Tayport in the Scottish Junior Cup: Part 3 – 1907/1908 to 1908/1909

231 clubs had entered this season’s competition with the early rounds being drawn on a regional basis. An Aberdeenshire Region section of the draw had been introduced, but there was also a North of Scotland section which paired Tayport with Montrose Rosevale at Links Park, Montrose in the 1st round on 28 September 1907. Tayport weren’t included in the Fife section which probably confirmed that the high heid yins in Glasgow weren’t exactly sure where Tayport was!

Tayport had always had a goodly number of seafarers amongst its population so it perhaps wasn’t too much of a surprise to learn that the team travelled to Montrose via the North Sea or, as it was called in those days, the German Ocean, by boat. The kick-off was 3.30pm, the boat left Tayport harbour at 12.10pm

Two goals from centre forward Latto gave the ‘Port team a 2-1 win, so there may well have been a few rum-fuelled shanties during the return sail to Tayport harbour.

Round 2

Angus opponents again in Round 2 with Arbroath Parkhead visitors to the East Common on 28th October 1907. Tayport’s star goalkeeper Coss was out through injury but the Arbroath press reported “…his place was well filled by Heggie and although the game was one-sided, this was entirely due to the home side’s persistency and hard work. The big victory of Tayport over Parkhead by 5 v 0 was scarcely looked for and the White and Green brigade will have to pull themselves together”

Tayport had fielded Heggie; Crawford and Lonie; Balfour, N. Oswald and Guthrie; Devlin, A.Rae (capt.), Latto, Campbell and Greig. Reserves were Mills, Irvine and Dorwood.

Round 3

For Round 3 on 30th November 1907  it was a short trip to Dundee to meet Glenavon at Fairmuir Park. Tayport fielded Heggie; Crawford and Lonie; Balfour, N.Oswald and Guthrie; Morris, A Rae (capt.), Mills, Campbell and Greig. Reserves were Latto, Irvine, Kay and Henderson. Tayport were never behind, winning 3-2 with goals from Latto, Campbell and Rae.

Round 4

By this stage, the competition was all-in and round 4 favoured Tayport with a home draw v Ayrshire’s Ardeer Thistle.

Some familiar names but only a few of the 1907 clubs still going strong in 2021:

The rules of the competition decreed that if clubs were more than 100 miles apart, the home club, had to either guarantee the visiting club’s fares or stage the game at a neutral midway venue – an almost certain loss of money whichever way they decide.

Tayport took the neutral venue option but then agreed to Ardeer’s suggestion that, for a monetary consideration, the neutral venue be in Ayrshire.

Tayport had wanted £15 [worth around £1,850 in 2021] but eventually a deal was struck and they settled for Ardeer’s top offer of £10. Ardeer’s choice was to play the tie at ‘neutral’ Stevenston, about five miles along the road from Ardeer, on 28th December.

It was noted: “The Committee of the Ardeer FC have been reluctantly compelled to raise the price of admission to Saturday’s match to 4d. Members on this occasion are also kindly asked to pay at gate, so as to assist the management in meeting the large expenditure which this important match will entail”

The temptation to accept the financial inducement may well have been regretted as the match report records…

 “There was a large attendance at Stevenston to witness the encounter between these Fifeshire and Ayrshire teams in the 4th Round of the Scottish Cup. Prompt to time the game started, and in a twinkling Harvie had the ball in the net for Ardeer. The Fifers strove hard to get an equaliser but the Ardeer players were too strong for them and they were repulsed. Another smart piece of play brought a second goal for Ardeer, and at half-time they led by 2-0. On resuming, it was expected that Tayport, with the strong wind in their favour, would make a better show, but this hope was not realised. Ardeer completely outplayed them, scoring four more goals and winning the tie by 6-0”

Tayport‘s line-up was Heggie; Crawford & Lonie; Balfour, Oswald & Guthrie; Morris, Rae, Mills, Campbell & Greig.

The local press also noted…

The visit of the Fifers to the town of explosives was looked forward to with much interest and anxiety by the supporters of Ardeer Thistle. The visitors arrived in Stevenston on Saturday forenoon at 11.30am, leaving Tayport in the morning at 6.12 am. They left Stevenston with the 4.57pm train for Glasgow where they were to get a connection for home at 8 o’clock. On being asked why they were going away so early from Stevenston, their reply was that “they wanted a wee while in Glesca”. They also remarked that “it was awfu’ cauld doon this way”; and they considered Ardeer grand players.

1908 – 1909

An eyewatering total of 269 clubs entered this season’s competition.

Round 1

 In previous seasons Tayport had been in the North of Scotland section of the 1st round draw but this season they weren’t one of the 26 clubs in the Fifeshire section but found themselves in the Forfarshire & Perthshire section and a home tie v Carnoustie Panmure on 26th September 1908.

Tayport, relying on much the same squad that reached last season’s 4th round, got off to a promising start in the 08-09 competition with a 4-0 win over Carnoustie on the East Common.

Round 2

The Dundee & District Junior League (D&DJL) was still a closed shop to clubs outwith the city but in cup competitions Tayport often had the measure of their city opponents. However when drawn away v D&DJL newcomers Clepington Athletic in the 2nd round on 31st October 1908, Junicusinthe Evening Telegraphwas of the opinion that Tayport will have to show improved form in order to oust Clepington from the Tournament”.

Following a 2-2 draw at North End Park, a prescient Junicus noted that…

Such was the surprise of Tayport’s 6-1 replay win on 7th November 1908 that Junicus later added “Clepington’s defeat at Tayport is unexplainable and is the largest this season”.

Round 3

on 28th November 1908 paired Tayport with Dundee [Lochee] Harp and again it was another win against the odds, Tayport 3 Harp 2:

Junicus had warned them…

Tayport’s squad during this season’s cup run was J.Heggie; Sorley, Lonie, Berrie, Cowie, Melville, J.Nicol, Irvine, R.Nicol, N.Oswald, E.Oswald, F.Oswald, Greig, W.Campbell, C.Campbell.

Round 4

In the 4th round, Tayport, one of only 3 Fife-based clubs, were drawn at home to Aberdeen’s Mugiemoss in a Boxing Day tie on the East Common. It was another tight game but Tayport delighted the home support by edging through by 3-2.

The Aberdeen Press & Journal covered the match:

Round 6

To tidy up the draw, there were only two ties in the 5th round, the rest, including Tayport, received a bye into a 6th round, i.e. the last 16. Including Tayport, the draw featured only four clubs from the east coast, the others being Penicuik Juniors, Lochgelly St Patrick’s and Dundee Violet.

As always, the last 16 was dominated by west coast clubs.

Penicuik had accounted for Cupar Violet in an earlier round, but the local Cupar newspaper wasn’t shedding any tears.

Tayport’s bid to make the quarter finals brought them another trip to Clydeside, this time drawn away to Yoker Athletic on 30th January 1909.

Sadly, the optimism was misguided and “Tayport bade goodbye to the Scottish for another year. The Yoker lads made the most of the first half and Tayport were 4-1 down at the cross-over. With J.Nicol injured, the Fifers did exceedingly well with ten men but were eventually defeated by 6-2”. and later in the week –  “The accident to player Nicol of Dundee Tayport [sic] has turned out worse than expected. I understand he has been taken to the Dundee Infirmary this week to go through an operation”

Yoker would go on to reach the semi-final, losing 1-0 to Strathclyde.

In season 1909/10 Tayport didn’t enter the Scottish Junior Cup.