Jim Scott remembers ending Berwick’s Cup dream

Jim Scott in action for Hibs

Jim Scott in action for Hibs

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A crowd of almost 30,000 crammed into Easter Road to watch Hibs take on Berwick Rangers in the Scottish Cup – many of them looking for lightning to strike twice.

Less than a month previously the “wee Rangers” had caused one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition, Sammy Reid’s goal knocking their Glasgow namesake out.

Next up for the Shielfield Park club early in 1967 was a trip to Edinburgh and the chance to send more shockwaves reverberating through the Scottish game. But a single goal from Jim Scott in the first Scottish Cup clash between the clubs disappointed those hoping to see the Hibees similarly humbled.

However, today Scott, now 74 and living in his hometown Falkirk, recalled it wasn’t all plain sailing for Bob Shankly’s team that day. He said: “I think the whole of Scotland, and much further afield, was shocked at what had happened in the first round. It was such a result that Jim Forrest and George McLean never played for Rangers again.

“It’s a result that will never be forgotten, but that’s what cup football is all about, the favourites being beaten by the underdogs. It’s a one-off occasion, don’t play well and you are out.

“To be honest, we were quite happy to be drawn against Berwick, especially at home. If it had been down there then it would probably have been a lot different. But we were playing well at that time, we had players like Pat Stanton,Joe Davis, Bobby Duncan, Peter Cormack, Eric Stevenson, Pat Quinn and Jimmy O’Rourke in our side.

“The fact Berwick had beaten Rangers also meant we knew we couldn’t treat them lightly. You don’t get gates like the one that day too often these days but, I’d imagine, there would have been a few neutrals along with the Berwick fans hoping to see a repeat against us.

“We played with five forwards in those days, I was at centre-forward against Berwick and hit my goal from about 18 yards.”

Scott had an opportunity to put the game beyond doubt when Berwick right back Gordon Haig brought him down in the box. He recalled: “Jock Wallace was in goal for them and I remember him running out and telling me to get up and stop diving. I got up, took the penalty and he saved it. That made it a nervous last five minutes for us because at that stage of the game anything can happen. I’d imagine they got a wee lift from it and believed they could still take us back to Shielfield knowing what they had done to Rangers there.”

Scott, who went on to play for Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Falkirk and Hamilton, won’t be at Easter Road on Sunday but he still takes a keen interest in Hibs.

He said: “I keep a look out for their results and I come through to Edinburgh from time to time to meet up with other members of the former players’ association and have a chat about the old days with guys I used to play with like Pat Stanton, Neil Martin and Jimmy O’Rourke.”