Shire ended a 23 year wait for Scottish Cup victory over another league team with a handsome, and deserved, 5-1 third round win at Albion Rovers.
Gordon Wylde’s side took the lead through Gary Kelly’s 19th minute penalty and never looked back. Derek Ure’s superb strike on 35 minutes doubled the advantage but the turning point came just before half-time when Rovers’ Barry Donald was sent-off for aiming a kick at Craig Donaldson.
On the stroke of half-time Joe Savage scored the third and, midway through the second period, skipper Andrew Brand made it 4-0.
John Gemmell pulled one back for Rovers bur Donaldson put the icing on the cake with a fifth two minutes from the end.
Afterwards a beaming Shire coach said the result was beyond his wildest dreams.
“We thought it would be a close game beforehand because Rovers are a difficult team to play against.
“But our team was up for the challenge. I knew before the game we had better players than Rovers but one thing you always get with them is a hard battle, so we knew it wouldn’t be easy.
“The conditions and the pitch weren’t the best but we got off to a good start with the penalty.
“The second goal settled us down but there was no way even then we were thinking we had the game in the bag. We came here earlier in the season and were 2-0 down before winning 3-2, so there was no complacency.
“The sending-off changed the game and scoring so soon after the red card did ease the pressure a bit, but Rovers, to their credit, kept on coming at us.
“It was a great win in the end and I am so happy for everyone, especially the supporters, who give us tremendous backing everywhere we go. They don’t often get much to cheer aboutso I hope they go out and celebrate this one.”
The victory was the first against anothe league team since 1984/85 season when Dunfermline Athletic were beaten 1-0.
It was also Shire’s biggest Scottish Cup win in more than 60 years, equalling the 5-1 home win over Clachnacuddin in 1946/47 season.
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