An­der­son hope­ful of re­peat­ing cup suc­cess

Evening Times - - SPORT - Alan Tem­ple

GRANT AN­DER­SON was part of the Raith Rovers side that stunned Rangers in one of the most fa­mous Chal­lenge Cup show­pieces of all time.

It re­mains the only se­nior fi­nal he has played in and is the soli­tary medal in the winger’s col­lec­tion.

An­der­son, 33, still cher­ishes that un­for­get­table af­ter­noon at Easter Road.

And he is adamant Rovers can re­peat the feat this sea­son as they booked their place in the fi­nal four.

The Fifers reached the last four of the Tun­nock’s Caramel Wafer Chal­lenge Cup with a breath­less 3-2 vic­tory over El­gin City on Fri­day night.

It leaves John McG­lynn’s men just 90 min­utes away from their first fi­nal since that iconic 1-0 tri­umph over Ally McCoist’s Rangers in the 2013/14 cam­paign.

“Be­cause the Pre­mier­ship teams don’t par­tic­i­pate, you can get the feel­ing that no-one is in­ter­ested,” said An­der­son. “But it’s the only sil­ver­ware I’ve won in se­nior foot­ball so it’s a com­pe­ti­tion close to my heart.

“We’re in the semi-fi­nal now with a great chance to get to the fi­nal and ex­pe­ri­ence that again.

“You’ve got to savour those mo­ments. I’m 33 years old now and that’s still the only se­nior fi­nal I’ve played in. So you cher­ish it – even more when you win, as we man­aged to.”

John Baird was the hero in front of a crowd of 19,983 at Easter Road that day, notch­ing the game’s only goal in ex­tra­time in Leith.

The fix­ture was a com­plete sell-out and, with the benefit of hind­sight, could jus­ti­fi­ably have been held at Ham­p­den.

“I re­mem­ber we beat An­nan [3-0 in the semi-fi­nals] then Rangers had their semi-fi­nal – and I was a Rangers fan for that day!” added An­der­son. “We were des­per­ate to play them.

“We thought we might get to go to the na­tional sta­dium, but it ended up be­ing at Easter Road.

“Even then, it was full and the oc­ca­sion was in­cred­i­ble.

“We had a party the next night with all the wives and girl­friends and it was just a week­end we’ll never for­get.”

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