1873–74 Scottish Cup
The 1873–74 Scottish Cup – officially the Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup – was the first season of Scotland's most prestigious football knockout competition. A total of 16 teams from the west of Scotland entered the competition, however only 14 would play a match after two withdrawals. The competition began on 18 October 1873 and concluded with the final on 21 March 1874. The inaugural cup was won by Queen's Park who defeated fellow Glasgow club Clydesdale 2–0 in the final.
The Scottish Cup trophy
|Goals scored||37 (2.47 per match)|
The 16 teams that entered the competition consisted of the eight founder members of the Scottish FA – namely Clydesdale, Dumbreck, Eastern, Granville, Kilmarnock, Queen's Park, Vale of Leven and 3rd Lanark RV – as well as Alexandra Athletic, Blythswood, Callander, Dumbarton, Renton, Rovers, Southern and Western. Subscription fees from 15 of these clubs were used to pay for the Scottish Cup trophy which the teams would compete for. Unlike the FA Cup, the original trophy is still awarded to the winners of the competition. It is the oldest in association football and the oldest national trophy in the world.
As 16 teams entered the competition, the first edition of the Scottish Cup took on the format of a straightforward knockout tournament. In future years, the number of entrants would expand to regularly include over 100 teams which resulted in the need for byes before the introduction of the Scottish Football League in 1890 and the Scottish Qualifying Cup in 1895.
For the first round, the names of the 16 teams were placed into lots according to their districts and drawn into pairs. The home team for each tie was determined by the toss of a coin unless it was mutually agreed or only one of the two clubs drawn against one another had a private ground. In the event of a draw, the team who lost the toss would have the choice of ground for the replay. A similar procedure was used for subsequent rounds with the winners of the previous round placed into one lot. The choice of venue for the final matches was reserved to the Scottish Football Association.
|Round||First match date||Fixtures||Clubs|
|First round||18 October 1873||8||0||16 → 8|
|Quarter-finals||8 November 1873||4||3||8 → 4|
|Semi-finals||13 December 1873||2||0||4 → 2|
|Final||21 March 1874||1||0||2 → 1|
All 16 teams entered the competition in the first round.
The first Scottish Cup match took place on 18 October 1873 when Renton defeated Kilmarnock 2–0 in the first round. The match was played in Crosshill, Glasgow at the neutral Queen's Park Recreation Ground. Newspaper reports from the time suggest Kilmarnock may have been at a disadvantage as they were more used to playing rugby. Later on the same day, Alexandra Athletic and Eastern recorded wins over Callander and Rovers. A week later, Queen's Park began the competition with a 7–0 win over Dumbreck in the highest scoring game in the inaugural competition. Clydesdale defeated Granville 6–0 in what would be the latter's only Scottish Cup match and Blythswood won 1–0 away to Western.
Southern and Vale of Leven scratched their first round matches against Dumbarton and 3rd Lanark RV respectively.
Of the 16 teams to enter the first round; Southern were the only team who would not play a single match and – as of 2019 – Dumbarton, Kilmarnock and Queen's Park still regularly compete in the competition.
|18 October 1873||Alexandra Athletic||2–0||Callander||Glasgow|
|Stadium: Kennyhill Park|
|25 October 1873||Clydesdale||6–0||Granville||Glasgow|
|Stadium: Kinning Park|
|Stadium: Regent's Park|
|Dumbarton||w/o||Vale of Leven|
|3rd Lanark RV||w/o||Southern|
The quarter-final stage began on 8 November 1873 when Clydesdale and 3rd Lanark RV drew 1–1 at Kinning Park to set up the first Scottish Cup replay eight days later. This match also finished in a draw meaning a second replay to be played on 6 December 1873. In the meantime, Dumbarton lost 1–0 to Renton in a replay on 29 November 1873 after the first match had finished goalless a week earlier. According to reports in The Herald, both matches were played on a public park in Renton. Queen's Park and Blythswood reached the semi-finals without the need for a replay as they defeated Eastern and Alexandra Athletic respectively. In the last match of the quarter-final stage, Clydesdale defeated 3rd Lanark RV 2–0 at a neutral venue in their second replay.
|6 December 1873||Clydesdale||2–0||3rd Lanark RV||Neutral Venue|
The two semi-final matches were played a week apart in December 1873. Queen's Park were the first team to reach the final as they defeated Renton 2–0 at the original Hampden Park on 13 December. Clydesdale then booked their place in the inaugural final as they recorded a 4–0 win over Blythswood at Kinning Park.
|20 December 1873||Clydesdale||4–0||Blythswood||Glasgow|
|Stadium: Kinning Park|
After 14 matches played and 35 goals scored, the tournament culminated in the 1874 Scottish Cup Final on 21 March 1874. The match, played at the original Hampden Park in Crosshill, Glasgow, was watched by 2,500 spectators and refereed by James McIntyre of Eastern. As Hampden Park was the home of finalists Queen's Park, the match was one of a select few cup finals in Scotland that were not played on neutral territory.
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