How the Scottish Cup second round has created rival business partners and rushed Barbados holidays

Blair Munn and Bo’ness United were sent the long road to Wick in the Scottish Cup first round, now this weekend’s second round has him much closer to home – and on a collision course with his business partner.

Blair Munn (left) with Pro Performance Academy partners Robbie Thomson and Callum Tapping - who he will face when Bo'ness United meet Edinburgh City in the Scottish Cup second round. Picture: Michael Gillen.
Blair Munn (left) with Pro Performance Academy partners Robbie Thomson and Callum Tapping - who he will face when Bo'ness United meet Edinburgh City in the Scottish Cup second round. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Munn has spoken with Edinburgh City midfielder Callum Tapping every day since establishing Grangemouth-based Pro Performance Academy five years ago, passing on coaching skills and drills and putting professionals like Stephen Kingsley, Craig Sibbald and Nicola Docherty through their paces in the off-season.

But they’ll be in working against one another this afternoon when the Lowland League side’s assistant manager passes his inside knowledge on the capital midfielder to BU boss Max Christie for the second round match.

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“I played with Callum at Alloa and outside of the Academy we’re best mates but I’ve never faced him in a professional game. We’ve run the academy for five years along with Raith Rovers goalkeeper Robbie Thomson,” Munn explained. “We see each other every day, speak frequently and have a really good working relationship.

Blair Munn at Pro Performance Academy in Little Kerse, Grangemouth. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“I’ve gone to a few of his games this season so I know how he plays, and how Edinburgh play, so I’ll pass on the information. He’s probably their main player, everything goes through him. He’s one for us to stop, though they do have other good players. Hopefully he has a good game and we win – I don’t think he’ll be happy with that but we certainly would be.”

It’s a local tie for Bo’ness after three attempts to defeat Wick Academy in the first round, marred by a horror injury to Zander Miller that suspended the replay and forced a third date between the sides.

"The last journey was horrible, we stopped at Inverness but the last section was a real challenge. We got through eventually and are hoping for a cup run now. It’s a much easier journey to Edinburgh – though a tough game – for us.”

Jamie Reid is another staying closer to home. The Jeanfield Swifts defender shifted a holiday in Barbados with fiancee Jade to play his side’s second round tie in the less exotic climes of Annan’s Galabank ground.

Jamie Reid swapped Barbados for Galabank Stadium. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“I didn’t want to cancel it altogether because I planned to propose on the holiday,” he told The Daily Record. “I talked about the game the whole time and was on the running machine.

“The boys say I’ve paid £900 to sit on the bench. Even if I am, I just want to be part of it all.”

Giant-killers Brora Rangers will be looking to add Albion Rovers to the list of teams felled at Dudgeon Park after eliminating Hearts last year, while SPFL bottom side Cowdenbeath face a tricky home tie with in-form Civil Service Strollers of the Lowland League.

Championship teams including Kilmarnock and Dunfermline enter in the third round and either Bonnyrigg Rose or East Stirlingshire will be in the mix to join them, as will the winners of Sauchie v Dunipace, Banks O’Dee v Nairn, St Cuthberts v Gala Fairydean and either East Kilbride or Stirling University.

The Scottish Cup trophy was recently valued at £1m. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Other ties taking place include Stranraer v Darvel, Preston Athletic v Auchinleck Talbot, Brechin City v Haddington Athletic, Stenhousemuir v Huntly, and Kelty Hearts v Buckie Thistle.

Clydebank v Elgin City will be televised by BBC Scotland on Monday evening.

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