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17th August 1968:  Celtic v Partick Thistle –  League Cup

15th August 1968

The headlines in the press offered great praise to the boys on the field –

Sizzling Celts

and also gave the fans good news about important players –

 

Old Firm’ Pair Should Be Fit

‘Rangers centre-half Ronnie McKinnon and Celtic left-half Jim Brogan had stitches put in gashed brows after last night’s game but both seem certain to be available for Saturday when Rangers face Morton at Ibrox and Celtic meet Partick Thistle at Celtic Park’.

 

And after two matches, the League Cup table looked like this –

Team P W D L F A GAv Pts
1 Celtic 2 2 0 0 6 1 6.00 4
2 Rangers 2 1 0 1 5 3 1.67 2
3 Partick Thistle 2 1 0 1 4 6 0.67 2
4 Morton 2 0 0 2 2 7 0.29 0

 

Celtic and Rangers will be well represented in the Coca-Cola Pro-Am golf tournament at Haggs Castle on Monday. Celtic will have three players in action – Bertie Auld, Ronnie Simpson and Stevie Chalmers; while Rangers will have manager Davie White playing as well as three players – Andy Penman, John Greig and Davie Provan.

 

While all this was being described in the papers, the players trained as usual at Barrowfield. As is always the case after a good win, the atmosphere was very light-hearted although even though the workload was pretty high. I felt that there was no point in talking to the Boss about my absence from the side. A comfortable 4-1 win does not set the scene for a team break-up and that is what I was looking for – at least in the right-back slot!

 

16th August 1968

Training was a bit more relaxed the day before a game, with a concentration on the short, sharp stuff. And as there was a reserve match on at Firhill at the same time as the first-team encounter at Parkhead, everyone was keen to see the teams and hear what was happening on the morrow.

 

The evening press summed the situation up quite succinctly –

Same Celts – Auld as Sub – Rangers Wait

While we were told nothing about this, there was a piece in one of the evening editions about a change in the date for our forthcoming European Cup tie –

‘The date of Celtic’s second-leg European Cup tie with Ferencvaros at Parkhead has been changed again.

It will now be played on the original date of 2nd October – not in October 1st.

The switch to the Tuesday night was made at the request of the Hungarian champions but they have now told Celtic that one night of difference will not be of great help and they have now asked, and manager Jock Stein has agreed, that the tie can go ahead on October 2nd’.

 

The match had aroused great interest in the football world and in the press, there were adverts for trips to the Hungarian capital –

 

 

The Day of the Match 17th August 1968

I don’t know if the first-team were given a lunch somewhere (I doubt it somehow) but the reserves certainly weren’t and we all reported around 1pm for the trip to Firhill. The other guys would have come in a bit later but even when we left, there were crowds gathering, all of them keen to see a few goals. They gave us a good send-off, though.

 

The Teams

Partick Thistle

Ritchie
Cumming, Brown
Cunningham, McKinnon, O’Neill
McLindon, Bone, Coulston, Flanagan,Duncan.
Sub: Gallagher

Celtic

Simpson
Gemmell, O’Neill
Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan
Johnstone, Connelly, Wallace, Lennox, Hughes
Sub: Auld

 

The Play

There was a good crowd inside Parkhead that day (it was later declared as 38,000) with most of them supporting Celtic. And, right from the start, they watched the Hoops swing into action, take possession of the play and put the Jags defence under pressure. The goals soon arrived –

6 minutes
cross by Jinky from the right, it was missed by keeper Richie and Wispy was right on the spot to take advantage of the mistake.  1-0 Celtic

29 minutes
Wispy latched on a loose ball some 20 yards out and fired a low shot into the corner of the net. 2-0 Celtic

43 minutes
Wispy got his hat-trick, managing to push his foot at a cross from Jinky.  3-0 Celtic

It must have been a pretty happy dressing-room at the break. Managers often make themselves pretty scarce at a time like that, merely coming in just before the players are about to go out again to say something really thought-provoking like ‘keep it going’.

There would have no reason for the Boss to feel anything other than happy, so I assume that scenario took place that night.

In the early moments of the second half, Yogi had the ball in the net but it was chalked off for offside; and Ritchie had a great save from a TG pile-driver. And it continued like that for the rest of the match, Celtic constantly attacking, the Jags defending desperately and Ronnie a virtual spectator. Wispy got a 4th goal 15 minutes from the end to help the goal tally.

 

Final Score     Celtic  4  Partick Thistle  0

 

Above the report in one of the evening papers that night was this headline –

Wallace Keeps Jagging Thistle!

 

Other results

At Ibrox, Rangers beat Morton 2-0

 

The Table

 

Team P W D L F A GAv Pts
1 Celtic 3 3 0 0 10 1 10.00 6
2 Rangers 3 2 0 1 7 3 2.33 4
3 Partick Thistle 3 1 0 2 4 10 0.40 2
4 Morton 3 0 0 3 2 9 0.22 0

 

Reserve Match

Over at Firhill, the reserve side also beat Partick Thistle reserves 4-0. The team was Fallon, Craig, Gorman, Cattenach,

Hay, Clark, Murdoch, Chalmers, McBride, McMahon, Macari; the goals came from Stevie Chalmers (2), Joe McBride and Davie Cattenach.