Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale goalkeeper Kevin Swain is eager to make headlines in the William Hill Scottish Cup yet again tomorrow when his side host Montrose at Saughton Enclosure.
Last season, Swain played his part in Spartans’ incredible run to the last 16, lining up in victories over Clyde and Greenock Morton before an eye injury ruled him out of the fifth-round replay defeat by Berwick Rangers at Shiefield Park.
Following his return to East of Scotland League champions during the summer, Swain finds himself facing senior opposition again as Lothian were rewarded for their shock 3-0 first-round win over East Super League champions Kelty Hearts with a crack at Paul Hegarty’s side.
Swain knows a thing or two about David v Goliath wins in this competition and he sees no reason why his new team-mates can’t defy the odds again against a side currently sitting fourth in SPFL League Two.
“Tomorrow can’t come quick enough for myself and the players, the opportunity for us to test ourselves against a League Two side is exciting and we all hope we can do the East of Scotland League proud,” said Swain, who spent nine years at Lothian before his move to Spartans at the beginning of last season.
“It was my first crack at the Scottish Cup with Spartans last year and now I’m experiencing it again with Lothian and it’s very exciting, Montrose can’t afford to underestimate us because we got a great result against Kelty Hearts and, although we are a relatively young squad, we’ve got goal threats from all areas on the park. Dean Cummings has already weighed in with a couple of goals already this season and he operates from midfield. Scott Gormley, Scott Moffat and Darren Smith are a good up front but there is also solidity at the back with Grant Munro and Richie Wilkes. The emphasis has to be on defending well as a unit in big games like this.”
Swain believes Lothian’s recent East of Scotland Cup Final against Berwick Rangers was the ideal preparation for tomorrow’s tie despite their 4-3 penalty shoot-out loss, while their league form has also been reasonably solid with just one defeat – to league leaders Leith Athletic – so far.
“The Berwick game gave the boys a taste of what to expect but we competed really well and we’re not fazed by the prospect of playing bigger sides. They’ll know all about us I’m sure because people didn’t give us much chance against Kelty Hearts.”
Swain knows what victory tomorrow would mean for a number of people at the club as well.
“I’m sure it would be extra special for the likes of Tom Allison our chairman and Raymond Carr the manager.
“He’s just coming back from his holiday for this game so it would be a great welcome home for him because he works so hard behind the scenes.”
Chairman Allison is looking forward to welcoming a good travelling support to Saughton Enclosure.
“Montrose are bringing two supporters coaches down so it should be a good atmosphere,” he said. “It’s all about the players on the day and I’m sure they’ll do us proud.”