Arniston Rangers boss bidding for fifth birthday present

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Arniston Rangers boss Jock Landells is hoping to celebrate his fifth anniversary with the Gorebridge club by booking their place in the last 32 of the ETHX Energy Scottish Junior Cup.

The Premier League outfit host Neilston Juniors in their third round replay at their Newbyres Park home tomorrow and Landells, who was assistant to Steve Osbourne and the late Jackie Myles for four years prior to taking over last December, is desperate to prolong their cup run into the new year.

Last week’s tie was postponed due to a small section of the pitch being waterlogged, with Arniston having secured a replay after a 1-1 draw in East Renfrewshire against the Central District First Division side two weeks ago.

Arniston knocked out Neilston’s league rivals Larkhall Thistle 3-1 at home after a replay in round two and he’d love a repeat performance tomorrow as they bid to secure a place in the fourth round for the first time since 2011-12.

“Getting the victory at home over Larkhall was a great boost for the club,” said Landells. “Neilston are a similar type of team. There wasn’t much in it [in the original tie] and I think a draw was probably a fair result. It was a good hard, typical Scottish Junior Cup tie and I expect it to be much the same tomorrow.

“It’s a hard one to call, but we are quietly confident that we’ve got a good chance at home after drawing through in Glasgow.

“We raised our game against Larkhall so I’m looking for much the same against Neilston. That’s the level we need to be at if we’ve got a chance and I’m sure the players understand that.

“We need to work really hard as a team. Everyone played to their ability against Larkhall and it was probably our best performance of the season when we beat them in the replay. It’s all about getting to that level again and that will give us a good chance to get through.”

Elsewhere, leaders Bonnyrigg Rose host St Andrews at New Dundas Park in the Super League, while joint-second Musselburgh Athletic take on Camelon at Olivebank. In the Premier League, Dalkeith and Haddington are both on home soil.