Aidan Smith

Inverness Caley Thistle manager John Hughes and Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo celebrate their 2016 Scottish Cup draw at Easter Road. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS

Aidan Smith: Don’t let Scottish Cup replays get lost down Rod Petrie’s sofa

What do we reckon to the plan to scrap replays in next season’s Scottish Cup? Here’s what I think: Yogi Hughes, a half-loaf and the dream dying. Three years ago in the quarter-finals Hibernian, the dreamers, were desperately trying to preserve a 1-0 Easter Road lead and Inverness Caley Thistle, the holders, were just as urgently trying to keep the trophy in their grasp. Then ICT manager Hughes sent on the lanky Congolese striker Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo, furnishing him with a note. The change worked, the player equalising 12 minutes from the end. Afterwards Yogi joked that the missive was simply a shopping list: “My messages for tonight: two bags of potatoes and a half-loaf.” He took his players back up the road and must have been confident of winning the replay. Caley Thistle didn’t, of course, but the way the first game was panning out I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Highlanders had prevailed in extra-time. We might also wonder about the outcome of the previous round, had there been no replay there.

Opinion 7
Doug Fraser at his home in Nottingham. Fraser won one of his two Scottish international caps in the first ever meeting between Scotland and Cyprus. Picture: Fabio De Paola

Saturday Interview: Doug Fraser on crushing Cyprus and locking up Reggie Kray

He was one half of the twin-brother terror act which ruled the London underworld via armed robbery, protection rackets and murder, and the Krays had celebrities queueing up to hang out with a bit of serious rough. But, when Reggie was locked in his cell for the night by the subject of the Saturday Interview he had to address him as “Boss” or “Mr Fraser”.

Back in the 1970s, Ernie Winchester played in a Hearts team that couldn't score and couldn't win a trophy.  Photograph: SNS Group

‘Of course Hearts can win the Scottish Cup. Eric and Ernie aren’t playing’

Show me a Hearts fan who thinks their team can win the Scottish Cup and I’ll unmask him as a mad delusional fool who reckons Ernie Winchester was a surer shot in front of goal than the rifle he invented in his spare time… that Laryea Kingston was brave and committed and worth every penny… that 1 January, 1973 would have been different if only Eric Carruthers had scored in the first few minutes.

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