THORN ATHLETIC welcome Langlee Amateurs from the Border Amateur Football League A League to the Thorn Athletic Sports Academy on Saturday for a Scottish Amateur Cup third round tie, with the game’s 3 o’clock kick-off not coming soon enough for both sides who have both had disrupted league campaigns due to cup commitments and adverse weather conditions.
The Thorn come into the match off the back of a 2-1 friendly win over Vale of Clyde in Coatbridge last Saturday. A fixture that was arranged to maintain momentum and match sharpness following the postponement of the Caledonian Premier League fixture that was scheduled to take place that day against Glasgow University. Two goals from Connar McGregor ensured that the Thorn came away from North Lanarkshire with the desired result, but head coach Johnny McEwan is fully aware of the increased stakes attached to this Saturday’s contest.
McEwan said: “This is our biggest game of the season so far and going on a run in the Scottish Cup would give everyone a lift. It wasn’t ideal the game being off last week, but the weather was horrendous, and we did eventually manage to get a run out for some of the squad. But the focus is now firmly on getting through to the fourth round.”
Langlee Amateur’s Borders Cup final did not suffer the same fate as the Thorn’s scheduled competitive fixture and Langlee took full advantage of that in what proved to be a very productive afternoon for them. Langlee’s 2-0 victory over Greenlaw secured their first piece of silverware of the season, with star striker Des Sutherland grabbing a brace and making it seven goals in his last three outings in the process.
The cup competitions have been a great source of comfort for Langlee this season due to them only being able to fulfil two league fixtures so far this season, which is the lowest in the Border Amateur Football League’s top division. So, McEwan is fully prepared to encounter a team that is in high spirits after last weekend’s Border Cup triumph.
McEwan added: “”We don’t know much about Langlee, but they seem to be in very good form as their recent cup win would suggest. So, they are going to be dangerous opponents. We will have to be right on it in order to get through.”
McEwan will have to do some reshuffling in the final third from their victory over Kilmarnock Amateurs in the previous round, however, with Dean Scott unavailable after an unorthodox red card in the match in Ayrshire in second round after receiving a second yellow card in the aftermath of a goal celebration. Injury problems also continue to beset the team with Ross Horne, Dylan Blair, Andy Collins, Paul Jamieson and George Mavezah all ruled out.