Dunipace mark Westfield Park return with cup progression after Finnart victory
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Denny club have been forced to play and train away from their home over the summer after the previous artificial surface was set alight by vandals, causing around £300,000 worth of damage.
Now, slightly ahead of schedule, a new surface has been fully installed allowing Danny Smith’s team to return.
"The novelty had worn off," the boss explained to the Falkirk Herald. “The first few games were okay but after that I think everyone was fed up of not being able to be at Westfield. Training away from our home wasn't ideal and going to other stadiums was a bit of a faff in all honesty.
"We are just happy to be home and it really just felt like it was time to get back and luckily that happened a wee bit quicker than expected. We probably first eyed up the end of the month rather than the middle of it.
"The club can now look forward again and build. It isn't just the first team of Dunipace that was affected by this and a lot of people will benefit from us having a surface available again."
On the match against Finnart, who hail from Springburn in Glasgow, Smith admitted he was just pleased to have gotten through the tie. Conor Kelly netted the only goal of the game for the Pace after 20 minutes.
The boss added: “We went into the game blind really. We didn’t manage to watch them beforehand but I knew it would be tough no matter what – you always get that from a West of Scotland team.
"It turned out to be a tough tie and I was happy to get through the tie, even if the scoreline was only 1-0. I do think we need to be more clinical and that would be my one complaint. On another day we could have been punished for missing a couple of big chances.
"But then, we do have a younger group this year, and I have already accepted that things like that are just par for the course. We also have a very unusual pre-season and we haven’t had a full group until the league started so we still have that bedding in period to get through."
The Pace face Vale of Leithen on East of Scotland first division duty as this newspaper goes to press on Wednesday night. On Saturday, they then take on Arniston Rangers at home.