Dunfermline Athletic

1961: Aberdeen 3 Dunfermline 6

Memorable Match #78
Scottish Cup Third Round
Pittodrie Stadium
Saturday 25th February 1961

Following the Scottish Cup Second Round win at Stranraer, Dunfermline played Division One leaders Rangers at home, and in front of a 20,000 crowd, picked up a point in a 0-0 draw. It was a game that the Pars could have won, although they had to survive two strong penalty claims from the Ibrox side. The result left Dunfermline sitting in 11th place with 23 points.

The Third Round draw had sent the Pars to the other end of the country to face Aberdeen for just the second time ever in the Scottish Cup. The Dons in fourth, were seven places above Dunfermline in the league table leading to forecasts of an Aberdeen win. The last time the two teams met at the end of December 1960, Aberdeen had won convincingly 6-2 at East End Park. However, in recent games at Pittodrie, the Pars had given a good account of themselves despite eventually going down.

Aberdeen`s Ken Brownlee and George Mulhall were the players that most needed watching. However, the overall feeling of the local paper was that the Pars could do worse than secure a draw, and play again the following Wednesday with home advantage.

With Willie Cunningham restored to the side after a bout of flu, manager Jock Stein was able to field the same eleven players that played against Stranraer.

Things didn`t start well and within a minute the Pars found themselves a goal down when Dickie Ewan crossed. It looked an easy take for keeper Jim Herriot, but the ball slipped from his grasp, allowing BROWNLEE to head home. Twice after that, Herriot endangered his goal with faulty handling, but in both cases the danger was cleared.

This was Aberdeen`s best spell and it took the Athletic forwards some time to find their feet on a heavy sodden pitch. The equaliser came in 22 minutes, when Doug Fraser sliced a clearance to Charlie Dickson on the right wing, and his cross was headed home by Alex SMITH. 1-1

Billy Little had a chance to put Aberdeen back into the lead, but Herriot touched the ball onto a post and Williamson cleared off the goal line. Smith had a fierce drive that narrowly missed, before in 32 minutes Ogston dropped Smith`s cross and there was DICKSON to hammer the ball into the back of the net. 1-2

Herriot then had a fine double save from Ewan and Brownlee, and as an indication of how wet the pitch was, Doug Coutts slid some 10 yards on his back after clearing the ball.

Half time: Aberdeen 1 Dunfermline 2

Three minutes into the second half, some Dickson juggling on the right made space for Tommy McDONALD, who raced in to shoot home. Despite the referee looking at the linesman, the goal stood. 1-3

Above: First three goalscorers: Alex Smith, Charlie Dickson and Tommy McDonald

The Dons were by now being continually forced to defend, but against the run of play in 59 minutes BROWNLEE scored after back-heeling home a corner. However, it took the Fifers just two minutes to restore the two-goal cushion, as a McDonald centre was touched on by Dickson to Harry MELROSE, whose shot was deflected into the net. 2-4

With 13 minutes remaining Aberdeen centre-half Coutts was injured and was moved to centre-forward for the rest of the game. The weakened Aberdeen defence conceded a fifth goal in 82 minutes, when a mazy McDonald run gave George PEEBLES his chance to shoot home, off the far post.

Herriot dropped a Ewan cross 2 minutes from time, and COUTTS was on hand to touch the ball into the back of the net. However, the Pars had the final word, and right on full time, George MILLER headed home to finish the game on a high note.

A fine display of attacking football ensured the Pars victory in which there were six different scorers.

Above: Goals 4, 5 and 6 scorers: Harry Melrose, George Peebles and George Miller

ABERDEEN: John Ogston, Dave Bennett, Gordon Sim, Ian Burns, Doug Coutts, Doug Fraser, Dickie Ewen, Charlie Cooke, Billy Little, Ken Brownlee, George Mulhall.
SCORERS: Brownlee (1, 59), Coutts 88)

DUNFERMLINE: Jim Herriot: Willie Cunningham, John Sweeney, Ron Mailer (c), Jackie Williamson, George Miller, Tommy McDonald, Alex Smith, Charlie Dickson, George Peebles, Harry Melrose
SCORERS: Smith (22), Dickson (32), McDonald (49), Melrose (61), Peebles (82), Miller (90)

REFEREE: G Mitchell (Falkirk)

Sharing a gate of £1780, Dunfermline finally saw some financial benefit from their treks around the country but their real reward was to be drawn at home in the quarter final against Second Division Alloa Athletic. The Pars now had a great chance to reach the last four of the Scottish Cup for the first time in their history.

Scottish Cup Third Round Results

Attendance Receipts
Aberdeen 3 Dunfermline Ath 6 15,455 £1,780
Alloa Athletic 2 Forfar Athletic 1 2,994 £256
Brechin City 0 Airdrieonians 3 2,800 £240
Hamilton Ac 0 Hibernian 4 11,437 £1,287
Motherwell 2 Rangers 2 31,958 £4,000
Partick Thistle 1 Hearts 2 23,000 £2,470
Raith Rovers 1 Celtic 4 19,359 £2097
St Mirren 3 Third Lanark 3 20,810 £2,377

1961 Scottish Cup First Round:
Berwick Rangers 1 Dunfermline 4

1961 Scottish Cup Second Round:
Stranraer 1 Dunfermline 3

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