“You lose the cup final in May…there’s always the first round in January.”
Just one of many immortal lines taken from Nick Hornby’s ‘Fever Pitch’, never a truer word has been spoken in football terms if you happen follow the famous team that play in black and white. Whether last season’s Scottish Cup final brought pain – in terms of the result – or pleasure – in terms of the wonderful memories – here we are again, ready to go through the rollercoaster of emotions, which delighted and encapsulated the whole town for months on end, once again.
The scarves have been in the wash, the flags have been dusted down and many stay away Pars fans are ready to come out of the shadows once again as the joys of a cup run beckons. The beautiful (or should be ‘brutal’) seaside town of Methil awaits the visit of almost 800 Pars fans this Saturday after the Pars were drawn against Huntly’s conquerors in the Third Round of the greatest club competition in the world – apart from the Fife Cup of course. The Pars visit to the First 2 Finance Bayview Stadium (catchy name!) sees the Pars take on Third Division East Fife in arguably the biggest derby of the Scottish Cup – unless of course you count that wee diddy game at
With the Methil Men languishing in the lower regions of the Third Division, many Pars fans will no doubt be expecting a fairly easy victory in Saturday’s all-Fife clash. A few factors however, history being the main one, would tend to suggest otherwise with the Pars never having defeated their Fife rivals in the Scottish Cup since the great day in 1885 when the Pars came into the world. Having met only twice in the whole history of the competition,
The Pars can however take confidence form the fact that their (the first team at least) last visit to Bayview – or should that be Big-bloody-gas-stationview – brought about a convincing 5-0 win in last July’s friendly fixture with Moffat’s men. In piss-poor weather the Pars managed to rack up a fairly comfortable win – thanks to some excellent strikes – before embarking on the annual schindig to clog country. However, come this Saturday when the game takes on much more significance than a meaningless friendly encounter, and form and status goes out of the window, you can imagine that East Fife players will make a somewhat better stab of the fixture this time around.
Travelling to Bayview on the back of a convincing victory over Dundee, and with confidence high, the Pars – with the exception of long-term absentees Greg Shields, Ritchie Byrne, Simon Donnelly and Derek Young – travel with a fairly fit squad which is beginning to adopt a more settled look, such has been the level of performance from on-form youngsters such as Greig Ross and Aaron Labonte. With the only real injury concerns for the Pars being the fitness of Billy Mehmet – after he was withdrawn form play early on against Dundee – and Noel Hunt – with the Irishman edging closer to full-fitness – it should undoubtedly be a confident, but cautious, Pars side that travel east this Saturday.
In truth, whoever lines up for the Pars this Saturday should, in reality, have the talent and ability to come through this cup tie without much flirtation with danger. But this is a cup tie, and a Scottish Cup tie at that. This is the same competition where the wee Gers hammered the big Gers, Stenhousemuir humped the Dons, and the Pars actually managed to get a win at Firhill! Anything can happen! Yes anything can happen, which means even the Pars can possibly find a bit of consistency and make it two years in a row. So as you treck through the town of Methil wondering why in Christ’s name you are there, just think…four more wins and the memories will come flooding back! COME ON YE PARS!