Hawick Royal Albert hit the Scottish Cup trail this afternoon (Saturday) with a preliminary round tie at Newton Stewart, writes John Slorance.
It’s a prestigious game for both clubs with the added financial spin-off up for grabs, and Albert manager Graeme Chadwick says it is also an opportunity to banish memories of last Saturday’s 5-0 thumping at Easthouses Lily.
Speaking to the Hawick News earlier this week, he said: “We have addressed the situation a lot. Assistant manager John Fettes and I have watched Newton Stewart and they are a good side.
“They’ve got a 4G pitch, so apart from playing at home, they’ll be playing on a surface that they’re used to playing on.
“We will be the underdogs, but I don’t mind that. It’s 11 against 11, it’s the Scottish Cup, anything can happen.
“Our guys have been buzzing at training, but I was very disappointed with [Saturday’s] performance against Easthouses Lily when we lost 5-0. We were a nightmare.
“The match against Newtwon Stewart, however, is a great opportunity for the players to redeem themselves.
“We’ll be going into the game with a positive attitude. We’ve nothing to lose and we’ll be going for it.”
Newtown Stewart have started their season in style by winning their three opening games.
The Blairmount Park outfit have also made abig signing in Kevin Kyle, the former Scotland, Rangers, Sunderland and Hearts star.
Capped 10 times for Scotland, 33-year-old Kyle made an impressive debut for Newton Stewart recently when netting a hat-trick as well as laying on a goal in his new side’s 4-0 victory over Crighton.
Looking forward to Saturday’s cup encounter is Albert captain and midfield ace Michael Mckenzie.
“It’s a great thrill to be playing in the Scottish Cup,” he said. “And it’s an even bigger thrill to captain a side in the Scottish Cup and I feel greatly honoured to do this.
“Being unbeaten in their first three games, Newton Stewart’s confidence will be high. And following our poor showing against Easthouses, we’ll have to raise the bar a bit if we are to achieve something.
“But I think we’re capable of doing this, because in the two games before we met Easthouses we had played well against good sides.
“We will be going out to compete on Saturday and we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.”