1892-93 Cup success
Bad feeling after games against Celtic
First ever win over Celtic
Mid-table finish in the league
The reconstituted Alliance, consisting of Airdrieonians, Cambuslang, Cowlairs, Kilmarnock, Linthouse, Northern, Partick Thistle, Glasgow Thistle, and new members Vale of Leven. St Bernards were successful in their application to rejoin, the Alliance reducing their numbers from twelve to ten. With few exceptions all the previous rules were adopted, while a new rule that all visiting clubs’ guarantees were to be paid within ten days of the game.
Andrew Smith of Partick Thistle was appointed President of the Scottish 2nd XI Association. A spray had been added to the bath at Inchview, though whether it was this that tempted new members was unclear.
The first game of the season saw an excellent crowd of 2,600 at Inchview for a game against Celtic, which had been advertised as being against the Celtic first XI. However, a weakened side was sent to Partick, still expected by Celtic to be good enough to win. Through goals from Ingram, Murray, Bruce and Paul, and fine performances from former Minerva players Joe Leiper, Hope Robertson and Harvey, Thistle recorded their first ever win over Celtic, by 5-2.
After that encouraging performance, though, a 2-6 defeat from Third Lanark was followed by another 2-6 reverse in the first Alliance fixture, away at Kilmarnock and a 3-4 defeat at Inchview against St Bernards. Willie Paul again scored for Thistle. Thistle’s first Alliance win of the season came in mid-September away to Cambuslang (2-1).
Maryhill were the scheduled opponents in the first preliminary round of the Scottish Cup, but scratched, leaving Thistle a bye into the next round, and a free Saturday. A friendly was hastily arranged against Royal Albert at Inchview – a 3-3 draw.
Eglinton Park was the venue for the first round of the Glasgow Cup against Wanderers, and Thistle were staring defeat in the face at half-time, 0-2 down. However, a scrimmage followed by Millar and Edgar provided the goals in the 3-2 win. The referee was criticised in the press as favouring Thistle – the third goal went over the bar, while numerous fouls were given against Wanderers’ players for nothing. No protest, though, was taken to the next Glasgow FA meeting.
A home tie against Johnstone, in the Scottish Cup, ended September. Donnelly, D.Bruce and Currie ended the Renfrewshire side’s interest in the competition in a 3-1 win at Inchview. Glasgow Thistle were the opponents next and they fell to Thistle’s next Alliance win of the season. The Glasgow Herald lists the score as 4-2, while the Scottish Sport has a 6-2 win.
The better results continued into October with a win over Cowlairs at Springvale Park – 6-3 and 8-3 were variously reported, before Motherwell visited Inchview in the third preliminary round of the Scottish Cup. Motherwell took a 2-0 lead before goals from Willie Paul and Harvie took the game to a replay. The following week Thistle arranged for one-shilling rail tickets to the game in the hope that a good support would travel. The supporters were rewarded when the team fought out a 3-3 draw. There being no provision for second replays, both teams progressed to the fourth round draw.
Celtic were due to return to Inchview, and the committee had set up special training for the game – a prize was also to be awarded to the player who turned up most often for training. The Sporting Life described the game as being between “the team from the extreme east against the team from the extreme west”.
A stronger Celtic side than at the start of the season visited Inchview in the Glasgow Cup, and Thistle took a 1-0 lead into half-time. Bruce left the field injured, and before he had time to return to the pitch, Celtic equalised, before scoring a second late in the game. At the next Glasgow FA meeting Thistle presented a protest, that Mulvey of Celtic had played a Lanarkshire Cup game for Carfin Shamrock, making him ineligible for the Glasgow Cup game. Celtic plead guilty immediately and the game as ordered to be replayed two weeks later. However, this raised Celtic dissatisfaction with gate transactions at Inchview. A counter-protest was quickly raised, and certain members of Partick Thistle were found guilty of irregularities. Partick Thistle were absolved of guilt, but instructed to correct the mistakes. Celtic had wanted Thistle to be thrown out of the competition, while Thistle felt that Celtic’s protest was in direct retaliation for the original Mulvey protest, and that no Celtic protest would have been forthcoming had Celtic not been found guilty of playing the ineligible player.
Scottish football remained, in theory, an amateur sport. Celtic (certainly not the only Scottish club), were regularly suspected of compensating their players, although the under-the-table wages were never proved, or judiciously ‘ignored’. The Preston Herald reported an exchange between supporters that hinted at the hidden ‘professionalism’.
One enthusiastic Celt was constantly imploring Madden “To come away and show the blooming amateurs how it’s done.” Madden soon after scored, and a upporter of the Thistle sarcastically remarked “That was a £2 kick.”
