'The last time I drew Linlithgow Rose in fourth round we got to the final' - Raith Rovers keeper Jamie MacDonald excited at Scottish Cup draw

Raith Rovers being paired with Linlithgow Rose away from home in Monday night’s Scottish Cup fourth round draw has brought back fond memories for Rovers keeper Jamie MacDonald.
Jamie MacDonald in action for Raith Rovers (Library pic by Ian Cairns)Jamie MacDonald in action for Raith Rovers (Library pic by Ian Cairns)
Jamie MacDonald in action for Raith Rovers (Library pic by Ian Cairns)

For the 36-year-old stopper made history with former club Queen of the South in the 2008 Scottish Cup, beating then tournament debutants Linlithgow 4-0 in round four at Palmerston before seeing off Greenock Morton, Dundee and Aberdeen to reach the club’s first-ever Scottish Cup final, losing 3-2 to Rangers at Hampden Park.

“That was my first full season playing football,” MacDonald – in goal as Raith saw off another non league side, Auchinleck Talbot, 3-0 in Saturday’s third round Scottish Cup encounter at Stark’s Park - told the Fife Free Press. “I’d gone on loan from Hearts to Queen of the South the last six months of the previous season.

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"I’d generally been a back-up at Hearts and played reserve games. Queen of the South gave me the chance to go there and we ended up playing Linlithgow Rose in the very first season junior clubs were allowed to play in the tournament.

“It was a great experience getting to the final. We didn’t win the tournament but the Queen’s fans were great.

"Hopefully me drawing Linlithgow again is fate that Raith Rovers are going to get to the final this year!

"It’s going to be a tough tie though. Last Saturday a stuffy Auchinleck team made it really difficult for us, especially in the first half.

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"There was not a lot of space and obviously we’re going to be going to Linlithgow which is a very tight park and they’ll fancy their chances being on home soil.

"It’s a game that we’re more than capable of winning.”

Ahead of Raith’s trip to Linlithgow’s Prestonfield on the weekend of Saturday, January 21, MacDonald can draw on other great Scottish Cup pedigree having been in goal as Hearts thumped Hibs 5-1 in the 2012 final and also reached the 2015 showpiece with Falkirk before losing 2-1 to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

"Winning the 2012 final is a career highlight,” boyhood Hearts fan MacDonald said. “It was a very strange final for myself, I wasn’t really called into action much.

"It was disappointing to lose a goal just before half-time but it was a game we controlled pretty much from start to finish.

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"The crowd and noise at that game was unbelievable, the best I’ve been involved in.

"But when we were 4-1 up about five minutes into the second half, I was at the Hibs end and obviously it just emptied.

"It went from the best atmosphere to a very surreal quiet atmosphere, well it was for me anyway at that end.

"I tend not to have any banter with my manager (Raith boss Ian Murray, a former Hibs player) about that final just in case he drops me! I would rather keep in his good books.

"We have a mutual respect with each other in terms of opposite sides of the divide.”