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  • Class of 76 hit 9

    With St Johnstone back in the SPL I thought I'd take a wee wander down Memory Lane and offer up some recollections of a clash with them at Easter Road. Also, there's an interesting wee footnote to the article that I'm pretty sure us Hibbies will like!

    Prior to the advent of Skol Cups, CIS Cups and the likes, Scottish football started its seasons with the League Cup when clubs were drawn in eight sections of four and each side met home and away with the section winner progressing to the quarter finals. In season 1976/77 Hibs found themselves in a section along with Rangers, St. Johnstone and Montrose and although they were pipped at the post by Rangers in terms of winning their section they managed to beat St. Johnstone both home and away and with the Perth side having joined Scotland’s elite this season it’s interesting to focus on one of those League Cup clashes.

    Having won 2-1 in Perth thanks to a double from Ally Scott, Hibs were quietly confident of repeating that feat when the clubs met at Easter Road on Saturday 28 August 1976. I was amongst the crowd of just over 5,000 and when I took up my usual position on the east terracing I had no idea what I was about to witness!
    Some 33 minutes had elapsed without a goal from either side and I was beginning to think those that had stayed away were obviously a lot brighter than me but Ally MacLeod finally brought a smile to my face when an Arthur Duncan corner was helped on by John Blackley and there was our very own super Ally waiting to score from close range. Around three minutes from the break, Saints defender Taylor handled in the box and John Brownlie sent keeper Dave Robertson the wrong way to make it 2-0 at half time.

    With the second half not even two minutes old Referee Kenny Hope awarded Hibs another penalty and once again Robertson was beaten from the spot by Brownlie but that was just the start of his troubles. In the ten minutes commencing at the 50th in the game Hibs scored four more goals starting with a 25 yard rocket from Des Bremner. Two minutes later Ally Scott made it 5-0 and so it was something of a shock when Sellers raced clear at the other end to lob home a dipping effort, making it 5-1. Any thoughts of a comeback were misplaced as by the hour mark Lindsay Muir had scored a double inside sixty seconds to make it 7-1. With twenty minutes left Bobby Thompson headed home a corner from Sellars to make it 7-2 but that just prompted Hibs to put poor David Robertson to the sword again as Ally MacLeod made it eight and then Arthur Duncan popped up to make the final score 9-2.

    Hibs: Mike McDonald, John Brownlie, Bobby Smith, Des Bremner, George Stewart (Pat Stanton), John Blackley, Graeme Fyfe, Ally MacLeod, Ally Scott, Lindsay Muir and Arthur Duncan.

    St Johnstone: D. Robertson, MacKay, McBean, Taylor, Rankin, Smith, V. Robertson, Lambie, McGregor and Thomson.

    Footnote: Despite that great win Hibs had a pretty indifferent season and finished sixth in a league of ten clubs. The Tornadoes team that had thrilled thousands was well on its way to being broken up and in fact Pat Stanton left just a few weeks after the match featured above. There were a few bright spots though, like the fact that when Hibs beat Hearts 1-0 at Tynecastle on 26 January 1977, it was their ninth straight Derby match without defeat to the Tynecastle side and the twenty second year in a row that Hibs had been undefeated at Tynecastle in a New Year Derby! Given the fact that modern day Jambos love to sing their ‘twenty two games in a row song’ it’s nice to know we did it first and by years, not just games!!
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