BO’NESS manager Alan McGonigal is adamant talk of the “double” is not on the agenda at Newtown Park as his side prepare for a Scottish Junior Cup fourth-round tie against St Andrews United.
The West Lothian outfit are the bookies’ 7-1 joint-favourites to lift Junior football’s most coveted prize following their stunning victory over ten-times winners Auchinleck Talbot in the last round and the elimination of local rivals Linlithgow Rose at the same stage by Shotts.
With McGonigal’s men second in the McBookie.com Super League, a glorious league and cup double looks a genuine possibility. Just don’t mention that to McGonigal.
“It’s far too early to talk about doubles,” he said. “No-one at Bo’ness has mentioned it. There are some big sides in the league and cup who want titles and trophies just as much as we do, so it would be very difficult on two fronts.
“We are playing with a lot of confidence just now, though, with last Saturday’s 7-0 win at Armadale an example of that. We scored seven goals from seven different players and I’ve never heard of that before.
“We have players who can win games on their own, but to also have other players who can step up to the mark when you need them to is terrific. The system we play allows players to push forward at any time and that’s why we’re scoring goals from all different positions.
“This team fears no-one and last week they gave me something I’ve not seen before, so they may have more in the locker.
“St Andrews will be a tough game tomorrow because, although they look to be struggling in the league, they are scoring lots of goals. They look like they ship them at the back, but they score goals and that makes them dangerous.”
Meanwhile, along the coast at Musselburgh, David McGlynn’s side welcome West Super League side Glenafton through from Ayrshire.
McGlynn’s men faced top West sides on their way to reaching the final of this competition in 2011 and he’ll be using that as inspiration as his side look to upset the odds at Olivebank. “I’ll be telling the players who have never experienced this type of game before that we faced the same challenge before in getting to the final and that we can do it again,” said McGlynn.
“Of course, it will be a tough ask for the players but we had the same task the last time and came through. Glenafton won’t relish coming here and facing an East Super League side away from home. It’s up to us to show our last run in the Scottish Cup wasn’t a flash in the pan. The squad is ready and fit, with only Brian Murray suspended. We’re prepared for what will be a test of character.”
Another side facing West Super League opposition are Penicuik, who travel to Newlandsfield Park to face Pollok. The Midlothian outfit are in contention for promotion from the Premier League and player-manager Craig Meikle fancies their chances of claiming a place in the last 16.
“It’s an exciting tie for us because of the history of Pollok, but we have a settled side right now. Pollok have had a few managerial problems lately so it may be a good time to play them,” said Meikle, who has a couple of minor injury worries.
“We can hurt any side we play going forward and we feel we have a real good chance against them. They are one of the biggest clubs in the West of Scotland, but we are on the up and looking to improve.”