Forty-five years ago Berwick Rangers pulled off one of the biggest shocks in Scottish football history when they knocked their Glasgow namesake out of the Scottish Cup.
Now, nearly half a century later, they welcome Ally McCoist’s fallen giants back to Shielfield Park, this time in Division Three, hoping to cause a repeat of that famous result.
On that day in 1967, more than 13,000 people witnessed the greatest of cup upsets. This time around, a sell-out crowd of around 4,000 are expected to pack the old ground as Berwick’s part-timers try to extinguish the flames of the Rangers phoenix.
A repeat of the 1-0 scoreline on that day is on offer with bwin at 40/1, while a Berwick win is available at 11/1 and a draw is priced at 6/1.
None of those options look at all likely, however.
Berwick have conceded two or more in all their games, shipping four at Raith Rovers, three at Annan and two at home to Queen’s Park.
While Rangers will be clear favourites against every one of their league opponents this year, the prospect of playing Berwick should instil a particular sense of ease in the travelling supporters.
The Borderers have failed to finish in the top half of the ten-team Third Division for the last four consecutive seasons and they look set for another mediocre season this time around, having amassed just one point from their opening two league fixtures. Indeed, if you include cup ties, the Black and Gold are without a win in any of their first four games.
Despite their poor start though, the Wee Gers have scored two or more goals in three of their four games to date, so backing them to register on the scoresheet at 7/10 could pay dividends. They have, however, conceded two or more in the same games, shipping four at Raith Rovers, three at Annan and two at home to Queen’s Park, so taking odds of 3/4 on both teams scoring in the game could yield a moderate return.
Rangers, on the other hand, look like they have found their stride after a stuttering start to life in the bottom tier. A 5-1 mauling of East Stirlingshire last Saturday was followed by a 1-0 away win at First Division Falkirk in the Ramsden’s Cup on Tuesday – a result that would be referred to as a giant killing in any other country, but not in the crazy world of Scottish football, such is Rangers’ predicament this season.
In any case, the Light Blues will face considerably tougher tests as they plough the long and winding road back towards the SPL. Although Berwick now occupy the same league as their once illustrious opponents, they don’t inhabit the same planet in footballing terms and a home win in this one would cause almost as much shock as it did 45 years ago.
Rangers can only be backed at 13/100 to win the game, but backing five or more goals in the game will give you odds of 3/2 and this is probably your best chance of winning some decent money in this one.
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