1969: Dunfermline 1 Slovan Bratislava 1
Memorable Match #21
European Cup Winners Cup Semi Final
Wednesday 9th April 1969
The prize for knocking out Apoel Nicosia, Olympiakos and West Bromwich Albion was a place in the semi final of the European Cup Winners Cup. The Pars were joined there by Barcelona, Cologne and Slovan Bratislava and it was the latter they were drawn against. The Czech cup holders stood between them and the final in Basel.
In reaching the semi final Slovan had seen off the Yugoslav team Borr, Porto and Turin. The enormity of the task facing George Farm’s team was underlined by Slovan’s win in both legs over Turin and a 2-1 win over World Club Champions Estudiantes earlier that year. Their side included four current Czech internationalists.
Given the magnitude of the match, it was disappointing that it only attracted a crowd of 16,559 fans. An indication perhaps that Pars fans of the era had become complacent about European football at East End Park.
The home side set off with the expected surge and had a penalty appeal turned down in 10 minutes when a Bert Paton shot hit Ladislav Moder.
When Slovan went into attack they were wily customers . Roy Barry brought down Karol Joki just outside the box and keeper Willie Duff had to palm away Ján Zlocha’s clever shot.
Dunfermline turned up the pressure with Hugh Robertson pulling a save out of keeper Alexander Vencel and then Ian Lister causing the Czech stopper to punch clear.
Drama on the half hour with the Fifers awarded an indirect free kick but when the ball was tapped to Willie Renton his shot screamed wide. With half time approaching it looked like stalemate but seconds from the whistle there was pandemonium as Dunfermline scored.
It started with an Edwards free kick from the right touchline. Fraser got his head to it, nodded the ball right to Paton who then cut it back for FRASER to cooly find the target. 1-0
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Slovan Bratislava 0
In the second half Pat Gardner was unable to capitalise on a wayward Alexander Horváth goal kick before the Czechs went on the offensive.
Ján Zlocha was a danger man. The big strong six footer was as often in the attack as he was in defence and in one of his break outs Moder failed by inches to get a connection.
Dunfermline were relying on the counterattack and that suited John Lunn’s game, his cross just evading Paton. In 77 minutes, Eddie Ferguson making his European debut as a sub for Renton, lobbed the keeper but also narrowly the crossbar. Paton got his head to a corner but could only scrape the bar.
Then with eight minutes remaining the best chance of the game fell to the Fifers. Paton and Gardner forced their way into the Slovan penalty box for Gardner’s effort to scream across the goalmouth with Paton failing by inches to connect.
From this let off the Czech side scored. Inside right Moder lifted the ball forward from the halfway line. Ján ČAPKOVIC used his speed to latch on to the ball 20 yards out and the winger with his left foot lobbed the ball high over the advancing Duff head to equalise. 1-1
Two minutes later the goalscorer hit the crossbar with a header from a Joki corner. That served as a serious warning of what might come in the return leg.
In Bratislava two weeks later, a mistake midway through the first half allowed Ján Čapkovič to open the scoring. It developed into a tough tussle generating the Daily Record headline Battle of Bratislava. Five players were booked by a weak Yugoslav ref and then Pat Gardner was controversially sent off with half an hour remaining.
There was to be no way back for the Scots and small consolation perhaps that their conquerors went on to beat Barcelona in the final in Switzerland.
DUNFERMLINE: Willie Duff: Willie Callaghan, John Lunn, Jim Fraser, Roy Barry, Willie Renton (Eddie Ferguson 63), Hugh Robertson, Bert Paton, Alex Edwards, Pat Gardner, Ian Lister
SUBS: George McKimmie, Jim Thomson, John McGarty, Bent Martin (GK)
SCORER: Fraser (44)
SLOVAN BRATISLAVA: Alexander Vencel: Jozef Fiľo, Vladimir Hrivnák, Ján Zlocha, Alexander Horváth, Jozef Hater, Ludovic Cvetzer, Ladislav Moder, Jozef Čapkovič, Karol Joki, Ján Čapkovič.
SUBS: Sedilek, Muttovic, Zlocha, Bixon
SCORER: Ján Čapkovič (83)
REFEREE: Kurt Tshenscher, West Germany.
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