William Hill Scottish Cup Preview
Saturday at three o'clock will see 34 junior and lower league Scottish sides begin a journey which , however unlikely, could end up in Hampden as they compete for the William Hill Scottish Cup.
As we are sponsoring the Scottish Cup we are bringing you a small preview of each of the 17 first round games taking place this Saturday. Read and enjoy and maybe you'll find some first round value.
Culter v Burntisland Ship
Aberdeen side Culter are the current North Region Superleague winners and they will host Burntisland Ship at Crombie Park. Their best run in the Scottish Cup saw them reach the third round in 2007 after a blistering first round win of 7-0. They made that history that year by becoming the first of only four sides to enter the prestigious competition. They are 1/5 to win their match and progress and if you are looking for something to bulk up a small acca then you could pick worse 1/5 shots. You can also back Culter at 10/1 to progress furthest from all the Junior Clubs in the competition.
Dalbeattie Star v Inverurie Loco
South of Scotland senior side Dalbeattie star are looking to emulate their 08/09 cup run when they reached the third round. Soccer Saturday presenter an all round eccentric Jeff Stelling is quite fond of bigging them up by saying "Ooh Ahh Dalbeattie Star". They face a tough tie against an Inverurie Loco team who have won two and lost two this month. But at 23/10 the home side are certainly value to start off a cup run.
Edinburgh City v Brora Rangers
East of Scotland Premier Division side Edinburgh Rangers go into this clash well fancied. They have made a slow start to their league with three points from six. A solid 3-0 win at home at the start of the month against Tynecastle moving them towards the top of the table. Brora Rangers rued a penalty miss against Turriff United as they went down 3-2 in their recent league encounter. But they step up a division here and it might be too much so i'd fancy the home side at 8/13. It is also worth noting that City are 5/1 to be the furthest East of Scotland side in the competition
Edinburgh University v Whitehill Welfare
These sides have already met when the Welfare came away with a 1-0 win in the league back in August. There will be an element of revenge for the University side, but their opponents are on good form having come from behind twice in a recent league match to win 5-2. Whitehill are 10/11 to come away from Peffermill with a win.
Forres Mechanics v Irvine Meadow
Junior side Irvine Meadow are the current Stagecoach Super League champions and they make the trek to Mosset Park. The home side recorded a solid 3-0 over Rothes in the league and they will be up for this match. They have only lost one match in the last six and will be confident of going through here. You can back the Mechanics at 5/1 to throw a spanner in the works.
Fort William v Boness Utd
Boness are travelling north to take on Highland league side Fort William in what could be an interesting match despite the short odds on the visitors. United lost out to a Highland side last season in the form of Buckie Thistle, and they will be well aware of the upset that could be caused. For William have propped up the Highland table for quite some time, but with the magic of the cup who knows?
Fraserburgh v Civil Service Strollers
The aptly named Civil Service Strollers travel to Aberdeenshire for their first round clash. Their form coming into this clash has seen them lose, draw and win their last three fixtures. Highland league side Fraserburgh are fifth in the league and look to be going well. They are 2/5 to win at home, but lost their last game 2-0 away to Deveronvale. They won't view this game as a walk in the park and will need to up their form, i could see a draw here at 10/3.
Gala Fairydean v Hawick Royal Albert
Despite being drawn at home Gala Fairydean are playing their matches at Selkirk due to the installation of a new pitch on their ground. They face league rivals Hawick Royal Albert who were hammered 12-3 by Edinburgh City recently in the East of Scotland Cup qualifying game. They were without a series of first team regulars and difficult conditions didn't help. Fairydean are 1/5 to win and might be value for that.
Glasgow University v Cove Rangers
Cove Rangers come into this tie on the back of a 3-1 home loss to Lossiemouth in the league, but the Aberdeen side are second in the league by virtue of goal difference. Glasgow University will have optimism, but they are 7/1 to cause a shock and I feel that it could be beyond the students to win this one.
Huntly v Newtown Stewart
Huntly are favourites to pick up their first Scottish Cup win in three years as they host South of Scotland side Newton Stewart. The home side will be boosted by the return of Andrzej-Slawomir Kleczkowski who has re-signed with the club. They beat Keith 4-1 in their last game and at strongly favoured to win this at 3/10. However Newton Stewart have scored 10 in their last two games, 5-2 and 5-3 the scores. They are a big price at 13/2 to win.
