Dundee are sure-fire favourites to see off Lowland League Bonnyrigg Rose at Dens Park this Saturday night in the Scottish Cup.
That’s the story the bookies’ odds tell you – the Dark Blues are around 1/8 while the Rosey Posey are a big 14/1 shot.
However, the comparative minnows have a history of upsetting the odds in this competition and things might not be so straightforward for James McPake’s side.
Bonnyrigg have made it beyond this stage of the competition more than once, beating Championship opposition along the way and have a former Deefiant man in their ranks.
They also boast an ex-player that dwarfs the sort of fame any former Dee could claim, even the great Claudio Caniggia.
And the Dark Blues don’t have to look too far to see how tricky it can be against Lowland League opposition – Dundee United just about edged past Kelty Hearts 1-0 at Tannadice earlier this campaign in the Betfred Cup.
So, who are Bonnyrigg Rose and why should Dundee be careful?
Managed by former Hearts, Forfar and Berwick Rangers player Robbie Horn, Rose are currently fourth in a very competitive Lowland League, seven points behind leaders Kelty but just one off second-placed BSC Glasgow with a game in hand on both.
They have won their last five in all competitions, scoring 18 goals in the process including last week’s 5-2 win over Bo’ness United in round one.
They also boast the second-best defence in the Lowland League behind Kelty this term, conceding just six times in 12 games.
Former Hibs kid Lee Currie is their top league scorer on seven goals and added a hat-trick to that in the Bo’ness victory, all three of them penalties within the space of 10 minutes. Forward George Hunter, once on the books at St Johnstone, netted the other two and was brought down for all three spot-kicks.
Scottish Cup history
In the last eight seasons, Bonnyrigg have made it beyond this second-round stage on three occasions defeating two senior clubs in the process.
The most recent cup scalp was that of League One Montrose last season.
The Gable Endies had seen off St Johnstone in the Betfred Cup earlier that year but were shocked by 10-man Rose, losing 2-1 at New Dundas Park. Stewart Petrie’s men were on a seven-match unbeaten run going into that game.
That win set up a fourth-round match with Clyde where their cup run ended with a 1-0 defeat.
In 2016/17 they matched that mark by defeating seasoned Championship side Dumbarton after a replay, winning 1-0 on the road to set up a clash with Edinburgh giants Hibs.
The scoreline, unfortunately for the Lowland side, was also a giant one as the Hibees won 8-0.
That season they also saw off Cove Rangers in round two and took Second Division Brechin City to a replay back in 2012/13.
Not just any local link but a Deefiant one as Bonnyrigg skipper Jonny Stewart joined the Dark Blues in their hour of need on loan from Hearts back in late 2010.
The midfielder did his part for Barry Smith’s beleaguered side as they beat the odds – and a 25-point deduction – to stay in the First Division, playing 11 times in his short spell.
Another local link comes in the shape of midfielder Alassan Jones. He may not have made a first-team appearance in his 18 months at Tannadice but he’ll be determined to put one over a former rival club this weekend.
These days he’s a Livingston player after leaving United in the summer and has spent the season on loan with the Rosey Posey.
While a tangerine, Jones enjoyed loan spells with Berwick Rangers and with Broughty Athletic at the start of last season.
Other notable names in the Bonnyrigg squad include Dean Brett, who played eight years at Cowdenbeath alongside former Dee favourites Greg Stewart and Kane Hemmings in the Championship.
Famous former player
There aren’t many more famous Scots than this former Rosey Posey player in the 1950s.
He may have had the licence later in life but there weren’t many killer balls played by winger Sean Connery if reports are to be believed.
— Brian Quarstad (@IMSoccerNews) November 5, 2020
Before immortality awaited in the shape of Ian Fleming’s James Bond, Sir Sean had a short spell with Bonnyrigg, making the papers with a 30-yarder in the Scottish Junior Cup against Broxburn Athletic.
However, the junior leagues were neither shaken, nor stirred, when 007 moved on according to former team-mate Nat Fisher.
A rainbow falls on to NDP following the sad announcement of probably our most famous footballer & one of the most iconic Scots of all time. We would like to offer our deepest condolences to his family. RIP Sean. https://t.co/pRZEd3qoBq pic.twitter.com/OMQauQiVTa
— Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic ( with a 🌹😷) (@BonnyriggRose) October 31, 2020
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News in 2016 about Connery’s claim to have had a trial at East Fife, he said: “Sean didn’t play a lot, as far as I can remember.
“The team was pretty rubbish back then anyway, but when Connery was released, three other right wingers were released too.
“I find it hard to believe he was ever good enough to have a trial for East Fife.”
When news came of the actor’s passing at the age of 90 in October, Rose tweeted: “A rainbow falls on to NDP (New Dundas Park) following the sad announcement of probably our most famous footballer & one of the most iconic Scots of all time.
“We would like to offer our deepest condolences to his family. RIP Sean.”