Cup tie is our biggest game of the season

Stenhousemuir face Lowland League East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup at Ochilview
Stenhousemuir face Lowland League East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup at Ochilview

Saturday’s Scottish Cup third round tie with Lowland League outfit East Kilbride could be Stenhousemuir’s biggest game of the season, according to boss Brown Ferguson.

Stenny go into the game as massive favourites and the Warriors manager is well aware of the benefits a cup run can bring both on and off the field.

He said: “We have had them watched so have a good idea of the players we will be up against.

“They have got a good set-up at East Kilbride - it’s a club which is ambitious and looking to progress into the league in the coming seasons. They will come here and give it a go and it’s up to our players to be ready, which I’m sure they will be.

“I would say this is one of the biggest games we will play this season. A cup run can bring so much and not just in financial terms.

“A couiple of years ago we had the opportunity to get to the quarter-finals which would have been a great achievement.

“You just don’t know where a cup run can take you so that’s why it’s so important we make sure our name is in the hat for the next round draw.”

Ferguson has once again praised his players for their resilience after another late winner at Brechin last week stretched their unbeaten run and pushed them into a play-off place.

The Warriors boss admitted he was concerned at his players letting Brechin back into the game after going in at half-time a goal up, but was delighted with their response to conceding an equaliser.

He said: “It the first half we played well but in the second half Brechin came into the game as we expected and put us under pressure and to be honest I felt we could have dealt with that a luttle bit better.

“They then got back to 1-1 but that seemed to spur us on and once again the players showed their determination and resilience.

“We stepped it up again and got lead back with 10 minutes to go and I felt we saw out the rest of the match reasonably comfortably.

“Apart from the one spell in the match where I would have liked us to have been a bit more aggressive I was pleased with the performance and the result.

“When we were going through a sticky spell I said I didn’t feel there was a great deal wrong with the performance levels.

“It was just little things here and there that needed to be changed. I didn’t think we were far away and the results we’ve had over the past month or so show that”

Stenny were forced to bring in ‘keeper Matty Gould - son of ex-Celtic custodian Jonathan and grandson of ex-Wales boss Bobby - after suspension to Jamie Barclay and injury to back-up Dean Shaw left him with only under-20s ’keeper Sean Robertson available.

He said: “Rules dictate that you have to have two signed goalkeepers in your squad and we’re very grateful to Mark Burchill and Livingston for allowing Matty to come here.

“He’s got a great background with his father and grandfather being involved in the game and he was never going to be concerned about going straight in on Saturday.

“He couldn’t do anything about their goal and did fine and we’re delighted to have him here until January.”