East of Scotland League champions Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale may have outdone their Lowland League counterparts Edinburgh City in the Scottish Cup stakes this season, but Fraser Ogilvie is expecting a stern a test in tomorrow’s South Challenge Cup second-round tie.
Lothian welcome Gary Jardine’s men to Saughton Enclosure for their first match since the 2-1 extra-time William Hill Scottish Cup victory away to Montrose that set-up a third round meeting with Huntly.
While City will be favourites, Ogilvie points to his side’s previous performance against the Meadowbank club as cause for optmism.
“We believe 100 per cent,” said the former Hibs youngster. “We’ve not had a game since we played Montrose, which is unfortunate. We played Edinburgh City last year and we acquitted ourselves well. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t put on a performance. We want to win every game – it’s not a case of resting players or anything like that – we’ve got a good enough squad to change things if we have to and the boys’ attitude is tremendous.
“We won our league last year, albeit on goal difference but I still think we were the best team. With City doing so well last year and performing the way they did, they’ve continued it on to this season. They’ve had an unfortunate Scottish Cup run but other than that they’ve been good. They beat Preston [Athletic] 8-2, which is no mean feat as Preston have had some good results this season. It’ll be a test for us.”
Having already defeated Whitehill Welfare this season, Lothian have shown they can more than match opponents from a higher level, and, long term, aim to be facing them on a regular basis. “Its definitely, 100 per cent [a long-term ambition]” said Ogilvie. “I don’t think anyone could argue if we got in to the Lowland League. If look at the results we’ve had against Lowland League sides, we’ve held our own. We played East Kilbride – albeit in a friendly – last season when we were short of numbers and held our own.”
It’s a view shared by Lothian old boy John MacDonald, who is likely to line-up against his old club tomorrow. “Even when I was there, they had aspirations to come up to the Lowland League and I think they’d perform very well,” said MacDonald. “They’d obviously need to sort the funding and meet the criteria for the Lowland League but they’d be good contenders if they were to come up.
“It’ll be good to go back to the old ground and see some of the boys. It’ll be a good game. They’re coming off the back of a great win in the Scottish Cup and every player knows you need to fight when you come up against a team in a higher league and they’ve proved that against Montrose so it’ll be tough. In their eyes, they’re porbably the underdogs with nothing to lose so they’ll go for it. Hopefully our resilience and quality can shine through and get the win.”
City top the Lowland League table again this term, and whilst taking nothing for granted, MacDonald would like more success in the cups this season.
“Obviously we want to win every cup and the league, but well take each game as it comes,” he said. “Hopefully we can add some silverware this year to our previous league win. We just need to strive on and hopefully reach the next round of this cup first – I’m looking forward to it.”