Wishaw Juniors stand on the edge of history as they prepare for a cup clash that could see them reach the Scottish Junior Cup final.
After a stunning win over Kirkintilloch Rob Roy in the quarter- finals – and an astonishing run to that stage which saw numerous postponements – Wishaw will take on Hurlford United over two legs with the chance to write a new chapter in the club’s history.
Having masterminded the club to this point, manager Derek Holmes is pleading with his players to stay cool under the pressure and express themselves at the Beltane on Saturday.
“This is one of the biggest games the club has ever been involved in,” the former Hearts striker said.
“We all know this is a very big game and a very difficult one but we must look forward to it and enjoy it.
“We have nothing to fear. The way we’ve been playing, especially against Rob Roy,
shows that we can beat anyone on our day and the confidence is absolutely sky high.
“This will be the biggest day of their careers and is the biggest of my managerial career so far.
“We believe we can win and I know that Hendo ( Hurlford’s manager) will not be taking us lightly.”
Holmes has experienced big game pressure before, with the former Hearts striker tasting European football when turning out for the Jambos when they played in the UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup against Real Mallorca.
He is hoping he will be able to keep his players calm when the whistle goes and they take on a side two divisions above them in the junior structure.
He said: “There’ll be nerves but my biggest advice will be ‘do not let this pass you by’.
“I’ve played in big games before myself and you have to enjoy it. This is what football is all about.”
After a bumper crowd arrived for the quarter-final, Holmes is hoping the Wishy faithful turn out in numbers again to back the side.
Assistant manager Brian Crawford added: “The crowd can make a difference so hopefully the town will be behind us.
“The crowd can give the boys a lift and these are the type of boys who thrive on that.”
Wishaw last reached the semi-final of the Scottish Junior Cup in 1935.