Preliminary round avoided

BORDERS East of Scotland League sides escaped a potential early Scottish Cup banana skin this week as they all effectively received byes into the first round of the Scottish Cup.

The draw for the preliminary round was made on Tuesday at Hampden and the draw for the two matches had all the local sides in the hat.

However, only Preston Athletic, out of all the East of Scotland sides, was drawn and they will play Highland League side Fort William on August 4. Another team from the north, Keith, will be visited by South of Scotland outfit St Cuthbert Wanderers.

The preliminary round was made necessary as Highland League sides Formartine United and Turrif United have become SFA members, thus making them eligible to play in the competition, while East of Scotland champs Stirling University are also eligible through their winning the league title.