Rothes went out of the Scottish Cup after a replay against Edu-sport Academy but Speysiders manager Steven MacDonald thinks most Highland League clubs will fare better in Saturday’s second-round ties.
Rothes won 3-0 at Keith last weekend and MacDonald thinks the Maroons may struggle against League 2 Clyde, even with home advantage.
He said: “I think it will be a very hard game for Keith and even with the tie being at Kynoch Park I will have to tip Clyde.
“Buckie Thistle are at home to Lowland League leaders BSC Glasgow. We played Edusport in the first round, so we know how good the standard is in that league. It will be a good game but I think with home advantage hopefully that will be enough to take Buckie through.
“Fraserburgh travel to take on Edinburgh University. The Broch are a great cup side, so I’m taking them to win in Edinburgh.
“I’m aware that Civil Service Strollers beat BSC Glasgow 4-2 last weekend but they only just beat Strathspey Thistle in the first round, so I think Brora Rangers will be too strong for them, even in Edinburgh.”
Casting an expert eye over the remaining four ties involving Highland League clubs, MacDonald added: “Deveronvale face crack Ayrshire junior side Glenafton, the current holders of the Scottish Junior Cup, at Princess Royal Park.
“It will be a very tough game for Vale but I hope home advantage may be enough for the Banff side to get something out of the tie. Formartine United face East Stirling at North Lodge Park and the Pitmedden should be able to take care of that one.
“My old club, Clachnacuddin, face a tricky trip to Edinburgh to take on Spartans. I would love to see Clach progress but if they could get a draw there and take Spartans back to Grant Street that would be a great result.
“The only all-Highland League tie is the Station Park encounter between Nairn County and Cove Rangers.
“Cove look too strong for County. They won 8-0 at Nairn in September and I can’t really see anything other than a Cove win.”