Spring Cup

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Spring Cup
Sport Football
Founded 1976
No. of teams 28
Country Scotland
Most recent
champion(s)
Airdrieonians

The Spring Cup was a Scottish football tournament played in 1976. It was introduced for members of Division One and Two of the Scottish Football League in the wake of league reconstruction in 1975, to be played after the conclusion of all the league fixtures at the end of the 1975–76 season. It derived its title from the season (spring) it was played in.

League reconstruction and foundation[edit]

When Scottish Football League member clubs voted in favour reconstruction in the summer of 1974, the format they approved was a three division structure of 10, 14 and 14 teams respectively, to be introduced at the beginning of the 1975–76 season. The new Divisions One and Two would now contain 14 teams, previously considered a difficult number for creating a balanced schedule. A 26-game programme (with every team playing each other home and away) was considered too short, a 52-game programme (with each team playing each other home and away twice) too congested. A 39-game schedule would leave an imbalance with sides having two fixtures at home against some teams, and one against others. The solution the Scottish Football League opted for was a 26-game calendar augmented by a supplementary cup competition, the "Spring Cup". The tournament, to be played at the season's end, was open only to teams from Divisions One and Two.

Format[edit]

The 28 Division One and Two clubs were divided into seven groups of 4 teams. These sides would play each other home and away, with two points awarded for a win and one for a draw, the top two sides in the group qualifying for the second round. In addition, the two third-placed sides with the best record would also qualify. The second round and quarter-finals were played on a two-leg, home and away basis, while the semi-finals and final were to be played at neutral venues.

1975–76 Spring Cup[edit]

Division One Airdrieonians won the competition, defeating Division Two Clydebank in the final. They had qualified from a group containing Brechin City, East Fife and Stranraer. In the second round they eliminated Dunfermline Athletic 5–4 on aggregate, while in the quarter-finals they beat Hamilton Academical. In the semi-final, a strike from Cairney and two own goals helped them defeat Morton 3–1 at Love Street.

First round[edit]

Group 1[edit]

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Airdrieonians 6 4 1 1 11 7 +3 9
East Fife 6 3 1 2 10 5 +5 7
Brechin City 6 1 3 2 9 8 +1 5
Stranraer 6 1 1 4 7 17 -10 3
Home Team Score Away Team Date
Airdrieonians 2–1 Brechin City 6 March 1976
Stranraer 1–0 East Fife 6 March 1976
Brechin City 4–0 Stranraer 13 March 1976
East Fife 3–0 Airdrieonians 13 March 1976
East Fife 2–0 Brechin City 20 March 1976
Stranraer 0–1 Airdrieonians 20 March 1976
Airdrieonians 1–0 East Fife 27 March 1976
Stranraer 2–2 Brechin City 27 March 1976
Brechin City 1–1 Airdrieonians 3 April 1976
East Fife 4–2 Stranraer 3 April 1976
Airdrieonians 6–2 Stranraer 10 April 1976
Brechin City 1–1 East Fife 10 April 1976

Group 2[edit]

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Falkirk 6 4 1 1 10 5 +5 9
Alloa Athletic 6 2 3 1 10 8 +2 7
Kilmarnock 6 1 3 2 5 6 -1 5
Berwick Rangers 6 0 3 3 4 10 -6 3
Home Team Score Away Team Date
Airdrieonians 2–1 Brechin City 6 March 1976
Stranraer 1–0 East Fife 6 March 1976
Brechin City 4–0 Stranraer 13 March 1976
East Fife 3–0 Airdrieonians 13 March 1976
East Fife 2–0 Brechin City 20 March 1976
Stranraer 0–1 Airdrieonians 20 March 1976
Airdrieonians 1–0 East Fife 27 March 1976
Stranraer 2–2 Brechin City 27 March 1976
Falkirk 3–1 Alloa Athletic 3 April 1976
Kilmarnock 3–1 Berwick Rangers 3 April 1976
Alloa Athletic 2–0 Berwick Rangers 10 April 1976
Falkirk 2–0 Kilmarnock 10 April 1976

Group 3[edit]

