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SPFL Trust Trophy: Caley Thistle to begin Challenge Cup defence against Highland League opposition while it’s Premiership B sides for Peterhead and Elgin

Inverness CT head coach Billy Dodds.
Inverness CT head coach Billy Dodds.

Caley Thistle will get their Challenge Cup defence under way against Highland League opposition while Peterhead, Elgin City and Brora Rangers have all been drawn against Premiership ‘B’ sides in the first round of this year’s competition.

The draw for the regionalised first two rounds of the tournament – named the SPFL Trust Trophy this campaign – was made yesterday and threw up some interesting ties.

Inverness and Raith Rovers were announced as joint-winners of the 2019-20 tournament after the SPFL opted to cancel the final, with both sides straight into the second round this year as Championship clubs.

The winners of the all-Highland League tie between Brechin City and Buckie Thistle will face Inverness at Caledonian Stadium in round two, while Raith begin against either Forfar Athletic or Formartine United.

Elsewhere in the first round, Peterhead and Elgin both drew tough away assignments against Premiership ‘B’ sides.

Jim McInally’s Blue Toon go to Dundee B with the winner playing either East Fife or St Johnstone B while City take on Hibernian B with a home match against Dunfermline Athletic next up for the victors.

Similarly, Highland League winners Brora will host Aberdeen B with a second-round tie at home to Arbroath at stake for the winners.

Fraserburgh were given a home tie against League 2 opposition as Cowdenbeath travel to Bellslea. The winner of that match hosts League 1 Alloa Athletic.

Fraserburgh will host Cowdenbeath at Bellslea in the first round

Ross County B, meanwhile, welcome Stirling Albion north with the triumphant side facing an away trip to Montrose in the next round.

Cove Rangers, who also enter at round two, will host the winners of the Stenhousemuir v Dundee United B tie at Balmoral Stadium.

From the third round onwards there are no draw restrictions.

Any tie which ends in a draw will go straight to penalties until the semi-finals at which point extra time will be introduced.

First-round draw

North section: Brechin City v Buckie Thistle; Dundee B v Peterhead; East Fife v St Johnstone B; Hibernian B v Elgin City; Brora Rangers v Aberdeen B; Fraserburgh v Cowdenbeath; Forfar Athletic v Formartine United; Ross County B v Stirling Albion; Stenhousemuir v Dundee United B.

South section: Dumbarton v Rangers B; Livingston B v Albion Rovers; Edinburgh City v Hearts B; Celtic B v Annan Athletic; Queen’s Park v Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic; Broomhill v Clyde; Falkirk v East Kilbride; St Mirren B v Kelty Hearts; Stranraer v Motherwell B.

Ties to be played August 10 & 11. 

Second round draw

North section: Montrose v Ross County B/Stirling Albion; Brora Rangers/Aberdeen B v Arbroath; Cove Rangers v Stenhousemuir/Dundee United B; Fraserburgh/Cowdenbeath v Alloa Athletic; Raith Rovers v Forfar Athletic/Formartine United; Hibernian B/Elgin City v Dunfermline Athletic; Caley Thistle v Brechin City/Buckie Thistle; Dundee B/Peterhead v East Fife/St Johnstone B.

South section: Airdrieonians v Queen’s Park/Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic; Celtic B/Annan Athletic v Morton; Hamilton Accies v Edinburgh City/Hearts B; Dumbarton/Rangers B v Ayr United; Kilmarnock v Falkirk/East Kilbride; Stranraer/Motherwell B v Partick Thistle; Queen of the South v Broomhill/Clyde; Livingston B/Albion Rovers v St Mirren B/Kelty Hearts.

Ties to be played September 4 & 5

Other key dates

Third round – October 9 & 10

Quarter-finals – November 30 & December 1

Semi-finals – March 1 & 2

Final – April 2 & 3

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