Cove Rangers welcome Montrose to Balmoral Stadium today for what captain Mitch Megginson hopes will be the first step on a path towards the SPFL Trust Trophy final.
Cove reached the semi-final stage of the competition in March 2022 before losing 1-0 to Queen of the South and striker Megginson would love to take the extra step this season.
Megginson said: “This is a cup competition we want to do well in. A couple of seasons ago we got to the semi-finals, and the aim has to be to go that one step further.
“It’s a competition I’ve enjoyed personally, I’ve scored a few goals in it down the years, and we’ve had some pretty impressive results along the way.
“The deeper you go into it, you get the chance to play some of the Championship teams as well, and we’re owe them from last year, so that’s something we would relish.”
‘We fancied our chances’
It remains a source of frustration for the Cove skipper that his side missed out on a final appearance against Raith Rovers two seasons ago.
The extended cup run came in the club’s League One title winning campaign and having been part of that successful squad Megginson hopes Paul Hartley’s new-look side can take inspiration as they prepare to face the Gable Endies.
He said: “When we lost in the semis it was hugely disappointing. We deserved to win that night, and we had a strong team back then.
“We would have fancied our chances in the final.
“This is the first step towards emulating that side, and we have to be fully focused.
“If we get through, then we can start looking further ahead, but for now all our attention is on trying to beat Montrose.
“The cup is a chance to make more history for our club and we are all desperate to do well in it.”
Megginson hoping for Montrose repeat
The switch in focus to the Challenge Cup comes following consecutive league defeats in League One for Hartley’s side.
But Megginson believes his side can take encouragement from their previous display against today’s visitors Montrose following their 3-0 victory at Links Park on August 19.
The Cove captain said: “Montrose is an opportunity for us to get back to the levels we showed when we last met.
“We’ve not reached those in the two games since, despite having plenty of the ball. We’ve missed chances and conceded sloppy goals, and that’s led to the defeats.
“It has been really frustrating. Against Alloa last week we must have had by far the better of the possession, but we just couldn’t make the most of that.
“We’ve got to stay as positive as possible and keep working hard.
“We are still a work in progress and there’s still a bit of rawness but we’ve been trying to get that right in training.”
Megginson added: “You need only look at the last Montrose game to see we have what it takes.
“The firepower is there and we just need to perform as a team, rather than as individuals which has probably been the case in the last couple of games.
“There’s no doubt we have the quality in the changing room, and when we perform as a unit, we can beat anyone on our day.”