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Albion Rovers 2 Stenhousmuir 0: Rovers stunned as latest cup shock puts them in last eight

Albion Rovers have a Scottish Cup quarter-final to look forward to.

Ciaran Donnelly has reached the last eight after nine years with Albion Rovers. Picture: SNS
Ciaran Donnelly has reached the last eight after nine years with Albion Rovers. Picture: SNS

Some of their players are staring at it blankly, stunned by the latest cup shock involving a team which forced Motherwell out in an earlier round of the competition. Rovers have since overcome another team from a higher league as SPFL League 1 side Stenhousemuir were beaten 2-1 on Saturday, to put the Lanarkshire club into the last eight for the first time since 1934.

Heavy rain would help conduct an electrifying anticipation at Cliftonhill. It would surge after 24 minutes and then again after 67 minutes; two goals which left Stenhousemuir damp and bedraggled. The home side would later emerge from the dressing room looking rather soggy too, and smelling strongly of lager.

They were correct to celebrate. The League 2 side would be right, too, to gulp down something strong after the draw for the quarter-finals was made yesterday. Rovers' hopes of reaching the semi-finals had been contained within a perspex bowl in Hampden. They have since been transferred to Ibrox and a cup tie scheduled for next month.

A fixture away to Rangers is likely to provoke a reaction among a group of excited part-time players, but words would be coaxed carefully from them after an historic win over Stenhousemuir. "This result has taken us further than the Motherwell one, so in that way it is a bigger result," said Ciaran Donnelly, the Rovers captain. "However, we were maybe expected to beat Stenhousemuir so the Motherwell game had more elation attached to it.

"I didn't think when I joined the club in 2005 that I would be here this long, but it has been worth it for this cup run alone. Quarter-finals are a big achievement for our club - in fact it is a great achievement for any club in League 2."

The midfielder can be expected to steal a moment this week to imagine what it will be like to reach the semi-final. That will involve an instance of daylight robbery next month. "I remember going out against Sunnybank Juniors [in the 2010 Scottish Cup] all too well but at this stage in the competition it is us who are the underdogs and we're happy with that," added Donnelly.

The result would also serve as a warning that Stenhousemuir must fill their vacant manager's post quickly or risk faltering further this season. "We are dejected and we never came close to showing what we can do and winning the tie," said Brown Ferguson, the club's interim manager.

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