Long wait over for Bo’ness in Cup quest

Steven Hislop

Steven Hislop

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He’s already sent holders Auchinleck Talbot crashing out the Junior Cup and now Bo’ness United striker Steven Hislop hopes to be a winner again when their last-16 clash finally gets under way tomorrow.

Bo’ness travel west to take on Rutherglen Glencairn at The Clyde Gateway Stadium for their fifth-round tie, which was originally scheduled to take place on February 15th. However, it wasn’t until last Saturday that they found out who they’d face for a spot in the quarter-finals against Irvine Meadow.

Glencairn’s fourth-round match against Girvan was settled on penalties after it had been postponed an incredible seven times due to a waterlogged pitch. The initial tie was postponed five times before they got under way at the end of February, but the teams couldn’t be separated after a 2-2 draw and the match went to a replay.

However, Bo’ness were still left waiting after the replay was postponed a further two times, until the tie was finally settled last weekend.

Having not featured in the Cup since they knocked out St Andrews in the fourth round back in January, Hislop admits it’s been a game the Junior Cup favourites have been looking forward to for a while.

He said: “We’ve been waiting a long time for the game to come around. It’s a game we are looking forward to, but we know it’s going to be a tricky one. Nobody is under any illusions that it’s going to be anything other than a hard game.

“Hopefully, the weather will be fine and we’ll get the game played.”

Hislop was the hero amongst the BUs’ support when he fired his side into the fourth round with the only goal in a 1-0 win against Auchinleck back in November, a strike which he says is one of the best out of the 13 he has scored so far this season.

He said: “They [Auchinleck] are the favourites to win it every year and who everyone wants to beat in the juniors. It’s an added bonus when you score the winner, you sometimes get extra plaudits, but to beat them was the most important thing. It’s certainly been one of my better goals this season.”

The experienced forward has been a favourite amongst the Bo’ness faithful since he joined last season from East Fife and is looking to lift his first trophy with the club this campaign.

Hislop has a saying “the goals don’t move”, a motto adopted from his hero John Robertson, who signed Hislop for Inverness back in 2003. His goals contributed towards promotion to the Scottish Premier League for the Highland club in what was their first ever season in the top-flight.

He won the Challenge Cup and the First Division title with Inverness Caledonian Thistle back in 2004, but he insists a Super League and Junior Cup double with Bo’ness would run that achievement close.

“It would certainly be up there, that’s for sure,” he said.

However, with Bo’ness competing on four fronts – the East of Scotland Cup and the Fife and Lothians Cup’ are the other two competitions – the games are starting to mount up, which makes success even harder.

Hislop insists his side will certainly give it a go, but they haven’t looked further ahead than tomorrow’s game against Rutherglen. He said: “We’ve got a big squad, but is it going to be big enough to handle three games a week? We can only concentrate on one game at a time and nobody has thought any further than this game against Rutherglen.

“We’ve not even thought about the quarter-final. It’ll be a very tough game and they have home advantage, so they’ll fancy themselves.”

Bo’ness captain Chris Donnelly came through last weekend’s Super League match against St Andrews unscathed after an injury lay-off and looks set to keep his place in the starting line-up, while midfielder Andy Scott could make a return after time out.