Stirling Albion have a big game to look forward to on Saturday as holders Inverness CT visit Forthbank in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup. Caley Thistle lifted the trophy at Hampden in May after a 2-1 win over Falkirk and begin the defence of their trophy this weekend.
We have already knocked out East Fife and Cumbernauld Colts and are aiming to bounce back from recent defeats to East Fife and East Stirlingshire – we last faced the cup holders in January 2008 when we lost 3-0 to Celtic at Parkhead.
Team news: Defender Ross McMillan is making good progress following the hamstring injury he suffered in the 1-0 Scottish Cup replay win over East Fife on November 3 but won’t feature this weekend.
Opponents: Caley Thistle are sixth in the Ladbrokes Premiership after back-to-back wins over Hamilton Accies (4-3) and Ross County (2-0). Their top scorer is on-loan Swindon Town striker Miles Storey, who has netted seven times in 14 league games and has just extended his stay until the end of the season. As well as winning the Scottish Cup last year, John Hughes’ side finished third in the Premiership. ICT played in Europe this season, losing 1-0 on aggregate to Astra of Romania.
Scottish Cup: We haven’t beaten higher-division opposition since defeating Raith Rovers 2-0 in 2000/01. Our best Scottish Cup result at Forthbank came in February 1999 when we stunned First Division leaders Hibernian 2-1 in a replay after a 1-1 draw at Easter Road. Our best run in the competition is the quarter-finals, a stage we last reached in 1989/90 – beating Inverness Caley 6-2 before losing to Clydebank in a replay. Last season we lost 2-0 at home to Raith Rovers in round four.
Past meetings: This is the first meeting since a Scottish Cup third-round tie at Forthbank on January 7, 2007. ICT won 6-1 that day, with goals from Craig Dargo (2), Dennis Wyness, Barry Wilson, Roy McBain and Alan Morgan. David O’Brien was our goalscorer. Our paths crossed in the 1998/99 Second Division when we lost 5-1 and 1-0 at home and 3-1 away before securing a 2-2 draw in the Highland capital thanks to a last-minute Alex Bone goal. Our sole victory over Caley Thistle came in the second round of the Challenge Cup in 1996/97 when we won 3-1 at Forthbank.
Last five form: Stirling Albion WWWLL Inverness CT WDDWW
Referee: Mat Northcroft
Admission: Adults £15, Seniors & Students £10, U16s £5. Cash at the turnstiles.
Fans: Albion supporters should use turnstiles 1, 2 3, & 4 in the West Stand.
Turnstiles 7, 8, 9 & 10 will be open in the East Stand for ICT fans.
Binos Bar: The bar, accessed via the main entrance to Forthbank reception, will be open before and after the game. All welcome.
Albion Magazine: First chance to buy the January issue, priced £3
Lottery: Tickets on sale before the game. Jackpot is £15,250!
Club shop: Find us in the West Stand. Open before and after the game.
Twitter: Updates will be available @Stirling_Albion
Replay date: If the game ends in a draw, the replay will take place at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday January 19.
Our next game: Elgin City v Stirling Albion – 16/01/16