Cup high for Loons

FORFAR Athletic players are on cloud nine after going through to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup with a win over Ayr United on Saturday.

The fifth round draw, made at Hampden on Monday afternoon, saw the ‘Loons’ given an away trip to Falkirk, a match which will see the Station Park side pay their first ever visit to the Falkirk Stadium.

The tie is due to be played on Saturday, February 2, which means the scheduled league home game that day against Albion Rovers will be moved to a midweek slot.

It will be the first time that the clubs’ paths have crossed in the national tournament since Forfar Athletic’s centenary season back in 1984/5 when the ‘Loons’ clinched a quarter-final berth with a 2-1 win in a titanic battle at Station Park watched by a crowd of 2,165. At the time both clubs were in the First Division.

The match will be the first time the sides have met in any competition since September 11, 2001, when Falkirk triumphed 2-1 in a League Cup tie.

Alastair Donald, Forfar Athletic chairman, was thrilled with the team’s performance and is looking forward to the Falkirk game. “Saturday’s match was probably more like us again in the second half. We were showing that same form we had at the start of the season. The manager bringing in a few new players really freshened things up and the board was more than happy to extend the budget to bring them in.

“Hopefully there will be a few more to come and on the other side of Christmas we will have a lot of players coming back from injuries.”

He continued: “We are happy still to be in the cup and although it’s not a brilliant tie for us, it’s certainly not a glamourous one, it’s definitely winnable.

“They struggled against Stenhousemuir with 10 men on Saturday so we will be looking to go down there and cause a bit of a cup upset.”

Attention now turns to this weekend’s away clash against Albion Rovers. Despite bolstering his squad with two emergency signings (see seprate story below) Campbell still faces a number of injury woes and suspensions.

Mark McCulloch is serving a one game ban following his red card at Brechin. Derek Soutar, Odmar Faeroe and Danny Denholm are all likely to be out but Omar Kadar will be available.

Mr Donald added: “Albion Rovers is a difficult place to go but we will definitely be looking to go there and get some points. Everyone is on a high at the moment after the win on Saturday, but that’s one thing I would always say about our players, they’ve never been downbeat - they knew recent performances were just a blip.”