A 344 mile round trip awaits the Pars team, management and fans on Saturday as Dunfermline travel north to Buckie, Moray for the 3rd round tie in the William Hill Scottish Cup. This is what is often called the romance of the Cup -a chance to visit a remote and unfamiliar place, thankfully avoiding yet another trip to a well known Scottish league ground. This would have been the game that many fans hoped for before the draw was made, and the prospect of a journey to the far north, with some fans staying for the weekend, has seen over 340 tickets sold already to Pars fans.
Buckie is a fishing port with a population of around 8100. The fishing industry has declined in recent years although there is still an active harbour in the town. The town's shipyard repairs lifeboats for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and also repairs and creates vessels for the Ministry of Defence. Many of the town's population work offshore in the oil industry.
The town's football team were formed in 1889 and play in the Highland League. The similarity of their kit to Celtic is thought to go back to 1910, when Buckie Thistle were in financial hardship, and accepted a gift of team kits and footballs from Celtic. In 1989, Celtic travelled to Buckie to play a game to mark Buckie's centenary year.
Buckie are based at Victoria Park, their home ground since 1919, which has a capacity of 5000, of which 400 are seated.
The club have won the Highland League 10 times in their history, and are currently joint top of the league. Their top goalscorer is John McLeod, who scored 5 times in the previous round of the Scottish Cup in Buckie's win over Gretna. McLeod scored twice in Buckie's most recent game, a 5-1 win over Clachnacuddin, to take his tally to 32 for the season.
Prior to the Clachnacuddin game, Buckie lost 3-2 to Keith, ending a 22 match unbeaten run in the Highland League, which began with 6 games remaining of last season and included the opening 16 games of this season.
The game on Saturday will give the depleted Dunfermline squad (5 players injured and 1 suspended) a welcome break from Championship football. The game will be Buckie's biggest of the season so far, and the game has all the makings of a classic Scottish Cup tie.
Full match preview will be posted tomorrow.