IT IS the Scottish Junior Cup this weekend for the Rose and it does not come any bigger or tougher than an away tie against Arthurlie tomorrow (Saturday).
The Prestonfield side have already disposed of Ardrossan and Fauldhouse in the run up to this fixture but tomorrow’s game is one of the top clashes of the fourth round draw.
Both clubs are previous winners of the Scottish Cup, the Rose have lifted the trophy four times while their opponents have won it twice.
The clubs last met competitively in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup in 2007, when the Rose put four past them at the then St Mirren stadium, Love Street.
Six years on, the Rose are on top of their game, while Arthurlie this season languish close in the bottom half of the West Super League with just 11 points from nine games, 18 points behind league leaders Auchinleck Talbot.
But Rose boss Mark Bradley is aware the match is a ‘one-off’ and that Arthurlie will do their utmost to create an upset in front of their own fans.
He said: “The Scottish Cup is a ‘one-off’ and form goes out the window. It gives teams a chance to give their fans a lift. Arthurlie are sitting near the foot of their league and have had a bad run but they have played all the top teams in their league.’’
While the bookies may make Linlithgow favourites for tomorrow’s, Bradley is not predicting a scoreline, although he is confident his side can win on the day.
With an unbeaten run of 27 matches since the starrt of the season, he believes his players have the quality to grind out a result.
He said: “Our aim is to play attractive, attacking football but we can defend when needed as our defence is now more solid than in recent seasons.
‘‘And there have been games this season when we have not played all that well but we have still been able to turn out a result.”
The club still remain top of the Super League with a massive 20 point lead after a win over Camelon last week.
The Rose boss was disappointed with his team’s first half performance, saying: “Only a couple of players ‘turned up’ in the first half but their winning mentality ensured that we got the result we needed in the second half.”