Berwick Rangers will make the short journey to Edinburgh to take on Hibernian tomorrow afternoon (8th March) as the two sides vie for a place in the semi-finals at Scotland’s national stadium, Hampden Park. A win would represent the first time Berwick have made it to the final four in their history.
Prior to the game fans will also be handed balloons as we attempt to create an impressive display to welcome the ‘Gers to the Easter Road pitch.
Berwick and Hibernian have only met seven times previous in competitive action, although the clubs have contested numerous times in friendly action and minor competitions.
The omens aren’t great for Berwick, who are still yet to net against the Lothian side, let alone beat tomorrow’s opposition. The last time the two sides faced off competitively was in League Cup action in August 2011,where Hibernian would run out 5-0 winners at home. Only Lee Currie and Steven Notman, both former Hibs players, remain of that side.
More recently, the ‘Gers hosted Hibernian in friendly action at Shielfield Park during the 2014/2015 pre-season. Hibernian ran out 4-0 winners, despite a fairly bright opening spell for thehome side on that occasion.
Berwick team news:
Manager Colin Cameron heads into the game bolstered by the news that key midfielder Steven Notman is fit to return to the Rangers team.
It may be Cameron himself however who makes way for the influential Notman, the boss ruled out with a thigh strain. However, with Euan Bauld making his senior debut last weekend, it remains to be seen as to whether the boss will be tempted to opt for more experience at the back and drop the midfielder into right back. South African Devon Jacobs also presents an option.
Stephen Tulloch has trained again ahead of the tie and should be fit to make the squad, although with the now well-established partnership between Jonny Fairbairn and Kerr Young looking as comfortable as ever, the club captain is likely to be forced to settle for a place on the bench.
Further up the pitch, Blair Henderson gave Cameron and his assistant Robbie Horn food for thought during a midweek Development League game against East Stirlingshire, the striker looking sharp on his return from injury.
There are no other concerns to report, meaning the likes of Ross Gray and Darren Lavery should be fit to be involved.
Hibernian team news:
Hibs boss Alan Stubbs has already stated his intention to field the strongest team possibly availble to him in an attempt to avoid any cup shocks, indicating the team from Scotland’s capital will be taking nothing for granted despite being unbeaten in eleven games.
And manager Stubbs’ job is made a lot easier by the fact they expect only two absencees – both forced out as a result of their inelgiblity.
Former Scottish Cup winner Keith Watson, currently with the club on loan from Dundee United after joining in late January, misses out along with former Montrose and Dundee striker, Martin Boyle, who Berwick fans will be familiar with for his League Two goalscoring exploits.
The availability of the likes of Danny Handling and Jordon Forster suggests there may a return to play against their former side, the pair spending time on loan at Berwick together.
The day is also likely to be special for Chirnside-born Liam Craig, who has admitted he has a ‘soft spot’ for the Dream Team, and will captain Hibernian on the day.
World Cup 2014 referee Bobby Madden will be in charge of the proceedings, ably assisted by linesmen Graeme Stewart and Graham McNeville, as well as fourth official Euan Anderson.
Fans are reminded that they are able to purchase tickets on the day of the game from Hibernian ticket offices, so should those who would like to join an already 800-strong Black and Gold army on the day, they may do so.
Fans who cannot make the game can tune-in to Sky Sports 1 from 12:30pm.
Prices for tickets are set at £15 Adults, £5 Concessions. Hibernian have politely asked for ‘Gers fans to arrive early to avoid lengthy queueing.
We’ll see you at Easter Road! #TheJourneyGoesOn