THE Fourth Round of the Scottish Cup commences this weekend with 32 teams battling it out to keep alive their dreams of lifting the famous old trophy.
With the big guns entering the competition, minnows dream of causing an upset by knocking a Premiership side out the Cup.
The managers at Fraserburgh, St Mirren, Inverness, Brechin, Albion Rovers and Queen of the South, who all face top flight opposition this weekend, will be spending the week trying to convince their players that they can defy the odds and take inspiration from great Scottish Cup shocks from years gone by.
Here is a throwback to some of the greatest Fourth Round, formerly Third Round until 2007/08, shocks to whet your appetite for this weekends action.
Clyde 2-1 Celtic
The match was built up around Roy Keane’s debut for Celtic, but Clyde ripped up the script with an impressive result and performance against the side who thumped them 5-0 in the previous seasons Quarter Finals. The Bully Wee had two perfectly good goals disallowed before Craig Bryson nodded them in front. They quickly got over a missed penalty when, from the resulting corner, Eddie Malone volleyed home to give them a 2-0 win. A late Zurawski strike was not enough to save the Hoops and Clyde held on for a famous victory.
Berwick Rangers 1-0 Rangers
Back in 1967, Rangers embarked on a run to the Cup Winners Cup Final, only to lose to Bayern Munich. However, their Scottish Cup campaign was ended at the first hurdle in surprising circumstances with defeat to Division Two minnows Berwick. Sammy Reid’s turn and finish put them ahead on 32 minutes and they defended heroically for the remainder of the game to write their name into Scottish Cup folklore. A club record crowd of 13,365 crammed their way into Shielfield that day to witness one of the Cups greatest ever upsets.
Ayr United 1-0 Hibs
Second Division part timers Ayr had brought their SPL counterparts back to Somerset with a 0-0 draw in the original tie, and fancied their chances of victory in front of the Sky cameras. Mark Roberts turn and composed finish on a rain sodden pitch gave the Honest Men an early lead. Hibs huffed and puffed after that but lacked that cutting edge and the hosts held out for a Fifth Round place. Hibs tenure under then new manager Colin Calderwood never recovered after that result.
Aberdeen 0-1 Livingston
Livingston were the new kids on the block in Scottish Football at the time, having been formed from the former Meadowbank FC in 1995 following their relocation from the capital to West Lothian, and they fancied their chances at Pittodrie against an Aberdeen side in the midst of a bleak period for the club. Ex-Hearts striker John Robertson netted the games only goal for the runaway Division Two leaders as they dumped their SPL opponents out of the Cup on their own turf.
Annan Athletic 4-1 Hamilton
One of the more recent shocks in the Fourth Round of the Cup saw fourth tier Annan Athletic destroy top flight Hamilton. Matt Flynn opened the scoring and and Josh Todd doubled the home sides advantage early in the second half. Greg Docherty gave Accies a lifeline but a double by Rabin Omar sealed a memorable victory for Annan, and completed a miserable day for the visitors. It was Annan’s first win over top flight opposition since they were elected to the League eight years earlier.
Celtic 1-3 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
The night that Inverness, amalgamated from the Inverness Thistle and Inverness Caledonian merger just six years earlier, announced their name on the Scottish Football stage. Despite missing Henrik Larsson with a broken leg, Celtic were still expected to sweep aside their Highland opponents but were given a shock from the start when Barry Wilson gave Caley an early lead. Mark Burchill equalised before a Lubo Moravcik won goal restored the visitors lead. Paul Sheerin’s penalty completed a memorable night for the club, the night where Super Caley Went Ballistic and Celtic were Atrocious!
Albion Rovers 1-0 Motherwell
This was a Lanarkshire Derby that top flight Motherwell, who were Scotland’s second best side at the time, would romp against their League Two rivals. Albion Rovers, however, ripped up the script by holding their opponents for 90 minutes then hit them where it hurts with a last minute Gary Phillips strike to send the men from Coatbridge through. Rovers went onto the Quarter Finals and were within 15 minutes of a win at Ibrox before a controversial Rangers equaliser saved the hosts blushes.
Will there be any shocks this weekend? Who knows but here’s to a great weekend of Scottish Cup action, and it will be covered in next weeks Scottish Football Forums Podcast.