Dunfermline Athletic

1966: Dunfermline 5 Hibernian 6

Memorable Match #66
Scottish First Division
East End Park
Saturday 17th September 1966

The Sunday Post reported “if football is played at East End Park for another 100 years, the canny folk of Carnegie toon will never see a show quite like this again”.

As the two sides shared eleven goals, it was the drama that played out after the Pars had gone 4-0 down with just a quarter of the game remaining that sent everyone, lucky enough to be witness it, home buzzing. They had after all possibly witnessed one of the most exciting climax ever.

It was the first home league game of the 1966/67 season and Hibernian were the visitors bringing with them a large contingent of fans over the then recently opened Forth Road Bridge. Their numbers were no doubt swollen with quiet confidence of anticipated victory against a Dunfermline side that had only managed to draw against the newly promoted Ayr United the previous Saturday and had lost 6-3 at Parkhead in the quarter finals of the League Cup in midweek.

Hibs were now thought by many to be playing better football under manager Bob Shankly than during Jock Stein’s time at the club, and while attendances at many other grounds were falling, at Easter Road the crowds were starting to return in significant numbers with the average home gate at that time around 17,000.

The Pars were without injured keeper Eric Martin, Jim Thomson and Alex Edwards meaning a first league start for David Anderson in goal, Ian Hunter who had been signed from Lochore Welfare three years before and Pat Delaney, a recent £17,000 signing from Motherwell.

Hibs started the game the better side and goals from Scotland internationalist Peter CORMACK and former Bo’ness United, Jim SCOTT gave the visitors a comfortable half time lead.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Hibernian 2

Ten minutes into the second half Cormack sent Eric STEVENSON up the right. The former Jambo cut in and flashed a left footed shot in off the post. 0-3

When Hibs scored again seven minutes later it was thought to be an unassailable lead. The visitor’s fourth was a breathtaking goal where Jim Scott galloped from midfield to pick out Colin Stein. Anderson parried the forceful shot but Alan McGRAW was handy to lash the ball home. 0-4

With just over 25 minutes remaining the game looked as good as over but hopefully no home fans left early! DELANEY pulled one back for the Pars after keeper Thomson Allan has dropped an Alex Ferguson cross, but even when the centre forward scored again three minutes later there still didn’t seem all that much to concern the Hibees. 2-4

Hibs close season signing from Morton McGRAW scored a fifth to re-establish his side’s two goal advantage, a goal that would surely now put the final result beyond doubt.

However, just as at Parkhead on the Wednesday evening when Dunfermline had been three behind inside six minutes and four behind at the interval before demonstrating their fighting qualities to score three times in the second half, once again the Pars were refusing to accept defeat. Just a minute after the capital side’s fifth goal inside right HUNTER scored a third for Dunfermline. 3-5

Above: Team photo from 1966 - Standing: Ian Hunter, Willie Callaghan, Jim Thomson, Eric Martin, David Anderson, Pat Delaney, John Lunn, Tommy Callaghan, Jim MacLean. Seated: Alex Edwards, Bert Paton, Jim Fleming, Alex Ferguson, Hugh Robertson.

By this time, they were by far the better side with Delaney and Ferguson in particular causing all kinds of panic in the Hibs penalty area. Incredibly, assisted by a couple of terrible blunders by the Hibs goalkeeper Allan, further goals from the former Dundee player Hugh ROBERTSON in 80 minutes and a header from Alex Ferguson in 84 levelled the scores and by this time the tension among both sets of supporters was palpable. 5-5

Hibs were now all over the place, the anxiety of not only the players but also their fans on the terracing evident. With just one minute remaining Dunfermline appeared to have scored again when after hesitation by goalkeeper Allan, centre half John McNamee cleared a ball that appeared to have already crossed the line, from under the crossbar to safety. Referee Stewart said no goal!

With just seconds remaining and referee Stewart checking his watch, the ball was once again swept upfield into the Dunfermline half. McGraw was brought down 25 yards from goal and with the referee appearing to be just about to blow the final whistle the alert SCOTT took advantage of a quickly taken free kick to score his second goal of the afternoon after his first shot had rebounded off the goalkeeper. The final whistle then brought an end to one of the most incredible games ever seen at East End Park.

It was Hibs first league victory at Dunfermline since 1958 and a real pity such a great Fifers fightback availed nothing but it must be conceded Hibs defence became a shaking shambles latterly after looking masterly early on.

Dunfermline manager, Willie Cunningham, commented:-

“There have been many outstanding games at East End Park in past season’s but surely none more so than this game. For a long time to come the controversial incidents in the game will be discussed and debated in the clubs and at social gatherings where football enthusiasts meet.

“It is not within my province to give judgements on the rights or wrongs but I may be permitted to add that there was scarcely a spectator at the match who would have grudged us a point. The comeback after seemingly being well out of the game was, to say the least, encouraging. The fact remains however that we lost two points.”

This captivating game would be the only league appearance that the former Bonnyrigg Rose and Hearts goalkeeper David Anderson would make for Dunfermline. He had conceded six goals against both Celtic and Hibs inside four days while deputising for the injured Eric Martin and would soon be on his way to Dumbarton.

DUNFERMLINE: David Anderson: Willie Callaghan, John Lunn, Bert Paton, Jim MacLean, Tommy Callaghan, Jim Fleming, Ian Hunter, Pat Delaney, Alex Ferguson, Hugh Robertson
SUB: J O’Neill
SCORERS: Delaney (67, 70), Hunter (77), Robertson (80), Ferguson (84).

HIBERNIAN: Thomson Allan: Bobby Duncan, Joe Davis, Pat Stanton, John McNamee, Alan Cousin, Peter Cormack, Colin Stein, Jim Scott, Alan McGraw, Eric Stevenson
SUB: Quinn
SCORERS: Cormack (15), Scott (34, 90), Stevenson (55), McGraw (62, 76)

REFEREE: J Stewart (Paisley)

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