ONE Scottish Borders football team will make it through to the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup this weekend.
But which one will it be?
East of Scotland Premier Division outfit Vale of Leithen and First Division side Selkirk go head to head at Yarrow Park (3pm) and both are equally determined that they can win through to the lucrative stages of the competition.
Vale have made two appearances in the third round. In 1956, they were beaten 2-0 by Albion Rovers and in 2008, they went down 4-0 to Inverurie Loco Works.
Vale co-manager Fraser Ogilvie believes his squad can do the business again this Saturday. He told TheSouthern: “We’re really looking forward to it. It’s a big Borders derby for both sides so it should be good.
“We have been working hard this week after going 3-0 up against Ormiston in the South Cup last week and then letting them come back at us.
“It’s quite a big deal for us and we are taking nothing for granted. We are hoping for a good turn-out of supporters to get behind the team.”
Giving his view on the opposition, co-manager Kerr Dodds added: “We have had them watched in a couple of games but they are not giving much away. They won one and lost one but for the one they lost they had a few players missing so we can’t read too much into that.
“At the end of the day it’s a derby game so you can’t really go on past form. We will be making sure we are ready for everything they can throw at us on the day.”
For Vale, Danny Noon is away on holiday for the game but everyone else is back and fit and raring to go.
Selkirk have only made the third round of the competition once, also in 1956, when they lost to Lossiemouth 1-0. Despite his team being the underdogs ahead of Saturday’s clash, however, Selkirk manager Mike McKinnon is relatively relaxed about the whole thing. He told us: “I can’t wait.
“We have been playing well this season and it’s just a case of finding that cutting edge and I firmly believe that if we can find that then we can go through to the third round.
“All the pressure is on the Vale and they know that. They are a Premier League team and they should be looking to come and beat us. Everyone is expecting them to do that so the pressure is off my boys, that’s the beauty about it. It’s a home tie for us though and we will be going all out to win the game.”
Captain and number one goal keeper John Dodds is equally laid back. “It’s just another game,” he said. “We will be preparing for it in exactly the same way that we prepare for any other game and with any luck, we will get the result we are looking for.
“Motivation on Saturday will sort itself out easily, the boys will be hyped up. There may be a couple of them who won’t sleep the night before as there are very few of them who have played in a second round Cup tie.
“I’ve only done it three times with Selkirk myself, with two others in the squad, so for most of them it will be a new experience.
“It’s the biggest competition they will ever be involved in but the squad is good enough, they’re fit enough and more than capable, so we just have to make sure that they all turn up on the day.”
Selkirk picked up a couple of niggling injuries during last week’s 3-0 defeat but Jonny Watt will still be available for selection despite receiving a red card for dissent after the game.