THERE is very little in Mark Mackay’s demeanour that suggests he is quaking in his boots at the prospect of his Vale of Clyde side taking on higher league outfit Blantyre Vics in a Macron Scottish Junior Cup second-round replay tomorrow.

But he admits the Tin Pail can count themselves fortunate to be getting a second bite at the cherry.

“They worked our goalkeeper far more than we worked theirs and it speaks volumes when Don Scott was by far and away our man of the match ” the unassuming team boss said.

But the fact is that a severely weakened Vale of Clyde were 2-0 up at the half-way stage in last week’s first meeting at Castle Park, only for the Vics to mount a stirring second-half comeback.

“As many as eight players were posted missing for a variety of reasons. I admit they wouldn’t all have started the game, but I can honestly say every one of the guys would have been involved.

“What made our selection problems particularly frustrating was the absence of our most experienced Junior Cup campaigners such as Lee Morrison, Kevin Turner, Nikky Fraser and Gary McLean to name but a few.

“Indeed, only a handful of players were in our starting line-up that had ever played Junior football before the start of this season so to then find ourselves in a winning position defied belief, not least because we had opportunities to increase our lead.

“But by the same token, Blantyre Vics had chances of their own and would have scored a few goals but for a few fortunate breaks and the brilliance of Don.

“Overall when a team is 2-0 to the good and don’t go on to win, then it’s hard not to think of the result as a neg-

ative, yet the truth is we are probably lucky to still be in the cup.”

Mackay will welcome back some of his seasoned playing charges for the Fullarton Park contest, but a number of players who performed well in the first game are now unavailable so he has moved to bolster his hand with last night’s capture of highly- regarded ex-Shettleston defender Jamie McArthur.

“Jamie is a very versatile type who played for me at Red Star last season and it’s no secret that I’ve been on his case for some time so to finally persuade him to come on board is a marvellous boost for our dressing room,” Mackay said. “He’s a determined ball winner who is well known at Junior level from his time at Shettleston but he has only recently turned 30 and his best years are in front of him.

“I’m delighted the Vale of Clyde officials have backed my transfer dealings and hopefully they will get their reward in the shape of a large turnout of local Tollcross folk wanting to take in this Cup replay given that both the Old Firm clubs are not playing until Sunday.

“I cannot promise supporters a victory but what they will see is a Vale of Clyde team whose approach is to get the ball down and get players into forward areas.

“We might tinker a bit with the formation after seeing Blantyre’s strengths close up last week but we will have a go and try to earn a place in the next round.

“I never got further than the fourth round during my own playing days so to go further with the Vale would be something to relish."

In other second-round replay jousts taking place,Yoker Athletic are strongly tipped to make home advantage tell when hosting Muirkirk following a 2-2 stalemate but more difficult to call is the clash of Lanark United against Whitletts Vics at Moor Park where Colin Slater’s men have only lost once all season.

Bookmakers' odds make Championship promotion contenders Whitletts overwhelming favourites to secure a place in next Tuesday afternoon’s third-round draw but United's never-say-die qualities - they twice came from behind in last weekend’s first game - might tip the balance in their favour.

Saturday games (ko 2pm unless stated): Macron Scottish Junior Cup second round (2.30pm): Vale of Clyde v Blantyre Vics, Whitehills v New Elgin, Yoker Athletic v Muirkirk, Aberdeen University v Maybole, Lanark Utd v Whitletts Vics. Super Premiership: Cambuslang Rangers v Renfrew, Clydebank v Petershill, Rob Roy v Cumnock, Auchinleck Talbot v Glenafton, Irvine Meadow v Kilwinning Rangers, Pollok v Kilbirnie Ladeside, Beith v Hurlford Utd, Troon v Largs Thistle. Championship: Kello Rovers v Arthurlie, Kilsyth Rangers v Neilston, Girvan v Craigmark, Larkhall Thistle v Darvel, Irvine Vics v Cumbernauld Utd, Dalry Thistle v Rutherglen Glencairn. League One: Shotts Bon Accord v Wishaw, Royal Albert v Glasgow Perthshire, Ardrossan Winton Rovers v Gartcairn, East Kilbride Thistle v Shettleston, Port Glasgow v Bellshill Athletic. League Two: Newmains Utd v Ardeer Thistle, Vale of Leven v Saltcoats Vics, Forth Wanderers v St Anthonys, Johnstone Burgh v Carluke Rovers, Lesmahagow v Ashfield,Thorniewood Utd v Annbank Utd.