LINLITHGOW boss Mark Bradley watched his side land a derby clash with Bo’ness in the last eight of the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup and declared: “It’s the tie of the round.”
Five days before the two local rivals are due to meet in the Super League at Prestonfield, they were paired together in a mouthwatering tie at the same venue on March 16.
“We were prepared to take whatever the draw threw up and this is certainly the tie of the round,” said Bradley. “It’s an interesting game at this stage of the competition and the fans will be buzzing.”
It will be the second season running that the pair have met in the Junior game’s showpiece event.
In the first round last season, Bo’ness made home advantage count to beat their arch-rivals 2-1 before going out to Auchinleck in the quarter-finals.
Rose will head into this latest encounter as strong favourites, having gone unbeaten so far this season in any competition.
“First and foremost, I’m happy we are at home and the fact the teams know each other so well should ensure a cracking atmosphere,” added Bradley.
“Bo’ness looked dead and buried when they were 2-0 down at Kirkintilloch last Saturday but they kept going and turned it around.
“That shows they have exactly the same desire as us to win the Junior Cup this season.”
Bo’ness boss Allan McGonigal said he thought it was a “wind up” when someone texted him last night to say they’d been drawn against Linlithgow.
“I actually thought the draw was on Thursday night so I thought someone was kidding me on,” he said.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than Linlithgow away but it’s a game everyone at Bo’ness will be buzzing about.
“My big concern when it comes to any cup draw is always the state of the park we’ll be playing on but I don’t need to worry about that at Linlitgow. It’s a fantastic arena for a Junior game and there will be a great atmosphere.
“After being up in Aberdeen, then Dundee and last Saturday at Kirkintilloch, I was hoping we might finally get a home game in the competition this season. But Linlithgow is almost like a second home for us and I certainly know all about them having been a player, manager and coach there.”
Kelty’s reward for beating Kilsyth last weekend is another home tie to Auchinleck, holders Shotts face a tricky trip to Cumnock while Rutherglen are at home to Camelon.