Newtongrange Star boss Stevie McLeish believes all the pressure is on local rivals Bonnyrigg Rose in tonight’s Midlothian derby at New Victoria Park.
The reigning champions began their defence of the Super League title with a 4-2 defeat at home to title rivals Kelty Hearts, while McLeish earned his first win as boss by the same scoreline in Carnoustie.
Newtongrange have beaten Bonnyrigg just once in the Super League, so McLeish will be desperate to change that in what is just his second match in charge after leaving Musselburgh at the end of last season.
“It’s an even bigger game now after they got a defeat on Saturday,” said McLeish. “The fact they got beat on Saturday means they’ll be well up for it. We’ll be looking to get something from the game. It’s a home game and home games are massive in the Super League. They are champions after all so the pressure is on them to get the win.”
Rose defender Ewan Moyes insists they have to deal with the pressure of everyone wanting to beat them this season.
The New Dundas Park men were second best against Kelty on Saturday and are desperate to make amends ahead of their William Hill Scottish Cup tie against Glasgow University on Sunday.
Moyes said: “We’ll regroup for tonight. We lost our first game last season and it didn’t stop us so we’ll go again.
“Everyone will want to beat us this season because we are champions so we’ve got to raise our game every week.”
Elsewhere, Bo’ness United and Linlithgow Rose will be aiming to get their season off and running after disappointing results at the weekend. The BUs host Hill of Beath at Newtown Park, while David McGlynn’s side visit Camelon on the back of a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Broughty Athletic.
Penicuik and Musselburgh both enjoyed winning starts to the new campaign with victories over Jeanfield and Bo’ness, and they face other in what should be a keenly-fought battle at Penicuik Park.
In the Premier League, there are two local clashes as Arniston Rangers and Haddington Athletic meet at Newbyres Park, while promoted Tranent host Dalkeith Thistle.
All matches kick-off at 7pm.