Dunfermline Athletic

1958: Forfar Athletic 0 Dunfermline 1

Memorable Match #70
Scottish Second Division
Station Park, Wednesday 16 April 1958

This match in Forfar was not so much memorable for the football but for the consequence of the result. The Pars had been a Second Division team since 1937 and had won promotion in 1955 only to be relegated two seasons later.

The stated ambition in season 1957-58 was “back in one season” and there were optimistic vibes around East End Park that they could achieve this. The Second Division was made up of nineteen teams, Ayr United had come down with the Pars but other challengers were expected to be Stirling Albion and Arbroath.

The Pars certainly got off their mark in the opening league match recording a 7-1 win over St Johnstone. This was the first of a number of high scoring matches at East End Park.

Reporting on the 8-1 victory over Alloa Athletic in November the Dunfermline Press wrote “poor Alloa, I am sure that they will rue for a long time to come, that fatal day 16th November 1958. This was a day when Dunfermline’s first half performance produced a brand of football that would have cut through any defence in either Second or First Division.”

Not surprisingly after scoring five against Arbroath, Cowdenbeath and Ayr and six against Dundee United, the Pars at this stage in the season were the country’s top goal scoring side.

The Dunfermline line up at the start of the 1957-58 season.
Back row (L to R): Robert Thomson, George Duthie, Bill Beaton, Ralph Burns, Harry Colville, Ron Mailer. Front row (L to R) George Peebles, Gerry McWilliam, Charlie Dickson, Jimmy Watson, Raymond Brown


The fans had already decided the Pars would get promoted but manager Andy Dickson was more cautious emphasising that there were still 21 league games to go.

He was right to be wary as his team went down 1-0 at Albion Rovers the following week and lost four of the next nine. Scottish Cup ties in February saw the team recover their form with wins over Alloa and St Mirren when Charlie Dickson scored a hattrick in a 4-1 win at Love Street.

In the third round of the cup they were drawn at home to Rangers. For 18 glorious minutes the Fifers led through a Gerry McWilliam goal but a determined Rangers fought back to win 2-1. It was felt that the Scottish league champions scraped through to the quarter finals in front of a crowd of 24,377 - an all time record for a Scottish Cup tie at East End Park.

With ten league games remaining, the Pars were in fourth place, albeit with two games in hand over Arbroath and Dumbarton above them. The scoring machine continued to function as they won nine and drew one of those last ten games. Albion Rovers had eight hit past them, Hamilton Accies five and on their first ever visit to East End Park Stranraer were sent reeling to a 9-1 defeat.

Four days later a DICKSON goal ensured the Pars promotion with a 1-0 win at Forfar but they were to lose their fight for the title as Stirling Albion held out to win the league by two points.

Dunfermline Athletic were back in the top flight of Scottish football and this time they would be there to stay for the next eventful 15 seasons.

120 league goals were scored by Dunfermline in 1957-58. Top scorer Charlie Dickson scored 40 including 4 hattricks, Gerry McWilliam 29 inc 2 hattricks and Jimmy Watson 26 inc 4 hattricks. George Duthie scored 14, all penalties.



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