The Roses are both on the road as their 2016/17 William Hill Scottish Cup campaigns continue with the first round tomorrow.
Super League champions Bonnyrigg set off this afternoon for an overnight stay in Aberdeenshire with a tough fixture against Highland League side Turriff United, while Linlithgow head south to take on Lowland League Selkirk in the Borders.
Bonnyrigg are the top goalscorers in the competition having hit 22 in their two opening preliminary round encounters and head to the Haughs in buoyant mood.
Club captain Jonny Stewart feels like he’s back playing Senior football, with Rose opting for a night’s stay to ensure they are at their freshest when 3pm arrives tomorrow.
Stewart, along with New Dundas Park team-mates Michael Andrews, Jonathan Brown and Ewan Moyes, were part of a Brechin City side who inflicted Rose’s last Scottish Cup defeat in 2012 – a 6-0 replay success, but he’s desperate to prolong their run in the competition this time around.
“Going up the Friday night will help us,” said the 26-year-old, a former Hearts youngster.
“If we left on the Saturday morning we might be a wee bit leggy come kick-off, but we’ll go up and get a decent sleep and prepare well, so we shouldn’t really have any excuses that way. It feels like I’m back full-time again, going away on a Friday night and staying in a hotel with the boys. It will be good, I’m sure we’ll have a good craic on the Friday night and we’ll go out for dinner.
“I’m room sharing with Lewis Turner – I picked the room so I paired myself up with him just to keep him under control and to keep an eye on him.”
Stewart admits to knowing little about their opponents who stand in the way of a place in round two – the midfielder’s knowledge only extending to the beginning of this month when Hibs triumphed at Turriff in the Irn Bru Cup, a match Stewart has since watched back.
He said: “I don’t know too much about them to be honest. I know they played Hibs and to get beat 3-0 it’s not the worst result is it against a team like Hibs. They should be decent, I think the Highland League is quite a good standard so we’re expecting a hard game, but at the same time they’ll be expecting a hard game from us because we’re on a bit of a run at the moment and we’ll go up there with confidence.
“We’ll just play our own game. If we just do what we can do, I’m pretty confident we’ll get the result we want.”
Linlithgow are in action at Yarrow Park against former Hibs striker Gary O’Connor’s Selkirk as they bid to match last year’s historic run in which they became the first Junior side to reach the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.
Boss David McGlynn is refusing to look too far ahead and is just taking it one round as a time. Rose go into the match on the back of two disappointing defeats against Bo’ness United and Kelty Hearts which have severely dented their Super League title hopes.
McGlynn insists his young squad have to learn quickly that they need to be ruthless in front of goal when they are on top in matches and cut out defensive errors which have cost them dearly in their last two matches.
“It’s a big one, it’ll be another great occasion for the club and the town,” said McGlynn. “We need to get them lifted for Saturday and get them looking forward to the game.
“It’s difficult as those two games have come back-to-back. Against Bo’ness if we had scored first it would’ve been a different game. They scored first and our young boys put their heads down. They need to learn from these things – when you are dominating games you’ve got to score first.
“It will be very, very difficult that’s for sure. They scored 14 goals in two recent games against Gala and East Stirling so we’ll need to make sure we are switched on defensively. We need to stop giving away possession in cheap positions up the pitch; good teams will hurt you when you do that.”