Final replay: The Falkirk Herald looks back at the 1957 Scottish Cup run that earned the Bairns the famous trophy 60 years ago.
The roar that heralded the final whistle of this Cup Final was to a large extent for a Falkirk victory but as far as I am concerned it brought to an end, thankfully, a Cup Final that had everything the game had to offer in the way of excitement. It was the type of game that made your knees knock. The tension was terrific, and incident upon incident at both goals made the word “drama” look tame. It was an all-action hard-fought match.
Falkirk won because they lasted the pace much better in extra time than Killie. The Killie team took so much out of themselves in gaining a late second-half equaliser that they fell away badly in the final stages.
After their equaliser it looked for a bit as if the Rugby Park team might steal another but Falkirk held out. Reggie Smith’s training certainly paid dividends.
At times during the game things got really rough and Ian Rae and Alastair Mackay both had their names taken by a rather inconsistent Jack Mowat. For once his refereeing did not meet with approval. In fact, the corner that led to Killie equalising was undoubtedly a goal-kick. But these things can be forgotten now.
However, apart from stamina Falkirk also had the man of the match. Tommy Murray had Killie’s defence in tangles time and again.On the left, too, O’Hara gave Collins another difficult passage while Doug Moran worked as he always does. He was here, there and everywhere.Andy Irvine was possibly the star of this Falkirk defence and his experience and cool head kept everything under control.
So in one of the most hotly-contested games ever seen at Hampden eleven Falkirk players emerged as heroes. They deserved to win and indeed all the way they looked as if they would. They have gone through the Cup this season by always scoring the first goal and that above all else shows how strong they are.
How Falkirk Won the Replay
There were no more than 60,000 when the teams appeared and for the second time Killie’s captain Ralph Collins, won the toss. Falkirk were set to play against a slight wind which was blowing in the opposite direction from Saturday.
Falkirk made most of the early running and Merchant sent Murray away in eight minutes but the move petered out. At the other end Killie struck back when Black and Curlett combined, but the inside-man finally crossed past.
The Brockville team stayed on top with Murray giving the Killie left flank a lot of trouble and the winger got in the first real shot at goal, from 20 yards, but Brown watched it safely past.Killie came back for a period and forced three successive corners. But Falkirk survived and Slater sent them back again to the Killie half. O’Hara again got the better of Collins, but Brown was there to cut out the winger’s cross. It was ding-dong, end-to-end play, and Merchant tried with a long shot for Falkirk but he was well wide.
Parker stepped in twice to stop promising Killie attacks, while at the other end Mackay was pulled up for swinging freely at Murray’s legs. It was vicious play. This really led up to the first goal. Killie cleared the free-kick but Alex Parker returned the ball down the wing to Murray. The winger cut in past two defenders and Merchant met his cross to head low into Brown’s left hand corner from about seven yards. Both teams were going full out, and the pace was a great deal faster than on Saturday,possibly due to the wind.
Kilmarnock hit back after this and swarmed round the Falkirk goal. Parker cleared a Mays header at the post with half-time some ten minutes away.
The second half was only minutes old when, in a clash with Mays, John Prentice sank to the ground, blood streaming from a gash above the eye.
Killie took advantage, but Mays shot wide across the goal in a good position. Back came Prentice with a plaster over his eye. Then the big shock came at the other end. Harvey let go a great effort from 15 yards and Slater, thinking the ball was going past watched it hit the post and bounce clear. But back came the Brockville boys. With 15 minutes to go, things were looking black for Killie and they started to build up for one last real crack at the Falkirk goal. Mays and Curlett were switching position but that did not bring a goal either. Then Burns and Parker clashed near the goal-line and Killie were awarded a corner though it looked more like a goal kick. Burns sent across a fast cross to the far post. Mays jumped but missed and with not a Falkirk player attempting to play the ball Curlett half-volleyed high into the corner of the net and Killie were level. Curlett was mobbed by delighted team-mates and for over a minute they hugged and kissed each other.
Now with only ten minutes to go, Killie went all out to clinch matters, but Falkirk, back on their heels, held out. A strong Mays shot was dropped by Slater, but before Curlett could get to it the ‘keeper recovered.
On to extra time with both teams beginning to look tired, but Falkirk suddenly burst right into the game and continued pressure saw Grierson dive headlong after an O’Hara cross and just fail to touch it. Then Murray had a go, but that failed also.
With the 100-minute mark reached, Doug Moran scored a wonderful goal through sheer determination and Falkirk were ahead. The inside-left carried the ball through several Killie defenders before cutting it high into the net.
Then the bubble really burst at the Falkirk end of the ground. The fans went daft, so did the players. Moran was mobbed by his forwards while Alex Parker danced around the centre-circle. The half-way mark was reached with Falkirk fans singing happily.
In the second half Killie were rarely in it and apart from a dangerous thrust which ended in a corner Killie were right out of it. Falkirk stayed on the offensive and in the last few minutes O’Hara came near to making it “three” from a Merchant pass.
Falkirk fans set up a terrific roar as the minutes ticked off although it took an age to pass. Then, finally, when it was all over delighted fans stormed past the police to congratulate the Falkirk team. And the Cup was on its way back.