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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Blast from the past – Dundee United

Scottish League First Division

23rd December 1961

Dundee United 3 Partick Thistle 5

You can be 100% sure that, when selecting a Dundee United versus Partick Thistle fixture for the “flashback” article, I will not pick out the play-off fixture between the sides in May 1996. That was heart-breaking. Everyone of a Thistle persuasion was totally devastated. The result had far-reaching consequences with Thistle relegated then, and again two years later and almost going out of business, “Save the Jags” and so on. Owen Coyle had a lot to answer for, so let’s try to erase the memory of all that by highlighting a game in which Thistle left Tannadice having handed out a good thrashing to United. Yes, that feels much better!

The line-up was as follows:- Jim Gray, Joe Hogan, Sandy Brown, John Harvey, Donnie McKinnon, Billy Cunningham, Tommy Ewing, Joe McBride, George Smith, Neil Duffy, David McParland. Take another look at the composition of that forward-line – magnificent, absolutely full of goals as was abundantly clear from the score-line.

United went ahead after 19 minutes when Neil Mochan scored from the penalty-spot. Goal machine Joe McBride equalised after 35 minutes and Neil Duffy put Thistle ahead just before the interval. The advantage was now with the visitors, but there came a shock when Walter Carlyle equalised in 56 minutes. Worse was to follow five minutes later when Eric Brodie fired the home side ahead. Now it was time for the hero of the hour to step forward. Yes, that man was none other than Scottish internationalist Tommy Ewing. Small of stature, he was a nightmare for defenders and remarkably he scored a hat-trick in the space of eleven minutes – 66th, 70th and 76th – a wonderful performance

Some interesting facts emerge from the match programme which cost 3 pence. Willie Thornton was the Thistle manager at the time, and you could get a day return ticket(by train) between Dundee and Glasgow for the princely sum of 19 shillings and 3 pence, cheap at the price to see Thistle do the business in such convincing style.

Robert R

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