The First Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup kicks off in style on Friday night, with a showpiece match live on BBC Scotland, as Kelty Hearts host last season’s giant-killers Auchinleck Talbot.
An intriguing tie lies in wait; Auchinleck Talbot have won each of their previous six First Round matches. Standing in the way of a seventh victory is five-time Scottish Cup winner Barry Ferguson’s Kelty Hearts; with Nathan Austin in fine goalscoring form – he has 20 goals in ten appearances for Kelty this season – be sure to tune into BBC Scotland from 7pm on Friday evening to kick-off a fine weekend of entertainment.
A First Round of firsts
Appropriately, the 2019-20 First Round represents a number of firsts in the history of the Scottish Cup.
Broxburn Athletic compete in the Scottish Cup for the first time in their history, as they host East Stirlingshire. You’ll have to go a way back in the history books for the last time the town of Broxburn was involved in the Scottish Cup; this is the first tie played in Broxburn since 1927, while East Stirlingshire make the trip to the town for the first time since October 1925. They’ll be hoping for a more positive result than that Second Division match – they lost 6-5 to Broxburn United. Neutral fans, however, would enjoy a similar scoreline. A win for the Shire would be their first in the competition since October 2014.
Another first will take place when Civil Service Strollers make the 182 mile trip north to face Buckie Thistle – these sides have never faced each other in a competitive match before. Buckie Thistle go in to this match in confident mood; they have never lost at home the First Round of the Cup, winning four and drawing two. Civil Service Strollers, however, also have an interesting statistic that will see them go into this match with an eye on the Second Round; they have knocked out Highland League opposition in each of the last two seasons.
Another side making the trip north (a 179 mile trip) on Saturday are Caledonian Braves, as they take on Rothes. This is a replay for the 2017-18 First Round. The tie would go a to a replay, where the Braves (playing as Edusport Academy) emerged 3-1 victors. Should Rothes emerge victorious this weekend, they would have secured a maiden victory away from home in the competition.
Back to the history books – and it’s all the way back to season 1938-39 to find the last time Penicuik Athletic competed in the Scottish Cup. You will have to go even further back to find the Cuikie’s only win in the competition (proper) – a 5-3 victory over Champfleurie in 1890. They make the trip to Broadwood to face Cumbernauld Colts – another first; these sides have never played a competitive match against each other. The Colts have progressed from the First Round in three of their previous four attempts.
Gala Fairydean Rovers were the high scorers at this stage last season, with a terrific 6-0 victory over Lossiemouth. They take on Dalbeattie Star on Saturday. An intriguing tie lies in wait; Dalbeattie have not won at home in the Scottish Cup since October 2008, however Gala Fairydean Rovers have only won once away from home previously in the competition – back in season 2014-15.
Lochee United return to the competition for the first time since 2008-09, where they reached the Third Round. As the top scorers from the Preliminary Rounds (12 goals in just two games), they make the trip to the Peffermill to face Edinburgh University. The side from the capital have only faced a Junior club in the competition once before – a loss to Hurlford in the 2014-15 Preliminary Round. This match is the first competitive match between the sides.
Forres Mechanics and Banks O’Dee meet for the first time in the Scottish Cup. Forres have not faced Junior opposition since 2007-08; they will be hoping for a different result to that match, as they were defeated by Girvan. Banks O’Dee’s form in the First Round should give them confidence, having won five of their previous six at this stage of the competition.
BBC documentary and social media stars Fort William play host to Vale of Leithen, in what should be an entertaining tie. The Fort have only one Scottish Cup victory to their name – came against Preston Athletic in 2015-16. Standing in the way of victory number two, Chris Anderson’s side are aiming to reach the Second Round for the first time since 2012-13. Their last win against Highland League opposition came in October 2011 when they beat Cove Rangers 3-2 in the Second Round.
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic face the second longest trip of the round, as they head north to take on Fraserburgh. This is a replay of the 2009-10 First Round, where the Broch emerged victors after a replay. History is on their side; the last time they lost at home in the Scottish Cup First Round was against Dundee United in 1935. Bonnyrigg Rose’s form guide in the competition doesn’t provide much in the way of a clue to how this weekend’s match might finish – in their six previous Cup games against Highland League opposition they have won two, lost two and drawn two.
