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50 Years Today!

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50 Years Today!

PostedMarch 31, 2020

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Cowden’s legendary promotion clash at Central Park v Falkirk back in 1970. That year saw us compete neck and neck with Falkirk at the top of the 2nd Division and eventually both clubs went up to continue an epic rivalry into the next season. Sir Alex Ferguson still remembers to this day Daisy Kinnell (mother of Cowden skipper Andy Kinnell, pictured below) setting about him for kicking ‘her laddie’.

Back at the end of March 1970, Andy Matthew’s shock troops had led the 2nd Division from the start of the season to everyone’s amazement. Falkirk though began to rapidly gain ground as they played off several games in hand. The scene was thus set for a titanic clash as the season neared its climax. This game to this day remains one of the best remembered matches ever played at Central Park. A crowd of well over 10,000 gathered. A special train and a fleet of buses brought 3,000 fans from Falkirk. Scotland’s top scorer John Dickson though was out injured and that was a huge blow for Cowdenbeath.

In 19 minutes, Tommy Millar slung in a good free kick. Billy Mullen’s shot was blocked and in the ensuing scramble Davie Ross netted from six yards. After the interval Falkirk gained the supremacy partly because of some weird and wonderful decisions by Referee Bill Mullan (from Dalkeith but once of Cardenden), who gave decision after decision in their favour. The full time outfit tried to run the Cowden lads, many of whom had come straight to the ground after a hard day’s work, into the ground. It was thus no surprise when Falkirk equalised, an inswinging Hoggan corner being cleverly head-flicked into the roof of the net by Andy Roxburgh despite Denis Jack’s despairing efforts to head it off the line. The celebrating Roxburgh was promptly decked by a fly punch from Cowden’s Tommy Millar!

Falkirk’s equaliser was the signal for a further bout of tough tackling and the referee’s whistle was seldom silent. This was no holds barred stuff. Billy Mullen was left lying prostrate on the pitch in an off the ball incident which involved a punch from John Markie of Falkirk. They had been needling each other all game as they enjoyed their own private feud. Billy’s dad had to be dragged back off the pitch by the ‘polis’ after this incident. The referee after consulting his linesman was no further forward as regards grasping what had transpired. In the 75th minute, Alex Ferguson drilled a shot against the Cowden post. Then with only three minutes remaining, Cowden won a free-kick. Tommy Millar chipped the ball into the area. It hung in the air under the lights. The Falkirk defence moved out appealing for offside. Timing his run to perfection though, braveheart Billy Bostock (pictured below) darted in to head the ball past the despairing Stuart Rennie in the Falkirk goal. As the ball bounced into the back of the net, a mighty roar split the night sky as Central Park went mad with joy. The players joyously celebrated in front of the stand. 2-1 to Cowden and that’s how it ended. Those were the days!

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