The Day The Scottish Cup Came Up To Maryhill

by William Sheridan



● Ibrox, 1920 (SP)

Thistle v Well (2nd replay) preview

Would it be third time lucky (again) for one of these two? Neither side were strangers to the mammoth struggle, Thistle having taken 4½ hours to overcome Hibs, and Motherwell having done likewise against Ayr.

For Thistle, there were 4 changes to the side which had lost 1-0 at Dens Park on Saturday. Matt Wilson and John Bowie had deputised in the half-back line, and these two were replaced, as planned, by Willie Hamilton, who had been rested, and Jimmy McMullan, who was returning from Scottish League representative duties. Also returning from a single game rest was Jimmy Kinloch at the expense of Andrew Comrie, whilst Bob McFarlane had now recovered from the knock received at Fir Park, 10 days earlier, and was back in the centre forward role, Andrew Kerr making way. Alex Lauder had taken over from Jimmy McMenemy at inside left on Saturday, and retained his place, his considerably younger legs seemingly preferred in the mud.

In readiness for this afternoon's battle, Motherwell had rested several players for Saturday's visit to Brockville and, like Thistle, paid the price with a 1-0 defeat. Back in for them were John McDougall, William Paterson, Robert Stewart, Hugh Ferguson and John Reid at the expense of James Jackson, David Henderson, Robert Gardiner, Duncan Finlayson and John Robertson respectively. Essentially, this was the full strength Motherwell cup-tie side, unchanged from the game at Firhill seven days ago.

A mixture of fixture fatigue and horrendous weather conditions meant that the crowd was noticeably well down from the game at Firhill, just one week earlier. Some 30,000 had made the effort there, but less than half that number made their way over to Ibrox this Tuesday afternoon; 10,000 (DC), 16,000 (GH) or 15,000 (SC). As usual, we'll split the difference! Since the draw was made last Wednesday night, both clubs knew that they had avoided Scotland's leading team, Rangers. A semi-final opportunity vs. Hearts a week on Saturday beckoned.

competition-2.png Scottish Cup Quarter Final 2nd replay
ft.png Partick Thistle 2 Motherwell 1
date.png Tuesday, 15th March, 1921
crowd.png 13,500 @ Ibrox
goal.png Alex Lauder (1-0, 60 mins); Bob McFarlane (2-0, 2nd half); Hugh Ferguson (2-1, pen 86 mins)
partick-thistle.png Kenny Campbell, David Johnstone, Willie Bulloch, Joe Harris, Willie Hamilton, Jimmy McMullan, John Blair, Jimmy Kinloch, Bob McFarlane, Alex Lauder, Willie Salisbury
motherwell.png John Rundell, John McDougall, Thomas McGregor, William Paterson, Craig Brown, Robert Stewart, Robert Lennie, Willie Rankin, Hugh Ferguson, John Reid, Bobby Ferrier
mh-referee.png William Bell (Hamilton)
Dundee Courier, 16th March, 1921

Partick Thistle were in luck's way at Ibrox Park, Glasgow, yesterday, when, at the third attempt, they, defeated Motherwell in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup. The losers certainly had the major share of the play, and pressed more consistently. Campbell's work in the goal was a big factor in the success of the Thistle, who now meet Hearts at Ibrox in the semi-final round. About 10,000 people witnessed the game.


The conditions were deplorable, heavy rain having turned the pitch practically into mud. Despite this, play from the outset was fast, with many clever touches by the forwards on both sides. Motherwell forced the pace strongly, and in the first ten minutes Campbell had to save difficult shots from Ferguson and Stewart. The Thistle defence stood the test well, and after a little while, their own forwards came into the game. Kinloch made one or two excellent attempts, but was beaten close in by Rundell. Towards the interval, Motherwell applied the pressure, and a great shot by Rankin was luckily diverted by the Thistle defenders. Half-time:— Motherwell, 0; Partick Thistle, 0.


The rain had cleared off when the game was resumed, but the ground conditions were worse than ever. Motherwell attacked right away, and Ferguson's parting shot was a little wide of the mark. As in the first half, Motherwell were nearer scoring. Thistle were in luck, however, and, getting close in, forced a corner. From this, Lauder succeeded in beating Rundell for the first goal. Better things were looked for from Thistle this half, and McMullan let Salisbury away, but the latter was fouled. The free kick, beautifully taken by McMullan, almost beat Rundell. McFarlane then got through for Thistle's second goal, and nearing the close, Ferguson counted for Motherwell from a penalty.

Alex Lauder scores his last goal for Thistle.
● Thistle's seventh Scottish Cup Quarter Final, the first to be replayed twice. The Jags progress to the Semi Finals for the first time!
● 7 consecutive competitive appearances for Willie Salisbury, 8th Apr 1922 to date. (Longest run since: Tom Crichton - 11 games, 22nd Jan 1921 to 8th Mar 1921. Club-record: Jock McTavish - 61 games, 15th Nov 1913 to 6th Feb 1915.)

sc-1921-badge.png Meet the squad… ALEX LAUDER
Alex Lauder

In our class of '21, it wasn't only Jimmy McMenemy who could lay claim to a previous Scottish Cup winners medal - Alex Lauder had done so back in 1917, albeit his was of the Junior variety!

