Reinstated Bonnyrigg Rose No.1 Michael Andrews hopes he will be kept busier in their William Hill Scottish Cup first-round clash at Highland League club Deveronvale tomorrow than he has been so far this season.
Andrews has spent much of the campaign so far as a glorified spectator – watching his team-mates rack up the goals having made an instant impact in the East of Scotland League after moving from the Juniors.
David White’s men are targeting another Scottish Cup glory run after facing holders Hibs in the fourth round two seasons ago.
The 28-year-old goalkeeper, who played second fiddle to Bryan Young for the bulk of last season, is content to keep doing as little as possible if it means Rose are winning – but admits it is sometimes easier, concentration-wise, is to have saves to make.
“I’ve not had enough to do in some of the games, a lot of them I’ve just been watching on,” said Andrews. “For a goalkeeper you want to get a lot out of the game and you want to do stuff, but sometimes if you get nothing to do and you keep a clean sheet and the team wins, then you are happy as well.
“It’s been a wee bit of a change in scenery, playing new teams and going to new grounds. We’ve had to adapt to playing different teams; sometimes you knew who you were playing that week and how to play against them but now we are playing against teams that we don’t know an awful lot about. I think we’ve coped quite well with it, we just need to keep plugging away. The boys are enjoying it so far and that’s the main thing.
“Myself and Bryan will always fight for the No.1 jersey; he’s there training as much as me. The competition is good for both of us to encourage and get the most out of each other. It has probably kicked both of us on, which is a good thing; we have a good training vibe.
“If I am underperforming then I know straight away he will get the nod. It would be the same if he was playing; I would be keeping on his toes and making sure he was playing well.”
Rose, who travel north to Banff today, will be looking to continue their fine recent record against clubs from the Highlands having disposed of both Cove Rangers and Turriff United in their fantastic run to the fourth round in 2016/17.
Andrews believes they are even stronger now than they were then, with the majority of the squad which knocked out Championship outfit Dumbarton still at the club.
He continued: “A couple of lads have come in and made us a bit stronger and sharper. The team is looking good. Any boy that is sat on the bench on a Saturday could quite easily be playing. It gives the manager and the coaching staff a bit of a headache at times, but I suppose that’s what they want, that’s why they bring players in, to make us stronger.
“If we can get through this tie, and then see what happens in the next one, the boys would fancy their chances of playing another league team. We’ll just have to see what happens. We’ve added players and we’ve gained that experience from playing in the Scottish Cup.”
Elsewhere, Linlithgow Rose are also in action against Highland League opponents, when they entertain bottom club Fort William at Prestonfield.
Lithgae boss Mark Bradley admits he could not have handpicked a better tie himself with Fort having shipped 81 goals in just ten league games already this season. Striker Tommy Coyne will be eyeing up the match having reached 300 goals for Rose last week, but Bradley has warned his players they must be professional.
“It’s good to get a home tie,” said Bradley. “We are going into it with confidence after a good win [5-1 against Heriot-Watt] last Saturday. It’s the Scottish Cup so they’ll be up for it as much as us.
“With home advantage we should hopefully be progressing to the next round. If we are slack on the day we’ll get turned over, so it’s up to us to do a professional job.
“The club has a good bit of history over the years in the competition. We enjoy being in the competition and it gives the club a bit of exposure.”