THERE may have been a mixed reaction to West Region officials declaring Newlandsfield would host the Sectional League Cup final between Auchinleck Talbot and Lesmahagow, but there is no complaint from the Gow boss.

Robert Irving’s reaction to a trip up to Glasgow on Sunday, October 14 (1.30pm kick-off) was: “They could have held the final in Aberdeen and it wouldn’t matter a jot because we are just delighted to be in it.

“A club like ours getting to a major cup final again is a wonderful achievement so I wanted to mark the occasion by having one of the top teams in opposition and let’s face it, they don’t come much higher up the Junior ladder than Auchinleck Talbot, the reigning Scottish Junior Cup holders.

“The younger players in our squad, many of whom have just stepped up from the amateur ranks, are going to learn so much from the whole experience and the venue for the game itself is secondary to their thoughts

“What I will say from my own recollections is Newlandsfield has always boasted one of the best playing surfaces around and will undoubtedly suit our playing style.”

Irving, who has steered his Lanarkshire club to their first cup final in decades, added: “Auchinleck can swarm over teams and make it feel like they have 13 or 14 players in their side but we have players at the club such as Johnny McStay, Paul Woodlock and Scott Falconer, who all played for a Wishaw Juniors side that knocked Talbot out of the West of Scotland Cup some years back so they will not be intimidated.

“Of course we will be written off as no-hopers but it was the same in our semi-final against Petershill yet we had the game wrapped up by half time when 3-0 up and if we can show the same mentality and battling spirit then Auchinleck will know they are in a game.”

The more pressing matter of League Two duty for fourth-top Lesmahagow beckons on Saturday afternoon when Irving and his team head through to Millburn Park for a match against third-placed Vale of Leven, who are currently one point better off.

“Our next couple of league games are huge with Vale of Leven followed by the league leaders Ashfield coming to Craighead Park and we simply must focus on the job of picking up points and put cup final talk on the back burner,” Irving said.

“It helps to have the team playing well at this moment in time and with big McStay having a purple patch in front of goal; he’s already notched 14 goals this season. However we may be forced into a change as Woodlock has picked up a knock which makes him doubtful for the Vale game.

“We don’t want to run the risk of him aggravating his injury, but we desperately want to get a result to give ourselves a boost going into a vital period.”

Meanwhile, there is no let-up in the Junior comings and goings with Cambuslang Rangers sealing the twin captures of ex-Rangers and Clyde defender Jordan McMillan as well as former Queens Park attacker David Galt who previously played in the Junior ranks with Blantyre Vics.