Things seemed to be going Celtic’s way in the Scottish Cup run of season 1958-59. A comfortable 4-0 win over Albion Rovers in round one was followed by a little more of a problem against perennial cup battlers Clyde in round two, a 1-1 draw followed by a 4-3 win at Shawfield.
Then came a big one, Rangers at Parkhead and 42,500 turned out to see it. Rangers were hot favourites but Celtic got goals on either side of half-time to give them a 2-1 win and a place in the quarter-final, against Stirling Albion at Annfield, a match they won 3-1 to put them into the semi-final.
This was not going to be an easy encounter. The two teams were in 6th and 7th place in the league, having scored the same number of goals. Celtic’s defensive record, however, was much the superior, so the players were confident and the fans were expectant. The side which ran on that day at Ibrox was Frank Haffey, Dunky MacKay, Neil Mochan, Eric Smith, Bobby Evans, Bertie Peacock, Matt McVittie, Mike Jackson, Ian Lochead, Sammy Wilson and John Divers.
There was a crowd of 73,885 in the ground that day and they saw a Celtic team well- beaten, if not humiliated. The defence found the pace of the Buddies centre-forward Gerry Baker too much to handle and the forwards were too intent on passing to each other instead of shooting. St Mirren were three-up by the interval and got a fourth just before the end. It was almost a case of deja vu, as earlier in the season, at the same venue, Celtic had lost to Partick Thistle in the semi-final of the League Cup.