On this day in 1980 St Johnstone met Falkirk in a League Division 1 match at Brockville.
Manager Alex Rennie had started to mould together a team that he hoped would challenge for promotion back to the Premier League. Strangely, Saints form had been better away from home than at home and going into this match they were sitting in 5th position in the league.
Although Falkirk were close to the bottom of the table a tough match was anticipated and the following team was selected: – George Tulloch, John Mackay, Rab Kilgour, John Weir, Drew Rutherford, Alex Caldwell, Andy Brannigan, Ally McCoist, Jim Docherty, Jim Morton, George Fleming. Subs: – Alex Gilchrist and Alan Salisbury.
Saints started well and the undoubted highlight of the match was the opening goal scored by Jim Morton.
A Falkirk correspondent writing for the P.A. states “St Johnstone had most of the early play and took a deserved lead after 25 minutes, albeit by virtue of a rather bizarre goal. Jim Morton swung in a corner kick left footed from the right side of the field and the vicious curl of the ball completely deceived keeper George Watson. Gary Thompson on the goal line headed the ball into the net in an attempt to clear but it was clearly over the line before he made contact so the credit goes to Morton.”
The Sporting Post reporter describes it so – ” In 25 minutes St Johnstone took the lead and it was a peach of a goal. They were awarded a corner which was taken by inside left JIM MORTON. From the flag kick his shot landed in the Falkirk net to put the Saints ahead”.
The shame was that there were only 2,000 fans there to witness a very special goal.
In the second half Jim Docherty added two further goals to give Saints a comfortable 3 – 0 victory.
Hibernian and Dundee were promoted that season with Saints finishing in 3rd position just one point behind their local rivals.
Top scorers were McCoist with 23 goals, Docherty 13, Brogan 11 and Morton on 10.