Scottish Cup 1st Round: Coldstream’s moment in the sun

There will be a strong hint of romance in the air as the Scottish Cup gets underway this weekend.

While the giants of the Scottish game, like Celtic, enter the competition a little later, it’s the turn of the unfashionable non-league clubs to take from all four corners of the nation to have their chance to shine.

Banks O’Dee, Auchinleck Talbot and Inverurie Locos are just some of the names that might be new to all but the the most knowledgeable of football aficionados.

One of the smallest clubs to make it to this stage are Coldstream, who hail from the Scottish Borders.

The Streamers face the daunting task of a trip to Ainslie Park to take on Spartans, who themselves caused upsets galore in last season’s competition.

It will be an uphill task for the East of Scotland League side to cause the shock, but for a club always trying to punch above their weight they might just fancy their chances.

Here we get to know more about the Home Park outfit and we get an exclusive interview with their gaffer and skipper…


Formed 120 years ago, Coldstream are one of the oldest and proudest football clubs in Scotland. They have been full members of the SFA from the 1930’s onwards and have a long association with the nation finest cup competition.

Back in 1954 the club travelled to Wick and won 4-2, the last time they’ve won a first round tie. George “Spuddie” McElwraith scored all four goals with stand-in keeper George Rutherford performing heroics in goal. He normally played right back but the first choice keeper was a farmer and couldn’t get away from the harvest.

That tie enabled the club to claim the record for the longest journey made in Scottish Cup history, of over 800 miles.

As a cruel twist of fate, in the following round they were drawn to play fellow Highland outfit Brora Rangers, and therefore another 700 mile trip north. Incredibly the following year they were on the long road again, after being drawn against Ross County from Dingwall, who now of course play in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership.

In more recent times the club have performed well above their status, taking a number of established names to replays. There were home draws against Queen of the South, Meadowbank Thistle (now Livingston) and Albion Rovers.

There have been a number of ex-players who have gone on to make the grade at a higher level.

These include keeper Tommy Ledgerwood, he went on to star behind the sticks for Partick Thistle, clocking up an impressive 338 games for the Glasgow outfit in the 50’s.

Liam Craig played for Coldstream’s junior section, and has gone on to play for St Johnstone and Hibernian, and Eric Tait went on to skipper Berwick Rangers, when in their heyday, as they competed in the Scottish First Division.

The most famous face to ever line-up against the Streamers was Ossie Ardiles. The Argentine world cup winner was manager of Newcastle United, and brought his side up to Home Park for a pre-season friendly to officially open the club’s new clubhouse.

Ossie Ardiles of Argentina

Ossie Ardiles once came up against Coldstream in 1991

The Club almost bit the dust in the late 80’s, but the town rallied round and local amateur players turned out to play despite experiencing major defeats every week.

Despite ending the season with a solitary point and a huge negative goals difference the Streamers survived. A couple of years later after they held Albion, managed by the great Joe Baker, to a 1-1 draw losing the replay narrowly by a single goal.

Coldstream are now on a much sounder footing. The facilities at the club have never been better, with a new terracing been opened in the last few years, and pitch and clubhouse improved.

Board member Gerald Tait showing off the new terracing where the boisterous locals back their boys.

They have made a very encouraging start to their East of Scotland league campaign, sitting an impressive second place out of 16 teams.

Manager Grant Davidson came in during the summer, with only three players still on the books. He has re-formed the squad, with a number of local Borders players given their chance. Listen in as he gives you the lowdown on his team…

A couple of players to look out for are prolific striker John Crawford and club captain Jay Wilson.

Crawford, or Coco, as he is affectionately known, is the longest serving player at the club and has netted over well 100 goals in the process.

Skipper Wilson sets a fantastic example to the youngsters at the club with his fantastic professional attitude. The all action midfielder is a tough tackling rock who always gives you 100 per cent.

Here you can hear his thoughts ahead of the big game…

Do you fancy Coldstream to get through this daunting tie and go all the way? You can back the Streamers at 10,000/1 to lift the trophy at Hampden in May.

Forget Japan beating South Africa in the rugby, that would be the fairy tale to end them all!

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Paul Fulton

Paul is a sporting all-rounder with a particular penchant for tennis, football and golf. He has contributed to a number of publications, including the Edinburgh Evening News. Is most at home with a scotch pie and bovril in hand watching his beloved Hibs.