IT’S a cliché, but the real beauty of the Scottish Cup is when the wee teams do well.

The surprise outfit of this season’s competition has been Brora Rangers and with today’s fifth round tie against Kilmarnock looming, the entire village, which has a population of just over 1000, has bought into the Highland League side’s surge to this stage of the competition with every man, woman and child going to be pulling for them this afternoon.

For Brora’s chairman, William Powrie, the support of the community throughout the duration of this cup run has been quite remarkable and he admits that one of the most heartening side-effects of their giant-killing spree, which has included victories over League One sides Stranraer and East Fife, has been the backing the team has had from locals.

“This is a huge game for the club but actually, it’s huge for the area as well,” the 60-year-old said.

“Sutherland is one of the forgotten counties of the whole of the UK – it’s absolutely stunning but economically, it’s quite depressed. So to have a wee village team – and let’s make no bones about it, it is a wee village – reach the fifth round of the Scottish Cup is just marvellous.

“Everybody is getting completely on board with this cup run and is so excited – the shops have been done up and there’s ribbons all around the park and the school and all over the bridge.

“We have six buses going down from Brora to Kilmarnock – the ladies team have an entire bus to take their supporters down so that’s just fantastic. A lot of those supporters won’t have been to a ground like Rugby Park before so it will be a day out, it will be an occasion and it will be a day that might even motivate them to take the game up themselves – who knows?

“This level of attention isn’t something that I ever anticipated and it’s caught the imagination of so many people, which has been so great.”

This support from the entire community is not accidental though. Brora Rangers may be a small club but they cover all bases when it comes to engaging with every age-group and demographic. The men’s first team may currently be the focal point but there are also under-20 and under-17 sides, as well as a ladies team. And Powrie is, he admits, delighted that the people of the club, who are so committed to the cause, have something to celebrate.

“It’s been great to see the community get right behind us because despite our size, we do try to engage with the entire community,” he said. “We have ladies who travel from Kinlochbervie and Ullapool to train with the team – that’s like travelling the entire breadth of Scotland, over mountains, to be a part of this club. So this isn’t just a football team – it’s teams, plural.”

Dundee-born Powrie is in his second year as chairman of the club, having spent the previous year on the board. With a background in banking, he is well-equipped to deal with the trials and tribulations that being at the helm of any football club entail.

Retirement has seen him open an antiques shop in his hometown of Dingwall but this weekend, his attentions will be focused entirely on the goings-on at Rugby Park.

“All we have to do is score one more goal than them – it’s 11 against 11 after all,” he said.