Scottish Cup goal hero Josh Peters hoping to face cousin Stephen Welsh at Celtic Park
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It was a weekend that Aviemore’s Josh Peters will never forget – two equalisers at the death, the winning penalty kick in the winner’s take-all shoot-out and a dream draw away to Celtic in the Scottish Cup.
The 27-year-old ex-Strathspey Thistle striker admits he is still on cloud nine after Buckie Thistle beat Broxburn Athletic on Saturday to progress and then got the perfect cup tie.
And it means the former Kingussie High School pupil could be marked by his younger cousin Celtic defender Stephen Welsh who has just returned from injury in the fourth round clash the weekend of January 20.
The pair are close friends and centre-half Welsh was one of the first to message Peters after his cup heroics and the two teams being paired in the cup.
Highland League side Buckie twice came from behind despite being down to 10 men – equalising in the 98th and 122nd minutes through Peters – before beating Broxburn on penalties.
The striker told the Strathy: “It was an emotional rollercoaster of a game. We went down to 10 men after 20 minutes and everything seemed to be put in place for us to be knocked out of the cup.
“They scored with 10 minutes to go after we had defended so well for the majority of the game.
“I think there was five minutes of injury time added on and the referee played a little more than that as they had been time-wasting a little bit.
“The ball just dropped to me in the 98th minute and I hit it quite well on the volley and it went in. Everyone was going mad.
“So that meant we had another half-hour to play and we were still up against it. We did well just to hang in there.
“But they scored with a minute to go of extra-time with a free-kick and we just thought that’s it over for us all over again.
“We had hit the post twice and their bar just before they scored. However, we got a corner and our goalkeeper (Stuart Knight) came up and won the first header. The ball came to me and I managed to flick it on with my head to score.
“It all went crazy again. There were around 1200 fans and they were quite hostile. They ran onto the pitch when their second goal went in so that made it all even sweeter.”
The Buckie Thistle players have become the talk of social media after their reaction to getting the Hoops in the Scottish Cup – with around one million views so far on X.
They were in Edinburgh for their Christmas celebration and took in Sunday’s draw at the Black Bull in the city’s famous Grassmarket.
The viral video shows them up dancing on chairs and tables as their name is pulled out of the hat against the 41-times cup winners. For some among them – Celtic fans – there were even tears of joy.
Peters said: “When Celtic’s name came out we all had a feeling as there were just a few teams left. We saw our number come out and there were wild celebrations on our two tables.
“It is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some of us. I don’t think any of us have ever played there before. It will be great for the club financially as well and will bring a major boost – we want to progress through the leagues.”
Peters and Welsh have a close family bond – their mothers are sisters Jacqui and Angela, a regular visitor to the strath.
With Peters stepping down the leagues after being on the books of Hibernian and Livingston in his earlier playing days, the forward thought that the chance to play against his cousin had probably passed him by.
The Jags forward said: “It is going to be a great experience. It has always been something my mum and I have spoken about with my cousin being Stephen.
“By now we probably both thought we’d never come up against each other and now it could possibly happen.”
If Welsh is fully fit and picked, then he could well be marking his cousin. “I’m hoping he will be – he’s just coming back from a bad injury and operation. I’m sure it is a game he will be hoping to play in.
“He messaged me first after the draw – obviously my phone was ringing off the hook. I had seen him a couple of days earlier at my gran and grandad’s. I popped in whilst passing after a break in Glasgow and Edinburgh with my girlfriend and he was sitting on the couch.
“We had had a chat about it and he messaged me to say it was unreal that it had happened.”
Jacqui, who lives in Aviemore, is a big Celtic fan whilst Josh’s dad Gordie is a Rangers supporter who will have double the reason to root for the Hoops’ opponents when the next cup day comes.
Buckie were reduced to 10 men after 20 minutes when Scott Adams was shown red but the Moray side prevailed 5-4 in the shoot-out.