Penicuik Athletic boss tells players to enjoy occasion with Scottish Cup pressure on Stenhousemuir
Penicuik Athletic co-manager Kevin Milne has urged his players to go and enjoy themselves in their big Scottish Cup second round clash at home to League Two side Stenhousemuir on Saturday.
The Midlothian town has been gripped by Scottish Cup fever since Penicuik learned their second round opponents after disposing Cumbernauld Colts, with over 800 tickets snapped up and a crowd close to capacity expected at a tight Penicuik Park.
“This is a free hit for us - we are playing a very good side who were in League One last season” said Milne. “They are quality opposition and we go in as clear underdogs, but I think the shackles are off. We can just go and express ourselves and enjoy the occasion. Sometimes the underdog wins and I think that’s the attitude we have got to take, that anything is possible in these games.
“They are going to have a lot of the ball and, to be honest, we’ve not been in a situation like that for a long time. We tend to be on the ball more often than not with teams sitting in and making it difficult, then hitting on the counter, so it’s maybe our chance to do that this time.
“It’s going to be a fantastic occasion and a reward for those who have put in a lot of hard work to get us to this stage. We aren’t thinking this is the end, I still feel we have a chance to win this game. You can never write anyone off in the Scottish Cup. It’s the perfect fixture for us, a glamour game. It won’t be any easy game for us but it won’t be an easy game for them either.”
Milne will be looking at Cuikie defender Craig Stevenson for his young side to lean on for experience, with the 27-year-old having had previous exploits in the competition while at Spartans.
Stevenson was at Ainslie Park four years ago when they reached the last 16 of the competition, losing to Berwick Rangers in a replay, and he said: “We’ve got a couple of boys that have played [in the Scottish Cup]. Myself with Spartans and a couple of ex-Lothian boys who had a good run a few years ago. I don’t think a lot of the boys have played in it before so it’s good. We’ve got a lot of young players and it’s a good chance for them to put themselves in the shop window.
“There is no pressure on us, all the pressure is on Stenhousemuir to go and win. If we get beat, it is expected, so it’s a free hit for us. We watched on them telly last Friday and know they are a good side, so we know it will be a hard game but hopefully we can do the town proud.”
Elsewhere, new Linlithgow Rose boss Brown Ferguson takes charge of his first match after being unveiled as the successor to Mark Bradley last weekend, with Rose visiting Stirling University on Sunday. Broxburn Athletic will be hoping to continue their Scottish Cup story as they take on League Two Cowdenbeath at Central Park.
Scottish Cup: Bonnyrigg Rose v Buckie Thistle (7.05pm), Edinburgh City v Banks O’Dee (7.30pm).
Scottish Cup (3pm unless stated): Auchinleck Talbot v Cove Rangers (2.30pm), Penicuik v Stenhousemuir (2.30pm), Albion Rovers v Fort William, Annan Athletic v Brechin City, Clachnacuddin v Brora Rangers, Cowdenbeath v Broxburn Athletic, East Kilbride v Gretna 2008, Elgin City v Berwick Rangers, Formartine Utd v Gala Fairydean Rovers, Lochee United v BSC Glasgow, Rothes v Inverurie Locos, Spartans v Queen’s Park, Stirling Albion v Strathspey Thistle.
Premier Division (2.30pm): Bo’ness v Sauchie, Camelon v Tranent, Crossgates Primrose v Whitehill Welfare, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Newtongrage Star, Jeanfield Swifts v Blackburn United.
Conference A (2.30pm): Burntisland Shipyard v Haddington Athletic, Kinnoull v Leith Athletic, Peebles Rovers v Lothian Thistle HV, St Andrews v Dunipace, Heriot-Watt Uni v Craigroyston..
Conference B (2.30pm): Coldstream v Arniston Rangers, Glenrothes v Dalketh Thistle, Hawick Royal Albert United, Stirling University (EOSFL) v Easthouses Lily, Tweedmouth Rangers v Inverkeithing Hillfied Swifts.
Alex Jack Cup semi-finals (2.30pm): Musselburgh Athletic v Edinburgh United, Oakley United v Dunbar.
Scottish Cup (3pm): Stirling University v Linlithgow Rose.