The Highland Edition

Brora Rangers get ready to meet Kilmarnock in the 5th Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup

Whilst the recent endeavours of Kilmarnock in the Premiership give Tokes and his coaching team plenty of material to analyse whilst deciding on tactics and team selection, until recently the Ayrshire club would have to work harder to dig out the same information regarding ourselves.

Our win at Stranraer, however, would have made things easier, as media attention turned not only to us, but also Cove Rangers and Formartine Utd who knocked out higher league opposition in the shape of Airdrieonians and Forfar respectively. The limelight really shone on Fraserburgh though, whose win over Spartans earned them a home tie against the other Rangers.

That’s all good for the Scottish Highland Football League. The quickest of glances at various Scottish football forums can give the impression that a tie with a lower league outfit is a free pass into the next round. Apparently not. Apparently a fine standard of competitive football is alive and well in the North.

One of our rare fixtures not to fall foul of the weather between the 3rd and 4th Rounds of the Scottish Cup resulted in a 16-0 win over Fort William. Cue yet more media attention and an Off the Ball Team of the Week award. Cue also accusations that the Highland League is no longer competitive. Unfortunately Fort William must have mis-read the script last weekend, earning a 1-1 draw against Clachnacuddin. That’s the same Clachnacuddin who returned home from North Lodge Park with a 4-2 victory against Formartine earlier in the season.

However, League business is not on our mind this week. This week Brora is all about the William Hill Scottish Cup. This week Brora is red and white.

Brora Rangers get ready to meet Kilmarnock in the 5th Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup

This week Maisies Daisies have gone Brora crazy. They are not alone. The shops and businesses in the village have made a great effort in decorating their windows to show their support for Brora Rangers ahead of this historic tie.

As this seasons William Hill Scottish Cup tagline says … Original Moments. Unforgettable Memories.

We have certainly enjoyed both already. For those not worried about their mobile data allowance, how about some highlights of our Round 1 victory over Girvan. That earned Andrew Greig a Goal of the Round nomination. Or our Round 2 win at Civil Service Strollers where Scott Graham went one better to win the Goal of the Round with this free kick. Onwards to Stranraer and Steven Mackay’s injury time winner earning him a nomination for Goal of the Round.

By now the belief amongst both the squad and the support was palpable. So much so, this meme appeared on the Supporters Facebook page …

Brora Rangers get ready to meet Kilmarnock in the 5th Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup

The Grim Reaper being ably played by Michael, a fan who rarely misses a game home or away and travels almost as far as James Pickles to do so.

The belief was more than rewarded at Bayview Stadium. Rather than saving the winning goal for the dying minutes of the match, Colin Williamson headed home a Gavin Morrison corner in the 12th minute and the squad resolutely defended their lead for the remainder of the game. No Goal of the Round nominations, but a ticket into the 5th Round of the Scottish Cup, and another piece of history for Brora Rangers Football Club.

And, of course, this …

Brora Rangers get ready to meet Kilmarnock in the 5th Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup

In fact, this Cup run seems to have captured the imagination of more than one of our talented digital artists, but we’ll keep that for another day.

Instead we want to go back to that 1937-38 Scottish Cup Final we alluded to in yesterday’s Kilmarnock Edition article. It was a final of historic note, won by a Club outside of Scotland’s top flight for the first time. Won by none other than our last opponents, East Fife.

Brora Rangers get ready to meet Kilmarnock in the 5th Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup

Ross makes little secret of his enjoyment of being the underdog, it served him well as a player at Inverness Caley Thistle working their way up through the divisions, it has served him well in this season’s Cup campaign. East Fife’s Scottish Cup winning run can have been no less enjoyable.

A fourth round victory over Raith Rovers (Think Brora beating Wick to progress to the Semi Final), saw them meet the now defunct St Bernard’s. And play them again in a replay. And play them yet again in a second replay where they finally triumphed 2-1. It is interesting to note all 3 games were played in front of crowds over 30,000 strong.

On the 23rd April 1938 East Fife ran out onto the Hampden pitch for the 60th Scottish Cup Final. Their opponents?

Kilmarnock.

Regular readers of the site will know we like our omens.

The final ended in a 1-1 draw, requiring a replay the following Wednesday. The replay required extra time to be played. The Fifers ran out 4-2 winners.

Oh yes, we like our omens. We’ve dealt with East Fife, and a replay back at Dudgeon Park would be a satisfying enough result before heading into the quarter finals. Then again, crowds of over 30,000 would be a real treat too.

Published on Wednesday February 07, 2018

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