Back to cup action this weekend with the second round of the South Challenge Cup. Having seen got through the first round beating and East Of Scotland Premier Division club managed by an ex-Berwick player there's a sense of deja-vu as we travel up the A1 to face an East of Scotland Premier Division club managed by an ex-Berwick player. This time it's a visit to Foresters Park to face Tranent Juniors who are managed by Calvin Shand.
This promises to be a sterner test than that offered by Darren Smith's Newtongrange Star in the first round. Tranent went to the top of the EOS Premier last week with a 2 - 1 home victory over nine man Musselburgh Athletic (obviously they didn't have nine men for the whole game but it is compulsory to say this even though it was late on before it happened).
This followed on from good away victories at Newtongrange and Sauchie on top of a further home win over Jeanfield and a high scoring home draw with Whitehill. They currently lead the table by a point from the highly fancied Linlithgow Rose. Critics will say they haven't faced any of the league's top teams at this stage. They did have a comprehensive win at Gala in the first round of this competition which should serve as a warning to us and the bookies have them as pretty strong favourites to win this game.
Shand was part of Coughlin's title winning squad having signed from Peterhead at the end of the August transfer window, however, he was unable to break into the rock solid defence we had that season and was released at the end of it. He went on to play for Arniston and then Musselburgh Athletic. He became manager of Musselburgh in June 2016 and he had a difficult first season suffering relegation from the East Superleague. However the following season saw them win the East Premier League with a record points total. Shand, however, Shand resigned at the end of the season amidst rumours of discontent behind the scenes. The resignation lasted three weeks before he was back in charge following changes in the structures at the club. He then resigned again in January 2019 for personal and family reasons. He took up the reins at Tranent the following month.
Tranent are another of the Junior clubs who moved over to the Senior set up and clearly have ambitions to progress. Foresters Park has a 3,000 capacity and they are crowd funding to install floodlights.
Dream Team news sees a full squad available with the exception of Ricky Miller who has family commitments. Not necessarily news we want to hear when we are about to face a team who out 6 past Gala and who signed striker Kyle Landers from Newtongrange last Friday and who promptly scored two goals on the Saturday.
Fans should note this is a 2:30 kick off.