Three years after their historic run to the last 16 of the senior Scottish Cup as a junior team, Linlithgow Rose continue another incredible adventure in the tournament tomoroow night (Friday).
The now senior Rose host League One giants Falkirk, with almost 2000 fans packing into Prestonfield for an eagerly awaited third round clash being beamed live on the BBC Scotland TV channel.
Rose manager Brown Ferguson told the Journal and Gazette: “We are really looking forward to this match as we don’t usually get the chance to play opposition of this quality.
“It is not a derby, but location wise the teams are very close to each other.
“There is a lot of interest in the tie.
“It is very seldom we get to play in front of the cameras.
“It is a real chance for us to showcase the team and show what we are about.
“We want to put in a performance that gives them problems and does us justice.
“There is massive expectation on Falkirk to perform well.
“The Falkirk fans will be expecting them to win this game comfortably.
“They have a good calibre of player and I’m just really, really looking forward to the challenge.
“We need to try and unsettle Falkirk and hopefully knock them out of their stride.
“We will be trying to impose ourselves. We know it’s going to be difficult.
“We go in with confidence. We have nothing to lose.”
Rose – rated as 9/1 outsiders with one bookies firm to shock the Bairns in 90 minutes – go into the match having won 3-1 at Broxburn in a league match last Saturday (match report on page 38).
By contrast, pre-season title favourites Falkirk are down in fourth place in League One and come to Prestonfield having just sacked manager Ray McKinnon and replaced him with interim coaches Lee Miller and David McCracken following last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Dumbarton.
“I know David and Lee reasonably well,” Ferguson added.
“I have met them on a number of occasions. They are very good guys.
“They will have aspirations to do well and I hope they have a successful time.
“There is a massive transition taking place.
“I still think there are a lot more questions than answers with the fact that they are in temporary charge.”
Falkirk-born Ferguson (38) is relishing the prospect of taking on his hometown club.
“I have lived in Falkirk all my life,” he said.
“I can almost see their stadium from my house window.
“I know the town and the club very well.
“I wasn’t a Falkirk supporter as a boy but I have a soft spot for them.
“I went to a few of their games.
“I know the expectations in Falkirk are for the football team to be doing better than they are.
“I don’t think a change of management will change that.”
Ferguson finished by saying he hoped Linlithgow Rose would continue to progress under his tenure, with games as big as the Falkirk tie becoming more frequent in coming years.