As most know by now, Stirling Albion have drawn Rangers in the Scottish Cup, with the fixture taking place on January 21st. This will be the first match between the two clubs in nine years.
The two clubs were only occasionally in the same league up until 1968 meaning that they do not play each other often. Although, there have still been plenty of enthralling encounters between the two sides throughout the decades.
First ever win versus Rangers – September 26, 1953
Stirling Albion got their first ever win against Rangers in 1953 in a 2-0 victory.
Rangers player, Willie Woodburn scored an own goal and was also banned for six weeks following this match.
This was the first of two league encounters that season.
Woodburn was sent off in the second fixture and received a lifetime ban, the last football player to ever receive one.
Drybrough Cup – July 31, 1972
Rangers 3 – 1 Stirling Albion
“I only played them (Rangers) half a dozen times, the last twice in the semi finals at home and away in the semi final of the league cup.”
“We lost 3 – 1 but I broke between their central defenders (Greig, McKinnon, or Smith) and had a chance of a shot at goal.”
“I was on the right of the goal and saw Matt McPhee square of me and I passed to him to score. I scored at Parkhead for Stirling but never had another chance against Rangers. Ten yards out, I SHOULD HAVE SHOT.”
- Mike Lawson (1971 – 1976)
Scottish Cup – February 1978
Rangers 1 – 0 Stirling Albion
“The cup tie at the old Ibrox is a must. It was an icy pitch and one of the few games on I think. Rangers couldn’t keep their feet and we pretty much outplayed them.”
“At 0 – 0, in the second half I was left with a one on one with John Greig. I hit it around one side of him and tried to run around the other. Being so slippy he couldn’t turn and just rugby tackled me instead! He came over to me and said sorry but there was not much else I could do.”
“Unfortunately we couldn’t score the goal we deserved and Derek Johnstone scored a great header to win the game 1 – 0. The Rangers team was full of legends.”
- Graeme Armstrong (1975 – 1981)
League Cup – August 30th, 1995
Rangers 3 – 2 Stirling Albion
Stirling Albion came back from 3 – 0 down to bring it back 3 – 2 and also had a chance to equalise in the the last minutes of the game.
“Great night, could have got a draw if wee Joe (Joe McLeod) had squared it to me.”
- Stevie McCormick (1995 – 1997)
Division 3 – December 8, 2012
Rangers 2 – 0 Stirling Albion
“We got beat 2 – 0 at Ibrox and it was the 140 year anniversary.”
“It was a blur, the adrenaline played a part, it’s like it was so long ago. The sheer buzz is constant, you can’t even hear each other 5/10 yards away.”
“Back then I was still basically a kid, inexperienced.”
- Ross McGeachie
Looking forward to the 2022 fixture, it will be the first match between the two clubs since 2013 which ended in a 0-0 draw.
That was the same season that Rangers competed in what is now League Two.
The Binos only lost one of the four match-ups with the Glasgow club that season, and even managed to win their first encounter on October 6th in a 1 – 0 victory.
While Stirling Albion historically have a good record versus Rangers, the club has changed massively since 2013.
“Rangers have got a lot stronger team now, from what I experienced.”
“They’re obviously champions, they are in the top league, the Premiership. They have got one of the best squads in the league, some right good players.” said Ross McGeachie.
Even though the Rangers squad is a lot stronger than past years, Stirling Albion will put up a fight.
“I won’t be holding back, we are going to do everything we can to win. Obviously if you’re lucky enough to score at a full capacity Ibrox that’s probably something you would remember for the rest of your life.” said Ross
This is the furthest that Stirling Albion have made it in the Scottish Cup in years and they will want to make the most of it.
“I think we will spend a large part of the game without the ball, chasing shadows at times but we will try our best and give a good account of ourselves.” said forward Dylan Mackin
“This is why you play football, to play at places like Ibrox or Parkhead. It will be a good experience for everybody.”
As most players both past and present have said, this is the ultimate time to score a goal, or produce a memorable moment.
“It will be a dream come true to play at Ibrox but to score would be the ultimate dream come true, I would die a happy man.” said Mackin
With both clubs having recently hired new managers, the squads will be looking to show what they are capable of. Recent Stirling Albion signings Akeel Francis and Mason Hancock will also hope to get in on the action.
After the lifting of many of the COVID restrictions by the First Minister and Rangers not having played at home since Boxing Day, it’s bound to be a vibrant atmosphere on Friday night.
‘Mon The Binos
By Damon Savenelli