On this day in 1973 St Johnstone met Partick Thistle at Muirton Park in a sectional tie of the Scottish League Cup.
Jackie Stewart had been appointed Manager in January 1973 after the great Willie Ormond had moved to be Manager of the Scotland International team.
The legendary team of the early 1970’s was now breaking up with John Connolly moving to Everton, Kenny Aird to Hearts and great servants like Willie Coburn, Ian McPhee and Gordon Whitelaw moving on to pastures new.
Manager Stewart was trying to replace such established players with youngsters, Gordon Smith, John Hotson, John McQuade and local lad Dave Cochrane.
Saints had been drawn in a group containing Dundee, Hearts and Partick Thistle ( who had caused a sensation in 1971 by winning the cup by defeating Celtic 4 – 1 in the Hampden Final).
The opening fixture of this campaign had seen Saints go down by a single goal at Dens but the team had bounced back to beat Hearts 2 – 1 at Muirton in the next match.
For the Partick Thistle game the Saints team was : – Jimmy Donaldson, John Lambie, Jim Argue, Alex Rennie, Ian Macdonald, Billy Ritchie, Henry Hall, Gordon Smith, Jim Pearson, John, McQuade, Fred Aitken. Subs – John Muir and Dave Cochrane.
The Partick Thistle team included the likes of Alan Rough, Ronnie Glavin, Joe Craig and Alex Rae.
The first half gave little hint of the excitement that lay ahead in the second period. The Jags had opened the scoring in 21 minutes through Tommy Rae but Fred Aitken equalised 6 minutes before the interval.
The second half saw Saints hit top form scoring four goals in a 25 minute purple patch with John McQuade playing a starring role.
Ace goalscorer Henry Hall got things going just 30 seconds after the restart when typically he fired the ball past Rough from inside the penalty area after McQuade had dribbled his way past a packed defence.
Jim Pearson was next up when McQuade and Hall combined to allow “Pearie” to stab the ball home from close range for 3 – 1.
McQuade was having a fabulous game and it was his header from an Ian Macdonald free kick which increased Saints advantage on 68 minutes.
One minute later and Hall had made it 5 – 1. However, Henry probably wouldn’t include this one in his all time “best goals” list.
Fred Aitken had sent in a cross from the left wing and Pearson dummied it allowing Henry the opportunity. As he set himself to blast it into the net he mishit the shot, completely foxing Rough, and the ball trundled into the opposite corner of the net. Game over.
The attendance was 2,900.
Saints finished in second position ( behind Dundee ) in the final table and in the second round went out to Kilmarnock by 3 – 2 after extra time in the two legged stage.
Unfortunately, John McQuade never fulfilled the potential he revealed in this match and he made only 15 plus 6 sub appearances for Saints scoring 3 goals in two seasons before being released in April 1975.
On the other hand Henry Hall with 114 goals ( all at the top level ) from 253 starts plus 3 subs remains St Johnstone’s 3rd highest goalscorer.