FINANCES were high on the agenda at the Ramsdens Cup second round draw as Berwick Rangers earned a plum tie at Ibrox against Rangers and Dunfermline were paired with Raith Rovers at East End Park.
Shielfield director and former manager Jimmy Crease left shoppers at the Clyde Shopping Centre stunned as he let out a shriek of delight and a whoop as his side were picked to travel to Glasgow by former Scotland star Murdo MacLeod and Ramsdens director Colin McLaughlin.
Crease explained: “We faced Rangers on the final day of last season when they were presented with the Third Division trophy. There were 52,048 fans there that day, and we supplied the 48, but of course never picked up a penny for it.
“It is different in the cup and it is a fantastic draw for us to get Rangers and hopefully they will have a bumper crowd at this game as well. A share in a 40,000 crowd would mean a lot to Berwick.”
Crease added: “We had Celtic in the Scottish Cup on TV recently and obviously the two games against Rangers last season and we have invested it well. We have used the money to improve our ground and facilities. Hopefully the manager Ian Little’s budget will see some of this as well. We started the season well by beating Livingston and this is a great reward for that. However, we are a bit short of defensive cover at the moment. We made the play-offs this year and perhaps the chairman will now loosen the purse strings a wee bit and build the squad up for an even better season this time out.”
Dunfermline player-coach Craig Dargo was also in attendance at the draw just 24 hours after the Pars were guaranteed a future after a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) was agreed to push away the threat of liquidation.
Dargo said: “This is a cracking draw for us as we are at home against a local rival and there will be a big crowd at it. Now that the CVA has gone through we can move on and if we could have picked a tie to mark that we could not have picked a better tie. If the game generates the same atmosphere as the league games did last season it should be a cracker.”
Despite the turmoil and uncertainty at the club, Dargo insisted the players had remained focused over the summer break. “We knew last season and the start of this season that things were out of our hands so there was nothing we could do. We worked hard to get ready for this season and thankfully it has not been wasted,” said the forward.
“We are glad it is all over and that the new backers are in place. There was uncertainty but we kept training and treating things as business as usual.
“There is a good bunch of players at the club and we just want to get on with things including this Ramsdens Cup tie. We had a great display at Cowdenbeath on Saturday and now it is just about football for us.”
Formartine United v Elgin City
Dundee v Forfar Athletic
Peterhead v Stenhousemuir
Dunfermline Athletic v Raith Rovers
Stranraer v Annan Athletic
Ayr United v Falkirk
Rangers v Berwick Rangers
Airdrieonians v Queen of the South