By Glen Barclay
Having seen off Wick Academy at the second time of asking in the Scottish Cup first round, the University of Stirling’s first team will face sterner competition from League 2 side Montrose FC as they look to book their place in round three.
Having faced league opposition for the past three seasons at this stage, it is understandable that manager Chris Geddes is a little disappointed with the draw. Defeats against Arbroath (3-1) in 2016, Queens Park (2-0) in 2015 and Albion Rovers (4-1) in 2014 mean that a win at Links Park would secure passage to the third round, the furthest the club will have progressed since their first Scottish Cup campaign in 2012/13.
Facing tougher opposition is an attractive proposition for the players; but having been defeated at this stage three years on the bounce the men in green may feel hard done by not to have come up against a team from their own division.
By no means is a cup upset off the cards, however, with Montrose being defeated in two of their last three games by Stirling Albion and Elgin City respectively. After their win away to the University of Edinburgh last time out, Stirling’s spirits are high. Manager Geddes is “pretty confident our boys will go up there and enjoy it because Links Park is a good wee venue.”
With the university plying their trade at Falkirk Stadium, with an astroturf surface similar to Links Park, there should be no need to alter his teams style of play. Geddes added that “they [Montrose] don’t know much about us, and they probably won’t know what they are gonna get.” With the hosts the favourites the pressure is off Stirling, which will allow them to make the most of the occasion.
The fixture takes place at Links Park, Montrose, this Saturday. As always, the team would appreciate your support, so get behind the men in green.