Irn Bru Cup first round: Greg Aitken among appointed referees

Aitken is the only Category One referee selected during the first round of the revamped Challenge Cup.

Greg Aitken referee (Airdrie v Forfar - 15th February 2015)
Established: Former fireman Aitken has been officiating in the Scottish Premiership since November 2014 (Picture from BBC ALBA)

GREG Aitken is the only Category One referee involved in the first round of the newly-named Irn Bru Cup. 

The 39-year-old from Renfrewshire will take charge of newly-promoted League One side Queen’s Park against Kilmarnock Colts at Hampden Park.

Elsewhere, Graham Beaton – who is no relation to fellow Scottish referee John – will oversee the derby between Highland League team Formartine United and Aberdeen Colts.

Lowland League outfit East Stirlingshire against League Two Montrose at Ochilview will be officiated by Craig Napier.

The 23-year-old doctor from Glasgow, who is a Category One development official, oversaw last season’s Lowland League Cup Final between Gretna and East Kilbride.

Mike Roncone will handle Aberdeen-based Highland League side Cove Rangers against Dundee Colts at Forfar’s Station Park.

The Category One development whistler, from Angus, regularly officiates in the SPFL’s fourth tier.

Glasgow’s Steven Reid will be the man in the middle for Heart of Midlothian Colts’ trip to League Two Stirling Albion.

David Dickinson takes charge of the only televised tie of the round between Celtic Colts and League Two Annan Athletic at Morton’s Cappielow – live on Premier Sports.

The Category Two referee from Renfrewshire – who first took up the whistle in 2006 – will be assisted by Kevin McElhinney and Tony Fullerton, with Garry Doherty on fourth official duties.

Meanwhile, Kilmaurs-based Aitken has been a Category One referee since 2011 having first taken up refereeing in 2002.

Beaton, 33, has officiated all three major finals in Highland League football and was promoted during the summer to Category One development status.

The Kemnay-based referee, who is a document controller in the oil and gas industry, also refereed last season’s Scottish Junior Cup Final between Beith and Pollok at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park.

Soft drinks company Irn Bru are the new sponsors for the Challenge Cup, with 54 teams involved from the start – including four clubs from outside the SPFL, two from Northern Ireland and two from Wales.

‘Colts’ are the name adopted by the 12 Scottish Premiership Under 20’s teams for the competition.

All ties are taking place on Tuesday, August 2, with the exception of Cumbernauld Colts against Hamilton Academical Colts – which will be played the following day.

Rangers are the current holders after thrashing Peterhead 4-0 in last season’s final at Hampden Park.

Click here for a full list of first round match official appointments

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