The Scottish Cup will always hold a special significance for Elgin City striker Josh Peters.
Forward Peters has played in the competition for a number of clubs, and is preparing for the Black and Whites’ second round tie at home to Championship side Ayr United, which will now take place in midweek due to a frozen pitch at Borough Briggs.
Peters’ outstanding memory came in 2014, however, when he netted a double in Strathspey Thistle’s first Scottish Cup tie against Culter at the age of 18.
Peters’ form earned him a move to Hibernian, and he went on to have spells with Livingston, Forfar Athletic, Queen’s Park and Stirling Albion prior to joining Elgin last summer.
The Jags had joined the Highland League in 2009, but were unable to play in the national competition until they were granted an SFA licence five years later.
Although Thistle went down 4-2 to the Aberdeen junior outfit at Crombie Park, Peters is nevertheless proud to have put his mark on the club’s history.
Peters said: “The Scottish Cup is the biggest competition we get during the season.
“I have played a few Scottish Cup games with a few different teams.
“I don’t think I’ve been part of any major upsets, but when I was younger at Strathspey I scored a couple in their first Scottish Cup game.
“That was a good memory, to be a wee part of their history.
“Since then I don’t think I’ve been further than the third round, so if we get through this round anything can happen.
“Although it’s only the second round, we’ve probably got one of the hardest ties we could have had.
“There are still loads of teams left in the competition, so if we get through we could go on a run – you just never know.”
Elgin are high in confidence, with Gavin Price’s men second in the League Two table.
Ayr have failed to win in their last five encounters and, although Peters accepts the Honest Men are strong favourites, he is determined not to let Mark Kerr’s side get it all their own way.
The 24-year-old added: “We are obviously going to be massive underdogs, but I’m sure the Ayr United boys won’t be looking forward to a long trip up to Elgin.
“We need to try and use that to our advantage.
“We’ve got players in our team that could play at a higher level no problem.
“Although there is going to be a gap in quality in the overall squad, we have players who have competed at that level in the past.
“There’s nothing to fear. They have been a Championship side for the last few years, so we can’t take that away from them, it’s going to be an extremely hard tie.
“It’s not going to be easy for them either though. They can’t take us lightly – we have been a good side this season.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a game of backs against the wall. We are an attacking team so I don’t think it will be any different.
“We will obviously have to be tighter in defence, as they will have quality up front, but they will be in for a hard tie as well.
“All the boys are confident we are capable of getting a good result. It’s just putting everything together and hopefully on the day we come away with a win.”
Peters hopes an upset against Ayr could pave the way for a run in the competition, and he added: “Hopefully all goes well and we can get through to the next round, which is where the bigger teams come in.
“It would be a good opportunity to get the club more finances as, the further on in the competition you get, the better off the club is.
“We have seen in the past, even this season, anything can happen in the Scottish Cup.
“It doesn’t really matter what league you are in. It’s a one-off tie.”