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
St Mirren 6 5 0 1 18 2 +16 10
Partick Thistle 6 4 0 2 14 5 +9 8
Meadowbank Thistle 6 2 1 3 6 17 -11 5
Forfar Athletic 6 0 1 5 5 15 -10 1
Home Team Score Away Team Date
Forfar Athletic 0–1 Partick Thistle 6 March 1976
Meadowbank Thistle 0–4 St Mirren 6 March 1976
Partick Thistle 5–0 Meadowbank Thistle 13 March 1976
St Mirren 5–0 Forfar Athletic 13 March 1976
Forfar Athletic 3–3 Meadowbank Thistle 20 March 1976
St Mirren 1–2 Partick Thistle 20 March 1976
Forfar Athletic 0–1 St Mirren 27 March 1976
Meadowbank Thistle 2–1 Partick Thistle 27 March 1976
Partick Thistle 4–2 Forfar Athletic 3 April 1976
St Mirren 4–0 Meadowbank Thistle 3 April 1976
Meadowbank Thistle 1–0 Forfar Athletic 10 April 1976
Partick Thistle 1–3 St Mirren 10 April 1976

Group 4[edit]

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Dumbarton 6 4 0 2 12 7 +5 8
Arbroath 6 3 0 3 8 6 +2 6
Albion Rovers 6 3 0 3 9 10 -1 6
Stenhousemuir 6 2 0 4 6 10 -4 4
Home Team Score Away Team Date
Stenhousemuir 0–2 Arbroath 6 March 1976
Dumbarton 4–1 Albion Rovers 10 March 1976
Albion Rovers 1–0 Stenhousemuir 13 March 1976
Arbroath 0–1 Dumbarton 13 March 1976
Albion Rovers 1–0 Arbroath 20 March 1976
Stenhousemuir 2–1 Dumbarton 20 March 1976
Dumbarton 1–2 Arbroath 27 March 1976
Stenhousemuir 2–3 Albion Rovers 27 March 1976
Arbroath 0–1 Stenhousemuir 3 April 1976
Albion Rovers 1–2 Dumbarton 7 April 1976
Arbroath 3–2 Albion Rovers 10 April 1976
Dumbarton 3–1 Stenhousemuir 10 April 1976

Group 5[edit]

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Queen's Park 6 2 3 1 9 6 +3 7
Dunfermline Athletic 6 3 1 2 7 8 -1 7
Hamilton Academical 6 2 2 2 5 8 -3 6
Cowdenbeath 6 2 0 4 8 7 +1 4
Home Team Score Away Team Date
Cowdenbeath 3–0 Hamilton Academical 6 March 1976
Queen's Park 1–1 Dunfermline Athletic 6 March 1976
Dunfermline Athletic 1–0 Cowdenbeath 13 March 1976
Hamilton Academical 1–1 Queen's Park 13 March 1976
Dunfermline Athletic 1–2 Hamilton Academical 20 March 1976
Queen's Park 2–0 Cowdenbeath 20 March 1976
Cowdenbeath 4–0 Dunfermline Athletic 27 March 1976
Queen's Park 1–1 Hamilton Academical 27 March 1976
Dunfermline Athletic 2–1 Queen's Park 3 April 1976
Hamilton Academical 1–0 Cowdenbeath 6 April 1976
Cowdenbeath 1–3 Queen's Park 10 April 1976
Hamilton Academical 0–2 Dunfermline Athletic 10 April 1976

Group 6[edit]

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Raith Rovers 6 4 1 1 12 9 +3 9
Clydebank 6 4 0 1 15 6 +9 8
Clyde 6 2 1 3 7 11 -4 5
Queen of the South 6 1 0 5 6 14 -8 2
Home Team Score Away Team Date
Clyde 1–3 Clydebank 6 March 1976
Raith Rovers 4–2 Queen of the South 10 March 1976
Clydebank 1–2 Raith Rovers 13 March 1976
Queen of the South 1–2 Clyde 13 March 1976
Clyde 2–2 Raith Rovers 20 March 1976
Clydebank 4–0 Queen of the South 20 March 1976
Queen of the South 1–3 Clydebank 27 March 1976
Raith Rovers 2–1 Clyde 27 March 1976
Clydebank 3–0 Clyde 3 April 1976
Queen of the South 2–0 Raith Rovers 3 April 1976
Clyde 1–0 Queen of the South 10 April 1976
Raith Rovers 2–1 Clydebank 10 April 1976

