We’ll give EK a good game, says Athletic boss Irvine

Bo’ness Athletic boss Willie Irvine says Lowland League high-flyers East Kilbride will know they are in a game when they come to Newtown Park on Saturday in the South Challenge Cup fifth round.

By Ben Kearney
Friday, 4th March 2022, 4:02 am

Athletic are currently top of the East of Scotland First Division Conference X and won 6-1 at the weekend against Fauldhouse United in the King Cup third round.

Speaking to the Herald, he said: “Saturday will be a good test for the players against a team with real ambitions getting into League 2.

"It’s a free hit for us and we’ll give it a go. They’ll know they have been in a game.

Striker Scott Sinclair scores from the spot (Pictures by Scott Louden)

"We’ve got good attacking players who can cause any team problems.”

He added: “It’s just a shame we will still have players out at the back, so it won’t be our full strength side.

"The guys will have a chance to really see where they are because it is a big step up.

"Against Glenafton, we played them off the park and not many people saw that coming but this, again, is another big test.”

Sinclair finds his route to goal blocked by the Fauldhouse defender

Recent signings Michael Wallace, Josh Gillespie and Falkirk loanee Cammy Williamson have all bedded well into side too, according to the boss.

"They’ve done well since coming in and we did need to bring in some new faces,” said Irvine.

"Josh and Michael both scored at the weekend too, which is good for them.

"We’ve been able to attract really good players to the club.”

He added on Gillespie: “For an 18-year-old kid, he was very good.

"He made two goals and got one himself – he’s got confidence on the ball.”

On Saturday’s win against their fellow Conference X side, Irvine said: “It was really comfortable for us.

"It was only one at half time but we started with a different system just because we changed the team about.

"I said to them at the break we could go on to score a few and we did that.”

Athletic did concede a goal early in the second half from the spot but the boss reckons it was a soft penalty call.

He said: “I can’t be too hard on my backline. They probably shouldn’t have got caught into the lad’s run but he goes down very easily. You could see what he was going to do."