The Benchman backs a few different teams - but it all comes back to the Bairns
SEND THE CHEQUE: So Huddersfield eventually made it through after an agonising penalty shoot-out against Ryan Flynn’s Sheffield United. Kallum Higginbotham started for the Terriers and Scott Arfield came on as a late substitute. Scott thumped home his penalty and looked very calm indeed. The outcome, while disappointing for Ryan, will have pleased the Falkirk Chairman and Board.
AMERICAN EXCESS: 5-1 to America? Surely some mistake. What excuses are there for that result? Wrong time, wrong place, wrong players, wrong tactics, wrong result. And just when we starting to believe that things were getting better. America, at long last, are starting to take to “soccer” seriously and no longer rely on fading stars to play in a circuit as they did in the old days of the NASL.
BROCKVILLE SPORTS: Came across some epic accounts of the infamous “Battle of Brockville” in a bag of cuttings last week.Celtic and Falkirk clashed in the semi-finals of the Five-a-Side tournament and Dunky McKay put Celtic one ahead. Pat Crerand was sent off after a clash with Tommy Lowry and mayhem ensued. Jim Oliver equalised and then all hell broke loose. Mike Jackson and Tommy Lowry were ordered off after trading punches. Objects were thrown at “keeper” Billy McNeil and finally Falkirk went through by a single corner. There are several unpublished stories about that game, but that’s for another day. Incidentally - Falkirk lost 3-1 to Motherwell in the final.
LAST WEEK: The player known as “Trooper” was Les Thomson who could play in several positions and left Brockville to move to Stirling Albion.
STRAIGHT SWAP?: Best shout of the week was the innocent comment in the Wheatsheaf last Saturday.”Is it a straight swap, then?” Pardon?”Drogba for Farid” came the magical reply.
QUIZ:Which athletic gold medallist was once introduced to the teams at Brockville and received a hero’s welcome from the crowd. Can you name the team who are doing their pre-season training and can you see two future Bairns in the group?
BENCHMARKS: Continuing our look back at the matches of 1952, we come to a match played on January 2 at East End Park. It was the second of the Ne’erday games and Falkirk had beaten Stenhousemuir 5-2 at Brockville only 24 hours earlier. This match saw Falkirk destroy Dunfermline 6-0 and they were in unstoppable form. The Bairns lined up as follows: Scott, McKenzie, McPhie, Gallacher, Wilson, Guy, Brown, Dunlop, Plumb, Morrison, Campbell. Match rating: 9 Team rating:9 Opposition:5 Referee:7 Best Bairn: Bobby Morrison