Group 7[edit]

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Montrose 6 4 1 1 15 11 +4 9
Morton 6 4 1 1 11 7 +4 9
East Stirlingshire 6 1 2 4 4 8 -4 4
Stirling Albion 6 0 2 4 6 10 -4 2
Home Team Score Away Team Date
East Stirlingshire 1–2 Morton 6 March 1976
Morton 2–4 Montrose 13 March 1976
Stirling Albion 0–0 East Stirlingshire 13 March 1976
Montrose 3–0 East Stirlingshire 20 March 1976
Stirling Albion 0–1 Morton 20 March 1976
East Stirlingshire 2–1 Stirling Albion 27 March 1976
Montrose 1–4 Morton 27 March 1976
Montrose 3–2 Stirling Albion 31 March 1976
Stirling Albion 2–3 Montrose 3 April 1976
Morton 1–0 East Stirlingshire 7 April 1976
East Stirlingshire 1–1 Montrose 10 April 1976
Morton 1–1 Stirling Albion 10 April 1976

Second Rounds[edit]

First Leg[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Arbroath 2–1 Falkirk 14 April 1976
Clydebank 4–1 Albion Rovers 14 April 1976
Dunfermline Athletic 4–2 Airdrieonians 14 April 1976
Montrose 3–1 Hamilton Academical 14 April 1976
Morton 1–1 Queen's Park 14 April 1976
Partick Thistle 1–0 East Fife 14 April 1976
St Mirren 3–0 Alloa Athletic 14 April 1976
Raith Rovers 2–2 Dumbarton 17 April 1976

Second Leg[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date Agg
Airdrieonians 3–0 Dunfermline Athletic 17 April 1976 5–4
Albion Rovers 2–0 Clydebank 17 April 1976 3–4
Alloa Athletic 1–4 St Mirren 17 April 1976 1–7
East Fife 2–0 Partick Thistle 17 April 1976 2–1
Falkirk 2–0 Arbroath 17 April 1976 3–2
Hamilton Academical 6–3 Montrose 17 April 1976 7–6
Queen's Park 2–3 Morton 17 April 1976 3–4
Dumbarton 4–0 Raith Rovers 19 April 1976 6–2

Quarter-finals[edit]

First Leg[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Clydebank 1–0 East Fife 21 April 1976
Dumbarton 4–2 Falkirk 21 April 1976
Hamilton Academical 0–4 Airdrieonians 21 April 1976
Morton 1–0 St Mirren 21 April 1976

Second Leg[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date Agg
Airdrieonians 5–0 Hamilton Academical 24 April 1976 9–0
East Fife 1–0 Clydebank 24 April 1976 1–1[1]
Falkirk 1–2 Dumbarton 24 April 1976 3–6
St Mirren 0–1 Morton 24 April 1976 0–2

Semi-finals[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Airdrieonians 3–1 Morton 28 April 1976
Clydebank 3–1 Dumbarton 28 April 1976

Final[edit]

Airdrieonians 4 – 2 (a.e.t.) Clydebank
McCulloch Goal 74' Goal 106',
McVeigh Goal 105'
Walker Goal 115'
Larnach Goal 2' Goal 100'
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: W Mullan (Dalkeith)

Demise[edit]

It quickly became apparent that the competition was not proving popular with spectators, and club directors began to talk of further change. The Scottish Football League itself seemed to have an ambiguous attitude to the competition, failing to have the trophy engraved before the first final. In May 1976, a motion forwarded by Albion Rovers to have a 39-game Division One and Two calendar, effectively ending the Spring Cup, was overwhelmingly backed, coming into force for the start of the 1976–77 season.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ After Extra Time, Clydebank won on penalties
  • Crampsey, Bob (1990). Scottish Football League: The First 100 Years (Paperback). Scottish Football League. ISBN 0-9516433-0-4. 

External links[edit]