This is the first in an occasional series where we will take a match result and look at memorable games in Scottish history with that result. This week: games that ended 4-1:
1882 Scottish Cup Final: Queen’s Park 4 Dumbarton 1 (after 2-2 draw)
Back in the early days of organised association football, the big games were often a bit Sunday league in nature. The prior year Queen’s Park had won the cup 3-1 against Dumbarton after Dumbarton had protested the first game and had it replayed, to no avail. They fell short of revenge the following year when the Spiders demolished them 4-1 after the first game was tied. The Sons’ Robert Brown became one of only seventeen players to score in two successive finals, the first game in each year.
Dumbarton were on the up though and won the cup against Vale of Leven the following year, though Vale of Leven failed to appear to defend their trophy in 1884, handing victory to Queen’s Park. As I said, it was a bit Sunday league.
1981 Scottish Cup Final: Rangers 4 Dundee United 1 (replay)
Dundee United were starting to show promise and had seen off a healthy Celtic side in the semi with a 3-2 victory, and a team with McAlpine, Narey, Hegarty, Bannon, Dodds, and Sturrock had held Rangers to a 0-0 tie in 120 minutes in the final.
The replay was a different affair as John Greig started Davie Cooper and John Macdonald (they were subs in the first game) – Macdonald scored the first of his 2 goals in the 2nd minute, with Cooper scoring too as Rangers ran away with it.
1982 Scottish Cup Final: Aberdeen 4 Rangers 1 (aet)
Possibly the turning point for the “New Firm” with a strong and young Aberdeen team (Leighton, Miller/McLeish, Strachan, McGhee, Black, among others) taking on a Rangers side that had lost most of its late-70s lustre, though a midfield of Jim Bett, Alex Miller, Bobby Russell, and Davie Cooper had seen the cup holders to the final – albeit with a replay win after a goal-less draw with Forfar (I remember seeing the usual patronising BBC story about bridies before that match).
Fergie’s team won out, recovering from an early loss to win the game convincingly in extra-time, giving them a run at the Cup-Winners Cup the following year, where they started with an 11-1 aggregate win over Sion and ended with an extra-time victory over Real Madrid, that goal from John Hewitt marking a night that is known in Gothenburg as “skotska våldtäkt får natt”, and since then Swedish kids have been taught to keep any furry pets indoors that day of the year.
2010 European Champions’ Cup: Rangers 1 Unirea Urziceni 4
A lot has changed in our game since 1983. This fan’s video is given the description “At the start when everyone was hopeful!” and how wrong we were to hope.
Rangers were dismembered. I could argue that several of the goals were lucky deflections, but I’d sound like you-know-who arguing against you-know-what: the simple truth is we were outplayed by a better team, and this was yet another game that made people realise Scottish football is a long way behind and not catching up.
2006 Scottish Premier League: Hearts 4 Hibernian 1
More positively: remember that Hearts team that Burley put together? Their line-up that day had Gordon, Webster, Berra, Fyssas, Hartley, Skacel… Hibs were not bad either with Whittaker, Caldwell, Brown, Thomson, O’Connor, Riordan.
Some nice football on here, albeit painful viewing if you’re a Hibee. But you can always leave an abusive comment, I suppose.
1971 League Cup Final: Partick Thistle 4 Celtic 1
The year after narrowly losing the European Cup final to emerging Holland’s Feyenoord team, another 11 men closer to home stunned Stein’s 9-in-a-row squad – and Arthur Montford, if you listen to the commentary – with a 4-0 half-time lead at Hampden. Dalglish pulled one back for Celtic in the second half but the Thistle men played themselves into Firhill legend status that day.
1989 Scottish League: Rangers 4 Celtic 1
While we’re on the subject of Celtic getting pumped, a memorable one on this side of the Old Firm divide for two players who achieved “Rangers hero” status for very different reasons.
Firstly, Mark Walters, for kissing the badge in front of the Celtic end after dispatching his penalty – which has earned him many a free round, I am sure. Secondly, Celtic’s Anton Rogan for “doing an Anton” with a crazy tackle to give Walters that penalty. Rogan would cement his hero status with another needless penalty the next time the teams met at Ibrox (handball this time) which sparked the “Let’s all do the Anton” ditty-and-wave. Ah, those were the days.
Celtic fans, you will want to stop watching after the first goal.
2004 International Challenge Match: Scotland 4 Trinidad & Tobago 1
Berti Vogts’ finest hour-and-a-half? Well, it was certainly the best result he achieved in his doomed spell as Scotland’s manager.
Four goals up at the half, with McFadden and Fletcher combining for the first of those, on a sunny day in Leith – for one afternoon, Scottish football must have felt good – though it would never erase the memory of this next debacle.
2002 International Challenge Match: South Korea 4 Scotland 1
“South Korea served notice that they will be no-one’s fools at this year’s World Cup with a comprehensive victory over a woefully inadequate Scotland team,” read the intro to the BBC match report, and how accurate that was. Scotland were basted and barbequed like a dog in a Busan restaurant – outplayed and outclassed in every way. Notable only for Scott Dobie scoring in a Scotland shirt and antics from the legendary Malky (http://dearscotland.com/2010/01/21/tales-of-a-ta-gourmet-on-fast-food-and-football/) who spent the next day in bed. Literally, all day in bed.
The game was played on a Thursday, Friday was a recovery day, and we went to the beach on Saturday to see the locals letting off fireworks. We thought this was to celebrate their historic victory over a team with Scot Gemmill in the starting line-up, but no – it’s what they do on Saturday evenings at the beach in Busan because there’s fuck-all else to do in that boring dump of a city. We met some shell-suited locals with whom we shared a fair bit of soju while they told us how much they loved Michael Jackson in extremely bad English, so the trip wasn’t a complete disaster.
1998 World Cup Qualifier: Scotland 4 Belarus 1
The match that moved. The game was due to be played at 3pm, after Princess Diana’s burial that morning. But in the run-up to the devolution referendum in Scotland, the SFA were caught in the middle of a political squeeze. But the game was a FIFA qualifier, and the SFA did not have the sole authority to shift the date. There was concern that going ahead would put the autonomous Scottish association into the devolution firing line as a hammer for the “no” campaign, just as much of the country was caught up in “Queen of Hearts” fever.
In the end a compromise was found, the game went ahead on the Sunday at Pittodrie, and Scotland comfortably disposed of the Belorussians then dispatched Latvia to put us into the 1998 World Cup finals.
When will we see your likes again?