the Falkirk F.C. collection. Back in March 1927, BBC Radio featured a live broadcast of a football match in Scotland for the first time. On 405.4 m on the 5SC Glasgow channel the Celtic v. Falkirk Scottish Cup was broadcast live. Celtic won 1-0 in front of a crowd of 73,000 at Ibrox.
WHO ARE YOU?: Did you hear about the Scot who played league football in Italy on a Saturday and flew to France to play in their league on the Sunday? The same player captained Italy to a World Cup Final win. After too many years of ignoring the achievements, she is at last being honoured in her own country. The Rose Reilly Sports Centre in Stewarton is a fitting tribute to one of the Scottish Football pioneers of women’s football and a merited member of the Hampden Hall of Fame.
GOLDEN OLDIE: Norwich City were hammered 5-1 by Aston Villa and the unlucky keeper was none other than ex-Bairn Michael McGovern. Michael is now in the veteran stage at the ripe old age of 35 and is one of two former Falkirk keepers at the East Anglia club - the other being Tim Krul.