Scottish Cup | Skipper eyes up Stranraer scalp in Stair Park way to Hampden

Posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Spartans will be out to prove Lowland League sides are no turkeys this Christmas as they go giant-killing on Boxing Day for a festive cracker against SPFL 2 side Stranraer in Round 1 of the Scottish Cup.

Saturday’s seasonal showdown sees Spartans head to Stair Park after a dramatic late victory over fellow Lowland League side East Kilbride in the recent Preliminary Round and Dougie Samuel will be keen to showcase his side against loftier opposition and progress in one of the oldest cup competitions in the world.

Laying off the sprouts and leading the side on the paddock will be Captain Adam Corbett.  “A Boxing Day game is definitely a new experience for ourselves/this level so Christmas Day will be a little different this year compared to normal. However it’s no different to the preparation prior to a game on every Saturday – game day is game day!

“It is a great game to look forward to for us. This club has enjoyed previous upsets in this cup and good Scottish runs which will sit in our favour. We accept we are the underdogs and look forward to this challenge and hopefully showing the capability of lowland league teams.

“Playing different opposition is always a test as you don’t know very much about them, certainly not as much as teams in your own league. That’s the great thing about this competition, the chance to test yourself against different teams and enjoy the experience.

“There’s a few players that have played in our league previously, now playing for Stranraer, Orr being one of them. I personally always enjoy playing against him as he’s a good player and we have a good battle. Saturday should be no different and I’m sure the game will be a good one.”

The tie will be the 22nd ‘Scottish’ with gaffer Samuel at the helm.  Two of the last three outings against league opposition have seen the Ainslie Park outfit take on the current SPFL 2 top two, Queen’s Park and Elgin City, with narrow defeats recorded.  However, it was back in 2014-15 when Samuel guided his men to victory over Clyde and Morton before an agonising midweek replay loss at Berwick in the 5th Round, earning the plaudits and showing just how competitive the pyramid system had turned out to be.

It’s the first meeting between the sides in the Scottish Cup however they did meet in the Irn Bru Challenge Cup back in August 2016.  A manky midweek journey perhaps didn’t offer as much fizz as the sponsors product, however we were treated to a cracking Eddie Malone goal for our efforts.

That night saw over 1,000 Spartan Army foot soldiers make the pilgrimage to back their boys and whilst there will be no supporters allowed to travel on Saturday, the match will be live streamed. You can order a one-game pass for this fixture, priced at just £7.99.

Stevie Farrell’s side go into the game sitting fourth in the table, looking to bounce back into League 1 at the first time of asking after last season’s drop.

The hosts were in fine form last week with a 4-0 win over Albion Rovers, all of the goals coming in the second half.  Must be something in the half time oranges…

Kick-off is at 3pm.  Along with the Live Feed our hosts are also publishing a programme which can be purchased on Ebay

Scottish Cup Stats:

Played 68 | Won 26 | Drawn | 13 | Lost 29 | For 107 | Against 105

On the road – Played 38 Won 15 Drawn 5 Lost 18 For 59 Against 66

Next Fixture

Date: 29/06/24
Opponent: Livingston FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Kick off: 3.00pm

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