Cup shock on the Haddington agenda with Scottish Cup trip to Brechin City

Haddington Athletic midfielder Ali Simpson believes they couldn’t be in any better shape to cause a cup shock as they put their 17-game unbeaten run on the line in tomorrow’s Scottish Cup second round tie away to Brechin City.

By Scott Thomson
Friday, 22nd October 2021, 7:00 am
Glebe Park, home of Brechin City.
Glebe Park, home of Brechin City.

Hailed by his manager Scott Bonnar, who described him as “epitomising our team”, after a starring show in last weekend’s dominant South Challenge Cup victory over Leith Athletic, North Berwick native Simpson is relishing the challenge of facing the Highland League outfit.

“There’s no better way to lead into a game like this with no losses to our name this season,” said Simpson who will have close and extended family making the trip north to Glebe Park to cheer him on.“We are under no illusion that it will be a tough game, but there is nothing to fear for us. We are all very confident in our own ability and it’s a good chance to express that on a bigger stage.

“It’s a slightly different atmosphere around the club in the lead-up to a Scottish Cup game, everyone is buzzing and wants to put in that extra one per-cent.

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“It’s going to be the biggest game I have ever played in. We were in the Scottish Cup last year but we got beat in the first round by Formartine, and this is probably a step up. The support at Deveronvale in the last round was incredible and then the scenes after the game in the replay when we won on penalties, that’s what you play football for.”

Simpson is indebted to boss Bonnar for the improvements he has made to his game since joining the club four years ago. Simpson’s rise to prominence in the centre of the Hi-Hi midfield has been in parallel with that of his club who have grown both on and off the park in that time.

He continued: “Comparing the club now to what it was like when I was first in the door, it is night and day. The atmosphere; there is a whole buzz about the place with the numbers of fans coming through the gates, the club has really grown. The camaraderie between the players is as strong as ever, we have a really good team bond at the moment. It’s a great team to be apart of, we have quite a young squad that is only going to get better, I’m 28 and I’m one of the older players in the team.

“Scott has certainly made me a better player, his coaching is intense and technical, he gets the best out of every player and it’s everything that you are after. It’s a great environment to play football, he’s definitely brought me on a lot since I joined the club four years ago.”

Elsewhere, East Lothian neighbours Preston Athletic host former Ayrshire Junior giants Auchinleck Talbot in the biggest match the Pennypit has seen in many a year. At least one East of Scotland club are guaranteed to be in the third round draw as Kevin Haynes’ Dunbar United host league rivals Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, while Tranent are away to Broomhill in Alloa.

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