Bo’ness United striker Marty Wright sees no reason why his team can’t claim their third West Super League victim when they host Hurlford United in a mammoth Scottish Junior Cup quarter-final at Newtown Park tomorrow.
While Bo’ness have struggled in the East Super League this season, they have shone in the national competition with resounding 3-0 victories already over top-flight sides Kilwinning Rangers and Kilbirnie Ladeside in the previous round.
For Wright, who was denied a cup final place at previous club Camelon in 2014 when they were knocked out by Glenafton over two legs, getting to the latter stages is a big opportunity he doesn’t want to miss out on.
“The fact that we’ve been able to turn it on in the cup has probably been a bit of a surprise to everybody because our league form hasn’t been good,” said the 31-year-old.
“We’ve put out two West Super League teams already, so we’ve been doing something right. We played Hurlford in pre-season I think we drew with them; it’s tough to tell in pre-season but we’ve certainly got nothing to be scared of.
“When I was at Camelon we got put out by Glenafton in the semis which was a big disappointment for us because we felt we should have got to the final and it was Hurlford that went on to beat Glenafton in that final.
“That was certainly one of the biggest disappointments I’ve ever had. It was a great chance for us to get to the final, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever get another chance, so hopefully this is it. We’ve been doing well recently and we’ll never get a better opportunity to get into the semis with having a home draw, so hopefully we can do the business.”
With top goalscorer Fraser Keast currently sidelined through injury, Wright will carry the weight of expectation to get the goals.
Manager Steve Kerrigan has brought in six players since he stepped up from assistant manager to take over from Allan McGonigal in January, but three of those – John McCulloch, David Gray and Nicky Prentice – are cup-tied having played in the Junior Cup for other clubs earlier this season.
Kerrigan is confident he has other players at his disposal who are more than capable of stepping up to the plate in a tie, he believes, could go either way.
“It’s been difficult to bring in a good quality of Junior player that is not cup tied,” said Kerrigan. “We’re fighting on a couple of fronts in regards to trying to get ourselves safe in the league and we also want to make a fist of the Scottish Cup.
“It’s certainly not an excuse, we’ve certainly got enough about us to look forward to Saturday with a bit of confidence. We’ve not got any fear with regards to numbers or quality – we’ve got that. We’ve got lads there who are more than capable of coming in and putting in a performance.”
Three loan signings, Marc Kelly from Hamilton Accies, Ryan Stevenson from Raith Rovers and Ryan Hogan from Alloa Athletic, have all proved they have what it takes to compete in the Juniors and Kerrigan, involved in his third Junior Cup quarter-final with Bo’ness, reckons it is an occasion they will relish.
He added: “They’ve got a bright future, they’ve come in and committed themselves ever so well and they have not looked out of place at all.
“That’s been a huge boost for us. It’s great to be working with these lads and they are enjoying it as well, it’s a two-way street.
“Tomorrow will be an experience that they maybe thought they would never have at the start of the season. At a young age it’s nice to go out and play in front of big crowds, and get that experience of people watching you, as opposed to playing in youth games where you don’t get any kind of atmosphere. They’ll certainly experience that on Saturday; I’m expecting the fans to really get behind us.”