Broxburn Athletic defender Gordon Donaldson hopes it’s third time lucky in the third round of the Scottish Cup.
Saturday’s trip to Inverurie Loco Works will be the third time he’s played in a third round tie but he’s yet to progress any further in the nation’s top cup competition.
During his time at Edinburgh City, the left-back suffered agony twice but he’s hoping it’s a different story for Athletic as the East of Scotland Premier Division side look to continue their remarkable debut campaign.
He said: “I got to the third round a couple of times with Edinburgh City but have never been able to get to the fourth round.
“Fingers crossed we can do it with Broxburn on Saturday.
“It’s been a decent run we’ve had so far. We’ve had to play five games, with one being a replay in the last round, so it’s been a really good run for the club.
“We just hope that we’re able to continue but we know it’s going to be a real challenge on Saturday.
“Inverurie are challenging for the Highland League title so they’re clearly a very good side.”
After a fast start to the season, the Brox have lost three of their four games since knocking Cowdenbeath out in the second round last month.
That doesn’t stop Donaldson believing their name will be in the draw amongst the big boys of the Scottish game – but he knows they must improve on recent displays.
He said: “We need to play better than we have been recently because we’ve dropped off since the Cowdenbeath games. But if we put in a decent performance, and we know that we’re capable of doing that, then we’ve
got every chance of getting in to the next round.
“The two Cowdenbeath games show that we can do it and can compete at that level and get the win so we need to be up to that standard again.”
Much has been made of Athletic’s goal-scoring exploits but a string of solid defensive efforts has given the frontmen a platform on which to build during the cup run and the aim will once again be to have a solid defensive unit at the weekend.
“Defensively we’ve been really solid in the cup games and it’s something that we worked really hard on, particularly before the Cowdenbeath games,” says Donaldson.
“We worked on our shape and what we do when we don’t have the ball to make it hard for them to break us down and it certainly worked.
“They didn’t really threaten us much and that’s what we need to do again. The defending maybe hasn’t been the best since the win against Cowdenbeath so we need to raise our standards.
“We need to get off to a good start because we can’t afford to give a team the calibre of Inverurie a two-goal lead.
“The last couple of games we’ve been 3-1 down and then started to play really well and we can’t do that on Saturday.
“They’re obviously a decent side if they can get through to the third round, but so are we. If we can keep playing to the level we are capable of for the full 90 minutes, then you never know.”
Given the size of the occasion, it’s no surprise that family and friends will be making the long trek to Harlaw Park and they’ll be amongst a vocal away support that Donaldson is keen to ensure travel back home happy.
He said: “I’ve got pals driving up and my two brothers are on one of the buses. Everyone will have family going.
“The fans were unbelievable in the last round, away and in the replay at home, so to know there’s going to be another huge following is great.
“To play in front of a support like that was unreal so obviously you want to do it for them and reward them just as much as you want to win for yourself.”