Thistle withdrew Robert Campbell, and Celtic withdrew Cullen, who had both been selected for the Glasgow representative team who were facing Sheffield, to ensure strong sides for the replayed game. On entering Inchview the Celtic committee were unusually charged admission to the pavilion. A crowd of 4,000, the biggest ever at Inchview, saw Miller put Thistle into the lead after ten minutes. Thistle continued to have the better of the game, but Celtic equalised in the second half to take the game to a Celtic Park replay. Rumours circulated that Celtic considered Campbell of Partick Thistle to be ineligible, although a Celtic official replied that Thistle could have played eleven ineligible players, but Celtic would not protest, and instead take revenge in the replay.
At Celtic Park the Partick Thistle committee found themselves barred from the pavilion, in a crowd which generated a gate £4 less than at Inchview. Home advantage told heavily – Thistle scored three own goals, and three were scored while Murray was off the pitch. Celtic finished the game as 8-0 winners.
While the Partick Thistle committee was undoubtedly disappointed with the Glasgow Cup exit, the gates from the three games had wiped out an £80 debt at Inchview. Not for the first time, or the last, that Thistle would gratefully accept the financial returns of playing Celtic.
Another group of Irishmen, Broxburn Shamrock, hosted the final preliminary game before the first round proper of the Scottish Cup. Thistle were the better team, but Broxburn seemed to have more determination. After losing early goals Thistle dominated and pulled the game back to 3-3, only to lose another late goal, a minute from time, to go out of the competition. Shamrock went on to reach the semi final before losing to eventual winners Queen’s Park.
Poor weather limited the football calendar for November and December, with just a couple of friendlies played – a 1-1 draw with Battlefield, and a 2-0 win over reigning Alliance champions Linthouse.
New Year saw Thistle in Belfast, and the Ulster Football News looked forward to the visit – “The Partick Thistle are a team which on several occasions have taught Belfast clubs a lesson in football”. A meagre attendance saw Thistle record a 5-3 win over Cliftonville, with goals from Paul, Stewart and Currie. A better crowd turned out for a game at Solitude against Zingari – a Belfast representative XI. Thistle again won, this time by 3-1 with goals from Paul and Stewart. The second goal was described thus – “… carried with a big rush, the Scottish forwards, the Irish goalkeeper, the leather, and every other movable article within reach going through.”. The Irish goalie mentioned was Tom Scott who joined Thistle for a short spell in 1898.
Thistle completed the first half of the season having won seven games, losing eight, and drawing three, scoring 37 and losing 58 goals. During the winter break full back William Hodge left the club to join Accrington Stanley.
A further friendly, a 2-0 win over Port Glasgow Athletic, was played before the second phase of Alliance fixtures got under way. Though halfway through the season, Thistle had played just five Alliance games, leaving them bottom of the table. P5 W1 D0 L4 F12 A 25 Pts 2. Home wins over Airdrieonians (6-3), Vale of Leven (3-1), Linthouse (5-2) and Kilmarnock (1-0) made up for a home defeat by Northern (1-2) and an away one at Vale of Leven (1-3), and took Thistle to 6th place in the Alliance.
Against Vale Willie Paul dislocated his shoulder, and was to miss the remainder of the season. John Gilchrist was to prove an able deputy.
At the monthly SFA meeting in January it was announced that Thomas Mackay of Partick Thistle had been suspended for a year for returning to Scotland after playing professional football in England with West Manchester, Burnley and Sunderland (although no Mackay is recorded as having played for the club).
Honorary secretary Andrew Smith, a devoted servant for eight years, announced his plans to resign at the end of the season. A committee were to organise a benefit match.
The good run of form stuttered in spring time, as a 2-2 draw with Airdrieonians was followed by a 0-7 defeat by St Bernards (the second such score against the Edinburgh club in two seasons), a 3-5 defeat by Cowlairs, and an 0-8 defeat at Port Glasgow. Thankfully, wins over Cambuslang and Glasgow Thistle kept the Alliance table looking respectable, though the last games of the season saw Linthouse triumph 3-2, and Northern beat Thistle 6-1.
Final league table.
|Vale of Leven||5||11||2||33||53||12|
Partick Thistle had always been popular invitees to the Greenock Charity Cup, having won the tournament several times in its inaugural period. This season they were paired with Dykebar in the first round, having little difficulty winning 6-0, before playing Morton in the final. Thistle had considered not playing in the competition this year, but must have been pleased to have changed their minds. Thistle won their first cup for eight years, beating the host team 7-4 at Cappielow.
At the club AGM in June Andrew Smith did indeed resign as secretary and was elected President of the club and presented with a purse of sovereigns in recognition of his past services.. However, no volunteer could be found to take Smith’s previous secretaries post. Smith resigned after less than an hour as President, and resumed his role as secretary of the club. Treasurer William Goudie brought the welcome news that games against Celtic, and a prize draw, had turned an £80 deficit to a £90 surplus.
Season by season