Home tie favours Rose cup hopes

LINLITHGOW will use home advantage to stake a claim for a place in the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup final when they meet Shotts Bon Accord at Prestonfield tomorrow (Saturday), kick off 2pm.

With the first tie being played before a huge home support, it is hoped the Rose, who remain unbeaten this season, will rise to the occasion against the junior cup holders in order to make the second leg a formality.

Rose boss Mark Bradley, who won the Scottish Junior Cup competition twice as a player said: “It is a big occasion for the club and the fans and to get a victory would stand us in great stead for the second leg next week.”

Bradley, who likes to play matters down, said the build up to the Shotts match was like any other.

He added: “We trained as normal and while everyone is looking forward to the tie, there is no need for me to put additional pressure on players by coming out and saying something like ‘we have one eye on the final’ or such like.

“We will build up to the game as we have done with every other match this season and go out to win the match.”

As last year’s cup winners over Auchinleck, Shotts have had a good run in the cup having beaten Haddington, Greenock, Benburb, Pollok and Cumnock to reach the last four.

But their league form has been disappointing for they sit bottom of the West Superleague, with only eight points from 11 matches played so far.

And earlier this week, the team was dealt a major blow when their management team of Tony McInally, Stewart Ralston and Brian 
Sheldon was handed out a touchline and dressing room ban by the SJFA for altercations during their fourth round tie against Benburb. The ban will come into force this weekend.

Following their victory over Sauchie last weekend in the league, the Rose now only need two points for them to become Superleague champions.

Their nearest rivals are Camelon who have nine games in hand but must win every one if they are to take the title from the Rose.

Bradley said: “I am not concerning myself with the league title race for the next two weeks.”