Friday 16th November, 2018 at 11:41am
Scottish First Division
20th April 2013
Falkirk 0 Partick Thistle 2
I am sure you will not be surprised to learn that it didn’t take me very long to decide which Falkirk versus Thistle match to feature. We had been anticipating this for quite a while. Jackie McNamara had laid the foundations, then decided to leave in mid-season, with Alan Archibald needing to hold everything together and finish the job. There was so much that could have gone wrong, but Alan kept the ship steady and saw us over the line. As we all know, five years of Premiership football followed. Four times we did enough, but sadly the fifth was a bridge too far.
The large, vociferous Thistle support had a great day out at the Falkirk Stadium, the successor to dear old Brockville, now a supermarket. The following is the team charged with finishing the job:- Scott Fox, Stephen O’Donnell, Aaron Sinclair, Stuart Bannigan, Andy Dowie, Conrad Balatoni, Steven Lawless, James Craigen, Kris Doolan, Ross Forbes, Chris Erskine.
In the first-half we were compact enough, but seldom looked like scoring. Would we have to wait another week or more for the champagne corks to be popping? Andy Dowie answered that 5 minutes into the second-half with a firm, unstoppable header. The stand behind the goal, where the Thistle support was housed, simply erupted amidst a sea of red and yellow: – a joy to behold. Things would get even better. Chris Erskine added the second, clinching goal after 78 minutes. The celebrations were now underway amongst the supporters. There was no way back now for Falkirk and we could start preparing for life in the top flight of Scottish football once again.
I always think that the Falkirk Stadium, sitting in splendid isolation in the outskirts of the town, could hardly be more different when compared to the Bairns’ previous home and yet some fans still cling fondly to their memories of Brockville.
A player who could have posed many a problem for the Jags defence on that April day was Lyle Taylor, of whom we have a lot of experience ourselves. Lyle was sitting proudly at the top of the Scottish First Division scorer’s chart with 23 goals, but thankfully drew a blank on 20th April 2013.
It was to be Thistle’s day and I’m sure we’ll cherish its memory for a long time to come.