Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scottish Cup Odyssey - Bournemouth Tartan Army follows the County!

TWO Tartan Army footsoldiers living in Bournemouth are on a footballing odyssey which is going to take them all the way to the Scottish Cup final at Hampden next May.
Football daft pals Ian Wright and Willie Johnston (no relation to those of Arsenal and Rangers fame) were inspired by the recent sell-out Saturday campaign and decided to do their bit to support Scottish football which faces uncertain times after Rangers’ fall from grace.

They turned up at Preston Athletic’s ground on Saturday to see Nairn County book their place in the second round draw and regardless where Nairn are playing they will be their to cheer them on.
Both men’s families are originally from Glasgow and they began their journey watching Preston beat Fort William at An Aird earlier this month.

On Saturday they undertook the 900-mile mile round trip to Prestonpans by car where they saw Nairn win comfortably 2-0 at Pennypit Park through goals from Robbie Duncanson and Conor Gethins.
“We love our football and love following Scotland,” said Ian, “and having heard of the plight the game is in after Rangers’ difficulties and their demotion to the Third Division we felt we just wanted to show our support for the game in Scotland.
“We came up with this madcap idea that we would go on the road to Hampden and started off at Fort William where Preston won 3-1 on August 4.
“That took us to Prestonpans on Saturday and wherever Nairn are playing in the next round we will be there to follow them.”

The pair got their photos taken with a number of the Nairn County stars on Saturday after the game including latest signing former St Mirren star Junior Mendes who was side-lined through injury.

Ian and Willie meet County's Junior Mendes

Willie said there were only two ties to choose from in the preliminary round. Fort William v Preston Athletic or Keith v St Cuthbert Wanderers.
“Fort William was the obvious choice for me because I have climbed Ben Nevis and that’s where I got married. We thoroughly enjoyed our day on Saturday and had a great time. But the drive was exhausting and if Nairn get a home draw in the next round we’ll fly up to Inverness. If we have to drive somewhere nearer the Borders would be nice!
“I attended my 50th Scotland game in Florida when Scotland lost to the US but we need to support the game at all levels and this Scottish Cup journey is already taking us to grounds we have never even heard of. It’s the beauty of the cup and we will be looking to see who Nairn pull out of the hat on Monday.”
Their verdict on Saturday’s match: “Nairn were deserved winners,” said Ian. “They were down to 10 men after just 25 minutes but always looked in control and never looked like losing.”

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