Ayr raiders test relished by Bo’ness United boss

220912 Boness united v victoria whittlets
220912 Boness united v victoria whittlets

Everyone with an interest in Scottish junior football will be eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s ‘‘match of the day’’ in the Scottish Junior Cup third round.

Bo’ness United are at home to Ayrshire high fliers Auchinleck Talbot and a big crowd is expected at Newtown Park to witness what could be a real ‘‘cup cracker’’.

Talbot, of course, defeated Linlithgow Rose in last season’s Emirates Junior Cup final - and the Rose themselves are involved in an intriguing ‘‘second billing’’ when they line up against old rivals Shotts Bon Accord at Prestonfield.

Bo’ness boss Alan McGonigal is aware of the magnitude of the task facing his squad but remains convinced the visitors can be defeated, thus installing United as favourites to lift the trophy.

‘‘Having beaten Bonnyrigg in the first round and winning away at Dundee in round two, I think we would be right to be considered favourites if we defeat Auchinleck,’’ he said.

‘‘For me, they are the team in Scottish junior football over the last 20 years but, if we play to our strengths and eliminate some of the individual errors which have dogged recent performances, then we have a great chance, on our own park, in front of our own fans, to win and go through to round four.’’

He added: ‘‘If any of my players lack motivation for Saturday’s game they should not be in football.’’

Chris Donnelly and Stuart Devine should be fit but Will Snowdon is definitely out and Ian Nimmo doubtful.

Rose coach Mark Bradley has also been laying plans to ensure his team is involved in the junior game’s premier knock-out tournament in the New Year.

He said: ‘‘We’ve begun to get a bit of continuity in the side after going through a wee sticky spell with the same starting 11 for two or three games.

‘‘It’s good to have a home tie on on our own surface and we’ll be looking to take the game to Shotts and get through to the next round.

‘‘We’ve had them watched and there have been a few changes from the team that we played twice last season .

‘‘We’ve not decided on our team selection just yet. We’l l see how things go at training first and then decide.’’