Having qualified from a League Cup section in season 1970-71 involving Dundee United, Clyde and Hearts, Celtic then went on to beat Dundee (2-2 (A): 5-1 (H)) in the quarter-final before being paired with Dumbarton in the semi-final.
The ‘Sons of the Rock’ were in Division Two that season, so they had performed really well to reach that stage but, obviously, most Celtic fans anticipated an easy ride to the final, as the crowd at Hampden peaked at 25,838. However, Dumbarton fought hard, refused to buckle and at full-time, it was still 0-0. In extra-time, their goalkeeper Lawrie Williams made a wonderful double save from a penalty by Willie Wallace and the match ended goalless.
I had been at right back for that game but a shin injury stiffened up later and I had to sit out the next two matches. So, on this day in 1970, the Celtic side which ran out at Hampden for the replay was Williams, Quinn, McGrain, Murdoch, McNeill, Hay, Johnstone, Connelly, Wallace, Lennox and Wilson.
Once again the Sons rose to the challenge. Two-down after 16 minutes, they fought back to hold Celtic to a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes. Even in extra-time, when goals by Wallace and Lou Macari had put Celtic 4-2 ahead, they kept going and scored right on the final whistle to make the final result 4-3.
NB In both matches of the semi-final, the Dumbarton playmaker had shown a great ability in controlling his team’s play. Indeed, at the end of both games, every Celtic player went forward to shake his hand and congratulate him on his efforts. But then, all of us knew just what a good player Charlie Gallagher was and were not surprised that, even at the age of 30, he could still pull the strings.
NB2 The attendance for the replay was 32,913, so this was one of the relatively few occasions when a replay attracted a larger crowd than the first match.