Lesmahagow boss Rab Irving has told his players to go out and grab their chance to shine under the spotlight when they go up against Petershill in tonight’s Sectional League Cup semi-final showdown.

And if his youthful Gow playing charges are in need of inspiration then they only have to look to their 51-year-old gaffer who was in the far-flung Lanarkshire outfit’s midfield when they won the early season competition for the one and only time in their history back when it was called the Abercorn Builders Sectional League Cup.

And as coincidence would have it, their 1994 triumph by a 2-1 scoreline was against Petershill.

Last night the team boss recalled: “Clydebank’s old Kilbowie Park ground hosted the Final and Petershill went 1-0 up through a Billy Dalziel goal before Rocky Crichton got us back on level terms.

“It was a very evenly contested match that looked to be heading for extra time and penalty kicks until the normally safe as houses Peasy goalkeeper Gerry McLaughlin made a rare handling mistake and dropped a Sandy Robertson cross that allowed Willie Gillogely to tap the ball home from point blank range.”

He added: "That Gow side had to up their game to eventually get the better of the Peasy and I cannot help but think more of the same is going to be required from my players.

“They have excelled and played out of their skins to beat higher league sides Shotts Bon Accord and East Kilbride Thistle just to make it through to this semi-final stage and now comes the opportunity to take on a Petershill side that is by far the highest-ranking Junior team we have faced this season.

“The game represents a massive test for many of our young playing squad but we have prepared well and everyone is looking forward to the game and hoping we can put up a good showing in front of our own supporters.”

Petershill had an idle weekend that allowed assistant boss Paul Kelly to be in attendance at Craighead Park on Saturday as goals from Paul Woodlock and Kyle Weir earned Lesmahagow a 2-2 draw with Johnstone Burgh.

The Gow boss added: “ Going into the game blind is not ideal but we have a sprinkling of players in Jonny McStay, Matty Clark, Ryan Innes (ex-Larkhall Thistle) and Scott Falconer (ex-Kilsyth Rangers) who played against the Peasy in the Super First Division last season.

“Their sprinkling of experience and knowledge of what we are about to face can hopefully be passed onto our younger lads to keep them focused on what is needed to compete against players of a higher level .

“They have strengths all over the pitch but we have match-winners of our own in the likes of Paul Woodlock, now in his second spell at the club, and playing in a position just off our front two that allows him to get forward and chip in goals like he did against the Burgh.”

A fully fit and rested Petershill last held aloft the Sectional silverware when overcoming Vale of Clyde on penalty kicks in 2015 and will start outright favourites to clinch a final date against whoever comes out on top in the other semi-final, which has Auchinleck Talbot awaiting the visit of Kilwinning Rangers.

There is a feeling of deja vu surrounding the clash because the Buffs were due to face their hosts in last season’s Ardagh Glass Cup last four before it was discovered that they had fielded an ineligible player [goalkeeper Adam Strain] in their quarter-final defeat of Irvine Vics.

Their 2-0 weekend defeat by Clydebank will have dampened visiting spirits and neither does it help their cause for Junior Scotland front man Bryan Boylan to be posted missing for the trip to Beechwood Park.

Team boss Chris Strain insisted: “Bryan’s absence is a blow but we have Carlo Monti back who sat out the game against Clydebank where his guile and creativity were sadly missed .

“Credit to the Bankies for stopping us doing what we do well but truth is we will play a lot worse this season and win games so I’m not too despondent going into the Talbot game.”

PLAYING TONIGHT(Kick Offs 6.30PM) Sectional League Cup.Semi Finals. Auchinleck Talbot v Kilwinning Rangers, Lesmahagow v Petershill .