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5th April 1961
SCOTTISH CUP SEMI FINAL REPLAY
Dunfermline Athletic (0) 1 St Mirren (0) 0
Jock Stein made two changes to the team that played in the first game, bringing in Dave Thomson to replace the injured Charlie Dickson, and Tommy McDonald in place of Dan McLindon.
The replay was never a classic encounter, but the Athletic played a sound tactical game, to make history for the club by reaching their first ever Scottish Cup Final.
The opening spell of the game was fast and furious, with both sides being forced into making mistakes. The first real chance fell to the Saints, when a Henderson shot narrowly missed.
Following some fine passing play between the Pars forward line, Melrose found himself in a good position for a shot, but Brown grabbed the ball on the ground. Then in 13 minutes, following a collision with Riddell, Alex Smith took a nasty head knock which needed stitches. It was some sixteen minutes before he was able to continue, with a plaster on his forehead.
With the Athletic defence forcing the Saints attack to remain deep, it was the Athletic who looked by far the better of the two teams at this stage.
George Peebles had a fine shot which was well held by Jimmy Brown. At the other end, Rodger drove narrowly past after Connachan had punched the ball out. But overall it was the Pars who were making the better chances, and when McDonald passed inside to Thomson, he back heeled to Melrose, who set-up Peebles for a shot which had the crowd shouting 'goal', as it narrowly missed the target. At the Dunfermline end, Connachan had a fine save from Don Kerrigan.
With half-time approaching, the tackles were getting heavier, and referee Mr Bowman had to have a word with the players to quieten things down.
Right after the break, Dunfermline fell out of the game for a while, but not before a Smith drive went inches over the bar. Saints had several good efforts from Gemmill and Kerrigan which were well dealt with by Connachan.
In 67 minutes, the Pars were awarded a free kick near the corner flag. Melrose crossed the ball into the box, and Saints right-half Stewart attempted to clear the ball, but in the process managed to head against the underside of the bar, from where the ball crossed the line despite a last gasp effort by Wilson to clear. With the referee right on the spot, a goal was signalled, despite appeals from the St Mirren players. Pandemonium broke out on the terracing, as Dunfermline went into a fully deserved lead.
One goal up, and the Pars were fighting for every ball, and they had chances to increase their lead further. Thomson capitalised on a Clunie slip, but fell before he could take advantage. Melrose and Thomson both missed an inviting Mailer free kick.
As Saints became more desperate to grab a late equaliser, they gambled by moving centre half Clunie to centre forward for the last ten minutes. Saints Kerrigan was booked for speaking out of turn.
Right at the death, Connachan had a superb save from a Riddell drive, putting the ball out for a corner, which was subsequently cleared.
Then came the final whistle - Dunfermline Athletic were in the Scottish Cup Final.
Dunfermline: Connachan, Fraser, Cunningham, Mailer, Williamson, Miller, McDonald, Smith, Dickson, Thomsopn, Peebles, Melrose.
St Mirren:Brown, Campbell, Wilson, Stewart, Clunie, Riddell, Rodger, Henderson, Kerrigan, Gemmill, Miller.
Referee:G Bowman (Clydebank)
So after six games the Pars had progressed to the final of the Scottish Cup. Their opponents at Hampden would Celtic on 22nd April 1961, the biggest game the Pars had ever played in their 76 year history.
The Dunfermline Press noted that since coming into the team at the Quarter Final stage, goalkeeper Eddie Connachan had yet to concede a cup goal.
The Provost of Dunfermline, Archibald Frederick outlined tentative plans for a civic reception after the Hampden game, to honour the team's remarkable achievement.