William Hill
The Scottish Football Association


Match Preview: Buckie Thistle vs. Dunfermline Athletic

Friday, 25 November 2016

While there are a number of Third Round matches set to fall foul of the bitterly cold weather, Highland League table toppers Buckie Thistle are looking forward to welcoming Championship side Dunfermline.


Over the course of the tournament, the Scottish FA will feature a match every round, taking the Scottish Cup itself to the game, as well as handing out exclusive giveaways and this weekend the trophy is heading north.


The match will kick-off at 3pm and be the featured game at the weekend with Snapchat Geofilters also being available at all of the grounds.


Buckie Thistle are expecting a bumper crowd of around 1,500 for the match that has caught the imagination of the locals in a season where they are already dreaming of their first Highland League title for six years.


Buckie Manager Graeme Stewart said: “We’re probably a year or two ahead of our targets at the moment as we’d usually be aiming for the top 6 so to be sitting top is a great achievement. We’ve really stepped up this year.


“We understand that Brora and Cove are probably favourites ahead of us but we want to be in with a shout as the season comes to a close.


“There’s a massive buzz around the town as Buckie probably has the biggest fan base in the league and because we’re doing so well our crowds have more than doubled since last season.


“I’ve signed two players this week and both of them said part of the reason they want to come is down to the number of fans we have and the exposure they get on social media.


“We’re planning to win the game and we’ll definitely have a chance as we have pace and goals in the team.


“I can see us scoring but the big factor will be on how well we can defend."


Dunfermline stepped up into the Championship last season after dominating League One but this season hasn’t been as plain sailing for the Pars who have won once in their last six games.


Alan Johnston said: “We’ve not had the best of seasons so far but we won against St. Mirren last week which gave everyone a boost. We now need to build on that.


“The Scottish Cup has a lot of prestige attached to it and we’re determined to do well this year.


“We’ve been handed a difficult draw as we don’t know Buckie well and you can’t get a lot of video footage on them.


“We’ve had them watched and know about their prolific strikers.


“This will be a cup final for them and we’ll need to make sure we handle the conditions and an intense atmosphere.


“We’ve still got a number of injuries with five players out but we’ll need to handle that situation.


“The Scottish Cup holds a lot of special memories for me as a player as I remember scoring in a semi-final against Aberdeen to reach the final and it would be great to achieve something similar as a manager.”


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