Albion Rovers yesterday landed a money-spinning tie at Ibrox after reaching the quarter-finals of Scottish Cup for the first time since 1934, and manager James Ward is delighted to be facing Rangers – now second favourites behind Aberdeen to win the famous old trophy.
Aberdeen, who shocked Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday and are now chasing a domestic cup double, were installed at odds of 5-2 at the head of the betting by tournament sponsors William Hill after being drawn at home to Dumbarton, and Rangers’ price has been slashed to 10-3 after they were paired with League 2 side Rovers, whom they have already beaten in the Ramsdens Cup this season.
“Fate stepped in and gave us the Ramsdens Cup tie, which Rangers won 4-0 and now it has stepped in again and given us a Scottish Cup meeting as well,” said Ward. “We are now meeting Rangers home and away and it is a fantastic draw for us in lots of ways. Going to a top stadium like Ibrox is a great reward after beating Spartans, Deveronvale, Motherwell and now Stenhousemuir.
“Financially, it will hopefully be a boost for the club.”
Rangers manager Ally McCoist, whose side beat Dunfermline 4-0 on Friday evening, has warned his players to be wary. He told the club’s official website: “I wanted a home draw and that’s all I asked for after the game on Friday night. We’ve got that so we’ve got to be pleased. To be fair to Albion Rovers, they’ve been unbelievable in the Scottish Cup so far this season. Obviously they put out Motherwell with what is arguably the result of the competition so far but then they had a very comfortable 2-0 win over Stenhousemuir on Saturday.”
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was delighted his side got a home draw when the draw was made at Tannadice, shortly after Dundee United had beaten St Mirren 2-1 to earn an away trip to the winners of the only fifth-round replay, between
Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Stranraer.
The Dons, who have not reached the final of the Scottish Cup since 2000, came from behind – thanks to goals from Russell Anderson and Peter Pawlett – to knock holders Celtic out of the competition with a 2-1 win on Saturday. Aberdeen, who last won the cup in 1990, remain on target to record a cup double for the first time since 1985-86 as they are due to face Inverness in the League Cup final on 16 March. McInnes said: “We’re delighted to get a home draw, something we haven’t had too often in recent times. We’ll give Dumbarton every respect, they’ve been doing well in the Championship and we know it’ll be a tough tie. It’s a great opportunity for us and we’ll look forward to it when it comes around.”
Dumbarton manager Ian Murray was delighted with the draw, and for former Dons striker Mitchel Megginson in particular. “Aberdeen may have had a massive result when they beat Celtic but we are already looking forward to this one.,” he said. “Mitchel has had a fine season so far and I am he will be up for putting on a great performance at Pittodrie.”
In the other quarter-final, Championship side Raith Rovers – who enjoyed a stunning 3-2 victory over Hibs at Easter Road on Saturday – have home advantage against St Johnstone as they take on Tommy Wright’s Premiership outfit at Stark’s Park.
The ties will be played on the weekend of 8-9 March, with television coverage to be announced later this week. Both semi-finals will be played at Ibrox, with the final at Celtic Park.
Raith Rovers v St Johnstone
Aberdeen v Dumbarton
Stranraer or Inverness v Dundee United
Rangers v Albion Rovers