Young Alex had started his career with St Mirren's junior side who, as strange as it may seem, were eligible to compete in the Junior Cup. His goals against Dundee Violet and Maryhill helped the wee Buddies on their way to the Cup that year, and our man was involved in the wining goal which defeated Renfrew in the final at… Firhill! From there, he stepped up to the senior St Mirren side, but never really got much of a chance before he was back in the juniors with Ashfield. George Easton saw potential though, and offered the 19-year-old terms. He arrived as an inside right in 1918, but adapted to inside left in order to accommodate others such as William Mitchell (1919-20) and Jimmy Kinloch (1920-21).

Alex appeared (73) and scored (11) steadily over his three seasons as a Jag, but never was his contribution so vital as it was today. By March, 1921, the hectic schedule had taken its toll on the 40-year-old legs of Jimmy McMenemy, so Alex took over for a while, and would play in this Quarter Final decider as well as the three semi final matches with Hearts. Todays goal was his final counter as a Jag - little did he know how crucial it would be, and that we'd still be talking about it 100 years later! Rundell, in Motherwell's goal, palmed out Salisbury's corner, and it fell to Alex who made no mistake from close range with a good shot, giving Thistle an invaluable lead on the hour mark.

Alex never made the final, and it seems a pity that he also missed the big photo opportunity when the cup was paraded at Firhill one week later. This seems all the more reason for his thoroughly deserved virtual medal today. In a bid to try and ensure more first team football, Alex moved on to Port Vale in September, 1921, and later served Stenhousemuir, St Bernards and Armadale.

sc-1921-badge.png Meet the squad… DAVID JOHNSTONE
David Johnstone

Although he never played in any of the first six games, David was in place for the final five, starting with todays Quarter Final decider against Motherwell. A Beith man through and through, the 23-year-old stepped up from the Ayrshire juniors game in August, 1920, having been identified as a great candidate for our right back slot, recently vacated by Tom Adams, who was stepping down from the senior game. He struggled to make the position his own though, and it was Tom Crichton who emerged as first choice in that area. In the 1921 New Years derby game against Third Lanark, David became the latest to be tried at centre forward and was the hero of the 1-0 win, deluding everyone that he may be the solution to the problem. With the benefit of hindsight, 3 goals in 64 appearances suggests that this was a false dawn, and that he was never an outright centre.

With the unexpected death of Willie Hamilton in August 1921, the Thistle midfield had to be reshuffled in 1921-22, and David came into his own at right half. He made 35 appearances during that season, 28 of which were in the middle line. With his 25% defender, 50% midfielder, 25% forward credentials, he gave the selectors a versatile option that could be relied upon to give 100%, whether making or breaking play. The emergence of Alex Lambie and Jimmy Gibson saw David muscled out of the side by 1922-23, and he returned to the juniors game, initially with Arthurlie, before finishing his career with several seasons at his beloved Beith, where he continued as club secretary from the mid-1930s.

Partick Thistle 2 Motherwell 1 (13,500 @ Ibrox)



Partick Thistle 0 Motherwell 0 (SFL - game 35)

Such are the vagaries of life, Thistle and Motherwell met for the fourth time in two weeks, and you've got to feel sorry for the poor punters who missed the cup win at the expense of a no-score draw. Another draw! Tom Crichton and Matt Wilson were in for David Johnstone and Joe Harris, and it was a fairly entertaining game, albeit lacking in goals, now an oh-so-familiar story this season. Both keepers, Rundell and Campbell, emerged with the utmost credit. Thistle might have stolen it right at the death, as Willie Hamilton was denied a goal scoring opportunity, but the referee turned a deaf ear to the protests all around the ground. By all accounts, it was a stone-waller, but a draw was probably a fair result.

With six blanks and only one win in their last nine League games, Thistle were paying the price for a heavy Cup run but, would you believe it, increased their lead in third place all the same. Attention could now fully turn to Ibrox, where, in seven days time, Partick Thistle would play the biggest game of their history so far.

sc-1921-badge.png Scottish Cup Winners 1921

back: Sandy Lister (trainer), Willie Hamilton, Tom Crichton, Kenny Campbell, Jimmy McMenemy, Matt Wilson, John Bowie, Watty Borthwick.
middle: David Johnstone, Jimmy Kinloch, Joe Harris, Willie Bulloch, Jimmy McMullan, Bob McFarlane.
front: John Blair, Willie Salisbury.


Publishing date An original Thistle Archive publication, 15-Mar-2021.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 02-Apr-2021.

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