Memorable Matches – Tayport v. Parkside 1978

Scottish Amateur Cup 5th round tie v Parkside (Viewpark, Uddingston, N. Lanarkshire), January / February 1978

When a club has played literally thousands of games, many will be memorable for a variety of reasons, most of which will be individual memories such as debuts, goals scored, last minute winners and collectively,  giant killing and cup final wins, for example.

There are other reasons, of course, and one such match, or to be accurate, three such matches, was the 1978 5th round Scottish Cup tie v Parkside.

Those of a Tayport persuasion who were playing, the committee and the fans are unlikely to have any memory of the first game at Tayport but will certainly have little difficulty recalling two Saturday afternoons in the depth of winter in deepest Lanarkshire.

Tayport had started their 1977/78 Midlands AFA season in great form and as 1977 drew to a close, the team, under manager Bobby Waddell, had gone 22 games undefeated since the start of the season back at the beginning of August.

A 1st round bye, then Strathmore Albion, Burrelton Rovers and NCR had been accounted for in the Scottish Amateur Cup. There were hopes that a previous season’s 6th round appearance could be matched or maybe even bettered, when Tayport were drawn at home to Parkside FC from Viewpark, Uddingston, birthplace of football legends, Celtic’s Jimmy Johnstone and Nottingham Forest’s John Robertson.

On the back of seven successive wins, the tie on 7th January was eagerly awaited and attracted a good support of locals. The winning run came to an end, though, and Tayport had to settle for a 1-1 draw and a replay.

In their first game of a new year, Tayport had lined up:-

Bobby Nicol; Bobby McMahon, Ian Mathers, Ronnie Fleming, Doug Henderson;  Ian Dobie (Peter Wilson), Mike Clerihew, Jim Downie;  Steve Braid (George Ritchie), Ian Howe, Gordon Hughes.

Two weeks of typical January weather meant consecutive postponements but the replay got the green light for 28th January. Ritchie and Wilson started instead of Braid and Dobie with Terry Scanlon and  Stuart Davie on the bench.

As the match report describes and the photographs show, conditions were pretty horrendous…as were changing facilities.

Tayport fought bravely for 120 minutes to secure a 4-4 draw before losing the toss to determine the venue for the third and deciding meeting. There were a lot of lionhearts in that Tayport squad and a third game held no fears but it took a hotly disputed penalty to finally seal Tayport’s fate in a 2-1 defeat.

Weather kept Tayport cooling their heels for the following two weeks but the Parkside experience failed to quench the players’ spirits and in successive weeks on return to action, Tayport eliminated both Star Hearts and Cupar Hearts from the Fife Amateur Cup.

Half time instruction from manager Bobby Waddell at Parkside. L-r Andy ‘Bunt’ Robertson, Ian Howe, Doug Henderson, Ian Mathers, Bobby Waddell, Bobby McMahon. Note the sawdust marking the touchline and the burn running down the pitch—3ft inside the touchline. The extent of the dreadfully muddy conditions can best be illustrated by Doug Henderson who would normally leave the pitch in a strip as pristine as it had been 90 minutes earlier!

Manager Waddell gives Doug Henderson his half time instruction.  Others from left are Mike Clerihew, Ken Smith, Jimmy Downie, Fred Bremner, Bobby Nicol, Bobby McMahon, Terry Scanlon and Gary Cockburn.