Long Trips / Great Memories

Some great moments in the Scottish Cup from the North's oldest football team.  Check out Doug Delaney's thoughts on the Big Game and read Colin Machray's account of the trip to Wigtown back in 2008.  Have a look back at video highlights of the Can Cans fantastic away days to Irvine Meadow where we would want to forget the second half or to Tannadice where Dundee Utd were made to work hard for their 3-1 win.

On this Day...

Picture the scene.  It’s Saturday, 29th September.  There’s a big Scottish Cup match taking place in the town.  The home team are not the favourites to win this match.  The fans of their illustrious opponents set off at dawn to travel across Scotland allowing sufficient time for some pre-match refreshment.  The visiting supporters are confident of a victory, and why wouldn’t they be, their opponents are a smaller, inferior team, but nevertheless tricky opposition.  Predictions from fans all over the league can see no other result than an away win, regardless of their own feelings towards that particular team.  The game kicks off.  No quarter is asked and none is given.  The home team take a shock early lead and are getting stuck in to every tackle.  The visitors are stunned and struggle to get into the match.  A second goal is scored with 20 minutes remaining and the fans are in dream land.  The visitors star player is sent off with less than 10 to go and the unthinkable is about to happen.  The home team have won and kept a valuable clean sheet.  The visiting manager’s job is hanging by the proverbial thread.

If history does in fact repeat itself then let us all hope that the events of 29th September 2007 are repeated on 29th September 2012.   Okay, the gulf between Forres Mechanics and Glasgow Rangers is greater than what it was between Girvan and the Cans 5 years ago but that game will serve as a reminder to the Forres players that just about anything can happen in football. 

My Kingdom for a clean sheet!

I’ve read that this game is the “biggest” in Forres Mechanics’ proud 128 year history.  My own thoughts are that no, this game is not.  It is perhaps, arguably, the most glamorous and most anticipated game but when the dust settles this is a Scottish Cup 2nd Round match against a Division 3 side. Forres have had two league clinching matches and countless cup finals over the years which have been “bigger” games.

  Obviously this game has drawn a lot media attention and of course it is an exciting prospect for the management team and players alike.  But there has been over four weeks for this to “sink in” and the curtain is about to raise.   Charlie Rowley has the unenviable task of selecting the team on Saturday and there will inevitably be some disappointed players.  There are disappointed players every weekend when they are not named in the squad and Saturday should be no exception. The players will relish the occasion and it’s a footballing moment for them to savour, regardless of the outcome of the match.  They will all be aware that the reason they have been pitted against Rangers is largely down to the winning of the Highland League last season, and with it, a bye into the second round of the Scottish Cup. 

Perhaps the manager’s task was made easier after the 6-1 demolition of Strathspey Thistle last week and the result and performance was certainly a timely reminder of what Forres are capable of at Mosset Park.   While the Scottish Cup trips to Dumbarton, Girvan, Forfar, East Stirling and Irvine Meadow highlight the difficulties the Can-Cans have faced away from home, you have to go back to the 1986/87 season to re-collect the last “90 minute” defeat Forres suffered at home in this competition.  Buckie Thistle won on penalties in 2009 but there have been seven other cup ties which have seen Forres win or force a replay. 

There will, understandably, be a lot focus and attention on the Mechanics defence and how they cope against the international players they are up against.  While Forres fans could have a reasonable guess at the Forres line-up on Saturday, I’m not sure how many Rangers fans will be able to predict the Rangers starting XI.  That speaks volumes for the settled nature of the Forres squad and the summer of upheaval at Ibrox.  The Mechanics defence have played at least 50 matches together whereas the visitors defence will can barely boast 5 games as a back line.  The Cans kept 15 clean sheets during the course of last season, the roof will well and truly come off Mosset Park if we can keep another clean sheet on Saturday.

Enjoy the match

DD

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