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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Partick Thistle 6 Aberdeen 3

Oh dear – losing three goals at home to Aberdeen, did I hear someone say? Does it really matter when you can score six of your own? Thistle’s goal scoring exploits around this time were truly remarkable. They had also won 6-2 against Queen of the South at Palmerston the previous Saturday. At the end of the season they had scored more goals than any other team in the league (76), including the two teams who finished above them, Celtic and Hearts. It should also be remembered that during the 1950s Thistle reached three major cup finals. This was the stuff of which dreams were made. As a young man growing up, I was loving every minute of it. Still, I had the good sense to know it wouldn’t last, and do you know something? I was right. Since then the fate of the Thistle supporter has been to almost expect the unexpected. It has been something of a rollercoaster ride, brilliant one week, at best mediocre the next one, lifting us up to dizzying heights and plunging us down to the depths of despair. Sometimes in the course of the same match. Still we wouldn’t have it any other way- or would we?

So, what was the team which hit the Dons for six? Well, in goal was Tommy Ledgerwood, often outstanding but then also guilty of the occasional gaffe just to keep things interesting. At right-back was Jimmy ‘Tiger’ McGowan. With the heart of a lion, partnered by the tenacious Bobby Gibb. The wing-halves were the elegant John Harvey and David Mathers. Between them at centre-half, solid as a rock and with a thunderbolt shot from free-kicks, was Scottish internationalist Jimmy Davidson. Fellow Scotland man Johnny MacKenzie (9 caps to Jimmy’s 8) was at outside-right, partnered by Bobby Howitt, who packed such a strong shot that opposition defences feared his howitzers. Playing centre-forward was Willie Sharp, Thistle’s record hit man with 229 goals and finally at inside-left the ever-reliable Bill Crawford and on the left wing that tricky little will o’ the wisp, Joe McInnes.

I make no apologies for using terms like full-backs, half-backs, wingers, centre-forward and inside-men. Midfielders, strikers, target men had never been thought of. Remember, we played 2-3-5, yes 5 forwards with the inside men employed a little deeper than the other three. If anyone had suggested 4-5-1 or 4-6-0 that person would have been laughed out of court.

In the featured match, Thistle’s goals were scored by Bill Crawford (2), Bobby Howitt (2), John Harvey and Joe McInnes. It must have been a long journey back up the road for the Dons. I’m not wasting any sympathy, as we have suffered it in return many a time.

Robert R.

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