A potential William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final against Hibs at Easter Road has provided Kevin Motion and his Spartans team-mates with a huge incentive ahead of their fifth-round replay against Berwick Rangers.
Ally MacKinnon’s stoppage time equaliser at Ainslie Park on Saturday ensured the teams will do it all again at Shielfield Park a week today to determine who progresses to the plumb tie with Alan Stubbs’ men.
The draw was made by darts player Gary Anderson, and the current PDC World Champion hit the bullseye as far as Motion – a life-long Hibee – is concerned. “I’ve been a Hibs fan all my days,” revealed the midfielder. “I very rarely get along to games obviously, having been playing on a Saturday for a good few years. I think I said after we beat Clyde that I wanted Hibs, so to have a wee sneaky chance that we might get them is pretty good.
“I was able to tune in to the draw. It was pretty exciting to still be in the hat. The longer it went on, that was the one we wanted. Celtic away was the other big one that was left in but the fact that there’s a chance of a wee Edinburgh derby makes it pretty special.
“The Berwick boys will be thinking the same though – it’s just as big an opportunity for them to go and play at Easter Road as well. It’s a great draw but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
The former Stenhousemuir man kick-started the north Edinburgh club’s cup run by netting twice from the spot in their 2-0 third round win over Clyde, and admitted that this season’s campaign has bettered any he has previously been involved in. “This is the farthest I’ve got by a mile. Even with Stenny, Alloa and Forfar this is farthest I’ve been in the Scottish. It’s exciting for me and I’m one of the older boys in the team – there’s a lot of younger guys who won’t have had a run like this before so it’s exciting for everyone involved.”
The wide man acknowledged that a place in the next round is anything but a formality, however. Colin Cameron’s team perhaps should have been more than one goal up before MacKinnon’s late leveller, and Motion accepts that they’ll have a job on their hands next Tuesday. “The replay will be tough – we needed injury time to get our equaliser on Saturday but we’ll give it a go. We’ve got that incentive of potentially going to Easter Road and I’m sure it will give everyone a wee bit extra on the day.
“Berwick will be favourites again, definitely – especially at their home park. We never turned up first half on Saturday and we were probably lucky to still be in the game at half-time. They’ll come out the blocks again as they’ll be gutted that they let slip, especially after having a few chances to put us away. They’ll fancy it down at their place and it’s a good incentive for them as well – they’re a part-time club too similar to ourselves who have maybe never been this far in the cup who’ll be right up for it.”
Motion has a more immediate capital derby to focus on as Edinburgh City visit Ainslie Park tonight (kick-off 7.30pm) in the Image Printers Cup. “City will want to come to our place and knock us out this cup, no doubt about that. It’s another tough game – they’ve been flying this season.”