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Rothie hope lightning can strike twice ahead of Oban rematch

By Grant Milne

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ROTHIE Rovers manager Kevin Beaton says the club has been energised by the prospect of another historic Scottish Amateur Cup run.

The village side have another size-up with Oban Saints in Saturday's 4th Round tie, having knocked them out 9-8 on penalties in last season's Last 32 after an incredible replayed clash that had the lot.

Very seldom do Aberdeenshire-based clubs reach the latter stages of the competition, and the result created shockwaves around the amateur game.

It might be lacking somewhat in comparison with the global appeal of Joshua v Ruiz 2, but this weekend's rematch in Rothienorman is shaping up to pack a real punch.

Oban have won all 10 of their opening games in the Central Scottish League, beating the holders of this cup, Colville Park, along the way.

Four of their players are involved with the Scottish Amateur Select.

It sounds a formidable task indeed.

But Rothie themselves have a record to be proud of, losing only once so far this season and still involved in all domestic cup competitions as the campaign nears the midway point.

And gaffer Beaton said: "We as a club are again excited by the opportunity to test ourselves against one of the top amateur clubs in the country.

"We have brought in some youth this season and it will be great experience and learning curve for them playing against a quality opposition.

"We're in good form ourselves (7 wins in a row) and we are beginning to get into our stride this season after a sluggish opening month.

"We're quietly confident if we work hard and remain organised that we can cause problems for Oban and, with a bit of good fortune also, repeat our success of last season against Oban.

"Our priority, of course, is the domestic league having never won the AAFA Premier Division, however last year's experiences having given the squad the desire to do their best to repeat, and better the run to the last 16.

"We have one or two injury concerns but hopefully they get through training in the week and we have our strongest squad to choose from."

Rothie's run to this stage has seen them overcome AAFA rivals Echt (2-1 away) and Newburgh (3-0 away) before a 5-0 demolition job of Dundee-based Barnhill in the 3rd Round.

After a 1-1 draw in Rothienorman when these sides first met in January, Mark Thomson's 80th minute leveller in Oban forced extra-time in the replay.

Ryan Walker gave the visitors the advantage with two Saints players receiving red in the final seconds - one for simulation, the other for aiming a headbutt at the referee.

However Oban equalised with the last kick of the game to force penalties, with Rothie keeper Lewis Milne pawing away the decisive kick in the most dramatic ending.

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