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SFL Scottish Cup Preview – Saturday 1st December 2012

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[media-credit name=”Pic: Phil McCloy” align=”aligncenter” width=”600″][/media-credit]

It is nearly Christmas apparently so lots of smaller clubs are looking for early presents in the shape of a fifth round tie in the William Hill Scottish Cup. To get there though, all teams have to get past this weekend’s ties. Over the last few seasons we have had Juniors and Highland league sides join in the fun leading to teams with grounds that struggled to fit people in hosting professional clubs whilst little clubs would go to big stadia and give SPL sized clubs a fright. Ironic to think of that when one of the ties this weekend is Rangers v Elgin City…

As always we shall be looking at where the upsets may happen, where there should be an evenly matched tie and where bigger guns should be able to propel themselves through with a measure of ease. Having said that, last time round I suggested Cowdenbeath might struggle in their tie only to see them slam eight in!

Cup shocks…

It would be hard to say this would be a shock if it weren’t for the fact that the visitors were in the second division but Kilmarnock v Queen of the South is a clear banana skin for the SPL side. The Palmerston outfit are on a sublime run and go into this one full of confidence. I can see them pulling of a real shock. They have been playing like a wounded animal that is just appalled that they had been dropped down to this level when they are just so much better – one would almost thin k they had been an SPL club dropped to the third division…

Another potential shock could be Livingston v Dundee. it could be argued it wouldn’t be much of a shock if there wasn’t a league between them because of the way that the Dees have been playing but Livingston have lost their manager recently. Whether they have lost their way will be answered through ties such as this!

Tough ties…

With the shackles of the league off them and being at home I would expect Cowdenbeath v St Johnstone to be another story of which Steve Lomas will be wary this week. Stenhousemuir v Falkirk has the added spice of it being a derby on artificial turf. The Bairns have not been having an easy time of it lately but neither have the Warriors. A cup tie between them could be just the tonic supporters need on a cold and frosty afternoon.

The all first division tie Dumbarton v Hamilton Academical which is postponed today but will be played on Tuesday is another that will benefit from being outside of the league. I fully expect Ian Murray to show the difference in how he handles team affairs from Alan Adamson’s methods. Billy Reid has been showing sufficient fighting qualities though that we should expect a tough game between these two.

The second all first division tie is, for me the Game of the Day. Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic is an absolute cracker. Last time out Thistle demolished the Pars 5-1 but in the cup you have to think that Thistle will not have it all their own way. I have absolutely no idea how this one will go but I am convinced it will be up there with games of the season!

From all first division to all second division has Forfar Athletic v Ayr United. Another game that should see a tough call between two sides that have been misfiring and hitting form all at the same time – sometimes in the same games!

SPL sides having difficult afternoons could include St Mirren v Brechin City. The Hedgemen have been scoring for fun and the Buddies have been struggling. Whilst not in the definitely a possible cup shock category – by a whisker – this could be one of those games the Saints will close down and win by stealth rather than flair…

Straightforward..?

Neil Lennon may have suggested doing that walk away thing the other day but it would be a major shock if his side did not have enough to progress today. Celtic v Arbroath should be a canter. Raith Rovers v Deveronvale has an away side that has already managed a few bigger scalps but this ought to be a simple home win for Grant Murray’s side.

You have to also think that an SPL side going to Starks Park will come away victorious. Stranraer v Dundee United should be a simple journey for the Tannadice outfit. Steve Aitken’s side continue to misfire and today should be absolutely no different – surely?  It would also be logical that Turriff United v Greenock Morton fall into that same category. Allan Moore’s sides – First team and Reserves – have been playing well enough that no matter what side is put out it should return with a win…

Finally Sunday has that long-awaited, much-anticipated game – Rangers v Elgin City. I have no doubt that it will be overshadowed by the Edinburgh derby that day but what would you give for floodlight failure in the 78th minute with Elgin 1-0 up – just for the sheer drama of it all? Unfortunately waking up brings me to the conclusion a home win is the most likely scenario!

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About Author

A lifelong supporter, since seeing Alex Ferguson play for them, of Ayr United he now contributes here, at KickTalk and Ringside Reports for things sporty. He is also a theatrical type and an educationalist. As an Ayr fan he clearly can explain the inexplicable, place fanatical faith in the most fantastic of dreams and deal with dark periods of depression and disappointment. Perfect as a teacher..

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