Keith chairman Andy Troup reckons supporters were safe for the brief time they were allowed back into Highland League grounds.
Spectators will now not be permitted at Kynoch Park for the first round tie against Hill of Beath Hawthorn in two days’ time, following the announcement of a national lockdown starting on Boxing Day.
The Highland League side welcomed fans back for the first time last month, in an Aberdeenshire Cup tie against Huntly.
Hill of Beath are based in Fife and play in the East of Scotland League, coming second in the division last year.
Troup had seen the benefits to fans being back in grounds first hand, during their brief return to grounds earlier this month.
He said: “It’s good for their mental health; I’ve been speaking to a number of fans coming through the gates and this is all they’ve been looking forward to on a Saturday,” said Troup.
The full First Round draw.🔴⚪🔴 https://t.co/iNHE324oOE
— Hill of Beath FC (@hawshob) December 13, 2020
“The protocols for Highland League clubs are so robust and there’s no reason why we can’t keep getting fans in. With there being no hospitality it’s freed me up to be at the forefront with the temperature checks and the feedback I have been getting is they can’t believe what we’ve had to put in place.
“I haven’t had anyone say they feel unsafe. The stuff we’ve had to put in place is unbelievable and that’s the same for all Highland League grounds.”
Victory over Fort William a fortnight ago put them in the draw for the first round, which was their first Scottish Cup victory in 25 years.
Troup added: “This is probably the biggest competition in the calendar for most clubs. It brings so much hype to the club and the players.
“The money makes a huge difference. If we could get to round three or even four, that’s a life-changing some of money for any Highland League club.
“You can see what it did for Fraserburgh when they got Rangers – the whole town came together. Every Highland League club puts so much work in, something like this brings everyone together.”