Lossiemouth v Auchinleck Talbot
Auchinleck Talbot lifted the Scottish Junior Cup in May for a ninth time as they dominate the lower levels of Scottish Football. They are currently mid-table in the West Super League Premier Division and are 1/5 to beat their Highland league opponents. Lossiemouth are also mid-table with four wins from eight, but they should struggle against the superior opposition.
Nairn v Selkirk
The Highland Cup winners look to make a move into the Scottish Cup second round when they face Selkirk at Station Park. Nairn are going well in the Highland league with four wins and only one draw and loss so far. Selkirk are in the EOSFA Premier Division. They were eliminated from the Image Printers Cup by Edinburgh University. And are currently bottom of the table. They are 6/1 to come away with an unlikely win, but I would be going for the home side at 2/7.
Rothes v Clachnacuddin
One of the most competitive games of the day sees Highland league opponents Rothes face Clachnacuddin. Rothes are currently lying eight points ahead of their Scottish Cup visitors. After a slow start to the league Rothes have shown a lot of inconsistent form having recorded wins against Hunty and Invervurie Loco Works. But they have lost two of their last three games going into this Cup clash. Both sides are competitively priced at 11/8 with the draw at 5/2. This one could well be worth taking as a draw.
St Cuthbert's Wanderers v Keith
St Cuthbert's recent cup games haven't been favourable as they have been eliminated from both the South Region Challenge Cup and the Cree Lodge Cup. They did manage a 6-0 league win against Fleet Star FC in their most recent league game. Keith are mid-table in the Highland league with four wins from seven games. However they travel to St Mary's Park as 8/13 favourites for the win.
Vale of Leithen v Girvan
East take on West when EOS Side Vale host WOS team Girvan. Vale are currently joint top of the league with two wins from two. Girvan on the other hand are almost bottom in the West league with only one win from five. They have drawn three games however with only one defeat. But with a goal difference of minus seven things don't look good for the visitors. The home side are slight favs at 5/4 with Girvan at 6/4. I still think despite the amount of games played that the home side should win this one.
Wick Academy v Coldstream
Wick Academy scored a resounding 8-1 home win in their most recent league match against For William FC. They are still only 13th in the Highland League while Coldstream are only two points off the bottom of the EOS First Division. The home side are short favourites at ¼ to progress while the visitors have an uphill battle and are 6/1 to cause a shock.
Wigtown & Bladnoch FC v Preston Athletic
Wigtown have only won one of their last seven Scottish Cup games and this is something they will be looking to rectify when Preston Athletic visit. The EOS first division side come into the game having scored a 5-4 win at home to Berwick Rangers Reserves. They lost their most recent away match, but they should have enough to get past Wigtown and are 1/2 to do so.
We are also offering a series of specials:
Which non league side will progress furthest: 7/2 Buckie Thistle; 11/2 Deveronvale; 11/2 Spartans; 7/1 Auchinleck Talbot; 7/1 Bo'ness United; 7/1 Irvine Meadow; 10/1 Threave Rovers; 12/1 Cove Rangers; 12/1 Fraserburgh; 12/1 Keith; 16/1 Whitehill Welfare
Which Highland League side will progress furthest: 9/4 Buckie Thistle; 9/2 Deveronvale; 7/1 Cove Rangers; 101 Fraserburgh; 10/1 Nairn County; 12/1 Keith; 14/1 Inverurie Loco Works; 14/1Wick Academy; 16/1 Forres Mechanics; 16/1 Huntly; 20/1 Clachnacuddin; 25/1 Brora Rangers; 25/1 Lossiemouth; 25/1 Rothes; 50/1 Fort William
Which East of Scotland side will progress furthest: 11/8 Spartans; 5/1 Edinburgh City; 6/1 Whitehill Wellfare; 8/1 Preston Athletic; 10/1 Edinburgh University; 12/1 Civil Service Strollers; 12/1 Gala Fairydean; 12/1 Vale of Leithen; 16/1 Selkirk; 20/1 Coldstream; 50/1 Hawick Royal Albert
Which South of Scotland side will Progress furthest: 4/9 Threave Rovers; 7/2 Dalbeatie Star; 10/1 Newton Stewart; 10/1 St Cuthbert Wanderers; 10/1 Wigtown and Bladnoch
Which Junior side will progress furthest: 2/1 Auchlineck Talbot; 2/1 Bo'ness United; 2/1 Irvine Meadow; 10/1 Culter; 10/1 Girvan