ABERDEEN have the unwelcome distinction of being on the receiving end of the biggest Scottish Cup shocker of all-time after their extraordinary 1-0 loss to Darvel in Ayrshire last night.

No other upheaval in the trophy can compare to this – a team in the sixth tier knocking out a top-flight side.

Fully 56 places below the Dons on Scottish football’s ladder, little Darvel shredded the formbook as Mick Kennedy plotted against the beleagured Jim Goodwin while Jordan Kirkpatrick claimed the headlines with the only goal in the first-half.

Scotland’s national competition has produced some weird and wonderful results since Queen’s Park beat Clydesdale 2-0 in the first Final back in 1873/74.

Here are 13 Cup-ties where form has gone out of the window.

EAST FIFE 4 KILMARNOCK 2 (Cup Final 1938)

THE Bayview outfit became the first team outside the top division to win the trophy when they stunned Kilmarnock in extra-time of the replay at Hampden, watched by an amazing crowd of 92,716 after a 1-1 draw in the first game.Killie, managed by Celtic legend Jimmy McGrory, were 2-1 ahead with goals from Jim Thomson (pen) and Felix McGrogan with Danny McKerrell netting for the underdogs. An effort from Eddie McLeod took the tie to extra-time where strikes from Larry Miller and another from McKerrell completed an astounding scoreline.

FRASERBURGH 1 DUNDEE 0 (First Round 1959)

The Highland League part-timers created a sensation when they sent top-flight Dundee toppling to defeat at their Bellslea ground. Johnny Strachan got the only goal just before half-time. Goalkeeper Danny Mowat then produced a string of remarkable saves as the Dens Parkers battled for an equaliser – all to no avail. The Broch players were on £3 per week, but received a bonus of £10 a man after their historic triumph.

CELTIC 0 DUNFERMLINE 2 (Cup Final 1961)

JOCK STEIN masterminded the Fifers’ unexpected success in the club’s first-ever Final. Celtic were odds-on favourites to lift the trophy for the 18th time, but were denied in the goalless first game due to the heroics of keeper Eddie Connachan. In the replay, David Thomson headed past Frank Haffey in the 67th minute and, with two minutes remaining, the accident-prone Hoops No.1 gifted Charlie Dickson a second.

BERWICK RANGERS 1 RANGERS 0 (First Round 1967)

SCOT SYMON’S Rangers were the Scottish Cup holders after beating Celtic 1-0 in a replay the previous season. Berwick, with future Ibrox boss Jock Wallace in goal, were a part-time Second Division outfit at the time, but a 32nd-minute goal from Sammy Reid sent Rangers hurtling out of the trophy at Shielfield. Strikers Jim Forrest and George McLean never played for the Ibrox club again.

RANGERS 0 HAMILTON 1 (Third Round 1987)

GRAEME SOUNESS and his band of big-name superstars couldn’t believe it when they flopped 1-0 at Ibrox against struggling Accies.

England international keeper Chris Woods had gone on a lengthy run without conceding a goal, but left-back Adrian Sprott left him helpless with a blistering left-foot drive to send Rangers packing in front of a stunned full house. Souness’ men still won the league – and Accies were relegated.

STENHOUSEMUIR 2 ABERDEEN 0 (Fourth Round 1995)

DONS boss Roy Aitken could hardly believe it as his Pittodrie side surrendered meakly to the Second Division part-timers at Ochilview.

An all-ticket crowd of 3,800 witnessed the astounding turn of events. Tommy Steele was the Larbert hero with both goals to send dismal Dons home in embarrassment. His efforts earned his side a quarter-final place against Hibs which they lost.

CELTIC 0 FALKIRK 1 (Semi-Final replay 1997)

THIS shattering defeat against the Brockville side went a long way to seeing Tommy Burns lose the manager’s job at Celtic. The Hoops were held to a 1-1 draw in the first game at Ibrox after leading through a Tommy Johnson goal until the fading moments when Kevin James levelled with a header. Celtic, with the likes of Paolo di Canio and Jorge Cadete in the team, nosedived 1-0 in the second match with Paul McGrillen getting the only goal early on.


JOHN BARNES’S short stay as Celtic boss came to an abrupt end after one of the most sensational results in the tournament’s history.

It was a night to forget for the Hoops and even fans’ favourite Lubo Moravcik put through his own goal with a deflected effort to give the Highlanders a 2-1 half-time advantage.Thistle came back to haunt Celtic again three years later in the quarter-final when they beat them 1-0 with a Dennis Wyness goal.

CLYDE 2 CELTIC 1 (Third Round 2006)

ROY KEANE made his Celtic debut as the holders crashed to the patched-up First Division side that had been assembled by Graham Roberts after summer trials. Craig Bryson and Eddie Malone got the first-half goals while Maciej Zurawski got a late consolation for Gordon Strachan’s shell-shocked outfit. Chinese centre-back Du Wei also made his first team bow for Celtic. He was hooked at half-time and was never seen again.


THE Fir Parkers were third top of the Premier League when they took on the Coatbridge side who were anchored third from the bottom of the fourth tier. Rovers, who hadn’t beaten their Lanarkshire rivals in the previous 34 meetings in major competitions, switched the game to Hamilton Accies’ New Douglas Park. It was a goalless stalemate with only seconds remaining when Gary Phillips slammed home a left-foot drive past Gunnar Nielson for an unlikely victory for the part-timers.


RONNY DEILA was homing in on the domestic treble in his first season as Neil Lennon’s successor at Celtic. However, the bid was derailed amid controversy. The favourites took the lead through Virgil van Dijk in the 18th minute and the Hoops were denied a stonewall penalty-kick just before the interval when Josh Meekings handled a netbound header from Leigh Griffiths. Referee Steven McLean ignored the claim and then sent off Craig Gordon in the 58th minute with Greg Tansey scoring the resultant spot-kick past sub keeper Lukasz Zaluska. The game went to extra-time and Edward Ofere put Thistle ahead before John Guidetti levelled. Three minutes from the end, David Raven netted the winner..

AUCHINLECK TALBOT 1 AYR UTD 0 (Third Round 2019)

LAW student Craig McCracken’s stunning late header gave the Junior side a sensational triumph over Ian McCall’s Premiership-chasing outfit. The decisive moment came 12 minutes from time when the former Ayr United player rose unchallenged to a free-kick to head past Ross Doohan. Somerset Park boss McCall said: “I’m absolutely gutted. They deserved to win.”

BRORA RANGERS 2 HEARTS 1 (Second Round 2021)

HEARTS boss Robbie Neilson described the loss to the Highlanders as “an embarrassment”.

Christophe Berra cancelled out Jordan Macrae’s opener, but Martin MacLean’s 75th-minute winner stunned last season’s finalists with the Edinburgh club’s gaffer admitting it was the worst result of his management career.

Neilson said: “We can’t accept that tonight. It’s an embarrassment for the football club and for all of us involved, the standard is not good enough. We should not be coming here and losing games no matter how many shots on target we have, it doesn’t matter, it’s about putting the ball in the net.”

Hearts had been beaten finalists against Celtic in the two previous seasons.



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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