THEY are more than 100 miles apart and one has a population ten times bigger than the other – although they both have a great record in the cup.
All bets are off anyway thanks to the deep freeze – but punters looking to back Edinburgh’s Spartans with one bookmaker were already facing a long shot.
We will be working like Spartans to ensure the same mistake does not happen againWILLIAM HILL
That’s because a mix-up at cup sponsors William Hill saw their weekend coupon invite bets on BLYTH Spartans to beat St Mirren.
Like their Capital namesakes, the Northumberland football minnows have cup pedigree – reaching the FA Cup last 16 in the 1970s. Our Spartans were quick to laugh off the gaffe, joking on Twitter: “Looks like there’s gonna be more spoilt coupons than a teenage acne convention.”
Mark Brown, Spartans’ media manager, told the News the mistake had been a source of much amusement.
He said: “Obviously somebody has made a bit of a faux pas and that would have spoiled the coupons. It’s a bit of a blunder but the fact that the game is off means hopefully they can rectify their mistake.
“Both Blyth Spartans and ourselves have a fantastic record in our respective cups both north and south of the Border. Maybe Blyth would have enjoyed the trip across the Border.”
Luckily Spartans fans shouldn’t be left out of pocket after bad weather forced today’s match to be rescheduled for 8pm on Tuesday.
Officials at William Hill said they would rectify the coupons. A spokesman said: “The Blyth on the coupon is an obvious and unfortunate error but rest assured if you are backing the Spartans using this coupon your bet will be honoured.
“If, however, you are wanting to back the ‘real’ Blyth Spartans then you will not be able to take advantage of the 8/1 as they are just 11/10 to beat Altrincham this weekend.
“We usually update the coupons at the start of the new week so rest assured we will be working like Spartans to ensure the same mistake does not happen again.”
While Blyth aren’t heading for Scotland this time, that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy some ties with the Capital.
In fact, former Hibs goalie John Burridge, below left, lined up for them in 1996, before enjoying a spell as manager.
Anticipation is now building ahead of Tuesday’s clash, with Lowland League Spartans confident they can handle the challenge of their Scottish Championship opponents.
The pair have history, the Ainslie Park side coming close to knocking out the Paisley club when they visited north Edinburgh in 2006. After a heroic 0-0 draw in the Capital, Spartans lost 3-0 in the replay.
Mr Brown said: “That’s the beauty of the Scottish Cup – it allows you to pit yourself against teams that are higher above you in the league.
“Spartans have proven we have been able to compete with teams higher up in the league and there’s no reason we can’t do it again.”