The Benchman: Gayfield memories and Dick Campbell's 'shot at glory'
This week the Benchamn reminisces on previous trips to the Angus coast, Dick Campbell reminding him of an Oscar winner and the "gap" between Scotland's larger and smaller clubs.
NOERH SEA ADVENTURE: That first half was fairly even, but even die-hard Red Lichtie fans must have admitted that Falkirk were the stronger side towards the end. It only needed on moment of inspiration and we thought it had arrived with a minute to go. Substitute David McMillan headed over from two yards out and the miss goes down as one to remember- or in the player’s case- forget.
GAYFIELD MEMORIES: The abiding memories of the ground are those of extreme cold, especially on a bleak December 30th in 1972. Falkirk were hammered 5-1 and the journey home was spent thawing out and in complete silence. Ally Donaldson, Stewart Kennedy, Davie Cattenach, John Markie, Tommy McMillan, Tom McLeod, Wilson Hoggan, Ian Harley, Jim Scott, Alex Ferguson and John Young were in the team while Denis Setterington was an unused substitute. The Arbroath keeper that day was a certain Gordon Marshall- the father of the player who was to end up at Brockville and go on to earn a Scotland cap.
TUTTIES NEUK: I remember when it was not uncommon for supporters to dash across the road at half time to the warmth of Tutties Neuk and enjoy a “refreshment”. Since those days, the owners have up-marketed the place and maybe the turning-point came in 2014 when Rangers supporters took refuge in the hostelry which had an agreed capacity of 98. That visit saw around 200 in the pub.
CHARITY BOX(ERS): On another visit to Gayfield, I recall Falkirk fans had left the balmy South resplendent in summer attire, only to find that the Angus coast took no prisoners. No need for sun-cream, beach balls or sunglasses. It was decided to go up to the town centre and buy some anoraks, parkas, coats and jackets from the charity shops.
OLD FOX: Dick Campbell is one of the Old School of managers and reminds me of the character played by Robert Duval in the film “A Shot At Glory”. Few can argue with his achievements in winning promotions. He took Brechin City from the fourth tier to the Championship and repeated the feat with Arbroath.
THE GAP?: The Scottish Cup results showed again that some of the so-called “wee teams” are more than capable of holding their own with the teams in the upper leagues. Dumbarton’s performance at Pittodrie was solid and the performance of Bonnyrigg Rose was commendable. Their former player Sean Connery would “shurely” have been expecting an 007 hammering?