Stirling Observer - - THE BACK PAGE - David Ogilvie

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

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