Tayport motivated by cup final chance

Tayport Juniors in previous action (picture by Dave Scott)
Tayport Juniors in previous action (picture by Dave Scott)

Tayport’s bid for a silver lining to their season continues tomorrow (Saturday) when they travel to Westview Park to take on Kirrie Thistle in the semi-finals of the GA Engineering Cup.

‘Port won the inter-regional trophy as recently as 2015, when they defeated Dundee North End at Tannadice Park.

Such has been the turnaround in personnel at the Canniepairt, only Alan Tulleth and Gary Sutherland remain at the club.

The current crop will certainly be hungry for such success, so will be highly motivated for what could be a close semi-final encounter.

Although Kirrie play in the tier below Tayport, they have been enjoying a terrific campaign.

Ex-’Port strikers Darren Scott and Bryan Duell have been scoring for fun and will be very keen to put Tayport to the sword.

It’s over a year since Kirrie failed to find an opponent’s net in any game. In 2017, to date, they have scored over 50 goals for the loss of only five.

That is why Thistle currently top the North Division, with a plus 73 goal difference after 20, and look set to join Tayport in the Premier League next season.

Tayport player-boss John Ovenstone, however, is relishing the challenge.

“Last weekend’s victory against Bathgate sets us up for the cup semi-final against Kirrie and, while it will undoubtedly be a tough game, the boys are buzzing and very much looking forward to it,” he said.

While Ovenstone was frustrated that his charges haven’t yet displayed the cutting edge he has been looking for, they have won their last three matches and have looked more solid defensively.

“Gregor Anderson, Stuart Walton and Craig Sturrock have been fantastic at the back,” he said.

“Another plus at Bathgate was the display by young Grant Paterson. He was outstanding and it’s so pleasing to see the progress he and our other youngsters are making. It bodes so well for the future of the club.”

Perhaps, in the long-term, the ‘Port support has much cause for optimism. In the short-term, there is a cup final place up for grabs, so the fans should travel in good numbers to Westview Park, where kick-off is scheduled for 2.30pm. If level after 90 minutes, the tie will be decided by penalty kicks.

‘Port are also due play a midweek fixture on Wednesday evening, when they make the short trip across the water to Dundee, to take on Violet, at Glenesk Park. The McBookie.com East Premier League match has a 6.45pm kick-off.