Duffy: Ton face awkward Scottish Cup tie at Beith

Morton manager Jim Duffy expects an awkward afternoon in Ayrshire when his side face Beith Juniors at Bellsdale Park in the next month’s William Hill Scottish Cup tie.

The third round draw was staged in the Cappielow boardroom earlier this evening and the Ton were handed an away trip to the reigning Scottish Junior Cup holders on Saturday 26 November.

Duffy was in attendance and watched with interest as he learned his side’s fate, and, as someone with a healthy respect for the junior game, he expects a tricky 90 minutes against ‘The Mighty’.

Speaking exclusively to gmfc.net, he said: “You could draw a fellow Championship club and that would be extremely difficult because it’s the same level or you could be drawn away in journeys all over the country, and they bring their own difficulties.

“We have a junior team and it’s a very awkward tie and that’s what the cup brings at this stage: unpredictability. You never know where you’re going to end up or who you’re going to play.

“That’s the excitement of the cup and I’m sure Beith will be looking forward to it. They are obviously the holders of the Scottish Junior Cup and anybody that knows junior football knows it’s a long way removed from many years ago.

“People thought on it as competitive in an ultra-competitive style, but they definitely play football now while retaining that competitive instinct. I do see a number of junior games when our season finishes, because generally they still have cup competitions.

“And we have played a few junior clubs in pre-season down at Largs, Kilbirnie Ladeside and Greenock Juniors and we know how competitive these games can be.

“The Ayrshire juniors has that vociferous support. It’s well documented, so Beith is a very tricky tie, there’s no question about that, and will be ready for the challenge. When it comes around we need to make sure we’re not on the end of a cup shock.”

Award winners … Brian McLaughlin and Gordon McKillop of Morton in the Community take centre stage  © Jonathan Mitchell

The draw was conducted in the Cappielow boardroom in recognition of the club’s community wing receiving the prestigious Best Professional Club in the Community at the recent 2016 SFA Grassroots Awards, and Duffy paid tribute to their work.

He added: “It was good for the club to stage the draw and great for the community. The award they won was fantastic and it was a process over the last few years that has gathered momentum and got better and better to where they’ve been voted the best in the country.

“I think for a club like Morton that’s an outstanding achievement, so I want to personally congratulate everyone associated with the Community Trust. It’s a lot of hard work in the background.

“People there maybe don’t get the acknowledgement or the publicity footballers get but it’s very, very important for the community and the cup draw gives them a chance to be in the spotlight, and deservedly so.”


Image (main): Steve Welsh