Only six points out of six will do for Whitehill – McPartlin

James McPartlin
James McPartlin
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Whitehill Welfare midfielder James McPartlin insists the club should be targeting six points from their next two Lowland League fixtures.

The Ferguson Park side, currently 12th, have found consistency hard to come by this term and have amassed just ten points from a possible 36.

However, with an under performing Dalbeattie visiting Roswell tomorrow before Gary Small’s men make the trip to bottom-of-the-table Hawick Royal Albert next weekend, McPartlin, 30, below, who joined Whitehill from Hawick in the summer, is adamant anything less than maximum points would be bitterly disappointing.

“We’ve got to be targeting the full six points. We’ve had a tough run of fixtures but we’re now looking to turn our performances into points. Dalbeattie are certainly not the team they were so having them at home and then away to play bottom of the league, we really should be winning these games,” McPartlin said. “We’re back to having a steady ship, guys like Connor McGregor and our captain Ryan McKenzie are now fit again so it will add a bit more steel to us.

“Hawick are obviously my former team so I keep an eye on their results. It’s a tough league and they are struggling but I’m sure they’ll start picking up points, just as long as it’s not against us. But I’m not even thinking about the Hawick game to be honest as all the focus is on Dalbeattie.”

Whitehill’s last outing was almost three weeks ago when they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat by arch-rivals Spartans, last weekend’s South Region Challenge Cup clash with South of Scotland League opponents Creetown having fallen foul of the weather. However, McPartlin says the tempo at training has been excellent in recent sessions.

“We’re definitely not looking over our shoulder so we’ve got our eye on what’s above us,” he said. “You have to remember we were a side put together four weeks before the season started so we’re not aiming too high this year. It’s been frustrating not having a game since the beginning of October but training has been fantastic and the boys are looking sharp.”

Meanwhile, Civil Service Strollers boss Alex Cunningham revealed he has a real selection dilemma on his hands ahead of their visit to Victoria Park to play hosts Vale of Leithen.

Cunningham was without seven first-team regulars for last weekend’s trip to Gretna 2008 in the South Region Challenge Cup, the Capital side eventually coming through the tie 4-3 after extra time.

The Christie Gillies Park outfit are boosted by the return of the likes of Matty Cunningham and Craig Newall for tomorrow’s trip to Innerleithen. However, the Civil manager says he may be tempted to stick with the players that fared so well at Raydale Park.

“I had two 18-year-olds and another boy who is 17 on the bench against Gretna last week as we were so stretched. Having gone down 1-0 we just didn’t look like getting back into the game so I thought they aren’t coming all the way down here and not playing,” Cunningham explained. “I decided to put them on so they got half an hour or so and completely changed the game.

“I should have a few back for tomorrow but the boys that came in have done exceptionally well because, if I am being honest, Gretna were flying. They matched them so we’ll wait and see. We’ve had so many injuries so we really were down to the bare bones. But it just shows the young ones have got a wee bit of character about them.”

Second-top Spartans travel to Galabank to play Edusport Academy while Edinburgh University entertain Hawick RA at East Peffermill.