Having been able to handle the burden of expectation all season, midfielder Andrew Kidd is confident Bonnyrigg will flourish under the heat as they bid to end their campaign with silverware tomorrow.
The curtain is drawn on the 2016/17 East Juniors season when Rose take on Tranent at Creamery Park (kick-off 2.30pm) in the final of the East of Scotland Cup.
All the pressure is on the New Dundas Park men, who are desperate to finish the season with a trophy to show for their efforts. They’ve endured a long and tiring campaign during which they just failed in their Super League title defence while enjoying an incredible run to the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup where they met then-holders Hibs.
For Tranent, tomorrow’s tie is something of a free game – a match they aren’t expected to win and one they go into flying after lifting the Fife and Lothians Cup on Wednesday night.
“The pressure is on us and we go into it as favourites probably,” said Kidd.
“Because they’ve got a trophy already, there isn’t really any pressure on them – it’s definitely on us.
“We’ve had pressure all season, though. Playing catch-up with Kelty, every game we went into we were under pressure to win and score goals. We are used to it and I think we play better under pressure as we are expected to be perform and we often step up to the plate.
“They’ll be buzzing for it after just winning that game. They’ve tucked away a few Super League teams; they’ve beaten good teams so it will be a hard game. Hopefully, they have a wee hangover from Wednesday. Any team that gets to a final deserves to be there.
“We’ve done well this season and haven’t won anything so far, so the boys want to finish with a trophy – I think it’s the least we deserve.”
Kidd was the catalyst from midfield on Wednesday night as Rose roared back in the second half of their semi-final against Musselburgh Athletic. Two goals and an assist put gloss on the final scoreline – a 3-1 victory – after a first half in which Calvin Shand’s Burgh were in control.
The 31-year-old revealed a stern talking to at half-time from manager Robbie Horn and his assistant David Burrell proved to be a game-changer. The usually reserved Burrell vented his fury at the break, reinforcing to Kidd how poor they had been in the opening period.
He continued: “Musselburgh dominated the first half. We were really poor and second all over the park. We got a bit of a rollicking at half-time from the manager and Burrell. It seemed to work because we came out and did the business in the second half.
“They (Horn and Burrell) weren’t too happy. You know you aren’t performing and you aren’t doing well if Davy Burrell starts shouting; he’s normally quite quiet. We weren’t trying hard enough really, people were just going through the motions thinking it would be easy. They were just telling us it could be our last game and our last chance to get silverware.
“I think we are just feeling sorry for ourselves a bit in the first half, thinking we were tired and we’d played too many games. It wouldn’t have been the best way for the season to end.”
While Kidd was pleased with his own contribution, he was delighted to see team-mate Wayne McIntosh back amongst the goals after three games without a goal – a drought by his standards.
Kidd added: “When Wayne doesn’t have time to think about it and just reacts and uses his instinct, he’s brilliant. He deserved a goal as well because he’d had a tough couple of games, so it was good to him to get back on the scoresheet. He’s a big player for us.”