BERWICK manager Ian Little says he hopes Rangers have not missed their chance to kill off Stenhousemuir and make progress to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.
The teams drew 1-1 at Ochilview on Saturday and must now do it all again in a replay at Shielfield next Tuesday (November 13), when the winners will go on to face Falkirk, at home on December 1.
“The chance to play at home against a big first division club is a big carrot for us,” admitted Little, “but first of all we must get past Stenny in the replay.
After Saturday’s performance, when Rangers played some of their best football of the season on the plastic surface, Little said: “They were there for the taking, there’s no doubt about that.
“We created plenty of chances and that in itself was pleasing but it was a case of the same old story – we just could not bury them.
“We should have won the tie but the fact remains we are still in the cup and now we have to try and finish the job next week on our own patch.
“Overall I thought we were the better side and we had by far the better of the opening half, although Stenny looked dangerous early on.
“I just hope we haven’t missed our chance because I’m sure Stenny will be a lot more determined second time around.”
Before the cup replay Berwick face a lengthy trip north this week to take on Elgin in the league.
The City-slickers are currently sitting second in the third division table, just two points behind leaders Rangers, and have lost only one of five league games at Borough Briggs this season.
“Elgin are a decent side and we know they will be a very difficult team to break down,” admits Little.
“We drew with them 0-0 at Shielfield back in August, but they are currently the division’s leading goal scorers (22) and that alone tells us how dangerous they can be.”
Berwick, who have been missing full-backs Dene Droudge and Marc Lancaster in recent weeks, will go into the match with an otherwise full squad to chose from, as Damien Gielty is expected to be back in training this week, and it’s likely they will go with a similar line-up for the trip to Elgin.
That will mean another start for recently-recruited Ross Gray, who is now in his third loan spell from parent club Livingston.
The diminutive midfielder made his first start at Stenny on Saturday when he turned in a man of the match performance.
Little said: “I always knew Ross would give us added options, and he certainl;y did that on Saturday.
“With ‘Geordie’ (Kevin McDonald) on the left, Ross gave us more balance on the right.
“He created a few chances and had a few himself and if he can continue playing like that I will be more than happy.”
Gray finished last season on loan at Shielfield and there were hopes he might start the current campaign as well.
With regards to Droudge and Lancaster Little says both players are likely to be out for some time.
Lancaster has aggravated an old back injury and Droudge has a damaged knee.
“Both played early season and were doing well, so it has been disappointing to lose them both,” said Little.