In season 1978/79, all League Cup ties were two-legged affairs and Celtic did not have the easiest of opponents in the first three rounds, although they did win five out of six matches.
First up was Dundee FC, whom Celtic beat 3-0 both at home and away to go through on a 6-0 aggregate. Dundee United were next, the Bhoys winning 3-2 at Tannadice and 1-0 at Parkhead to progress 4-2. Motherwell in round three proved more of a problem, the Steelmen having a surprise 1-0 victory at Celtic Park before going down 4-1 at Fir Park to miss out on the quarter-finals.
At that point of the season, Celtic were second top of the Premier League, so when the draw for the quarter-final was made and they were paired with Montrose, fighting against relegation from the First Division, most fans assumed it would be easy for Celtic. But the Gable Endies rose to the challenge.
On this day in 1978, in front of a 3,872 crowd at Links Park, Montrose even had the audacity to take the lead in 23 minutes through inside-left Hair. Five minutes later, Andy Lynch equalised from the penalty spot but that was the end of the scoring and in the press the following day, Montrose were praised for their performance while the Celtic team received some criticism.
The Celtic team was Roy Baines, Joe Fillipi, Andy Lynch, Roy Aitken, Roddy MacDonald, Johannes Edvaldsson, Davie Provan, Ronnie Glavin, Tom McAdam, Tommy Burns, George McCluskey. The 1-1 draw in the first match certainly put a different perspective on the second leg and the sporting press was full of articles and comment on the possible outcome. Did the return live up to expectations? Well, I’ll tell you some other time!