Moon man out to blast Nock into cup orbit

Stevie Mooney wants his Greenock side's hot streak to extend to taking the biggest cup scalp of all on Saturday – that of Emirates Scottish Junior Cup holders Shotts Bon Accord.

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With his playing charges buoyed from topping the Central First Division stakes and going for an anything but unlucky 13th victory of the season, he is not ruling out them landing a shock knockout blow.

The Nock gaffer said: "Showcase games of this ilk don't come around too often and maybe represent a huge step up in class for us, however I'll be very disappointed if we don't do ourselves justice.

"It's understandable for bookies to rate us outright underdogs, but my guys have been very consistent and are relishing this chance to go out and make their mark against one of the cup big guns.

"Yes, it's a massive hurdle to be taking on the holders, but we have a fairly young team who have energy, ability and no little confidence so the feeling in our dressing room is this is a tie we have a chance of winning."

Though at pains to stress his side's youthful qualities, 'Moon man' also acknowledges the contribution of Greenock's older heads, Stevie Dallas and John Boyd

He added "Dallas has only recently came back out of semi-retirement and may not feature in our starting line-up, but his experience of what's needed in these big cup occasions could prove invaluable.

"Then there's our eldest statesman Boydy who has been an absolute revelation since coming into the team after a close family bereavement caused Kenny Mackay to take some time away from the game.

"Kenny is our top scorer by some way and we were worried about losing his goals return, however Boydy has led the line superbly and it's no exaggeration to say he's been the spark that has made us play in recent games.

"Now comes a tricky selection dilemma with Kenny having returned to the fold last Saturday as a scoring substitute against Lesmahagow which leaves him, Boydy and John Carter in contention for starting jerseys."

Full-back Paul Burns is the only injury concern for visiting gaffer Tony McInally who said: "We fully expect Greenock to be a handful and are preparing for a testing time of it.

"Our cup form on the road has been particularly good, however the plastic surface provides an added dimension seeing as it suits their pacy strikers McKay and Carter down to the ground and we'll need to guard against their threat.

"It's a tie we are supposed to win but I would only feel confident if I could be guaranteed of every Shotts player producing their best on the day.

"We are proud holders of the Scottish trophy and it's going to take a good team to wrest it away from us – whether that's Greenock remains to be seen."

On the transfer front, Irvine Meadow have snapped up defender Richard Reeder, a Scottish Amateur Cup winner with Hurlford Thistle last season.

He is in line for a Medda starting jersey in this week's Emirates third round joust with St Anthony's.

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