Difficult ties for Borders sides

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GALA Fairydean and Vale of Leithen will both go west in the third round of the Scottish Cup, writes Kenny Paterson.

The Fairies travel to second division Airdrie United, while Vale have a daunting trip to reigning Scottish Junior Cup champions Auchinleck Talbot of Ayrshire.

Gala boss Fraser Lothian said: “It is a good draw for us. We would have preferred to have had a home tie to open our new 3G pitch, but this will be a great experience for our young side.

“The pressure is off us and it is a game we will all be looking forward to.”

Vale secretary Alex Currie told TheSouthern: “I think it is a tougher game than if we had drawn a third division side.

“They beat Threave Rovers 8-1 in the last round, who are no mugs, so we know we will have to be at our very best to get a result.

“Financially, they get good attendances so that is a bonus, and we will take plenty supporters as well.”

Gala are missing suspended duo Jack Hay and Jay Wilson for their trip to Heriot-Watt University on Saturday in the First Division, while Vale’s Premier Division fixture with Whitehill Welfare has been switched to Rosewell.

Meanwhile, Hawick Royal Albert will have new manager Lawrie Dunn in the dugout for their First Division home match tomorrow (Friday) night with Duns.

The former Gala Fairydean and Kelso United defender was sacked after just eight games as Coldstream manager this season, but has led Pencaitland to the top of the Border Amateur League as caretaker boss before taking over at Albert Park this week.

Dunn told us: “I know it won’t be a quick fix and that a lot of the previous managers have only lasted a season, but I want to encourage everyone in the squad to stay here.”

Coaches Davie Aitken and Malcolm Cooper will stay on to assist Dunn, who will add James Taylor to his staff and ex-Coldstream player Darrell Laing to his squad for Friday’s match.

However, Sean Owens and Liam Laverty have left the club to return to Hawick United.

Selkirk were without a game last Saturday after Tynecastle officials claimed their Fernieside pitch had been vandalised. The Souters travel to Stirling University in the Premier Division this weekend, with midfielder David Battle a doubt.

Meanwhile, Peebles Rovers have asked the East of Scotland League to postpone their First Division clash at Kelso United following the death of club stalwart Maurice Gordon (see adjacent story).