Buckie Thistle At Home

Today Morton were drawn to play Buckie Thistle at Cappielow in the 3rd round of the revamped Scottish Cup. The tie will be played on Saturday the 24th of November.

Highland League side Buckie are familiar opponents. In our relatively recent Highland tours we have played them twice at their Victoria Park ground. I was at both matches and in each game the the Celtic look-a-likes in green and white hoops were decent opposition. They were strong, competitive and determined to show their senior opponents they were no mugs.

On each occasion the final score was a 1-1 draw. The first match was played on the 21/07/03 with Mel Bottiglieri scoring (pictured playing in that game) and the second match was played the following season on 19/7/04, Jason Walker netting our goal.

Buckie are a much improved side since we last played them. They are now managed by former Aberdeen and Scotland striker Duncan Shearer and have invested in some decent players. Their star man is Craig McMillan, who incidentally is from Inverness and one of my wee brothers pals. McMillan is a striker who is widely thought to be the Highland League's best player and a Scotland International at semi-professional level (Pictured below: scoring against Ireland). He scored something like 30 goals for Cove Rangers a couple of seasons back and this lead to rumours of Peterhead's Steve Paterson making an attempt to sign him, Elgin were also interested but Cove wanted £12,000. Peterhead's loss was Buckie Thistle's gain as they swooped to snap up the hitman paying an undisclosed fee.

Ex-Caley Thistle and Peterhead winger Tony Low is also on Buckie's books. My brother also knows Low who, like McMillan, is from Inverness. You might remember a stunning goal he scored for Peterhead against us at Cappielow in March last season.

Jim McInally told the BBC sport website: "It is a real bonus to be at home, but we will be respectful of Buckie Thistle. They are top of their league, have Duncan Shearer as their manager, we know some of their players and we'll have them watched."

Despite all of the praise I've given them I still expect us to smoothly progress to the next round but we could have had a much easier tie.

Listen to Jim McInally talk about the Buckie match (but mostly about the Hamilton match) in the interview on this page: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7068152.stm

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