It’s often been said that bookmakers’ odds are compiled upon hard facts rather than perceptions.
But this argument doesn’t hold water as punters see Glenafton being quoted as 11/5 outsiders ahead of tomorrow’s Scottish Junior Cup semi-final second-leg showdown away to Bonnyrigg Rose.
One cannot help but think that on the evidence of last weekend’s first meeting of the clubs at Loch Park - won 1-0 by the Glens - fresh in their minds is set to have New Cumnock fans forming an orderly queue to take advantage of this generous price.
The strong-going Ayrshire outfit’s performance on the day arguably merited better than such a slender lead and supporters will make the arduous trek east greatly encouraged by the knowledge their team has lost only one game on the road all season - a 4-1 defeat by Largs Thistle earlier this month.
Glens boss Craig McEwan last night made the astute version that "what has gone before counts for nothing".
He went on: "Bonnyrigg manager Robbie Horne hinted at a tough 90 minutes in store through there when stating his team did not play anywhere near their best last Saturday but both assistant manager Craig Potter and I were of the opinion our players still had a few gears to go up.
“We learned in the first game that Bonnyrigg are a big powerful side albeit not an overly aggressive one and one who have it in them to play clever passing football if you make the mistake of standing off them as we did in the early stages.
“They definitely started better with Adam Nelson and Ruaridh Donaldson in particular catching the eye and it took us a while to get at them however there is no doubting we grabbed control and looked the stronger of the teams as the game wore on.
“Now we must go through it all again, however it is not in this Glenafton team’s nature to sit back and defend.
"So you can take it as read that my players will be looking to impose themselves as an attacking threat at every opportunity.
“ Of course Bonnyrigg will put us under pressure playing in front of their own fans but they won’t walk over the top of us.”
Word on the team front reckons Bonnyrigg’s towering centre-back Ewan Moyes is a non-starter after his red carding in the first game.
In contrast, Glenafton full-back Alan Cairns is in line for recall after serving a two-match suspension and a further boost comes from hitman Mick McCann declaring himself fit .
Southy revealed: "Mick has come through some stiff workouts to put himself into our selection picture and we are looking in better shape for this week’s game though a doubt still hangs over Chris Dallas.
“His mobility could open Bonnyrigg up given their big centre-back is likely to be posted missing however we will not take any chances in a game of this importance and play anyone unless they are 100 per cent fit.”
The team boss is not reading too much into Glenafton having their noses in front going into the second leg tie which will be decided by a penalty kick shoot out if the teams are level on aggregate after 90 minutes.
He said: "I can hardly say anything else after playing in the last Glenafton team to appear at the semi-final stage when we were 2-1 down to Camelon after the first leg yet came good by a 2-0 scoreline at Loch Park to get through 3-2 on aggregate.
“Camelon tried to protect what they had back then and hopefully good game management will prevent us making the same mistake this time out.
“Doing the simple things well is crucial as is choosing when it is right to take risks and when it is not but we have several players who have been over this Scottish Junior Cup course before and I’d like to think the shared experience will stand us in good stead .
“Five of last weekend’s starting team plus Alan Cairns played alongside myself in the Glenafton team that lost 3-0 in the 2014 cup final against Hurlford United and it would be marvellous for these players to be back on the big stage again with the chance to make amends.”
Southy added: "I know better than most just how good my players can be so I would love them to go out and entertain but deep down I don’t really care how ugly the game is as a spectacle as long as Glenafton win through .
“Nobody ever remembers if it was a poor semi-final if your team is in the final.”
PLAYING TOMORROW(Kick-offs 2pm unless stated) Scottish Junior Cup Semi-Finals Second Leg (2.30pm). Bonnyrigg Rose v Glenafton, Auchinleck Talbot v Linlithgow Rose.
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