Lowland League sides East Kilbride and Gala Fairydean Rovers take on one-another this weekend in the William Hill Scottish Cup, 3rd Round, with visiting striker Craig O’Reilly hoping to progress in a competition he’d love to be successful in.
The former Dundee striker has fond memories of cup competitions on a personal level, but, would enjoy a run with his latest club, this term.
“I have been fortunate enough to play in some good matches against big teams in my career. I scored the winning goal against St Mirren at their old ground, Love Street, when I was with East Fife and it is probably the best strike of my playing days to date. I have also been involved in the latter stages of this tournament with Dundee, and that was another experience which I have taken a lot from. However, I would dearly love a cup-run this year with Gala and we have a fantastic chance of doing that come the weekend.”
The 31-year-old joined the Rovers this summer and feels he still has a lot to give.
“I have done well; I have played matches and scored goals recently, so, I can’t ask for much more than that. As a team, we have been too inconsistent this term and that is shown in our league position. On our day, we can beat anyone in our division and the whole dressing room believes this too. We need to start building some momentum to kick on again in the league and Saturday gives us a great opportunity to do that. It is a break from the league, but, the pressure is still on as we are facing a side we feel we can beat and that is where I feel I thrive; I enjoy the pressure and trying to help the younger ones through the game.
At the end of the day, if we win the match and I haven’t scored, I am happy. That is what I have learnt over my career: the individual accolades are great, but, it is a team game and the collective spirit we have in the changing room suggests I am not the only one to believe in this mantra.”
East Kilbride have only lost out once to Saturday’s opponents, but, the visitors know how vital a cup-run could be for a club the size of Gala.
“It is a massive 90 minutes ahead of us. We know a win could help us improve on the park, by building momentum and further confidence. However, it can also benefit the club as a whole: getting through and being drawn against an SPFL side, especially if it is a full-time team, could really boost the bank balance which I am sure the members behind the scenes would be thankful for.
We are going to East Kilbride as underdogs, but, we feel we have a good enough squad to compete. If we do things the way we know we can, then there’s no reason why we can’t give a good account of ourselves. We are all looking forward to the game; the spirit in the camp has been positive and the boys are relishing the occasion. Hopefully come 4:45, we will be in the hat for Round 4!”