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After a four-week festive lay-off, Oban Saints return to action this Saturday afternoon with a crunch Scottish Amateur Cup fifth round tie against Renfrew Town.
The winners will progress to the last 16 of the national cup competition.
Saturday’s opponents rejoined the Glasgow and District Saturday Morning League for the start of this season after a four-year absence and appear to have re-grouped well following their sabbatical.
2014-15 Premier Division Champions Renfrew Town currently occupy sixth place in Glasgow and District Saturday Morning League Division One, nine points behind leaders Bellahouston, but with five games in hand.
Renfrew kicked off their league campaign with a thumping 12-1 victory over the fantastically named AC Milanda and have collected maximum points in four of their other five Division One fixtures.
Town’s only reverse of the league campaign so far came in Paisley at the hands of close neighbours and fellow title hopefuls Moorpark Athletic.
The Renfrew men have suffered only one other defeat in their first five months back in competitive action which saw them exit the Glasgow and District Saturday Morning League Vince McGlinchy Trophy at the quarter final stage after losing out to Premier Division Cleland.
The Scottish Amateur Cup campaign began for Renfrew Town with a 3-1 home win over Law Community of the Strathclyde Evangelical Churches Premier Division.
Next up was the first in a run of four away ties which matched Renfrew against local rivals Erskine. It was the Renfrew men who emerged victorious defeating Greater Glasgow Premier Amateur Football League Division One high flyers by two goals to nil.
Round three took Renfrew to Dundee to face Dundee Saturday Morning First Division promotion chasers Charlie Accies. The recently-formed Accies gave the newly-reformed Townies their stiffest test yet and were unlucky to lose out by the odd goal in three.
After taking the lead and hitting the woodwork twice, the Dundee men conceded twice from set pieces which saw Renfrew Town through to the fourth round and another trip east.
Despite enjoying home advantage, Ormiston from the lower reaches of the Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur Football Association were no match for their west coast opponents and Renfrew ran out 3 -1 victors, setting up this Saturday’s encounter with Oban Saints.
Saints progressd to this stage of the competition with a bye in the first round.
Round two saw the Oban side paired with Perthshire outfit Vale of Earn and it took two games and penalties kicks for Saints to march in to round three.
The first game in Oban finished 4-4 with the replay in Crieff ending in a 3-3 draw, with Saints winning the penalty shoot-out 4-3.
There was no such drama in the third round tie at a damp Garscube Sports Complex where Saints recorded a comfortable 4-1 win.
Saints made the gruelling 410 mile round trip to the chilly North East for round four and a re-match with last season’s conquerors Rothie Rovers, but the D & K Lafferty sponsord Oban side progressed to the fifth round with a top quality 3-0 win.
Unlike almost every other cup competition in amateur football, the Scottish Amateur Cup still includes replays therefore a re-match will follow at Renfrew’s King George V pitches in seven days if the two sides cannot be separated after 90 minutes.
Despite the winter solstice having passed several weeks ago, daylight still remains in short supply therefore kick-off has been moved to the earlier time of 1pm.
Recent heavy rain may also force a switch of venue from the grass at Glencruitten to the all-weather 3G surface at Oban High School.
A decision on this will be delayed until later in the week.
In charge of proceedings will be experienced whistler Mr Gerry Reid.