Edinburgh Rose flying the flag for Lothians

Edinburgh Rose won the East of Scotland Cup last season
Edinburgh Rose won the East of Scotland Cup last season
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Edinburgh Rose secretary Les Woolard is hoping to add a famous Scottish Cup win to his book of results when his team host either Netherthird or Colville Park in last 16 next weekend.

Rose represent Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur Football Association’s last remaining hope in the competition, and Woolard, who makes a note of every Rose match, could be set to record their best yet with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.

“I keep a diary of all the games, hopefully I’ll be adding a win next weekend. People think I’m daft for doing it, but it’s always good to look back at the scores and it keeps me right,” said Woolard.

“It’s good for LEAFA that a team has got this far, but it’s just another game to us. I can’t believe we’ve got this far. We’ve been lucky with our draw. Apart from one away game every tie has been at home.

“It’s been a great team effort to get this far. We seem to be able to raise our game in the Scottish.”

After a successful season last year, winning both the East of Scotland, and Challenge Cup, Rose hope to go one better and taste Scottish Cup success. The last LEAFA side to lift the trophy was Liberton Royal Mail – 14 years ago, with West based teams dominating since then.

Rose are under no illusions to the standard in quality they will face from either Cumnock’s Netherthird or Motherwell’s Colville Park, who play their sixth round replay today, with the latter having made the final the last two seasons.

But Rose have shown their mettle against teams from the West on their run so far, with closely-fought wins over Garrowhill Thistle and against Paisley’s Ferguslie Star in the last round.

Rose can take confidence from their form in front of goal in the competition – notching 20 goals in just five games. This season’s top goalscorer, Raymond Walker, is hoping to continue their hot-streak.

Walker’s tally for the season currently stands at 17, and last season’s top marksman would love to add a few more next weekend. He said: “I never started the season well, but I seem to have come into a bit of form now.

“Fingers crossed I can keep putting the ball away and hopefully I can get a couple of goals next week.”

Rose warmed up for their Scottish Cup tie with a friendly against Lowland League side Preston Athletic last weekend, and despite going down 4-1, Walker felt it was great preparation ahead of the big game next Saturday.

“We’d think they [Preston Athletic] were probably the same standard as these teams through the West. We’ll hopefully learn from the performance going into the cup match.

“The two teams are a higher standard than we are used to, especially Colville Park if they get through. I’d say they are favourites and probably one of the best teams in Scotland. We are looking forward to seeing where we are in comparison to these sort of teams.”

Despite flourishing in the cup, Rose have struggled to grind out wins in Premier 1. Although they remain the only side unbeaten in the league, they have drawn seven out of their ten league matches, with their only loss of the season coming in the East of Scotland cup against Lochend.

Such a record marks Rose down as a difficult side to beat, and with home advantage and a big crowd behind them, Walker believes their chances are strengthened further.

“Our chances of winning are a lot higher at home. I think winning the East of Scotland last season has given us a bit confidence to push on and do well in the Scottish. We are hoping to become a bit of a scalp ourselves,” said Walker.

“We are the last team from LEAFA in the cup and we are hoping to fly the flag and get a result. With us being the only team left [in the cup] we’d hope the whole association will be behind us. All league rivalries go out the way when it comes to the Scottish Cup.”