THE Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup takes place this weekend, with 16 clubs all vying for a place in the Quarter Finals.
This stage, formerly the Fourth Round until 2008, has thrown up some surprising results over the years, and the underdogs this weekend will be holding onto hope that they come overcome the odds and take another step on the road to Hampden.
Here are some of the rare occasions where a side outwith the top flight, or one much further down the table, have toppled a top side and advanced to the Scottish Cup Quarter Finals.
1995: Stenhousemuir 2-0 Aberdeen
Despite their League struggles, Aberdeen went to Ochilview expecting to see off their Third tier opponents and keep their Cup hopes alive. However, Terry Christie’s side masterminded one of the greatest Cup upsets of all time. Dairy Farmer Tommy Steele netted twice as Stenhousemuir claimed a stunning 2-0 win, and brought humiliation to Roy Aitken in only his second game in charge at Pittodrie.
2014: Hibernian 2-3 Raith Rovers
Having been in the previous two Finals, Hibs were expected to see off their visitors from the Championship. Raith though had other ideas. Led by ex-Jambo Grant Murray, Rovers triumphed 3-2 thanks to goals by Kevin Moon, Dougie Hill and Grant Anderson to take them into the last eight. For Hibs, their season nosedived under Terry Butcher, culminating in relegation.
1993: Falkirk 2-0 Celtic
If there was a game that summarised Celtic’s fortunes in the early 1990’s, their Fourth Round Scottish Cup exit to bottom of the table Falkirk was it. Languishing behind Rangers and Aberdeen, the Cup was Liam Brady’s only hope of a trophy that season but they put in a timid performance at Brockville as goals by Neil Duffy and Eddie May saw the Bairns advance to the Quarter Finals, leaving Celtic trophyless for the fourth season running.
2015: Queen of the South 2-0 St Johnstone
Having tasted glory the previous season, St Johnstone arrived at Palmerston with aspirations to retain their trophy and with a reputation of rarely being beaten by lower League opposition. Queen of the South didn’t read the script. The Championship side put in a fine performance and goals from Derek Lyle and Gavin Reilly sent the holders tumbling out of the competition.
1998: Ayr United 2-0 Kilmarnock
Of all the places Kilmarnock could lose their grip on the Scottish Cup they won the previous season, there was no place worse than at the hands of their rivals Ayr United. On a rain sodden and muddy Somerset Park, the First Division side stunned their opponents with late goals by Jim Dick and Ian Ferguson. For Ayr fans, there was no better feeling than knocking their rivals, and holders, out of the Scottish Cup.
1988: Dunfermline 2-0 Rangers
The Rangers revolution under Graeme Souness was in its infancy as he laid the foundations for a decade of dominance in Scottish Football – but he couldn’t get going in the Scottish Cup! Having been beaten by Hamilton at home the previous season, Souness’s big money side came up short again at Premier Division strugglers Dunfermline. A freak goal by Mark Smith and a header by John Watson gave the Pars a famous victory, and further Scottish Cup pain on Souness.
So the scene is set for this weekends Scottish Cup Fifth Round ties, and three clubs taking in top flight opposition will be looking to take inspiration from these classic upsets from yesteryear. Will there be any shocks this weekend? Who knows and, if you think there is an upset in the air, McBookie will have the best odds available on all eight ties.