BO’NESS manager Alan McGonigal has admitted that derby meetings with Linlithgow are the only games that make him nervous.
The two fierce rivals go head to head at Newtown Park tomorrow for the first time this season in an eagerly-awaited clash.
Both sides are very much in the mix for the title although champions Rose – currently three points off the top but with three games in hand over leaders Bonnyrigg – remain hot favourites to retain their crown.
Bo’ness gaffer McGonigal admits tomorrow’s game could “make or break” his team’s season.
“It’s probably the only real game I get nervous about as it’s hugely important for the supporters of both clubs,” said McGonigal. “It’s a huge derby game between clubs only a couple of miles apart.
“These games can make or break a season for you. They are that important.
“Both clubs are on a good run in recent games and the signs are that the game could be a classic. I hope so.”
With things beginning to tighten up at the top of the table, McGonigal knows his side must take a positive result tomorrow to remain in the title hunt.
“It’s probably a race between Bonnyrigg, Linlithgow and ourselves, with Camelon an outsider in the race for the title,” said McGonigal, who is without Stuart Hunter for tomorrow’s match.
“That’s why this game, with all its implications, is so important for both clubs. I think if any club gets above Bonnyrigg then they’ll win the Super League, so that’s the aim now for Bo’ness.”
Linlithgow boss Mark Bradley goes into the game having seen his team suffer just four defeats in two-and-a-half seasons. His team – unbeaten in the league this season – are desperate to retain their title and have another crack at the William Hill Scottish Cup after a shock second-round replay defeat by Deveronvale this term.
He is no doubt, however, over how crucial this weekend’s match-up with Bo’ness will be to his team’s hopes.
Bradley said: “This is as big a game as it gets all year. There is nervousness about the squad because they don’t want to let anyone down.
“The game has an added edge with the teams so close in the table. It’s a six pointer. If results elsewhere go for us then we could go top of the table.
“This is the second of a hat-trick of huge games for us, having beaten Newtongrange last weekend – Bo’ness tomorrow followed by Bonnyrigg at home next week.
“That’s three of the biggest games in Junior football.”
Elsewhere in the race for the Super League flag, Bonnyrigg look to have a comfortable afternoon ahead with the visit of Ballingry, who were promoted last season but are floundering in 12th spot.
Another three points for Rose would keep the pressure on the chasing pack.
Broxburn will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat at home to Armadale when Sauchie come to Albyn Park on the back of a couple of defeats.
Newtongrange Star, who have dropped to third having led the way for many weeks, go to Kelty looking to stop the rot after a run of poor results.
Finally, Musselburgh are in Fife for their game against second-bottom St Andrews.