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Daily Record
Daily Record
Andy McGilvray

Tranent cup win can provide title belief at Gartcairn, says boss Mick Dunlop

Gartcairn boss Mick Dunlop hopes their brilliant cup win over Lowland League side Tranent convinces his side they can win the West of Scotland First Division.

Goals from Jordan Love and Regan Aitken either side of a penalty by former Hamilton Accies striker James Keatings put the Airdrie side into the South Challenge Cup quarter-finals, where they play Kilwinning Rangers on April 1.

That has left the MTC Park side playing catch-up as they drop down to fifth place, but have up to four games in hand over the teams above them.

They will start to eat into that tonight (Wednesday) as they welcome Cumbernauld United, before travelling to Blantyre Vics this weekend.

Dunlop says his side had to work their socks off for the win, but hopes it gives the players a huge boost.

He said: “The boys were excellent, they worked really hard.

“They’re two levels above us, and when you play against a team like them, you’ve got to be quite compact and solid.

“We didn’t create a lot of chances, but we were clinical with the two or three that we had, which I had spoke to them about before.

Dunlop says his side were clinical with their chances and restricted Tranent to not many of their own (David Rankin)

“We restricted them; they had a few chances in the early part of the game, but after that they never really created a lot, which was good.

“It was a fantastic result for us.

“It’s a one-off game but wins like that, when you’re playing against teams from two leagues above you, it really does give you a lot of confidence, moving forward.

“We’re going to have a lot of big games in the league – we’ve got Drumchapel to play twice, St Cadoc’s to play, Benburb to play twice, and these are all up in the top four.

“But from the players’ perspective, when they know that they’re able to beat a team like Tranent, then it can’t do anything but give you confidence for the remainder of the season.”

Leaders Kilbirnie Ladeside are seven points clear of Gartcairn, but having played four more games, while the Airdrie club also have two and three games in hand over St Cadoc’s and Benburb in second and third place.

Dunlop said: “I think it’s well known at this level that if you do have successful cup runs you’re going to have a lot of games to catch up on, and it’s going to be Saturday-Wednesday.

Dunlop hopes his players will believe they can win the title if they can beat a team like Tranent (Lyndsay Christie)

“We’ve had a game called off and played two cup matches, so other teams have started to play more games than us, and get ahead of us.

“But that’s us in the quarter-finals of two cups [they travel to Auchinleck Talbot in the West of Scotland Cup on March 18], and we’re also fighting for promotion or the league title, so we are looking forward to the next game.

“The player would rather play than train, so I don’t think it will be an issue.”

Tonight's game at MTC Park kicks off at 7.30pm.

Follow Lanarkshire Live Sport on Twitter via @LanLiveSport, like us on Facebook or find us on Instagram for the latest sports news, pictures and video.

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