Excitement building at Prestonfield ahead of Monday's last-32 Scottish Cup draw

Gordon Herd says his Linlithgow Rose players can start dreaming after they secured their spot in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.

Prestonfield
Prestonfield

Rose were far from their best in a scrappy encounter at Prestonfield against East of Scotland Premier rivals Sauchie, with Herd declaring the performance their worst showing since he took over at the club in August 2021.

They secured their place in the fourth round for the first time since season 2015/2016 thanks to a first half penalty from the free-scoring Mark Stowe, his ninth strike in the competition already this season.

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Now attention turns to Monday’s fourth round draw, which takes place after the live televised third round tie between Ayr and Pollock.

"We can start dreaming now we are in the next round, that's all that matters for me,” said boss Herd, a Rangers fan.

"We can go into the draw on Monday and not have any fear of what we are getting. This is special. The dream tie is Rangers, Celtic, Hearts or Hibs; anyone in the Premiership.

"It's stuff that you dream about as a kid, going and playing at Ibrox and Parkhead, and this is the closest that most of the boys will get to doing that. We sit with excitement and wait until Monday, it's going to be a long wait, I would just like to fast forward to the draw now.

"I have always said 'I fancy our chances against anyone at home' but that could come back and bite me in the backside! We will take anybody at home and if we get that dream draw then we will welcome that"

Stowe's 16th minute spot-kick came after the winger had been brought down by Sauchie goalkeeper Charles Clark. He came close again early in the second half through a 30-yard free-kick which Clark stopped to prevent creeping in under the crossbar.

Sauchie failed to threaten Rose until midway through the second period with Connor McMullan denying Darren Carroll a certain equaliser from his header with a goaline clearance.

That gave Rose a wake-up call, and sprung a flat cup tie into life for the remaining 20 minutes as the visitors threw everything at the home side, who came close to increasing their lead twice through Liam Allison. Sauchie ended the match with ten men after striker Ross Kavanagh saw red.

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Herd continued: "It was the worst we have played since we've came here. To be fair, Sauchie came with a gameplan and they were brave and they stopped us from playing.

"They deserve it but they will not put another performance in like that again. We came in [to the dressing-room] and I didn't know whether to shout at them or to praise them. They deserve it, they are a good group of honest young guys. They come and train every Tuesday-Thursday, and then they come on a Saturday and they just want to win.

"We said if we could go through November unbeaten we could really push on and hopefully start winning trophies and leagues. Now we've got December and then the turn of the year, and that's when things start getting interesting. We've just got to stay focussed, we've got a good squad there so we can rest some tired legs and then we can start pushing.”