Friday 11th January, 2019 at 9:16am
Scottish First Division
11th October 1975
Partick Thistle 3 Falkirk 2
To set the scene, Thistle had failed to win a place in the first ever Premier Division, which had room for only ten teams and we ended up a disappointing 13th, although we were only three points behind Motherwell who filled the final qualifying slot. It was, therefore, essential that we pulled out all the stops in an effort to reach the promised land at the second attempt. The 1975-76 league was, to say the least, a strange one. There were 14 teams and the clubs played each other twice, meaning there would only be 26 fixtures, with the teams wondering what to do on Saturday afternoons after the end of February.
Not so, because the powers-that-be came up with the new competition called the Spring Cup to plug the gap until April. It was similar to the League Cup with sections of four, with the teams playing each other home and away. Thistle emerged from a section including Forfar Athletic, St. Mirren and Meadowbank Thistle, but lost on aggregate to East Fife at the semi-final stage. The Spring Cup proved to be pretty unpopular in the end.
Anyway, to get back to our featured match, a 3-2 win helped Thistle to ease aside all rivals in the First Division and win the championship in grand style, losing just two league games all season. It looked as if this particular game was fairly easy but the old failing of easding up and allowing your opponents back into the game reared its ugly head, and we had to suffer a few anxious moment s towards the end, but we saw the game out. I think that is the right expression.
The ever-dangerous Doug Somner opened the scoring after 37 minutes and scored again 13 minutes into the second-half with Denis McQuade (below) netting in between those two strikes on 50 minutes, so everything in the garden was lovely until we allowed Falkirk to score on 74 and 84 minutes to set up a nervy finish. Typical Thistle, do I hear you say?
The full team was as follows:- Alan Rough, John Hansen, Danny Kellachan, Jackie Campbell, Benny Rooney, Andy Anderson, Bobby Houston, Denis McQuade, Joe Craig, Dougie Somner, John Craig.
All in all, Thistle had made a really strong start to the season, winning five and drawing one of their opening six league fixtures. They also won all of their qualifying section games in the League Cup, eventually falling 0-1 to Celtic at Hampden Park in the semi-final on the Monday before our featured match.
Could this blistering form be maintained for the rest of the season? Well, not exactly, but the principal aim was achieved – Premier League, here we come!