In the McBookie.com Premier League on Saturday, East End welcome Ellon United with the hosts looking to continue last weekend’s sparkling form, which saw them ease past East Kilbride Thistle in the Scottish Junior Cup.
Ahead of the New Advocates Park meeting, East End manager Stuart Whicher said: “It was as good as we’ve been all season. They’re a good young side, but we took our chances, which we haven’t been doing this season, and were three up by the break.
“We now go to Stonehaven in the next round and it’s great that one of us will be though to the fourth round.
“It hasn’t been the best of starts this season, but Bradley Manson, our player of the year last season, played for the first time last weekend, and Matty Stewart, who is equally influential in the middle of the park, is only now back in training.
“Ellon will be a tough ask and I know Marc Reid, their new manager, very well and I’ve wished him all the best at United… but obviously after tomorrow.”
On-loan Huntly youngster Zander Jack will be missing for tomorrow’s clash.
New Ellon boss Reid got himself off to a winning start last weekend and, while it’s early days, he is loving life with The Meadows club.
He said: “I’m enjoying it massively.
“When I left as manager at Echt in the summer, I joined the team at Stonehaven, a great club with excellent people, and when the chance came to take over at Ellon, it was one I felt I had to accept.
“It’ll be a tough game tomorrow and Stuart is someone I consider a friend – but I’m looking forward to it.
“The club’s in a pretty good place just now, but right now we’re just assessing what we have available.
“Calum Irvine and Neil Irvine will both return for this one.
“It was great to get off to a winning start (v Nairn), although things are not going to happen overnight.
“Against Nairn, I felt we were in control apart from a wee spell in the second half, but it was an encouraging result and it’s good to be through to the next round of the Quest Engineering Cup.”
Packed day of North Region Junior football action
At Charlie Gordon Park, Newmachar United face a Fraserburgh United side who have the chance to go level on points in second place with a win, while, depending on results elsewhere, Stonehaven could move up to fourth in the table with three points against Maud at Pleasure Park.
There are seven North Regional Cup ties scheduled, with the pick of the bunch looking like being at Crombie Park where Culter entertain Dyce, while there’s a second all-top-flight clash at Heathryfold where Sunnybank meet Colony Park.
Hall Russell United make the short journey to Aberdeen Sports Village to play Bridge of Don Thistle, and Hermes welcome Longside to Lochside Park, with Buchanhaven Hearts travelling to Showfield to line up against Nairn St. Ninian.
Rothie Rovers have home advantage over high-flying Championship Banchory St. Ternan and, at Spain Park, Banks o’ Dee JFC will be keen to continue their good form when Stoneywood Parkvale visit.
Game of the day in the Championship sees third-place Deveronside – with the opportunity to move level on points with Dee at the top of table – take on fourth-place Islavale, who sit two points worse off than the Banff club.
At Forest Park, it’s a battle of the Jags when Burghead Thistle host Forres Thistle.
Cruden Bay are at New Elgin, Whitehills are at home to Glentanar, and Lossiemouth United welcome Dufftown at the town’s playing fields.
Dufftown are looking for interested parties to assist with coaching and a matchday physio/first aider.
Anyone interested can contact Ian Cooper on 07563157069 or Sandy Duncan on 07766010074.
All of Saturday’s games get underway at 1.30pm