LESMAHAGOW come up the road to face Arthurlie in a Scottish Junior Cup second-round replay tomorrow in a contest that bears all the hallmarks of a giant-killing according to visiting boss Robert Irving.

The mid-table Central First Division outfit are on a roll and will be seeking to extend their unbeaten run to four games against a struggling Barrhead side that have failed to win in front of their own supporters since August with newly appointed manager Billy Ogilvie in his first game in charge.

Former midfield ace Irving played in the Gow side that famously won 1-0 at Dunterlie in a 1988 quarter-final (Dunky Sinclair scored the game’s only goal from the penalty spot) and he refuses to rule out another cup upset despite only managing a 3-3 draw in last week’s first game between the clubs at Craighead Park.

He insisted: “I’ve said often enough in the past that the big boys don’t allow teams second chances, but I’m feeling really upbeat from knowing the fear factor which conspired against us last weekend is now gone.

“My players appeared to stand back in awe of Arthurlie for the opening 25 minutes and they took full advantage to go 2-0 ahead but the guys then gave themselves a shake and got back on level terms before half-time.

“To then fall behind 3-2 was another setback but we showed good spirit to go straight back up the park and score again before missing several opportunities to win the tie and it says everything when the mood in our dressing room was one of abject disappointment at the final whistle.

“A lot of teams might have regarded a draw against a side from two divisions higher up the pecking order as a cause for celebration but my players know they could and probably should have booked their place in the third Round."

Experienced campaigner Irving is expecting Arthurlie to get a massive lift from new gaffer Ogilvie’s arrival on the scene and wishes the new man well however he would love nothing better than to taint his counterpart’s debut.

He said: "Billy has some good players at his beck and call, most notably Marc McKenzie, a real livewire forward who caused us no end of problems in the first game.

“The younger lad up front, Alex Wyper, also caught the eye along with Steven Tart in defence while the quality of Colin Spence when he’s given time on the ball is there for all to see.

“I’ve no doubt Billy as the new manager will want to introduce his own ideas and probably some new faces into the bargain and I will make a point of wishing him the best of luck... but only after Saturday’s replay.”

Irving puts great store in Lesmahagow’s attack this season and insists he will set his stall out to have a go at Arthurlie.

He added “We are rightly the underdogs tomorrow but any puncher is always in with a shout and we have two potent strikers in Jordan Lithgow and Steven Higgins capable of delivering a knockout blow.

“We would arguably have been more potent had Lewis McDougall not been posted missing because of a dead leg however he has been receiving treatment every night this week and I’m hopeful he might fit enough to give us a half hour coming off the bench

“Yet another of our attacking threats is Jordan Whitefield [grandson of legendary Gow manager Billy] who has bravely battled back from a year out of football through cruciate ligament surgery to emerge as an outstanding talent.

“These guys undoubtedly have what it takes to play at a much higher level and I want them to prove me right with their performances on the big Dunterlie stage tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, neither can the prospect of another shock replay result be ruled out through in Springburn where runaway Super First Division leaders Petershill await the visit of Port Glasgow in the wake of a 0-0 Woodhall Park stalemate last weekend.

Supporters of both clubs are lamenting first-game events that could have already decided the tie with a Port Glasgow goal ruled offside while Peasy front man Ryan Hynes missed a penalty, however both managers – Brian Heron (Port) and Willie Patterson (Petershill) – considered the draw a fair result.

Patterson revealed: “Fair play to Port Glasgow for being up for it and getting in about us and the result was we passed the ball well but created very little.

“Circumstances meant we were shorn of the goalscoring threat of Scott McManus, Chris Hall and Jason Hardie, but we are in the exact same predicament this week and need to get on with it.

Port gaffer Heron’s selection options are depleted by the absence of striker Jason Donnelly after he dislocated his shoulder last week while Danny Bamford’s red card means suspension rules him out.

He admitted: “Willie’s team are a proper football-playing side and it will be difficult for my players to get a result through at their place... but certainly not impossible.

“Bamford was outstanding last week and will be a big loss but we have plenty of young legs eager to test themselves against the likes of Jordan Murch so we are not making the journey through there expecting to come away second best.

“I’ve no doubt Petershill will be tipped to see us off with goals to spare, but we always go into every game believing we can win and our mindset will be unchanged tomorrow.”