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WATCH: The football week - Brora Rangers make Scottish Cup history against Hearts, Formartine United's birthday boy hero and Buckie Thistle so close to cup upset against Inverness Caley Thistle


By Craig Christie

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FOOTBALL returned this week for Elgin City and six Highland League clubs - and what a week it was.

Martin Maclean scored Brora's famous winner against Hearts. Picture: Gary Anthony.
Martin Maclean scored Brora's famous winner against Hearts. Picture: Gary Anthony.

WATCH: Brora Rangers' greatest night as they knock Hearts out the cup

March 23, 2021 will go down in history as the date of one of the greatest-ever shock results in Scottish football.

Brora Rangers may be the best team in the Highland League but few gave them any chance of beating last year's finalists Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish Cup.

The Edinburgh giants have won the competition eight times, and were cruelly robbed of a ninth in a penalty shoot-out against Celtic just three months before their trip to Brora.

The runaway Championship leaders should have taken care of their Sutherland hosts, but goals by Jordan MacRae and Martin Maclean earned a famous 2-1 Brora win, the biggest in their history.

On the same night, Buckie Thistle were minutes away from taking another Championship side, 2015 cup winners Caley Thistle, to extra time in a pulsating Victoria Park tie.

WATCH: Relief for Caley as Buckie threaten cup upset

Graeme Stewart's side twice battled back to level at 2-2 going into the final five minutes but were cruelly robbed of a possible shock by Daniel MacKay's late Inverness winner.

Buckie Thistle's Callum Murray makes it 2-2 against Caley Thistle. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Buckie Thistle's Callum Murray makes it 2-2 against Caley Thistle. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Formartine United had goalkeeper Kevin Main to thank on the day of his 39th birthday for earning the Pitmedden side a shot at Motherwell in round three.

Main saved two penalties in a shoot-out against Annan Athletic and Formartine became the third Highland League side to go into the third round, joining Brora and Fraserburgh.

League 2 Elgin City's return to action didn't go according to plan, but the Moray side have a real chance of promotion this season.

Josh Peters scores Elgin City's goal against Edinburgh City. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Josh Peters scores Elgin City's goal against Edinburgh City. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

City lost 2-1 at home to Edinburgh City in their first game in three months last Saturday.

More of Daniel Forsyth’s photos from Elgin City v Edinburgh City on Saturday, match highlights and interviews with Elgin City’s loan signings.

Posted by The Northern Scot on Monday, 22 March 2021

Then Gavin Price's men exited the Scottish Cup on Tuesday, buried by four first half goals scored by slick Championship opponents Ayr United.

WATCH: Elgin lose to Ayr and prepare for 'massive' Stirling match

Elgin have at least 12 more League 2 matches to play over the next 38 days, starting with Stirling Albion at home today.

Three more Highland League sides were knocked out of the Scottish Cup, and now await what happens with their own league season which has been suspended since January.

Keith, Huntly and Nairn County all lost out to League 1 opponents on Tuesday night.

WATCH: Keith give Clyde stern Scottish Cup test

Ex-Scotland international David Goodwillie opened the scoring for Clyde in their 2-0 win at Keith, who pushed the Bully Wee all the way.

Huntly made the long trip to Dumbarton but returned empty-handed after a 4-0 defeat.

Nairn found Montrose too hot to handle in what was only the Station Park side's fifth game in over a year.

Their inactivity took its toll in a 7-1 defeat which ended their interest in the tournament.


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