25/05/22

Premier Sports Cup Group Stage Opponents Confirmed

A first ever competitive clash with Premiership side Livingston was the pick of our matches when the draw for the group stages of the 2022-23 Premier Sports Cup was made today.

We also face fellow Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Kelty Hearts – who were League Two champions last season and Albion Rovers, who finished eighth in League Two last term in Group G of the competition.

Livingston only just missed out on qualifying for Europe last season, so the meeting with them will be great preparation for our first campaign competing at Championship level.

We were also grouped with Inverness – who were beaten by St Johnstone in the Premiership Promotion Play-off Final – in last season’s competition.

We beat the Highland side 3-1 at Balmoral Stadium thanks to goals from Mitch Megginson, Leighton McIntosh and Blair Yule.

The clash with Kelty, who will be competing in League One next season after emulating our feat of gaining back to back promotions after stepping up from the Lowland League, will also be a first for the club.

We were unbeaten in our League Two clashes with Albion Rovers in season 2019-20, winning 3-0 at Balmoral Stadium then drawing 4-4 in an epic encounter down in Coatbridge.

A double from Rory McAllister and singles from Mitch Megginson and Jamie Masson also gave us a 4-1 victory over Rovers at Balmoral in last season’s SPFL Trust Trophy.

As previously announced, regionalisation has been removed for 2022/23 competition, after six years of the North/South split in the group stage.

With five SPFL clubs again taking part in UEFA competitions next season, the draw included  the remaining 37 SPFL clubs from 2021/22 plus Highland League champions Fraserburgh and Lowland League champions Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic.

The remaining slot was taken by Highland League runners-up Buckie Thistle as the Lowland League were granted the extra place last season.

The eight group winners and three best runners-up will join Celtic, Rangers, Heart of Midlothian, Dundee United and Motherwell in the last 16 at the end of August.

Full details of matches will be released soon, but the confirmed match dates are:

Matchday 1: Weekend of July 9.10

Matchday 2: Midweek of July 12/13

Matchday 3: Weekend of July 19/20

Matchday 4: Midweek of July 19/20

Matchday 5: Weekend of July 23/24

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