Willie Bauld is again the toast of Edinburgh. In yesterday’s Scottish Cup replay at Tynecastle Hearts looked to be on the way out when the game had only 25 minutes to run.
The artistry and craft of Ian McMillan and Guy Lennox had baffled the Hearts’ defence. Airdrie were leading 3-2, and it looked as though more goals were just around the corner.
But then Bauld played one of the most dramatic roles in his career.
With a vicious shot from 22 yards he made the score 3-3, and within another eight minutes had headed two other brilliant goals to put Hearts well on the road to their semi-final date with Motherwell at Hampden.
Bauld was watched by a deputation of SFA selectors, and it was difficult to see how he could have been kept out of the Scotland team against England.
In all he had four goals, for he had equalised a brilliant seventh-minute score by McMillan with still another head flick after 20 minutes.
Airdrie were a first-class team until they were struck by this Bauld goal battery, and in McMillan and Welsh they had the two best inside forwards on the field.
McMillan, shortly before half-time, equalised after Eddie Rutherford had scored the first of his two goals – he also scored the last – and at half-time with the score 2-2 a photo-finish and possibly extra time looked certain.
Then a minute after the resumption James Welsh and McMillan cut straight through the Hearts’ defence for Lennox to make the score 3-2, and the centre-forward’s goal in the last minute of the game brought the score into something which closely resembled the run of play.
Hearts again had poor service from their left wing of Jimmy Wardhaugh and Jimmy Whittle.
Every one of their danger moves came from the right, where Rutherford and Alfie Conn have resumed their happy partnership of some weeks ago.
Airdrie had an excellent goalkeeper in William Fraser who had not the slightest chance with any of the six goals, while David Shankland and William McCulloch, apart from Jimmy Milne, Lennox, and Welsh, were the outfield stars.
The 10 goal classic was the second time the Jam Tarts had to play Airdrie in four days after the first attempt at the quarter-final ended in a 2-2 draw.
That pattern of replays became even more prevalent in the semi-final against Motherwell.
Twice the semi-final finished 1-1, with the second played with the addition of extra time. It took a third meeting of the two sides, only 12 days after their original tie at Hampden, to finally separate the two.
Unfortunately for Hearts, Motherwell who progressed to the final, winning 3-1 at Hampden.
Hearts: Brown, Parker, Mackenzie, Glidden, Milne, Laing, Rutherford, Conn, Bauld, Whittle, Wardhaugh.