Not only is today another match day, but it’s also a first step into another new Cup competition for our first team. This time it is the SFA South Region Challenge Cup. So as its new for the Club, here’s another handy guide to this competition for you, along with a look ahead to todays tie.
The South Region Challenge Cup is open to full member non-league clubs in the south of the country. Along with an equivalent for the North Region, the Challenge Cups replaced the Scottish Qualifying Cup North and South competitions in 2007, after the SFA decided to allow full member clubs at non-league level direct entry to the Scottish Cup proper. To compensate clubs for the demise of the tournaments, two new ones were put in their place although the North Region equivalent was scrapped in 2009.
This seasons’ competition features 69 teams: 16 from the Lowland League, 38 from the EoSFL, 14 from the SoSFL, and one amateur SFA club – Glasgow University. It is a straight knock-out tournament, without replays so extra time and penalties will be used if needed.
The current Champions are Civil Service Strollers who beat BSC Glasgow in last years final after extra time.
We join the Cup in the Second Round with today’s home time against Heston Rovers – the first meeting of the teams. Heston play in the South of Scotland Football League and are currently sitting mid table after 6 matches with 2 wins, 1 draw and 3 defeats and a goal difference of +5 that was boosted by a 7-0 victory last weekend.
Their Manager, Jamie Struthers is looking forward to the tie and although admitting it will be a tough test and describing his team as underdogs, he added “we will give it our best”.
In return, our manager, Gordon Herd, said “they’ll be hard-working – they’ve got pace about their side and are well organised. We will treat it like any other game.”
So head on down to Carmuirs Park this afternoon for a 2:30pm kick off and cheer the mighty Mariners on. It’s a cup tie so season tickets are not valid therefore entry for all is £6 or adults, £3 for concessions and accompanied under 16s remain free.