Darvel’s Ian McShane knows all the ingredients required for a cup shock as he prepares to face Aberdeen in Monday’s intriguing Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at Recreation Park.
The 30-year-old midfielder was in the Ross County side which beat Hibernian 2-1 in the 2016 League Cup final at Hampden Park to take the Dingwall club’s first major trophy in senior football back to the Highlands.
The Staggies had upset even bigger odds by overcoming Celtic in the semi-final despite Gary Mackay-Steven opening the scoring for the Hoops inside the first minute.
Parkhead defender Efe Ambrose was sent off for conceding a penalty in the 13th minute – which Martin Woods converted – before goals from Paul Quinn and Alex Schalk after the break sealed a sensational victory and a first League Cup final appearance for County.
McShane told the PA news agency that victory for the West of Scotland Football League leaders over the men from the Granite City would require similar fortune and quirks of fate.
The former St Mirren and Falkirk player, who joined the part-time Junior side in June, 2020, said: “I played against Hibs and we beat them 2-1 which was a memorable day and fond memories.
“I won the Championship at St Mirren but that was probably my biggest achievement.
“It was not expected for a team like Ross County to beat Celtic and then Hibs. It was brilliant.
“Celtic scored in the first minute but then they got a man sent off and we scored from the penalty so we need something like that to go in our favour on Monday night, maybe a red card or something to level it up a bit.
“That’s what happened for us that day against Celtic.
“We will need to play our best and we need a bit of luck on the night. We need them to have an off night, maybe our keeper to have a world-class game which he is capable of to be fair. Chris (Truesdale) is brilliant.
“You just need everything to go in your favour, maybe a couple of refereeing decisions. Sometimes it happens and it is one of those things that are meant to be.”
Huge pressure is on Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin following the 5-0 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle in the cinch Premiership on Wednesday night.
The Pittodrie men have won once in eight games but McShane, a quantity surveyor these days, is experienced enough to be wary.
He said: “It can work both ways. Maybe the defeat makes this a must-win for them and it might give them a wee jolt and they will come out flying.
“On the other hand, if we manage to keep it tight at the start of the game, it might make them a bit nervy.
“But they will be very confident coming down to play us and they know that if they play to their best, ultimately they will win the game – that’s just the reality.
“Aberdeen are expected to come and win convincingly and if they don’t then it is seen as a bit of a failure on their part.
“They are a top team but you never know what can happen on the night. We will give it our best shot.”