Saints face Aberdeen­shire side in fifth round of the Scot­tish Cup

Oban Saints West­dyce

The Oban Times - - Sport -

Scot­tish Am­a­teur Cup - 5th round

THIS Satur­day at Glen­cruit­ten, Oban Saints usher in the Chi­nese year of the rooster with just their fourth home match of the sea­son so far and their first in any cup com­pe­ti­tion.

The visi­tors for Satur­day’s Scot­tish Am­a­teur Cup fifth round tie are West­dyce of the Aberdeen­shire Am­a­teur Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Divi­son Two East who are mak­ing their first trip west in Scot­tish am­a­teur foot­ball’s most pres­ti­gious com­pe­ti­tion. Founded in 2012 as a Sun­day morn­ing team, West­dyce joined the Satur­day af­ter­noon ranks for the 2014-15 sea­son where a sec­ond-placed fin­ish in Di­vi­sion Three be­hind cham­pi­ons Shed­dock­sley was enough to se­cure an im­me­di­ate pro­mo­tion to Di­vi­sion Two East. An­other im­pres­sive league cam­paign fol­lowed and only a shock 1- 0 de­feat to bot­tom club Con­ti­nen­tal in their penul­ti­mate fix­ture de­nied the In­verdee-based club back to back pro­mo­tions.

West­dyce took out their frus­tra­tion at the dis­ap­point­ment of nar­rowly miss­ing out on a place in Di­vi­sion One East with a thump­ing 8-2 vic­tory over Gram­mar FP’s in the fi­nal of the Aberdeen­shire Am­a­teur Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Bar­clay Cook Cup to win the fledg­ling club’s first piece of sil­ver­ware.

West­dyce have con­tin­ued their good form into the 2016 -17 sea­son win­ning 14 of their 17 fix­tures so far.

West­dyce have pro­gressed to the fifth round of the Scot­tish Am­a­teur Cup for the first time in their short his­tory and are one of just six Aberdeen­shire Am­a­teur Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion clubs still in with a shout of grab­bing the big prize.

A first round bye was fol­lowed up by a sec­ond round re­gional sec­tion 2-1 home win against Rat­tray’s XI. Strath­clyde Satur­day Morn­ing Am­a­teur Foot­ball League Di­vi­sion 1A Firhill United were sent back down the A90 on the wrong end of a 5-3 score­line in round three be­fore West­dyce en­tered the pre­vi­ously un­charted waters of the fourth round. Await­ing them was an away trip to Fife to face Strath­miglo United of the King­dom Cale­do­nian Am­a­teur Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion where a Ryan Fenby goal se­cured a 1-1 draw on De­cem­ber 3 to set up a re­play at In­verdee the fol­low­ing week. Back on home soil and be­ing un­der the cosh from their more ex­pe­ri­enced visi­tors, West­dyce took the lead in the 23rd minute when Michael Cald­well poked home a Rob­bie Dun­can cor­ner.

A sec­ond yel­low card for right full back Danny Blan­chard af­ter 40 min­utes left the home side fac­ing an up­hill strug­gle in the sec­ond half.

Heroic

How­ever, the 10-man West­dyce side pro­duced an heroic per­for­mance to keep the Strath­miglo at­tack at bay be­fore Michael Cald­well made the tie safe with a sec­ond break­away goal.

The fifth round of the Scot­tish Am­a­teur Cup may be un­ex­plored ter­ri­tory for this Satur­day’s visi­tors but it has far more of a fa­mil­iar feel for the home side. Saints have main­tained their in­ter­est in the na­tion’s premier cup com­pe­ti­tion be­yond the Christ­mas and New Year break in nine of the past 12 sea­sons, in­clud­ing three quar­ter-fi­nals and last sea­son’s semi-fi­nal ap­pear­ance. This sea­son’s road to Ham­p­den be­gan with an ex­tremely tough first round away fix­ture against for­mer Scot­tish Am­a­teur Foot­ball League ri­vals Fin­nart, now of the Cale­do­nian League Di­vi­sion 1B.

Goals from Craig MacEwan, Paul Carmichael and a Don­ald Camp­bell penalty saw the Oban side progress with a 3-1 vic­tory to round two. A sec­ond round no show from Glas­gow and District Satur­day Morn­ing League Premier Di­vi­sion out­fit Bish­op­ton de­nied the Saints faith­ful a home match on Oc­to­ber 1 but saw Saints com­fort­ably through to the third round by virtue of a walkover.

The third round draw paired Saints with an­other re­cent Scot­tish Am­a­teur Foot­ball League de­fec­tor FC Cly­de­bank, now of the Cen­tral Scot­tish Am­a­teur Foot­ball League Di­vi­sion 1A. A sig­nif­i­cantly less as­sured per­for­mance than against Fin­nart some­how still man­aged to pro­duce an iden­ti­cal re­sult at Thorn Park, Bears­den, on Novem­ber 5. Dean Smith, Fraser MacFar­lane and Wil­lie Gem­mell were on tar­get in a 3-1 win.

Saints made a rare jour­ney east to face Sal­vasen of the Loth­ian and Ed­in­burgh Am­a­teur Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Loth­ian West Di­vi­sion in their big­gest test of the sea­son so far. With skip­per Marc Maccal­lum call­ing off through ill­ness, Paul Kerr took the arm­band and suc­cess­fully lead his troops into the fifth round against the pre­vi­ously un­de­feated Ed­in­burgh side. Saints were as­sured through­out dom­i­nat­ing pos­ses­sion and look­ing solid at the back.

Goals ei­ther side of the half time in­ter­val from Dean Smith and Ross Mait­land saw Saints com­fort­ably through to a much wel­comed and ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated home tie against West­dyce on Satur­day. Man­ager Alex Craik hopes to have a full squad to choose from for this im­por­tant cup fix­ture

The match kicks off at 2pm at Glen­cruit­ten with last sea­son’s Scot­tish Cup fi­nal ref­eree Kevin Nolan from Glas­gow in charge.

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