Nostalgia: Second Division Raith Rovers battle to the the last eight of the Scottish Cup in 1987

Jim Marshall scores for Rovers in the 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Vale of Leithen in 1987
Jim Marshall scores for Rovers in the 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Vale of Leithen in 1987

Raith Rovers made it to the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup in 1987.

The run by Second Division side, which was ended by eventual winners St. Mirren, began with a 4-0 home win over East of Scotland League side Vale of Leithen.

Steve Simpson on the ball during the home tie against Peterhead

Steve Simpson on the ball during the home tie against Peterhead

Goals from Jim Marshall, Steve Simpson and a Colin Harris double saw Rovers progress to the third round.

Their opponents were Queen of the South, who had won promotion from the Second Division the previous season, beating Rovers in all three of their meetings along the way.

This time however, Rovers gained revenge and it was that man Harris again who scored the only goal at Palmerston Park after just eight minutes.

The result sent Rovers through to the next round where they were handed what on paper looked like a relatively straightforward passage to the last eight – they were paired with Highland league side Peterhead at Stark’s Park.

Jim Marshall heads Raith Rovers' opener against Peterhead at Arbroath's Gayfield Park

Jim Marshall heads Raith Rovers' opener against Peterhead at Arbroath's Gayfield Park

But Raith don’t always make it easy for themselves, and it took a titanic three-game battle before they finally emerged victorious.

The first tie took place on February 21 with the visit of the Highlanders to Kirkcaldy, and they left with much credit and a 2-2 draw.

In front of a healthy 3,347 crowd it was Peterhead who took a shock lead on 24 minutes through Gary Loch.

However goals from Alex Brash and Chris Candlish put Rovers back in front and seemingly on their way to the next round.

Rovers' Andy Harrow puts St Mirren keeper Campbell Money under pressure at Stark's Park

Rovers' Andy Harrow puts St Mirren keeper Campbell Money under pressure at Stark's Park

But a shock equaliser nine minutes from time by Peterhead’s Ally Bell meant that Rovers faced a long, midweek trip to the Highlands for a replay.

The match at Recreation Park in front of 4,000, saw the sides share six goals after once again Rovers failed to find the win which had looked virtually assured after just six minutes.

An early Craig Robertson double put Rovers comfortably ahead before Peterhead pulled one back through a Walker free kick on 23 minutes.

But any sign of a comeback seemed to be banished when Brash put Rovers 3-1 ahead four minutes later.

However, Rovers seemed to think it was game over and a terrible second half performance, not helped by a sending off for midfielder Billy Herd, saw the Highlanders score a quick double of their own through Walker and Bain on 77 and 81 minutes respectively, and they tok the tie to extra time.

Neither side scored during the added 30 minutes so the following Monday they had to do it all again, this time at the neutral venue of Abroath’s Gayfield Park.

Happily, it proved to be a game too far for the plucky Highlanders and Rovers made it third time lucky with a comfortable 3-0 win.

A huge crowd of 6,000 saw Jim Marshall and Colin Harris make it 2-0 by half time, before a superb 81st minute solo goal from man of the match Steve Simpson put Rovers three to the good, and through to the last eight of the Scottish Cup for the first time in 15 years.

But on March 14 there was to be no cup upset against Premier League St. Mirren. Despite being roared on by the home support in the 8,972 crowd at Stark’s Park, the Paisley side went through to the semi-final with a 2-0 win.

In truth, Rovers never looked like winning but it took until the 89th minute before the tie was finally settled; Paul Chalmers netting to add to Peter Godfrey’s 18th minute opener.

Frank Connor’s men left the field with their heads held high and would go on to win the Second Division title.

For St. Mirren a 2-1 win in the semi-final over Hearts took them back to Hampden where an Ian Ferguson goal was enough to see them lift the Scottish Cup.