Scottish Cup: Whitehill have no fear of League Two opponents

Whitehill Welfare's Wayne McIntosh. Photograph: Neil Hanna
Whitehill Welfare's Wayne McIntosh. Photograph: Neil Hanna
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STAR striker Wayne McIntosh admits Whitehill Welfare are eager to prove there’s little between them and SPFL League Two side East Stirlingshire as they clash in the William Hill Scottish Cup second round tomorrow.

McIntosh has netted 12 times for his club this season following a brace of headers in last Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Vale of Leithen. Welfare’s leading marksman believes Mickey Lawson’s side can match the Shire at Ferguson Park despite operating at a lower level.

“There’s definitely an extra motivation playing a league side,” he said. “It’s always good coming up against these guys to challenge ourselves. I personally don’t think there’s much between non-league and League Two. We played Stirling Albion last year and ran them close. It’s a Scottish Cup tie and anything can happen in a one-off game.”

McIntosh has built a reputation as a prolific goalscorer at East of Scotland and Lowland League level. Despite this, however, the front man revealed that no senior clubs have been willing to take a chance on the former Tynecastle FC forward.

“A few people have asked me about that but no senior teams have actually come in for me. There’s been a lot of interest from the juniors etc and teams in the same league have come in for me in the past but no senior teams have approached as far as I’m aware. A lot of people seem to find that strange given my scoring record over the seasons, but I suppose sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, isn’t it?”

McIntosh, now in his second spell at the club, signed a new deal with the Rosewell club earlier in the year. He’s happy playing his football at Ferguson Park and is focused on continuing his rich vein of form this season.

“It’s been good – I’ve scored 12 goals this year but as long as the team’s winning, that’s what I’m all about. If I can score the goals that’s the icing on the cake for me. I’ve been laying on a few goals as well so it’s quite good to be adding to my assist numbers.”

Welfare have been impressive at home this season, and are one of only two unbeaten sides in the Lowland League along with Edinburgh City. Not many teams leave Ferguson Park with a result, and McIntosh believes their home ground can give them the edge against higher ranked opposition.

He insisted: “We’ve got a home tie which is great. The guys work really hard to keep the park in good condition up there – it’s like a bowling green just now. We’ve been working hard at training and going over a few things so we’ll see what happens on the day.

“I think it’s good that we’ll be seen as the underdogs. There’s no pressure on us whatsoever. We’re just going to go out there and do what we’ve been doing. I don’t know what they’ll be thinking but we’ll give it a go and fight right to the end.”