Bonnyrigg Rose striker Keiran McGachie should have been in Amsterdam this week for a romantic pre-Christmas getaway, instead he’ll be in Dumbartonshire aiming to fire his side through to a dream William Hill Scottish Cup tie against holders Hibs.
The 23-year-old had to choose between facing the wrath of girlfriend Jennifer or his manager Robbie Horn, but there was no doubt in his mind that the former was the better option.
McGachie was forced to cancel the week-long trip leaving him out of pocket, only for Rose chairman Charlie Kirkwood to step in and reimburse their key-frontman who carries the visitors’ biggest goal threat in their third-round replay at Dumbarton’s Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium this evening.
“She was a bit disappointed when I told her, she had her heart set on it,” said McGachie on breaking the news to girlfriend Jennifer. “It was supposed to be something nice before Christmas.
“She’s taken it alright, she’s gradually getting better. I’ve promised her we’ll book again after the year. The club have been really good to me and they’ve basically sorted me out so nothing is really lost. It’s something I really appreciate it and I can’t thank them enough.”
There couldn’t be a better way for the former Motherwell youngster to repay the club by scoring tonight and sending them through to the fourth round to set up a lucrative home tie against Hibs.
Despite their performance in the original tie, with Rose held to a 0-0 draw in a match they felt they should have won, many will say their chance of glory has slipped them by.
That’s certainly the message McGachie has received from his pals who watched on a week past Saturday as he fought it out with Dumbarton centre-half Darren Barr.
Although, he says, they are even more confident of progressing now, with their belief only strengthened further after their showing at New Dundas Park.
“With the way we played, it’s given me and all the boys a lot of confidence. It wasn’t as if we were hanging on for a 0-0 draw, we were happy wth the way we played,” said McGachie.
“A lot of my friends and neutrals came to the game and they all said they were impressed with the way we played. I think there was some neutrals watching who didn’t realise Bonnyrigg were playing in yellow for the first 20 minutes - they just assumed we would be playing in red.
“All my mates have said ‘You played really well on Saturday, but I think you will get pumped next week.’ You can’t please everybody.”
Hearts-supporting McGachie would love the chance of a crack against Hibs in the next round. He says the opportunity to come up against Neil Lennon’s side has only added to their determination to do the business this evening, with most of the Rose squad fans of the Tynecastle club.
McGachie continued: “We’ll just play the way we do, work as hard as we do and hopefully take our chances this time with the big incentive of Hibs in the next round.
“It would be massive having the chance to play the holders of the Scottish Cup, that doesn’t happen very often, especially for clubs like us. As much as everybody has kind of written us off already, I think that just adds to the incentive.”
Horn has revealed he won’t alter his side’s style of play this evening. He says they have nothing to lose and will send them out with the aim of getting a memorable victory.
“The players believe they can cause an upset and they are hungry for it as well,” said Horn. “If we don’t lose an early goal and we keep ourselves in the game, we have a chance. They know we can cause them a lot of problems.
“We’ve not got the players to just go and sit in. We’ll play the same way as we have for the last year and a half. We go out to win every game that we play in. We might be a wee bit more defensive when we’ve not got the ball, but the boys have got nothing to lose and nothing to fear. There’s a huge amount of pressure on them and for as long as the game is tight they’ll be edgy.
“Maybe they underestimated us a bit, I don’t know. It’s a massive game for them with the chance to go through and play Hibs as well. Steven Aitken’s not got the biggest budget in the world, so to get through another round would allow him to strengthen his squad. It would be a fairytale for us to get through, but anything is possible.”
McGachie may be missing out on a holiday this week, but who knows, if he can shoot Rose through to a money-spinning tie against Hibs, chairman Charlie Kirkwood may well reward the whole squad with a trip away.
• Edinburgh City’s third-round replay was postponed yesterday due to a frozen pitch. It will now be played tomorrow at Meadowbank, kick-off 7.45pm.