Dalbeattie Star boss Ritchie Maxwell ready for East Kilbride and chance of Scottish Cup history
Dalbeattie Star are gearing up for arguably the biggest game in their history on Saturday when they host East Kilbride in the third round of the Scottish Cup.
Victory will put the Islecroft side into the last 32 and bring the chance of landing a tie against one of the Premiership big guns.
That would be another highlight in an already memorable season for boss Ritchie Maxwell and his players whose results in this season’s Lowland League have confounded most ‘experts’.
"As far as I am aware if we qualify for the fourth round it will be the furthest the club's ever been, so it's a massive opportunity,” said Maxwell.
"We're going into it in a really positive mood. Recently we've done really well, we've only lost one of the last five games, we've kept four clean sheets in that period and last time out we beat Rangers B.
"The boys are in a really good place, training's been really good, spirits are really high.”
Star’s one recent setback however came against Saturday’s opponents who won 4-1 in a league encounter at Islecroft earlier this month.
With the likes of former Scotland internationals Steven Saunders and Lee Miller, New Zealand cap Richard Ord and former Rangers star Gregg Wylde in the squad, Maxwell is fully aware of the danger they pose.
But he also believes his side can add to their cup wins over Newtongrange Star and Rothes this season if they play to top form.
"They're a team with loads of experience,” he said. “They've got a lot of boys that have got league experience, they'll have played in the latter rounds of these competitions before.
"They've got young boys coming through as well so we're under no illusions it's going to be a difficult game.
"We've played them twice in the league already this season when we've not been at our best and they've punished us in these games, so we know we're going to have to hit our highest levels to give ourselves an opportunity of getting through.
"But the boys are confident and we know that on our day we can give anybody a game.
"We got a big turnout at the Rangers game, about 600, which is our biggest ever in the Lowland League. Hopefully that performance will entice some of them back for Saturday because the support really helps.”