The Midlands Amateur FA’s Alliance Cup win in 1977

Continuing the Archive series plotting the paths to Tayport FC’s Cup and Championship successes over the years.

The Alliance Cup, first introduced in 1930, is contested by Midlands Clubs’ Reserve XIs.

Tayport’s debut in the competition in 1947/48 saw the club reach the semi final stage.

Seventy years ago in season 1949/50, Tayport FC, the club we know today, would collect its first ever silverware by winning the Alliance Cup…by default.

Tayport qualified for the semi final by virtue of winning their section. Wins over Balgay (7-2), Harris FP (13-1 & 5-4) and YM Anchorage (3-0) and a 1-1 draw with Anchorage saw us pip Balgay by a point.

Tayport then defeated RNAS Arbroath in the semi final (unfortunately no record of the score) to set up a final v Smedleys. Smedleys were disqualified for reasons not recorded, therefore Tayport lifted the club’s first ever silverware by default.
There followed a fallow 27 years for Tayport’s Alliance team.

Things had started to improve however and season 1975/76 saw the Alliance XI pipped for the Alliance 1st Division title by Kingsway Tech on goal average. The following season would see the club get that first taste of silverware with a dramatic 4-3 win over Grove Academy FP in the 1976/77 Alliance Cup Final at NCR Grounds on Saturday 28th May 1977. Frankie Dewar, George Ritchie and Peter Spink were the goalscorers.

Having beaten Tayport 5-0 in a league game only two weeks previously, Grove had been hot favourites but Tayport had kept their best ‘til last.

An Alliance XI lineup 76-77

An Alliance XI line-up from the autumn of the 1976/77 season. Back (l-r) Matt Lawson, Bruce Ritchie, Frank Feechan, Doug Henderson, Derek White, Jim Scott, Gordon Gray, Alan Davie, Gavin Anderson. Front – Albert Oswald, George Ritchie, Ian Rae, Brian Burchell, Ken Smith, Frankie Dewar.

In the five games played on the way to winning the cup, Tayport fielded an incredible 30 different players. Only one player – Alan Craig – actually played in all five games although Matt Lawson was a substitute in all five. Gordon Gray’s only game was in the final. George Ritchie, Frankie Dewar and Peter Spink were top scorers in the cup run with two goals each.

77 Alliance final

Presentation Evening_76-77

Presentation Evening 1976/77. Back (l-r) Albert Oswald, Matt Lawson, Bobby Waddell (1st XI manager), Bruce Burnett, Frank Feechan, Dickie Dewar, Jim Scott, Doug Henderson, Frankie Dewar, Alan Craig, Derek White

Front (David Henderson (1st XI), Gordon Hughes, Tom McMahon (Tayport Arms), George Ritchie, Tammy Laing (Alliance XI manager)

Apres match celebration was held at the Tayport Arms (aka Ponderosa) beer garden (actually, its back yard as this was before the Tayport Arms had a beer garden!) as guests of mine hosts Eck Dargie and Carol.

Alliance Cup post match celebrations

Alliance Cup Win 1977 Saturday evening celebrations in Tayport Arms beer garden. Among those in the photo in no specific order are Jimmy Lindsay, Alan Craig, Ian Dobie, Terry Scanlon, Bruce Burnett, Doug Henderson, Andy ‘Bunt’ Robertson, Eck Beat, Gordon Hughes, Frank Feechan, Alastair ‘Hercs’ Oswald, Winker Watson, Jim Herd, Frankie Dewar, Iain Cougan, George Ritchie, Davie Hughes, Abby Walker, Gary Cockburn, Bobby Waddell, Jim Scott, Peter Spink, Matt Lawson, Eck Dargie and Carol

Here are the stats:

Alliance Cup stats 77_001Alliance Cup stats 77_002