Lesmahagow Juniors manager Robert Irving was stunned to hear that his team had reached the League Cup last eight on Saturday evening.
Although ’Gow had comfortably beaten local rivals Lanark United 2-0 in the final Section 1 game at Moor Park, Robert was sure his team would miss out on goal difference to rivals Larkhall Thistle.
Robert said: “When the boys came into the dressing room after the game we thought we had blown our qualification hopes by missing a lot of chances.
“We knew that Larkhall had been 4-0 up at Royal Albert at half-time and fully expected them to score two or three more in the second half to eliminate us.
“But five minutes later we heard that Larkhall had only won 5-0 so we scraped through and the mood changed completely.
“I was very surprised but delighted that Larkhall hadn’t scored more than five.
“When we started off in this section I’d challenged the boys to finish top and qualify, so it’s pleasing that we’ve done it.”
’Gow had been on top for most of the game at Lanark and took the lead through Jonny Mcstay after 16 minutes.
A long kick from golalkeeper Leishman found its way through to the big striker who calmly round the Lanark keeper and rolled the ball into the empty net.
It wasn’t until the 73rd minute that victory was secured when young Luke Currie fired home from close range.
’Gow don’t get long to bask in the glory of qualifying as they play their quarter-final at home to fellow Central Division 1 outfit Wishaw tonight (Wednesday).
“In the games against Wishaw last season we beat them at their place and they won at our place,” Robert said.
“The teams were very evenly matched and it will all be about who plays well on the night.
“We will definitely be underdogs as we have a new team – only Daryl Meikle, Darren Lygate and Jack Currie are retained from last season – and Wishaw only missed out on promotion last year by a couple of points.”
’Gow will be without Mark Penman, Ross Moore, Jordan Lithgow and Jordan Whitefield (all on holiday) and work commitments could rule out Ross Moore and Paul Woodlock.
The Craighead Park men begin their McBookie.com league season at home to Cambuslang Rangers this Saturday.