The Benchman: Remembering McCrae’s Battalion and enduring Livingston’s maddening traffic system

Who's this former Falkirk player? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp
Who's this former Falkirk player? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp

The Benchman believes that Hearts have had it easy compared to some of the injustices handed out to Falkirk over the years.

SPECIAL CENTENARY: This year’s commemoration of the sacrifices made by McCrae’s Battalion is a special one, as it is the 100th. Anniversary of the start of the conflict. Hearts are hoping that Falkirk will be represented at the special Contalmaison ceremony in July as several Falkirk players and supporters joined their Hearts colleagues in enlisting.

WHAT WE HAVE WE HOLD?: It looked like Falkirk were going to blow Livingston away in that opening period, yet they ended up hanging on. Against ten men, why did they funnel back and try to hit on the break? Surely a second goal would have killed the home side off. Simon Mensing and Co. strolled through that last 25 minutes- and they shouldn’t have. A win’s a win for a’ that?

ONE WAY IN: Nothing out of ten for those who planned the traffic system in and out of Almondvale or whatever it’s called these days. Buses and cars nudged for position, kerbs were mounted and tempers flared. Contrast that with other grounds like Palmerston where the away buses are away in a flash- and with a police motorcycle escort to boot.

ANSWERS: Last week’s mystery player was The Brylcreem Boy himself - Dennis Compton who played for England at Football and Cricket. The player who came from Ayr and moved to Love Street was the late Billy Fulton.

TEASER: From which club did Falkirk sign Vic McKinney?

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Billy Brown feels Hearts are being punished too much and it “destroys Scottish Football’s credibility”. What about keeping a team down in the First Division when they have won their league? Or refusing to let them ground-share? Or changing the rules half-way through the season? Remember those actions?

SPONSOR PLUG: Well done Ryan Flynn. Ex-Bairn knocks Premiership club out of the FA Cup. William Hill must have been having a quiet chuckle after Paul Lambert’s view of the trophy they sponsor. The FA Cup has had its detractors- remember Manchester United’s absence a few years back- and attitudes might change if the old European Cup-Winners Cup still existed.

LOOKALIKE NO.563: Is Alex Smith moonlighting as Victor in the adverts on TV for that betting firm?

AND NO. 564: Have you ever seen Alfred Hitchcock and Lewis Connolly of Falkirk TV in the same room? Maybe his spell in front of the cameras is causing the metamorphosis? There was a real similarity as the former cast his eye over the warm-up on Saturday.

DOING THE SUMS: How can Livingston keep going on gates of 1585? Saturday saw a good Bairns support go through to their stadium and yet the home support was woeful.

MYSTERY PIC: Can you identify the player pictured above? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp