By Tim Oliver
There are seven brilliant SSE Scottish Cup Third Round ties on Sunday, with at least one SWFL side guaranteed to reach the next round. The eighth tie, Hibernian vs Celtic, has been postponed due to Hibs’ Champions League games.
Forfar Farmington v Buchan
Station Park, Kick-off: 1pm
In the all-SWPL 2 clash, the leaders Forfar Farmington host Buchan.
Forfar are currently leading the SWPL 2 by six points, having just dropped four points so far as they look to achieve promotion back to the top flight. Since the mid-season break, they’ve picked up two important wins, including beating Hearts.
Buchan, on the other hand, are battling against the drop to the SWF First Division. They are currently seven points from safety and have picked up just two wins to date.
The two teams have met twice in the league this season, with both games ending in 4-0 wins to Forfar.
To date, Forfar’s cup run has seen them beat Raith Rovers 5-2 in the Second Round whilst Buchan defeated Inverness City 6-0 at the same stage.
Renfrew v Glasgow Girls
New Western Park, Kick-off: 1pm
SWFL Division One South’s Renfrew hosts SWPL 2 side Glasgow Girls.
Renfrew, who were the champions of the 2016 Divison Two West, are currently fourth in the table. They will go into this tie off the back of four wins in a row as they look to cause an upset.
Glasgow Girls sit third in the SWPL 2, five points behind second and they have a game in hand over the teams around them.
Renfrew entered the cup in the First Round where they beat Stenhousemuir 4-0, before defeating Deveronvale 7-1 in the next round. Glasgow Girls beat Bishopton 8-0 in the Second Round.
Hamilton Academical v Granite City
The SuperSeal Stadium, Kick-off: 2pm
SWPL 1 meets SWFL Division One North as Hamilton Academical host Granite City.
Hamilton’s goal this season was to battle against relegation from the SWPL 1, and so far, they are on track sitting in seventh place and one point ahead of the drop. As with all the SWPL 1 sides, this is their first game back after the mid-season break, and they will be hoping to start the second half of their campaign with a win.
Granite City, after their promotion last season, are sitting fourth in the Division One North and returned to league action last Sunday with a 4-2 win over Dee Ladies. They are currently six points behind the league leaders, although they have played one game extra compared to the teams around them.
Hamilton defeated the SWFL Division One South leaders FC Kilmarnock 4-1 in the Second Round. Granite City beat Dundee United in an epic 4-3 win in the Preliminary Round, before defeating another Dundee based club, Dundee City, 3-1. It took penalties to beat Edinburgh Caledonia in the Second Round, after drawing 4-4, with keeper Keren Lumsden saving all the Caledonia spot-kicks.
Hearts v Glasgow City
King’s Park, Kick-off: 2pm
SWPL 2 Hearts host the SWPL 1 champions and 2016 SSE Cup Runners-up, Glasgow City.
Hearts are not having the season they would have hoped for, as they sit 14 points behind the SWPL 2 leaders Forfar Farmington, after losing to them last Sunday. However, they have still put on great performances this season and will be hoping to make things difficult for City.
Glasgow City, who have signed Katie McCabe (on loan) and Joanne Paton, will be hoping to reach their seventh Scottish Cup Final in a row. Having played one game less that Hibernian, they sit in second place in the SWPL 1, two points behind the leaders.
Both sides entered the cup in the Second Round, where Hearts defeated Tayside 11-0, whilst Glasgow City beat Spartans 5-0.
Rangers v Stirling University
New Tinto Park, Kick-off: 2pm
In arguably the tie of the round, there’s an all-SWPL 1 clash as Rangers host Stirling University.
Both teams are in the battle of the top four, and even a possible top three finish. Currently, Rangers are in sixth place with 12 points and four behind Stirling. But they’ve had some impressive results recently in the league, including beating Celtic 4-1. This will be the first game since long-term legend Lisa Swanson left the club to play professional football in Finland.
The game will see Grant Scott take charge of Stirling for the first time. Stirling sit in fifth, just one point behind fourth-placed Spartans (although they’ve played one game extra). They go into this game off the back of two wins in the league and will be hoping to start the new era in a positive manner.
With the second half of the SWPL 1 season to come, both teams will see a win as more than a cup game, but also a confidence booster going into a competitive period.
Both games between the sides have produced two wins for Stirling but also lots of goals, with Stirling winning 5-3 and 3-2.
Rangers needed extra-time to beat Aberdeen 2-1 in the Second Round whilst Stirling beat Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale 4-0.
Cumbernauld Colts v Boroughmuir Thistle
Broadwood Stadium, Kick-off 4pm
Cumbernauld Colts host Boroughmuir Thistle in the only Third Round tie not to feature an SWPL club.
Both sides play in the SWFL Division One South, with the sides having contrasting fortunes to date. Cumbernauld finds themselves in third place, just two points behind second-placed Hibernian Development but ten behind the leaders Kilmarnock.
Boroughmuir, on the other hand, are currently ninth and have not won a league game since April. But that should not mean that this game will be an easy tie for the Colts. In fact, you only need to look back to last Sunday to see how difficult and interesting this tie could be. The two sides played each other in the league and the Colts had to battle back twice to win 3-2, thanks to a hat-trick from Frances Fern. Boroughmuir had nearly gone 3-1 up, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
They had played each other in the league earlier in the season, with Cumbernauld running out 2-0 winners.
To reach the Third Round, Cumbernauld have beaten Dunfermline Athletic 5-2 and Falkirk FC 3-1, whilst Boroughmuir have beaten Dumbarton United 9-2 and Blackburn United 2-1.
Queen’s Park v Jeanfield Swifts
Lesser Hampden, Kick-off: 4pm
SWFL Division One South Queen’s Park host SWPL 2’s Jeanfield Swifts.
Queen’s Park, who were relegated from the SWPL 2 last season, have had a difficult first-half of the SWFL Division One South, sitting in tenth place, having picked up just eight points to date. However, saying that, they are the only team to date to have beaten the leaders Kilmarnock, beating them 3-1 back in June.
Jeanfield Swifts are sitting fifth in the SWPL 2, and are looking like they could get a top four place. They’ve come back from the break, beating Buchan 4-1 before narrowly losing 3-2 to Motherwell, the league’s in-form team, to see them sitting two points behind fourth-placed Hearts.
So far in the cup, Queen’s Park have beaten Thistle Weir 2-1 and Bayside 3-0, whilst Jeanfield defeated Westerlands 3-0 in the Second Round.