Lesmahagow Juniors boss Robert Irving is eyeing another sensational run in the Sectional League Cup after beating Royal Albert 4-1.
The comfortable victory got ’Gow off to a winning start in their section and gives them a chance of qualifying for the last eight as group winners, three years after they accomplished this feat before eventually losing to Pollok in the semi-finals.
“Getting to the last four that year was a great learning experience for my young players,” Robert said.
“We are aiming to finish top of our group again this time.
“A lot of managers and players take the league cup as a grounding for the league campaign. That is fair enough, but when a game starts you want to win and ultimately finish top.”
Central Division 1 outfit ’Gow took the lead against lower league Albert when debutant Matt Penman – recently signed from Larkhall Thistle – latched onto a great pass from Jack Currie and superbly beat the keeper from 18 yards.
Albert were the better side for the remainder of the first half but failed to take any of their scoring chances.
’Gow started the second half much better and went further ahead when Daryl MacDonald headed home a Paul Woodlock free-kick.
The hosts’ third goal was again set up by the impressive Woodlock when he flighted a great ball to the back post for Currie to bullet a header home.
Woodlock then deservedly got a goal when his perfect free kick flew into the top corner.
Albert scored a consolation near to full-time when ex-’Gow player Barry Murdoch cut in from the left and beat Leishman all ends up.
Irving, who was taking charge of his 200th competitive game as ’Gow boss, added: “Albert made it hard for us.
“We didn’t start well but came onto a game in the second half.
“Paul Woodlock was excellent and showed he has the ability to play at a higher level.
“I’d been interested in signing him from Wishaw for the past two or three seasons and he finally became available this summer.
“Paul is a good passer and has good control.
“He can pick out players who’ve made good forward runs, which is maybe something we’ve been lacking in recent years.”
’Gow’s second group fixture is at Larkhall Thistle this Saturday.