Dalkeith look to last season for Junior Cup inspiration

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Dalkeith Thistle midfielder Michael Hunter says Musselburgh Athletic’s run to the Scottish Junior Cup final last season proves that anything can happen in the competition.

Dalkeith are massive underdogs for tomorrow’s visit to Ayrshire giants Hurlford United as the two sides battle it out for a place in the last 16.

However, looking back to last season when he helped Musselburgh to the final after defeating heavily fancied Linlithgow Rose in the last four and then pushing Auchinleck Talbot all the way at Rugby Park, Hunter insists they’ve got to believe they can spring a cup upset.

“It was kind of surreal because you never feel like you are going to get there,” said Hunter on reaching last season’s final.

“It just shows you that anything can happen. We were just a mid-table team that went and beat Linlithgow when everyone thought they would win and then ran Auchinleck close.

“We are one of the lesser teams still left in the competition and you’d want to draw a team in our league or another lesser team like ourselves – you want an easy draw every round. But, you go and pull out the second favourites.

“We’ll give it as best as we can and hopefully we’ll end up with a result. They are a big team so the chances of that are small, but we’ve got to go there and believe.”

Former East Stirling and Stenhousemuir youngster Hunter is in his second spell with Dalkeith having spent part of last season on loan from Musselburgh, before he made his move permanent in August.

The 23-year-old is enjoying the freedom of an attacking midfield role with the Premier League promotion hopefuls. He said: “I’m playing in a position where it suits me and I don’t have to do as much running as what I used to do when I was playing at a higher level.

“I’ve been playing just off Matty Hunter and it seems to be working, I think I’ve been playing well. I’m much better higher up the park, trying to get goals and get involved in goals. My assist tally is going up and up every week.”