Everyone has their own William Hill Scottish Cup story.
Falkirk stalwart Craig Sibbald is no different – with more highs and lows in the competition by the age of 22 than most pack into a career.
The Bairns aim to upset the odds at Rangers on Sunday, determined to book their place in the semi-final draw that will follow the full-time whistle at Ibrox Stadium.
What does the Scottish Cup mean to you, Craig?
Everyone says it but there’s definitely a different feeling to training in the build-up to playing in the Scottish Cup. Whatever’s going on in the league – and it’s been a tough season for us at times – you always feel like you can pull off a shock and have a day to remember.
What were your early Scottish Cup memories?
It’s not that long ago but I remember going to the 2009 Scottish Cup Final with my Mum. Falkirk were up against Rangers that day as well and it took a wonder goal from Nacho Novo to win it. I was on the books at the time, hoping I’d go on to play in a game like that myself.
You managed a few. The 4-3 defeat to Hibernian in the 2013 Semi-Final sticks out.
That was a really hard one to take. It was our first match under Gary Holt and we came flying out of the traps. We were 3-0 up and Lyle Taylor had a great chance, one on one with the keeper, to make it 4-0. Regardless of that, we should still have done enough to see the game out. I don’t know if we put too much into the first half but we just lost momentum and couldn’t get it back. Alex Harris played really well for Hibs that day and Leigh Griffiths was flying. It just wasn’t to be.
You made up for it in the end. We’re guessing your headed winner against Hibs in the 2015 Semi-Final goes down as a career-high…
That was a special moment. It was a great cross from Blair Alston and I was able to connect well with my head. Because I’m a bit shorter than some of the boys I’d always get stick for scoring headers, regardless of the fact I’d scored the winner with another in the previous round against Queen of the South. So I obviously pick my moments. We had to ride our luck against Hibs – they hit the bar and the post – but it made up for the 4-3 game. It’s just a shame what happened in the Final.
You lost 2-1 to Inverness Caley Thistle in the 2015 Scottish Cup Final – a match where you won a lot of plaudits for a strong individual and team performance…
We’d rather have had the winners’ medals. They scored their winner with four minutes to go and we didn’t have much chance to come back at them again. Jamie MacDonald was probably our best player that season. He held his hands up to a mistake at the end but it wasn’t just him. It was definitely a missed opportunity because we had a really tight squad and a good team. It was heart-breaking. People say you get what you deserve in football but I’m not sure we did that day, although Inverness Caley Thistle deserve a lot of credit. It was their moment in the end.
You always seemed to play well against Rangers when you came up against them in the Championship. What can we expect from Falkirk on Sunday?
The pressure’s all on Rangers so we’ll just go out and give it our all. It’s been a difficult season at times for us but we’re definitely on the right track again. The manager, Paul Hartley, has been good to me and he’s brought in a few new players who have strengthened the team. We want to give a good account of ourselves against them and see where it takes us.
Given the wild weather we’ve had to deal with in Scotland this week, it can’t have been the ideal way to prepare for a game like this.
I think the club’s worked hard to make the best of a bad situation. The preparation wasn’t as we could have liked but we were able to train at Ravenscraig on Saturday. Lewis Kidd agreed to put me up because he lives two minutes away. Earlier in the day my car was snowed in and I had to walk all the way to the stadium for a lift. My white trainers have seen better days but everyone’s been in the same boat. No-one will care if the result goes our way on Sunday.
Celtic kick off Scottish Cup weekend with the 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday.
The Hoops have crashed in 23 goals in their last eight Sixth Round appearances, but Morton have been similarly impressive in front of goal with 14 goals from their last five appearances in the competition. The last time they faced off was in 2016, when Celtic ran out 3-0 winners.
Aberdeen host Kilmarnock later in the day in an eye-catching tie between teams who have had strong seasons in the SPFL Premiership.
We might not see a flurry of goals, with five of Aberdeen’s last six Sixth Round matches decided by a one-goal margin, while Killie have yet to concede in the Scottish Cup this term.
The two last went toe to toe in the Scottish Cup back in 1984 when Aberdeen were 3-1 victors.
Heart of Midlothian travel to Motherwell on Sunday (2.15pm), with ’Well having roped in a host of volunteers in a bid to ensure Fir Park was cleared of a heavy snowfall.
The prolific Steelmen have scored in 16 of their last 18 Scottish Cup run-outs, but Hearts haven’t reached the Sixth Round since 2012 – the year they went on to triumph against arch-rivals Hibs.
Motherwell were 1-0 winners the last time they faced off in a Scottish Cup tie, after a replay in 2008.
Rangers round off the weekend and roll out the red, white and blue carpet for Falkirk.
The Light Blues have scored 10 goals in their last two Sixth Round ties, but the Bairns have won their last three Sixth Round ties – conceding just one goal in the process. Gers saw off Falkirk 2-0 in 2013, when they last locked horns in the Scottish Cup.
You can keep abreast of all the goals, news and features across the Fifth Round weekend on the Scottish Cup Twitter page, @ScottishCup.