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Celtic boss Lennon happy for minnows to cash in

By Ronnie Esplin

Neil Lennon is glad smaller clubs will get a share of the spotlight after the Old Firm were handed trips to lower-league outposts in the Scottish Cup fourth-round draw at Hampden.

Holders Celtic are away to Third Division strugglers Peterhead, managed by former Hoops midfielder Jim McInally, while Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers will travel to Second Division title contenders Arbroath.

Within an intriguing draw, Ayrshire Junior outfit Auchinleck Talbot were handed a trip to Hearts while Hibernian face a tricky trip to Fife to take on Division Two leaders Cowdenbeath.

The Celtic boss is glad to see the smaller clubs prosper from the luck of the draw.

“I think it is great for Peterhead,” said Lennon, whose team will face Dunfermline in a Scottish Premier League game tonight.

“I know Jim very well and I'm sure he is looking forward to us coming there.

“I think it is great for the smaller clubs.

“I see that Arbroath have got Rangers as well so that hopefully will sustain clubs like that for a year or two and they may get a bit of television money out of it as well.

“We will take that game very seriously when it comes along because we are the holders.”

A delighted Auchinleck treasurer David Loy described the draw against the Jambos as “the biggest game in the club's history” as he looked forward to what will be a highly lucrative trip to Edinburgh.

“This was probably the biggest tie we could have got outside the Old Firm. Auchinleck will be empty that day,” said Loy.

“I don't know what it will do in terms of finances — come and ask me after the game, but it's a great boost for the club, definitely.

“I would say it could keep us going for at least a season and a half.”

Cowdenbeath's player-manager, Colin Cameron, knows the visiting fans will not have forgotten that he is a former Hearts midfielder.

“Ideally, I wanted Hearts because it would have been nice to play them,” he said.

“Hibs is the next best thing I suppose and I’m sure the Hibs supporters will remind me of my history of playing with Hearts.”

Draw: Ross County v Stenhousemuir; Livingston v Ayr/Montrose; Raith v Morton; Hearts v Auchinleck Talbot; Cowdenbeath v Hibernian; St Johnstone v Brechin; Stranraer/Forfar v Aberdeen; Culter/Partick v Queen of South; Inverness v Dunfermline; Falkirk v East Fife; Motherwell v Elgin/Queen's Park; Arbroath v Rangers; Peterhead v Celtic; Airdrie Utd v Dundee Utd; Dundee v Kilmarnock; St Mirren v Hamilton

Ties to be played January 7-8.

Belfast Telegraph


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