10 September 1969 – Falkirk swept away

On this day 1969 St Johnstone met Falkirk in the Scottish League Cup Quarter Final First Leg at Muirton Park.

Saints had stormed through the Sectional ties winning all six matches against Dundee 3 – 1 and 2 – 1, Kilmarnock 3 – 2 and 2 – 1 and Partick Thistle 8 – 1 and 4 – 0  scoring 22 goals and conceding 6 in the process.

The League had also started well with a win and 2 draws in the matches leading up to today’s game.

( It would be remiss of me not to mention at this stage that one of the drawn games had been a classic against Celtic at Parkhead in front of 60,000 supporters. That game ended 2 – 2. )

Willie Ormond selected the following team for the Falkirk match.

Jimmy Donaldson, George Miller, Willie Coburn, Alex Gordon, Benny Rooney, Ian McPhee, Kenny Aird, Henry Hall, Bill McCarry, John Connolly, Fred Aitken. 12th man was Gordon Whitelaw.

Saints started well and it was no great surprise when Henry Hall put them ahead with a 6 yard finish after great work by firstly McPhee and then Connolly.

After dominating for long periods Ian McPhee headed home a McCarry free kick in 28 minutes and it looked as if Saints would go on to win quite comfortably.

Young pulled one back for the Bairns just before half time and this rejuvenated the visitors.

In the second half they defended solidly and came close to equalising on a number of occasions as Saints struggled to regain their normal rhythm.

However, all this changed in the 75th minute when Connolly crossed into the middle and Henry Hall was able to squeeze the ball into the net.

Two minutes later it was 4 when Aird ran inside the left back to collect a headed ball from Aitken and crashed the ball home.

The fifth goal came on 84 minutes when Aitken and Rooney worked a quick one – two and Benny fired the ball high into the visitors net from inside the penalty area.

This fantastic 15 minute spell swept Falkirk away and set Saints up well for the second leg at Brockville two weeks later.

The attendance that Wednesday evening was 7,500.

Henry Hall’s two goals put him at the top of Scotland’s Goalscoring charts with 14 goals in 10 games – what a player.

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