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Scottish Cup Preview

Shippy look forward to Scottish Cup tie.

It’s that time of year again when the Shipyard has its annual romance with the Scottish Cup, a very short romance usually. However, the club has had its moments over the years. Some of our very old readers might remember when Celtic were in town on Scottish Cup duty in 1939 or the middle aged readers will remember Berwick Rangers visiting in 1977. Most of us will recall the amazing run in the 1994/95 season that saw us reach the third round, in the draw with all the big guns at the last 32 stage.

Although the squad and management are very much new to the club over the last nine months there is still a fair bit of “Scottish” experience about the place. Kevin Masson in his first spell at the club scored a double in a 5-3 win at far flung Wigtown & Bladnoch in the first round in 2007. Kev recalled “I scored a couple of crackers that day and one of them was on the TV in the build up to the Scottish Cup final”. When asked about the second round against Albion Rovers he said “That was one I would rather forget about. We lost a couple of early goals and could not recover from it”.

Renato Sartarello has mixed memories of playing Scottish Cup ties. Renato also in his second spell remembered “Although it was actually Qualifying Cup games, they were still big matches. We went down to Annan and they thought they were going to give us a doing. However, that was not to be the case and although Brett Haggert put us a goal up early on Annan went in 2-1 up at half-time. We won a penalty in the second half, their player got sent off and I scored from the spot. Pete Hunter and Gareth Wardlaw then put us 4-2 up and although they pounded us we held on despite Gaz picking up a second yellow card. It was some night in Dumfries where we stopped for a few refreshments”. The next round at home to Vale of Leithen turned into a bit of a damp squib. With Wardlaw suspended, a real dangerman to vale was out of the equation. Renato said “It was a game we should have won. We just did not play well on the day. We were well in the match at 2-1 down and after an incident in their box the ref was showing a red card to one of our boys and their keeper, however, I stupidly got involved and threw the ball at the keeper. It never hit him, it hit one off our boys but the ref sent me off anyway and that was it. They scored another late on to seal it”.

Although still only nineteen, he seems to have been around for years, Lee Henderson made his debut in the Scottish Cup at Glasgow University back in the 2010 season. Again it was another hard luck story as Lee explained “There wasn’t much in it in the first half but in the second we were on top. Owen McCue missed a penalty and big Tam Williams missed a sitter from close range that would have put us ahead. I was on as a sub and in about the sixth minute of injury time the ref penalised me for a foul. I think he booked me if I remember correctly. Anyway, they slung the free-kick in, we cleared it to the edge of the box and I’m sure the guy just shut his eyes and hit. Of course it went like a bullet right into the bottom corner, Scott Chalmers never moved and that was it, we were out”. All the boys that spoke about their Scottish Cup experiences said the same thing that it was fantastic to play in these matches and they hold great memories whatever the outcome was.

Now this may be the managers debut in the cup as a boss but Myles Allan has also had an outing in the ”Scottish” for the Shippy. That came in the 2009 competition at Meadowbank Stadium against Edinburgh City. Myles said of that match “I had been down at Centreparcs with the family all week and was carrying a thigh injury. We were a bit short of numbers so they strapped me up and I started at centre half. Bud Muirhead scored with a penalty and hit the woodwork twice but we went in 3-1 down at half time. It finished 5-1 but it shows you at that level how fine the margins are. If the luck is against you, like hitting the woodwork twice, then you will likely lose as it turned out that day”. Myles now finds himself in charge for the first time and is eagerly anticipating the tie at Inverurie and enthused “We will be huge underdogs on Saturday and I understand that. In a game like this we need the luck that I mentioned previously, we need to be on the top of our game and we need Inverurie to be below par. Inverurie are effectively two divisions above us and I dare say will have a hefty wage bill to boot compared to our zero wage bill. That is not to say I am going to board the bus thinking that we are going to lose. We are travelling north with the intention of winning. I have done my homework on them and have learned a bit about some of their players and style of play. The boys are buzzing in training this week and we are all looking forward to the game”.

So is it Hampden here we come? Are we eight games from Europe? The romance of the cup, you cannae beat it!