Kilby gun for Rovers
Billy Stark’s men looking for cup clash revenge
Revenge will be on East Kilbride’s mind when they head into their Scottish Cup third round clash with Albion Rovers this weekend – and there’s several ex-Rovers men aiming to upset the odds.
The Coatbridge club served up a 5-2 defeat when the sides met at K-Park in the Betfred Cup this season,but a strong contingent of ex-Rovers players will be leading the Kilby charge to atone for that miserable day in July.
Not only was EK gaffer Billy Stark at Cliftonhill last season as assistant manager, there are six players who have all turned out for the Monklands side.
Kilby skipper Barry Russell spent three years at Rovers, while Ross McNeil, Kevin McCann, Matt McGinley, Martin McBride and Scott Stevenson have all pulled on a jersey for the League One club.
So there will be plenty of motivation for them on Saturday when their former club comes calling.
Stevenson, who was with Rovers when they won the League Two title in 2015, said: “I don’t think the guys all realised how many of us have played for them.
“Obviously, Barry has made a lot more appearances than me but there’s a good five-a-side team in there anyway.
“I played for them the season they won the league. I was only there for a few months after I left St Johnstone.
“I made my senior debut for Rovers, so that was a good experience for me even although I only made a couple of appearances because I was part of a successful season for the club.
“It was good to be involved in a title race at 19 and having everything work out so well for the team.
“But there will be a lot of guys going out there to prove a point on Saturday.
“We are all really excited about it and we want to prove, with it being our former club, that we are better than them and we can at least compete with them.
“I was on holiday and missed the last game against them but I heard it wasn’t our best performance.
“The boys have bounced back from it and the Betfred Cup set us up well for the season.
“We’ve had some decent results and it was a good experience for the whole squad.”
The 21-year-old, from Stewartfield, has already been on a fairytale cup journey with Kilby, having played against Celtic in the last 16 of the competition two seasons ago.
And the right-back admits the Lowland League champions are dreaming of another memorable cup run after knocking out League Two side Cowdenbeath in the last round.
He said: “We believe we have a good squad here and we all believe we can go further in the cup. I was lucky enough to be here for the Celtic game and that was a massive day for everyone involved, so you want to have times like that again.
“We just want to go out and do well and get as far as we can.
“We’ll see how it goes on Saturday but we need to do the things that we’ve been working on in training and put them into the game. “We believe we can do it.” Meanwhile, the capacity for Saturday’s tie has been reduced with a toilet block in the North Stand yet to be completed.
It means Rovers fans have received just 60 tickets for the clash. However, briefs are still available for home fans at K-Park, from 11am each day, priced £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.
Familiar faces From left – Kevin McCann, Ross McNeil, Billy Stark, Barry Russell, Matt McGinley and Scott Stevenson were all formerly on the books at Rovers. Martin McBride is not pictured.