READY FOR CUP CLASH
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale are hoping to pull off a Scottish Cup shock when they face Stirling Albion at Forthbank tomorrow.
The East of Scotland League champions have already knocked out Kelty Hearts, Coldstream and Inverurie Locos to reach this stage but the Binos will go into the match as odds-on favourites.
Dave Mackay’s men reached the fourth round last season, beating Linlithgow Rose and Wick Academy before losing to Clyde in a replay, and are aiming to clinch a place in the third-round draw, which will be made at Links Park on Saturday after the Montrose v Stirling University tie.
LTHV shocked Montrose two years ago, winning a replay at Links Park, then knocked out Huntly before an injury-hit side lost 2-0 to East Kilbride with Celtic waiting in the next round.
Manager Raymond Carr, who has been with the Edinburgh-based club for several years, said: “We’ve probably got the hardest tie possible in this round but everyone is looking forward to it. These are the sort of games you want to be involved in.
“We’ll be coming to have a go. The best form of defence is attack.
“I don’t think Stirling will take us lightly and they are flying at the moment but there might be a wee bit of nerves if things aren’t going well or the supporters are getting on their backs. There are all sorts of scenarios but I just hope it’s a good game and we do ourselves and the East of Scotland League proud.
“We had a free week last Saturday but the good thing is that we have no injuries. We’ll be up for it and they have more to lose than we do because they might be thinking they couldn’t have got an easier tie.
“We are good enough and capable of causing an upset, as we did against Montrose a couple of years ago.”
Raymond added: “We beat Inverurie in the last round and I think they were taken by surprise by the standard, if I am being honest.
“We are playing a quality side in Stirling but I think that will bring out the best in us and hopefully we can put in a good performance.
“I’ve seen a few clips of their recent games but I don’t like to dwell too much on the opposition. You can start thinking too much rather than focusing on the job.
“We’ve scored a lot of goals this season but in our league – and I’m not decrying it – there are some games where you are looking for stiffer challenges.
“We didn’t have the licence to join the Lowland League in the summer and I’m fairly sure we would have taken care of Edusport (South of Scotland champions) in a play-off if we had been given the chance.
“The managers and players I know in the Lowland League have always commended us and say we would be a top-five team without a shadow of a doubt but you’ve still got to get there.”
Binos boss Dave Mackay said: “It’s a game we are looking forward to, especially as we have not played since the 2-2 draw with Elgin a fortnight ago. We’ve not had a chance to watch Lothian Thistle but I’m expecting a tough game.
“Hearts have confirmed that Callum Morrison won’t be able to play for us in this round of the Scottish Cup but we expected that would be the case and it will give someone else a chance. We have quality in the team but we have to be at it from the start.”
Admission prices for tomorrow’s game have been cut to £10 for adults, £5 for seniors, students and U16s and free for U12s. Kick-off is the usual 3pm and the referee is Ryan Milne. If the game ends in a draw the replay will go ahead at Saughton Enclosure on Saturday, October 21.
Confident LTHV boss Raymond Carr
Cup winner Dave Mackay lifts the trophy