Meadow will be no walk in the park for SPL side

AFTER a pride-bruising defeat by Rangers and with a passionate derby against Edinburgh rivals Hearts to come later today, Hibs manager John Hughes might be forgiven for being a tad complacent about the historic visit of Ayrshire junior club Irvine Meadow to Easter Road next Saturday, writes Martin Hannan.

Not a bit of it – Hughes is adamant that he will not be taking the Meadow Park outfit lightly when the West Region Super Premier League champions travel to Edinburgh for the fourth round of the Active Nation Scottish Cup.

"If we win the game 1-0, I will be a happy man," said Hughes yesterday. "We will give them the respect they deserve. I love the glamour of the Scottish Cup and so will they – they will be up for it."

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That respect includes getting full reports on Meadow, who beat Arbroath 1-0 in the third round: "Their latest game was called off, but we have had them watched twice before, and I already know about a couple of their players."

As a former junior player himself, Hughes knows just how big the match is for Meadow, who will fill the visiting supporters' stand at Easter Road. He is relishing the prospect of being involved in a match that will make Scottish football history – the first time a junior club has met a side from Scotland's top league in the nation's senior cup tournament.

Hughes said: "It's fantastic. I love it – I love everything about the Scottish Cup, I love everything about the juniors.

"I played for Newtongrange Star for four years and had some of the best social times of my life. I learned how to be a professional there."