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From The Other Side

The Official Website’s Craig Anderson looks ahead to Clyde’s Scottish Cup match tomorrow, and evaluates Third Division visitors Montrose…

Clyde v Montrose (23/11/2007)

SCOTTISH CUP action takes centre stage on Saturday as Clyde prepare to take on Montrose in the third round – but the Bully Wee face a potential banana skin.

The Third Division side will just be relieved at getting to this game after being made to work hard over two games against junior side Pollok in the second round. But they will also fancy their chances of claiming a First Division scalp to hopefully take their place in the fourth round draw, alongside the SPL clubs.

Jim Weir’s (pictured) side have a decent away record as they look ahead to their trip to Broadwood and will be confident of snatching a win at Colin Hendry’s expense. The only defeat the Gable Endies have experienced so far on the road was down at Stranraer back in August and since then they have won three and drawn one.

They’ve performed reasonably well in the cups so far this season and despite a valiant performance against Falkirk, they lost 2-1 to the Bairns in the CIS Cup. But their result in the Challenge Cup when they thrashed Stirling 5-1 will give them great hope, especially with that fourth round place at stake.

The Links Park side booked their place in the third round after squeezing past a resilient Pollok in the previous round in a tie that needed a replay. Andy Rodgers and John Baird’s goals weren’t enough in the first game as the juniors fought back to clinch a 2-2 draw, but Ian Dobbins’ single strike finally secured Montrose’s place in a 1-0 win at Pollok.

Although the cup was reformatted this season, Montrose has already improved on their progress from last year, when Highland League side Deveronvale dumped them in the first round following a 3-2 defeat.

But Clyde will be looking to improve on last season’s run when Gretna dumped them 3-0 in the third round, knocking out them out for the second year in a row. In fact, the Bully Wee’s last victory in this competition was the infamous 2-1 win over Celtic in the third round two years ago, spoiling the debut of one Roy Keane.

Many changes later, including management and Clyde will be hotly fancied by the bookies to beat Montrose, but cup ties are never quite as straightforward. Clyde, though, have the monopoly on Montrose having played and knocked them out of cup tournaments in the last two seasons. A 1-0 win at Links Park two years ago in the CIS Insurance Cup was followed by a 3-0 win at the same venue in the Challenge Cup last season.

Weir will be hoping for some sort of repeat of the last time Montrose came to Cumbernauld, which was over 10 years. The Gable Endies romped away with a 3-1 win in a Second Division clash that left Gardner Speirs’ side stunned. It was only one of two away wins that season that weren’t enough to stop Montrose dropping into the Third Division.

Fast forward ten years and a potentially interesting cup tie awaits both clubs, where a coupon-buster could be ready to stun the gambling fraternity.

Let battle commence…