Dunfermline Athletic

1962: Dunfermline 6 Valencia 2

Memorable Match #28
Inter Cities Fairs Cup Second Round
Wednesday 19th December 1962

Valencia arrived in West Fife in December 1962 with a four goal advantage from the first leg of their Inter Cities Fairs Cup in the Mestalla Stadium in Spain. For the defending cup holders this was the second trip to Scotland of the campaign since they had disposed of Celtic in the previous round while Dunfermline were getting past Everton 2-1 on aggregate.

Turning out on this freezing cold night at East End Park no one seriously believed that Dunfermline had a ghost of a chance of qualifying. No British side had previously beaten Valencia and those they have played were Rangers, Celtic, Wolves, Manchester United, Blackpool and Birmingham. Few imagined they would even create the record of being the first British club to get the better of the swashbuckling Spaniards. But they did.  And if it hadn`t been for an own goal error by centre half Jim MacLean five minutes after the interval Dunfermline might have won this match.

Above: The Dunfermline party en route to Valencia for the first leg

What a fantastic game this was. Dunfermline Manager, Jock Stein had said that they would go for goals and they did. They had three in the net within 17 minutes with the Spaniards wondering what had hit them.  Nineteen year old Jackie Sinclair scored two of these, and he and 16 year old Alex Edwards, on the right wing, were the prickliest thorns in the Spanish flesh.

The first goal came in the eleventh minute when a cross from Edwards had the Spanish defence in a tangle. The ball bobbed about until Harry MELROSE cooly nodded into the corner of the net despite the keeper and two defenders guarding the goal line. 1-0

Urged on by the crowd Dunfermline came back for more and just five minutes later the ground erupted with joy as a second went in. Again an Edwards cross paved the way. This time the Valencia defence were really sleeping. Unmarked Jackie SINCLAIR had a simple job to head into the net. 2-0

A minute later the crowd were in a frenzy when SINCLAIR scored again! Gathering a Peebles pass he ran on, touched the ball around the right back then calmly stroked it into the corner of the net. 3-0

Dunfermline were really scenting a sensational victory now, but they got a set-back in 22 minutes. In a Valencia attack that didn’t look too dangerous, Hector Núñez took a long through pass and squared it across goal. There wa# inside left Vicente Guillot to tap the ball in - though he could have been only inches onside. 3-1

Still excitement raged on with another Dunfermline goal in 34th minute. Edwards took a quick free kick near the corner flag short to Alex Smith. His cross was hooked in by Jim MACLEAN, the ball hitting the inside of the post and trickled in with the keeper absolutely bewildered. 4-1

Imagine the explosion of excitement when the Pars got the tie back on level terms when they scored a fifth. Peebles chested down an overhead kick from Smith, outpaced the defence and hit a beauty into the corner of the net from 12 yards. 5-1

Before the interval there was a strong penalty appeal when Sinclair was bundled off the ball and at the other end a great goal line clearance by Willie Cunningham from a José Urtiaga header.

Above: Jim MacLean hooks in the fourth Dunfermline goal

The frosty, slippery surface had been ignored by the Pars, as was the niggling, petty temper displayed on occasions by the big time opponents. At the interval the Spaniards must have been stunned that their four goal lead had been obliterated.

Half time: Dunfermline 5 Valencia 1

The second half started at the same helter skelter pace.  Five minutes into it though there was tragedy for centre half MACLEAN. He got his head to a harmless looking shot from left half José Saestre and deflected the ball past Jim Herriot into his own net. 5-2

Dunfermline survived that tragic own goal and Alex Smith levelled the score on aggregate six minutes later. Cunningham started the move with a pass to Smith. On it went to Peebles on the left. George beat two men neatly, squared across the goalmouth and SMITH was there to hammer home from close range.

From then on it was anybody`s game with Valencia, for the first time looking as though they might do something. It ended 6-2 to take the tie to a play off in Lisbon that the Spaniards won with the only goal of the game.  But the fans who missed this East End spectacle had to be kicking themselves.

The Spaniards went on to retain the trophy with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Dinamo Zagreb.

To comeback from 4-0 down in the away leg was heralded the greatest comeback by a Scottish club in European competition and in 2017 parallels were drawn with Barcelona`s astonishingly came back from a 4-0 first-leg defeat by Paris St-Germain in the Champions League to win 6-1 in the return leg but being 5-3 down on aggregate in the 88th minute.

DUNFERMLINE: Jim Herriott; Willie Callaghan, Willie Cunningham, Jim Thomson, Jim MacLean, George Miller, Alex Edwards, Alex Smith, Harry Melrose, George Peebles, Jackie Sinclair
SCORERS: Melrose (11), Sinclair (16, 17), MacLean (34), Smith (56).

VALENCIA: José Ginesta: Bautista Verdu, Manuel Mestre; Vicente Piquer, Juan Carlos Quincoces, José Saestre, Hector Núñez, José Urtiaga, Waldo da Silva, Vincente Guillot, José Ficha.
SCORERS: Guillot (22), MacLean (og 50)

REFEREE: Jim Finney (Hereford).

Watch the STV coverage: Dunfermline 6 Valencia 2

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