Stirling Albion have been handed a bumper Scottish Cup fixture after drawing Rangers at Ibrox.
The Binos will travel to the Premiership champions in the fourth round on the weekend of January 22 after beating Tranent Juniors 4-0 on Saturday.
It’s a huge match to look forward to for Kevin Rutkiewicz and his players and will be a massive financial boost to the club, with gate monies split for cup ties and potential live TV coverage.
It will be the first match back after the winter break for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side and Rangers attracted a crowd of more than 38,000 against Stranraer at the same stage two years ago.
Albion were due to play Forfar Athletic at Forthbank in cinch League 2 that weekend but that fixture will now be rescheduled as the Binos instead get set for their first Scottish Cup meeting with Rangers since season 1977/78, when Alex Smith’s side lost 1-0 at Ibrox.
Stirling famously beat Rangers 1-0 at Forthbank in a Third Division fixture in October 2012 thanks to a goal from Brian Allison and drew 0-0 at Ibrox later that season in a match that was live on TV.
Looking back on Saturday’s win over East of Scotland Premier Division high-flyers Tranent, Rutkiewicz (right) was delighted to come through what could have been a very tricky tie.
Dylan Mackin grabbed a double to take his tally for the season to seven goals while Jack Leitch and Jordan McGregor were also on target.
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The Binos boss said: “I thought it was a deserved win. It was probably closer than 4-0 but, by the end, we could actually have scored a couple more goals, which would have been very unfair on Tranent.
“We were very nervous in the first 10 minutes, particularly at the back. They came out the traps and we struggled with that intensity but after we got the goal, I thought we played some excellent football.
“There was a bit of complacency for a spell when we went two goals up but we limited the number of chances they had in the box and most of the shots Blair Currie had to deal with were from distance.
“We had more quality in that final third and that made all the difference on the day.”
Dylan Bikey is set for a spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury in the recent defeat to Edinburgh City.
The speedy forward missed Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie against Tranent and is also likely to sit out at least the next two league games at Cowdenbeath and Forfar Athletic.
Midfielder Rabin Omar, who hasn’t made an appearance since the 1-1 draw with Kelty at the end of October, is also facing several weeks out with a hip problem.
Meanwhile, midfielder Ray Grant will miss the League Two trip to Cowdenbeath on Saturday after being sent off in the 2-1 defeat to Edinburgh City on November 20. Dale Carrick should be available for the trip to Fife after illness forced him out at the weekend.
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