Suffering on parade with the Tartan Army

Do you recognise this Scottish football legend?
Do you recognise this Scottish football legend?

The Benchman casts his critical eye on the national team’s failures - and looks forward to Falkirk’s return to Dumbarton.

DUMBARTON ROCK: How do you get there? This is one of the easier ones- just head for the Rock and you’ll find the stadium nestled right underneath it. Unlike Dumbarton’s previous home, Boghead, which was a real hidden gem. Many a times, we wish it had remained hidden. My abiding memory of Boghead was Dragutin Ristic’s incredible miss from a mere six inches out with the goal at his mercy. He was smiling as he ran back to the centre circle. Jim Jefferies was not.

THE BRAINS OF BROCKVILLE: The Senior Bairns Quizball event was held on Monday in the Hotel Cladhan and it was another close-run thing. Jimmy McIntosh welcomed the teams to the traditional post-match reception at the Dutch Inn. This is the fourth running of the quiz and the Falkirk boys are getting better all the time. Some almost recognised themselves in team pictures.

WAILS IN WALES: Every now and again the Welsh manage to find a football hero. They have never been a major force international terms, but they have produced some great players. The greatest of them all was John Charles, but guys like Trevor Ford, Ivor Allchurch, Ian Rush, Mark Hughes, Neville Southall and Ryan Giggs were all well-respected on the world stage. It looks like Gareth Bale might be joining the Dragons Hall of Fame. Why did it have to be against Scotland that he chose his moment?

THE TRUTH HURTS: Cardiff on Friday night was noisy, passionate and loud - but the reality was that these were two poor sides. The ghosts of the past must have wondered what has become of the two countries.

AN ARMY MARCHES ON ITS WHAT?: If they gave out medals for perseverance, the guys of the Tartan Army would be well decorated. On Thursday, overhead lines were down between Carstairs and Lockerbie and there were no trains running down the West Coast. Hundreds ended up in Edinburgh and came down the East Coast. Problem - major over-crowding, no seats and the bar on the Kings Cross train was emptied before Berwick. Thirteen hours later - base camp established. Roll on the game. Dreaming of Rio 2014.

THIS WEEK’S TEASER: Which former Falkirk manager only played five senior games in his entire career - all for Berwick Rangers?

LAST WEEK’S MYSTERY PIC: Did you recognise the famous Motherwell side of the 1950s? There were a few famous faces in there including a young Sammy Reid. Sammy went on to Liverpool before coming to Brockville. He found his place in Scottish football history when he scored the winner for Berwick Rangers against Rangers in 1967.

THIS WEEK’S MYSTERY PIC: Can you name this former Scotland star?