Big challenge for Borders clubs in first round of cup

Gala Fairydean vs Selkirk FC at Netherdale. Gala Fairydean Rovers manager Steven Noble.
Gala Fairydean vs Selkirk FC at Netherdale. Gala Fairydean Rovers manager Steven Noble.

Borders clubs pulled a big challenge out of the bag on Tuesday as the draw was made for the first round of the Scottish Cup.

Gala Fairydean Rovers drew Linlithgow Rose, who will travel to Netherdale.

Rovers manager Stevie Noble knows the task ahead of his men is not easy, but he feels that if the ingredients are right, they can get a positive result.

He said: “Historically, Scottish Cup matches between Junior Super League teams and top Lowland League sides have been very close.

“I know the manager of Linlithgow (David McGlynn) as he was at Bonnyrigg and Musselburgh before and I’ve kind of followed his career. Linlithgow have a big fan base and they’ll be a huge challenge for us.

“However, if we can bring our full squad to the table, and if our form is as good as it can be, we will get a result. We have reason to go into the match with a lot of confidence.”

Hawick Royal Albert take on Huntly in a repeat of the controversial 2009 tie which the Teries lost 7-0.

During that game, goalkeeper-turned striker Gavin Watson handled in the box to give away a penalty and there was an investigation launched by Lothian and Borders Police into possible match fixing – although no wrong-doing was found.

This time, it’s a completely new Hawick – with a new manager and different players.

And they are not new to the idea of punching above their weight, as last week’s performance against Wigtown and Bladnoch (see report below).

Selkirk are masters at pulling long journeys out of the hat come Scottish Cup time and this year is no different.

As they did in 2011, they’ll take on the 400-mile round trip to Nairn County, who sit fifth in the Highland League.

They’ll have to rediscover some of their early season form and stop leaking goals if they are to come away from Station Park still in the cup.

Manager Steve Forrest said: “I don’t known much about Nairn County, but you can be sure that in a couple of week’s time I’ll be an expert.

“Selkirk played them four years ago and were 1-0 up through Jamie Gibson. They equalised in the 73rd minute and nicked it in injury time, while the two teams were fixing arrangements for the replay. We will have to travel up the day before so our players are rested. We are looking forward to it.”

Ties will be played on Saturday, September 26.