Scottish Cup: Whitehill Welfare full of confidence

CUP HERO: Steven' Manson's goal earned a replay for Whitehill tomorrow. Picture: Ian Rutherford
CUP HERO: Steven' Manson's goal earned a replay for Whitehill tomorrow. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Whitehill Welfare’s Steven Manson scored his first Scottish Cup goal against a Senior League side last Saturday and hopes to continue where he left off in tomorrow’s second round replay at Ferguson Park against Stirling Albion.

The little winger netted in the 79th minute to secure a 2-2 draw against their SPFL League Two opponents at Forthbank, an effort he couldn’t really fail to convert by his own admission.

“It was nice to score in a big Scottish Cup game for the club,” said the 25-year-old. “I have scored in the cup before, but never against an SPFL side, so that was pleasing.

“I don’t really remember much about it apart from that I could have walked the ball into the net as it was really fortunate the way the ball came back to me, but it was nice to get it in front of the Whitehill fans.

“We put a lot of effort into the game and it did take us 15 to 20 minutes to settle into the game. They missed a penalty and that gave us a big lift. We created a couple of chances and despite them scoring a free-kick just before the break, I don’t think they could have had many complaints had we gone in at half-time in the lead.

“I think they got a rollicking at half-time, as they came out flying in the second half and got their goal to take them ahead, but we managed to come back and I think we definitely deserved a replay at the least.”

Manson was complimentary to local rivals Preston Athletic after their heroics at Hampden, and Spartans who, despite narrowly exiting the competition at the hands of Albion Rovers, have shown the quality of player plying their trade in this season’s Lowland League.

“If you look at the results last week with ourselves, Preston and Spartans, it shows we can compete with SPFL League clubs,” he said, “and who knows what we can do in the next round if we get through tomorrow.

“The Scottish Cup is a competition that we know there is not a chance of us winning so having a break from the league allows us to relax a bit more.

“We certainly have a big incentive to get through with the draw against Turriff United, but Stirling will be thinking that themselves.”

The former Craigroyston player, who is now in his third season with the Rosewell club, is flourishing since making the step up from the East of Scotland League having been a key figure in Mickey Lawson’s side this year, chipping in with four goals.

“I think we’re all really enjoying this season,” Manson explained. “We’ve had a sticky start to the season. We had a really good year last time out, winning the league and we were getting the breaks whereas it has maybe been going against us this time around.

“But this last month we’ve started playing a lot better and the atmosphere at training has been really good, so the spirit is back up in the camp again. I think we all like testing ourselves against the best players out there and the Scottish Cup certainly gives us that opportunity.”