PICTURES: Brora dedicate remarkable Scottish Cup victory to much-loved tea lady who served the club for half a century
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An emotional Steven Mackay dedicated Brora Rangers’ incredible Scottish Cup scalping of Hearts to a much-loved club servant who passed away last month.
Sheena Manson, who was 89, spent more than half a century serving teas and volunteering in numerous roles for the Highland League outfit.
She became synonymous with Brora’s famous warm welcome – and Mackay revealed a minute’s silence in her memory before the game helped inspire last night’s earth-shattering performance.
Mackay said: “There are guys like John Young, who has been a long suffering fan, kitman, chairman – everything under the sun.
“It’s guys like John and Sandy Matheson the groundsman that results like these should be dedicated to.
“We had Sheena Manson, a club servant who passed a few weeks ago and we did a minute’s silence for her tonight.
“I’d like to dedicate that result to Sheena because she was the heart and soul of the club - and she is sorely missed.”
The Brora manager also hailed the indefatigable spirit of a team who had played just once in 2021 and trained only five times before beating Hearts, finalists for the past two seasons.
He said: “It’s difficult to put it into words.
“I’m just incredibly proud of every single player, and everyone that’s connected with the club. It’s just a monumental night for everyone involved with Brora Rangers.
“I spoke about it before the game, and you just never know in football. If you go in with the right attitude and belief sometimes results can go your way. That’s what has happened tonight.
“It’s just an unbelievable achievement for the whole team and the whole club.
“One of the biggest characteristics in our locker is our resilience and our ability to dig deep when things are against us.
“In the team talk at the start I specifically said they never cease to amaze me. When the odds are against them they just produce performances and results.
“We went to Hibs in the League Cup and put in a really credible performance which was great and gave us a lot of confidence.
“We just felt if we could bed into the game for the first 20 minutes and give them no early chances or early goals, and just nick a goal that was critical.
“It was against the run of play, there’s no denying it. It was a wonderfully worked goal and an unbelievably worked goal from Jordan who I thought was phenomenal the whole night.
“He was a thorn in the side of Hearts. It’s probably one of the best performances I’ve seen him play.
“We knew the waves of attack would come, and it’s hard to sustain that level of pressure.
“Their goal they scored was a bit disappointing, but we showed character to come back.
“Ordinarily the heads would go down and you’d think that’s it, our chance was gone.
“They just went forward and we encouraged them to give it one last push. Martin has popped up with another important goal for this club.
“It’s just an incredible night.”
Mackay’s one downside was the lack of supporters, although a noisy group celebrated socially-distanced on raised ground overlooking Dudgeon Park.
The manager added: “There were one or two on the hill over there!
“That’s probably the only thing that’s disappointing on such a big night for the club and such a big result.
“It’s a shame they’re not all inside the ground to share it with us.
“But hopefully the live stream went well and they enjoyed it from the comfort of their own homes.”
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson apologised to Gorgie supporters watching at home.
He said: “We had a long conversation at the end because it's not good enough. The standards when you come here need to be miles better.
“You have a responsibility playing for Hearts.
"It's not acceptable. There will be players who step up and get the team going again and players who can't. It's up to us to have players here of a standard that we don't get that performance again.
"We need to make sure we win the league first and then we need to move the club forward.
"I'm devastated, absolutely gutted.
“Credit to Brora. They competed really well and worked really hard, some brilliant defending and threw bodies on the line. Ultimately, we were miles off where we need to be.
"We could go over it for the next six hours but it's not good enough - as coaches, staff and players. The only way to change it is to get back into training and get at it.
“Do fans deserve an apology? Definitely, 100 per cent.
“It's not acceptable at this football club. We have a lot of work, fight and hunger to show to get over this. We need to do it.
"We need to win on Saturday and win the league. We will remind them about this regularly to make sure standards are better and this does not happen again.”