Why Scottish Cup minnows don't want to draw Rangers or Celtic

Drumchapel United may be newbies to the Scottish Cup fourth round.
Drumchapel United overcame FC Edinburgh in the Scottish Cup third round.Drumchapel United overcame FC Edinburgh in the Scottish Cup third round.
Drumchapel United overcame FC Edinburgh in the Scottish Cup third round.

But Alex Docherty, whose goal in the 1-0 win over FC Edinburgh put the West of Scotland First Division side in Monday’s draw with the top tier teams of the country’s game, refuses to perform the role of wide-eyed innocent. It is traditional for massive underdogs to talk up the prospect of landing Celtic or Rangers at the big two’s entry point in the competition. The 25-year-old hopes from Monday’s draw are governed by pragmatism, because what he wants for United – who only turned semi-pro three years ago – is further progress.

“It's hard, isn't it, but probably not to be honest,” he said of landing a derby trip to Celtic Park or Ibrox. "I'd rather get someone else, give ourselves a chance and hope we can keep the run going. There are still League One teams and below in it, so let's go again and see if we can get one step further. You never know, anything's possible."

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The midfielder is certainly not a player who would appear keen to build-up his own part in United’s most fantastical achievement. The triumph at a squelchy Lochburn Park – Maryhill Juniors’ ground used because their Donald Dewar Centre home is out of commission as its astroturf is relaid – may have been down to his 46th minute strike. However, he appears almost mortified about the existence of footage capturing the moment he knocked the ball in after keeper Robbie Mutch failed to deal with a long-range drive.

"I didn't catch it very well, to be honest, so I hope there aren't too many any videos of it …” he said. "It kind of went in slow motion for me and the keeper should maybe have done a bit better but it went in and that's all that matters."

FC Edinburgh believe it matters why Mutch didn’t deal better with it, manager Alan Maybury maintaining the SFA have questions to answer over why the sodden pitch was deemed playable. Docherty dismisses those complaints. "At the end of the day, both teams had to play on it so to me the pitch doesn't matter,” he said. "It was very heavy and I was feeling it after 60-70 minutes. I've played here a few times and I've never seen it as bad as that."

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