Many observers may have thought Edinburgh University’s William Hill Scottish Cup campaign was over before it had really begun when they were drawn with Scottish Junior Cup holders Hurlford United in the preliminary round.
The East Ayrshire club were strongly fancied to progress at the expense of the Lowland League outfit, but the students more than matched their opponents at Blair Park and were perhaps unfortunate to only leave with a 2-2 draw. Despite that, Uni boss Dorian Ogunro is taking nothing for granted when the teams do it all again tomorrow.
He said: “We were well prepared for what we were going to face last Saturday and we will be again. I don’t know if they were maybe surprised by us, but I expect them to be better on Saturday.
“We performed well and I’ve no doubt we’ll perform well again, but they’re a top, top side.”
The Peffermill side are yet to register a victory in the Lowland League this season, but Ogunro believes this is partly down to the fact that they are a team comprised of students, and all that entails.
He explained: “Just due to the nature of student football, it normally takes us until a couple of months into the season before we can hit our stride.
“That’s just with boys coming back all the time and obviously a lot of students being away over the summer. We’re still in that phase.
“Whilst we did well on Saturday, we’re still missing a few players and we still have ways to improve, but I’m always confident that will happen. The performance on Saturday proved that if we keep doing the right things, we’ll always give ourselves a chance.”
Normally being drawn away from home in the cup means the visitors will enjoy home advantage in the replay if things finish level, but Edinburgh Uni will not be afforded that luxury tomorrow.
Due to work being carried out to improve Peffermill, the tie will be played at The Pennypit, home of Lowland League rivals Preston Athletic and where they won the King Cup in May. Although not strictly a “home” game, the University head coach does not see it having a major influence on the encounter. He said: “It’s not really a factor – it’s not as if we have a home support of 40,000! The reality is that it’s just another park. If we were playing at Peffermill, because the guys do enjoy playing there – it’s a great surface – it may have been a slight advantage.
“In all honesty, it’s just like another away game. It’s a second chance for us to do well if you want to look at it more positively. We did well last week but we’re under no allusions – Hurlford will be a lot better and put us under pressure.”
The reward for tomorrow’s winners is a first-round tie away to Clachnacuddin on September 13. Not many teams would be enamoured with a long trip north, but the students’ manager isn’t concerned with what may lie ahead:
“I couldn’t care less who we’ve got or potentially got – we don’t have anyone right now. Ultimately for me if we can stay in it then that would be fantastic.
“If we do and we have to play Clach then that’s good, but at this point I couldn’t care because there are no guarantees. It’s going to be very, very tough for us to get through.”