• Derek Bell


The competitive season 2019/20 starts for the Dream Team with the opening match in the Group G of the Betfred Cup (the League Cup for those of a certain age). We are in a group with Ayr United, Falkirk, Livingston and Stranraer, with each team facing the others once. Each team getting two home games and two away games.

Any games level after ninety minutes go straight to penalties with the winners of the shoot out getting a bonus point.

This will be the fourth season the cup has used this format with the eight group winners and four best runners up qualifying for the second round. Older readers will remember the old League Cup featuring a group/sectional stage which ran from season 1946/47 ending in season 1976/77 when it became a straight forward knock out cup.

It’s not a competition that has provided any real success for us, the best performance being reaching a semi-final in 1963/64 losing 3-1 to Rangers. Other than that a Quarter-Final in 1981/82 against Aberdeen, losing 8-0 over two legs, is as good as it has got for us.

By starting the cup so early few teams have had that many pre-season friendlies and in many ways it has become that rare beast – a set of competitive friendlies.

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