Linlithgow Rose won’t be taking opponents Yoker Athletic lightly tomorrow afternoon as they bid to secure their place in the semi-finals of the Scottish Junior Cup.
Rose travel to Clydebank on a high after their 2-1 fifth-round replay win over Camelon last weekend and despite their hosts sitting third from bottom in the West’s second tier with just five victories on their own patch so far this season. However, Rose striker Calum Smith isn’t taking anything for granted.
“There are not any bad sides in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup,” said the 27-year-old. “They are all there on merit so we need to perform. People have said it’s a great draw because Yoker are a league below the Super League, but for me it’s going to be a hard game, no question of that.
“Going through to the West is always difficult. When we got to the final two years ago we played a few games in the West and it was always a hard place to go regardless of who we played against.”
Smith has featured fleetingly in Danny Smith’s starting 11 of late, with the former Forfar player having to bide his time on the substitutes’ bench with Tommy Coyne, Colin Strickland and last season’s East top scorer Kevin Kelbie all vying for a starting place.
He was handed a start last week and scored the second goal in the win and is hopeful of keeping his place and continuing his scoring run in the competition – having hit a late winner away to Culter in round four. He said: “It’s not been a great season for me. At the start of the season I was out of the team and then I got myself back in against Raith and done well, but then I kind of found myself out of it again – not really knowing why, but these things happen. It was good to get back in and get a goal because that’s the only way I think I’m going to stay in the team if I keep banging the goals in.
“I think he [Danny Smith] prefers me playing out wide, but as long as I’m playing I’m happy. I feel I’m best through the middle so it was good to get a run out there to try and prove myself, and hopefully I’ll keep my place this week.”
Rose are aiming to join Musselburgh Athletic and Auchinleck Talbot in the draw, likely to take place early next week, while holders Hurlford United and Pollok meet in the quarter-final tomorrow after the match was postponed last Saturday.
Prestonfield boss Smith, along with assistant Alan Moffat, took Camelon to the last four of the competition last season, but then left before the first of the two-legged ties to assume control at Rose.
The former club captain won three Junior Cups as a player in 12 years at Prestonfield and he’s eager to taste similar success from the touchline.
He said: “It would be nice, especially for myself and Moff as we walked away from the semi-final stage last year and as a young management we’d never experienced the two legged thing before, but we had to walk away from it as that was part of it. I’d love us to get back there and have a serious go at trying to win the cup.”
Midfielder Adam Nelson is a doubt for the match at Holm Park tomorrow, while defender Craig Wilson is cup-tied.