The pre-season friendly against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Witton Albion on 26 July was the first time County have come up against Scottish opposition since November 1957. That was a floodlit friendly against the old Airdrieonians club played on 25 November. This was during the time when floodlights were a novelty and County arranged regular friendly matches to cash in on this. The 6,116 crowd saw something of a goal feast that Monday night with Arnold Jackson, Bill Holden and 2 from Mike Davock giving County a win despite a brace from Airdrie's George Rankin. The teams were were: County Grieves, Betts, Webb, Murray, Franklin, Clempson, Wilson, Jackson, Finney, Holden and Davock. Airdrie Goldie, Kilmarnock, Quigley, McGill, McPhail, Price, Rankin, Caven, Sharkey, McMillan and Ormond.
A few weeks earlier East Fife had visited Edgeley Park in match to raise money for the testimonial fund raising money to pay a benefit to Ken Finney, Ken Hodder and Bob Murray, There were 4,401 at the game on 21 October which ended in a 1-1 draw with Finney getting County's goal and Alex Duchart scoring for the side from Methil with the teams lining up: County Grieves, Betts, Webb, Murray, Wilmott, Clempson, Wilson, Finney, Sowden, Jackson and Daley. East Fife McCluskey, Adie, Wilkie, Christie, Bowie, Nielson, Ingram, Ford, Duchart, Bonthrone and Matthew.
Only one other Scottish side had met County at Edgley Park before that date. That match came towards the end of the 1950-51 season when John Anderson put Stirling Albion in front after 4 minutes. The crowd of around 6,000 went home happier than they had been at half time thanks to a strike from Andy Black (shown right) on 65 minutes. Full teams for this game have not been traced but County included Dennis Ward, Ronnie Staniforth, manager Andy Beattie, Tommy Cavanagh, Alec Herd, Bryan Brennan, Andy Black and Keith Goalen. Whilst, in addition to Anderson, James Steadward, Sam Forsyth, Thomas Hadden, James Guy, James Chalmers and a man called Silcock were in the visitor's side.
Since the Airdrie match it has only been the younger County sides that have played
Scottish opposition. In January 2004 there was a 1-1 draw with Celtic Under-17s
thanks to an Adam le Fondre goal. Then three years ago a couple of the current
County first team squad were involved when a pre-season match was played against
Wemyss United, who were in the area for the Umbro Football Tournament and had a
free day. The County goals that day came from Jake Wood, Alex Elliott, Martin
Smeaton (2), Neil Holmes (2) and a hat-trick from current Hamilton Academical
and Scotland Under-19 player Kyle Wilkie. One of his goals is shown below. Wemyss
failed to score. Another current under-19 international, England's Josh Thompson
was also in the County line-up.
action photo © Sue Cordon