Another debutant in the competition are Hill of Beath Hawthorn, having defeated Blackburn United and Threave Rovers in the Preliminary Rounds. They travel to face Gretna 2008 in what will be the sides’ first competitive meeting. Indeed, this will also mark the Black and Whites’ first Scottish Cup match against opposition from the East of Scotland League.
A 187 mile trip south lies in store for Wick Academy – the longest journey of the round – as they take on Inverurie Loco Works. These teams have never previously met in the Scottish Cup proper, but did meet in the 2006-07 North Qualifying Cup. Wick emerged as 1-0 winners on that occasion. Inverurie Loco Works are aiming to reach the Second Round for the first time since 2015-16. Wick Academy’s last meeting with Highland League opposition in the competition was back in season 2015-16 when they defeated Nairn County 5-1 after a replay in the Second Round.
One match that is definitely not a first is Keith against the University of Stirling; these sides met at this same stage last season. On that occasion, Stirling Uni won 2-1. Look away now, Maroons fans: Keith have not won a home match in the Scottish Cup since January 1996, when they defeated Deveronvale 2-1, a match that set up a Third Round clash with Rangers. Another stat that may fill Keith with dread is the University of Stirling’s record against Highland League opposition in competitive matches: they are unbeaten, with four wins and a draw from five previous meetings.
Huntly head south to face Linlithgow Rose in – you guessed it – the two sides’ first ever competitive encounter. Linlithgow will be hoping to emulate their heroics from the 2015-16 season, in which they reached the Fifth Round, before eventually being beaten by Ross County of the Premiership. The Rose have won all five of their previous five First Round ties. Huntly, meanwhile, have reached the Fourth Round of the Cup on three previous occasions, the most recent being in 2007-08; they will be hoping they can do so once again this season.
Clachnacuddin face the shortest journey of the First Round weekend as they head 17 miles east to face Nairn County. One stat that may bring the nerves for Nairn fans: they have won just one of their last seven matches against Clach in the Highland League. However, Clachnacuddin have only won one of their last six away matches in the competition, which may provide some comfort to those from Nairn. Highland League opposition in the First Round is a familiar feeling for Clach, having faced opponents from their own league in seven of the last ten seasons (four wins, three defeats).
Spartans face Deveronvale in the Scottish Cup for the first time since 2001-02; Deveronvale emerged as victors following a replay on that occasion. Spartans should go into this match in confident mood, having reached at least the Second Round in eleven of the last twelve seasons. For Deveronvale, it’s a 169 mile trip to Edinburgh, not something they are used to, with their last seven Scottish Cup matches having been at home.
Strathspey Thistle host Lossiemouth; another first, with these teams having never met previously in the Scottish Cup. Strathspey Thistle have won each of their last four Highland League matches against Lossiemouth, including a 3-0 victory in August. A win on Saturday would be their first ever win in the Scottish Cup, having been eliminated at this stage in each of their five previous involvements in the competition. Lossiemouth have not reached the Second Round of the Scottish Cup since 2009-10 – they have fallen at the first hurdle in each of the last nine seasons.
Formartine United will make the trip to Turriff United in a replay of a 2017-18 First Round tie. On that occasion Formartine won 2-1. A win for Turriff on Saturday will be their first Scottish Cup win since September 2014. Formartine have only ever lost once in the First Round of the Cup – that was back in 2013-14 against Inverurie Loco Works.
Make your predictions
You’ve read an abundance of stats, now you can make your predictions and win some fantastic prizes in the process! The Scottish Cup predictor is now open. You can make your for every match in every round up until the Semi-Finals. The winner of each round will win a Premier Sports subscription, while the overall winner will receive an incredible VIP William Hill Scottish Cup Final experience in May.
You can play on your own, or create a league with friends – sign up right here.
You can view the fixture information – including replay and postponement dates – right here.
Watch the highlights
With a packed Friday and Saturday of William Hill Scottish Cup action in store, you can watch all the goals on the Scottish Cup Facebook and YouTube page on Sunday evening.
Keep an eye out for our online show, Scottish Cup: Extra Time, which will bring you the best of the weekend’s action, social media reaction and of course those original Scottish Cup moments you may have missed.
Second Round Draw
The draw for the Second Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup will take place on Sunday evening – you can watch it live on BBC Scotland’s Sportscene.