The Benchman: Get it up the park!

Mystery Picture: Can you identify the Falkirk connection?
Mystery Picture: Can you identify the Falkirk connection?

This week our Falkirk FC columnist, The Benchman laments the loss of an old-fashioned long goal-kick, takes pity on Watford and praises the nautical Bairns’ navigations to Stranraer.

JIM JEFFERIES: Another setback was a Scottish Cup tie at Stair Park when Stranraer inflicted a 2-1 defeat on a strong Falkirk team back in 1994. The trip back up the road was undertaken in almost complete silence, after Jim had reprimanded Yogi Hughes for laughing. Jim was not a happy manager and the players all knew it. All Falkirk fans were stunned to hear of Jim’s heart attack last week and wished him a full and swift recovery. Despite the reaction of some fans at his departure, the recent “Walking Down Hope Street” podcast showed that he had fond memories of his time at Brockville, and he certainly produced some of the most entertaining football we had seen.

IS IT ME?: Maybe it’s an age thing, but I fail to see the benefit of the current trend for keepers playing the ball short and “building from the back.” Too many defenders are put under pressure and goals are often conceded from panic passes. Pep Guardiola started the trend and many managers have slavishly followed suit. What was wrong with the well-known plea from the terraces- “Get it up the park!”

HAMMERINGS: You had to feel for the Watford fans who watched their side taken apart at The Etihad last Saturday. It’s not nice to see your team humiliated like that and older Bairns fans have had to endure similar experiences. None could be worse than the 9-0 score-line (by half-time) at Fir Park way back in August 1962. The game ended 9-1. Poor old Willie Whigham must have had lumbago by full-time.

ANSWERS: Last week’s mystery team was Airdrie- minus their famous diamond strip. Drew Jarvie with a full head of hair was prominent. Well done James Morris.

THE IRISH BACK STOP: It was a brave effort by the Bishop’s Chair boys to sail over to Northern Ireland and try to find a solution to the problem that has bedevilled British politicians for the past few months. The in-depth discussions in the bars of Belfast might just have found a workable solution, but an excess of sparkling mineral water led to the Chairman leaving his notes behind on the ferry back across to Stranraer. The guys are certainly clocking up the nautical miles after their previous sail to Rosyth. Their next venture might be a cruise to Montrose.