Alness United manager Robert MacCormack hopes his side can use the North Caledonian Cup to right the wrongs of their league campaign.
The Ross-shire side make the trip to Halkirk United in Saturday’s quarter-final tie, with the winner away to Golspie Sutherland in the last four next weekend.
With Alness seventh in the table, and on course for a lower mid-table finish, MacCormack feels the cup gives his side the opportunity to finish the season with a flourish.
MacCormack said: “It has been a difficult season for us.
“I spoke to the boys at training and we all know our league form hasn’t been good enough this season.
“The cup hopefully gives us a chance to put things right. I know we are capable of going on a little run.
“It’s all we’ve really got to play for now apart from our pride. I don’t think our league position is anywhere good enough but we will see out the remainder of the games and see how high up we can finish.”
The two sides have met twice already this season, with Alness running out 4-2 winners on league duty in September before Halkirk progressed in the Football Times Cup on penalties seven days later.
Halkirk were due to host Alness in the league last weekend, however it was postponed due to snow.
Disappointingly, but half expected todays league game away to Alness is postponed due to heavy snow on the pitch ⛄️
We look forward to seeing Alness at Morrison Park next week in the 1/4 Final of the North Caledonian Cup.
— Halkirk United FC (@HalkirkUnitedFC) February 19, 2022
MacCormack, who is without Blair Morrison but hopes to have Alexander Mackay back in contention, feels his side is capable of advancing.
He added: “It has been a couple of weeks since we have had a game so we are hoping the weather is going to clear up.
“We have been up to Halkirk and beaten them before. We played very well but we will have to play just as well if not better to get a result, because they are a very good team.
“They beat us on penalties in the Football Times Cup, so they have both been really good games.
“We are hoping we can go up there and perform like we can.”
All to play for on league duty
The remainder of this weekend’s fixtures are in the league, starting with Nairn County reserves’ home fixture against Inverness Athletic.
NEXT WEEK IN THE NORTH CALEDONIAN LEAGUE (SPONSORED BY @MacandMac28) – 26.2.22
Loch Ness v Invergordon
Orkney v St. Duthus (12.45)
Thurso v Golspie
Nairn County v Inverness
NORTH CALEDONIAN CUP SEMI-FINAL
Halkirk Utd v Alness Utd
— North Caledonian FA (@NorthCaleyFA) February 20, 2022
It is a quick rematch for the sides, with Inverness moving off the foot of the table with a 3-1 triumph over Stuart Finnie’s side last weekend.
Leaders Loch Ness host Invergordon in a top of the table fixture, while Golspie Sutherland make the trip to bottom side Thurso.
The weekend’s remaining game sees Orkney host St Duthus in a mid-table encounter.