Vale have semis in their sights

VALE OF LEITHEN continue their quest for glory in the South of Scotland Challenge Cup when taking on Threave Rovers in a quarter-final tie at Victoria Park on Saturday, writes John Slorance.

It’s a game that has all the makings of being a close and exciting affair as both sides have a lot to offer.

Vale manager Jamie Birrell told TheSouthern: “Threave are one of the better sides in the South of Scotland League. I have had a couple of reports on them and know their threats.

“I am under no illusions and it’s going to be a difficult game for us. We have done well in all the cup competitions we have played in this season, particularly the Scottish Cup. The players have really competed and it’s good to have that kind of attitude.

“There is a semi-final place up for grabs and a game against the winners of the Heston v Duns match so there is a lot to play for on Saturday.

“We will be without John Ferguson who has joined Berwick Rangers. He will be a big miss, but it’s good to see him get the chance to move up in football and the club wishes him all the best.”

Vale are also without recent capture Ross Gaylor from Easthouses Lily, who is cup-tied.

Selkirk are also bidding for silverware, facing Coldstream away from home in the King Cup for the third time of asking.

Selkirk team boss Mike McKinnon said: “Since getting a good result against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale it’s been a case of one match on and two off for us, and the players want a chance to prove themselves.

“We did get a friendly played against Gala Rovers last weekend. We gave a very disappointing show in the first half and there will have to be a big change in attitude if we are going to do anything on Saturday.

“Coldstream have been playing well and getting good results, so we will have to be at our best to beat them.”

Selkirk have recently signed Michael Holness from Peebles Rovers.

McKinnon added: “Michael is very strong on the ball and there is a good chance he could start on Saturday.”

The Yarrow Park outfit have Jamie Gibson and Lee Stephen suspended.

Having won their two opening games of the year in style when toppling Preston Athletic and Peebles Rovers, Gala Fairydean bid for a hat-trick of wins when they travel to face Berwick Rangers Reserves in an East of Scotland division one encounter.

Kelso United are without the injured Sean Angus for their away battle with Ormiston.

Peebles Rovers host Craigroyston, while Hawick Royal Albert are off to Pennypit Park to meet table-topping Preston Athletic.