The draw for the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup was made yesterday in Glasgow with Rangers in the hat at this stage for the first time in decades. The big draw for most of the sides in contention was a visit to Ibrox with a capacity crowd. Alas it was not to be for the local sides still in the competition, as Rangers were drawn away to Forres Mechanics.
For Bonnyrigg, it means a trip to Stirling University. Boss Max Christie knows he’s in for a difficult tie. “Stirling won the East of Scotland League last season and are a very good side,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough ask for us.
“They are almost a full time side because most of the players are on scholarships at the University working on their fitness during the day. Plus they have a set up to be desired with great facilities. It’ll be an interesting tie as well with it being an East of Scotland League side playing against the local Juniors. They have good players and it will be a test for us, but, there were signs on Saturday that we’re returning to our top form and we have four weeks before the game so we have time on our hands.
“It’s not the draw we would have wished for but since we didn’t get a game at Ibrox we’ll have to fight for a chance against Rangers in the next round.”
Stirling University’s Sports Performance Manager and former player and coach at Spartans, Raleigh Gowrie, reacted to the draw by saying: “This is Stirling University’s first ever occasion of participating in the Scottish Cup so it is very exciting and it will be a fantastic experience for the students.
“The game brings two league champions together, the East of Scotland League and the East Juniors Super League, and it gives us the opportunity to showcase our facilities at the Stirling University Campus.
“We will have Bonnyrigg watched before we play them although I do know that they will be very talented. They have two players – Ross Archibald and Alex King – who I coached at Spartans and I know that the pair of them contributed a lot to Bonnyrigg’s success last season.”
Stirling University are coached by former Hibs, Falkirk and Motherwell player, Eddie May, who took over at the beginning of the season.
The draw has also thrown up an all East of Scotland League clash in the Borders with Selkirk being paired with near neighbours from Innerleithen, Vale of Leithen.
Mike McKinnon, the Selkirk manager, and Vale’s boss, Fraser Ogilvie were, amazingly, standing chatting to each other at the draw and when the numbers were drawn they just looked at each other and smiled.
McKinnon said: “Every club was wanting Rangers away but you have to take who you get. It’s a decent draw and both ourselves and Vale of Leithen will be pleased.”
Ogilvie responded by saying: “We want all East of Scotland League clubs to do well in the Scottish Cup and go as far as possible so drawing each other denies one club that opportunity. This draw has, however, the added spice of being a Borders derby. Obviously the first choice would have been Rangers away but that never happened.”
Civil Service Strollers have been handed another home tie against Aberdeenshire outfit Turriff United, who are making their debut in the Scottish Cup this season.
The Strollers manager, Chic McAleavy, said: “A home tie is very good with no travelling involved. At this moment in time I know very little about Turriff but we will go and watch them and see what they are like.”
Edinburgh City, who replay their first round tie against Shotts Bon Accord on Saturday, will travel to meet SFL Third Division side Montrose if they progress.
The ties will be played on Saturday, September 29.