Formartine United player-manager Paul Lawson is optimistic his side can overcome East Kilbride this weekend and book their place in the draw for the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.
The 16 winners from this weekend’s third round ties will join the 12 Scottish Premiership sides plus Championship teams Dundee United, Dundee, Ayr United and Caley Thistle in Sunday’s draw.
Formartine, one of three Highland League teams still in the competition, head into this weekend’s home match with confidence following a 1-0 victory against Inverurie Locos in the first round of the Highland League Cup.
East Kilbride are sitting eighth in the Lowland League and are without a manager after Stuart Malcolm left to replace Jim Weir at Forfar Athletic.
Lawson’s side are likely to start as slight favourites against last season’s Lowland League champions, who boast a squad packed of players with SPFL experience.
The North Lodge Park men have reached the fourth round of the Scottish Cup twice in the last three seasons, losing 4-0 to top flight Partick Thistle in 2017 before being beaten 2-0 by fellow Highland League side Cove Rangers the following year.
Lawson said: “Kilby may get a new boss before Saturday but, whatever happens, it is a home tie and we have to be confident. I certainly believe that if we get the effort and enthusiasm then we should be OK.”