“Scottish Cup at William Hill, Paisley Piazza by Jean-Marie Stewart” by paisleyorguk is licensed under CC BY 2.0
A football hiatus for 2 months? No problem, Back just a fortnight ago with no games and 30 places between the sides in the SPFL pyramid – Brora Rangers sent shockwaves across the nation with a famous 2-1 victory over Hearts in the Scottish Cup last night.
I mentioned on the SPFL 42 podcast which came out this morning (Wednesday) that Hearts had to improve immediately.
My purpose with that message was I didn’t want to use the platform to predict potentially silly scenarios but I had a feeling in the back of my mind that Brora would supply the giant killing we are all craving.
Tributes turned to Sheena Manson at the club, a volunteer at the Highland League side who passed away 89 who would be on cloud 9 following a famous evening in Brora.
A lot of chat in the last week has been about the annual proposal for Old-Firm colt teams into the bottom tier set-up within the SPFL structure. As much as there is always a demand for such a venture. Brora Rangers certainly answered a few questions last night with Jordan MacRae & Martin Maclean helping the Dudgeon Park side progress.
Stranraer now lie in wait for Brora & it’s the perfect platform to put the Highland side on the Scottish Cup trail with the Scottish Cup being played on a short & sharp basis due to the volume of fixtures that lie ahead for clubs in the SPFL structure.
Another Highland League side that were successful last night were Formartine United, who overcome Annan Athletic 3-1 on penalties to set-up a Scottish Cup tie in 10 days time at home to Premiership side Motherwell.
Formartine have their own ambitions & will be going under the radar in this tournament due to being an unknown quantity among many something which Paul Lawson, ex Steelmen midfielder acknowledges & won’t pay any attention to.
Lawson will be looking forward to the occasion after enjoying a successful stint in Lanarkshire, the village of Pitmedden has a population of 1,137 which is the average size of the Motherwell away support when spectators are allowed into grounds of course.
Summer football is now the way forward in my opinion for the Highland League, with Fraserburgh, Brora & Formartine in action a week on Saturday, it’s an opportunity for clubs to use Scottish Cup as pre-season playing with all due respect stronger opposition.
Then, as Scottish government restrictions ease, a return to competitive action. Even non-contact training to an extent would be a valid starting point.
Buckie Thistle gave it a valiant effort last night against Inverness Caley Thistle, conceding a goal after a minute would have been a concern for the Buckie fans from home (Or the 8 watching from the wall within the ground.)
But Graeme Stewart’s side had a game plan & a system and the Buckie manager wasn’t going down without a fight being an animated figure for the whole 90 minutes. The hosts did well to level through Jack Murray and again 6 minutes from time through Callum Murray.
Caley showed fantastic resilience however to avoid the scenes in Brora. On the summer football subject, Buckie boss Stewart said, “Everyone has an opinion on this, coming back you would be worried what will it be like, I would like to finish the league in the next couple of months then go straight into a new league.
“The Highland League & SFA will make the right decisions, what a boost for everyone if we were to get back soon, you get to play some summer football & hopefully some fans as well.”
Unfortunate outcomes for Keith, Huntly & Nairn County who suffered defeats at the hands of Clyde & Dumbarton & Montrose.