The Warriors head into their final group game knowing that a win could potentially take them into the next round of the Premier Sports Cup.
A Stenhousemuir win coupled with either a Montrose win [against Partick Thistle] or a Montrose draw and bonus point, would send The Warriors through as Group B Winners.
A Stenhousemuir loss or draw would see the boys eliminated.
However, it does get confusing if Stenhousemuir and Partick Thistle win, or Stenhousemuir win and Thistle draw and pick up the bonus point. That would put Stenhousemuir second in the group and would require to be one of the top 3 best placed runners up.
For that to happen, we would require no more than 2 of the following results to play out…
- [Raith Rovers defeat Aberdeen]
- [Dunfermline beat Alloa and Ross County defeat or draw with East Fife]
- [Airdrie beat Arbroath]
- [Livingston beat Kelty Hearts by at least 5 clear goals]
- [Queens Park beat Hamilton or Hamilton beat Queens Park by at least 4 clear goals]
If this scenario works in our favour, then the boys would go through as a best placed runner up.
However, we can’t look passed Premiership Kilmarnock.
Our head to head record against Killie could be better. From the 26 competitive meetings, The Warriors have managed 7 wins, 2 draws and 17 defeats. However, looking at this competition in silo, it’s all square with a win, a draw and a loss.
We don’t have to look too far back to see the last meeting between the 2 sides. The Rugby Park side visited Ochilview in April 2021 and ran away 4-0 winners in the Scottish Cup.
The Warriors are on back to back wins and after a very positive result on Tuesday night against Montrose, the website caught up with Swifty and asked him the game plan for Saturday.
“Just try to frustrate them as much as we can. We obviously know that they’re a Premiership side and they’ve got very good players, but we just need to ensure that we’re organised nd disciplined. I felt that they other night that our defensive structure was great, and we were great on the counter. So we’ll just continue that. It’s been a successful group so far, even though we got beat off Partick, I felt that we were really good in long spells. So we just need to give a good account of ourselves and it will be a good group all in.”
There is a place up for grabs in the next round, and it’s the first time that the club have had that carrot on the stick to give them a meaningful last game.
“It’s definitely giving us a boost. Though whether that’s feasible in regards to how quality the opposition is! But we’ll go into the game knowing that if we win, we have a good chance of qualifying. So with that in mind, we’ll give it our best shot. The boys will give absolutely everything. We’ve got an opportunity to get through. But, like I said, not for one instance will we underestimate the quality of the opposition that we’re playing.”
The mentality of the squad, they must be buzzing. They didn’t get the result against Partick, but the performance was there and as a whole, the boys have been outstanding in this Group.
“Like I said, it’s been a successful group so far and we just need to give a good account of ourselves. Ultimately, they’re a full time team with better players than us. So a few things need to go our way to get a result, but I just hope that we can give a good account of ourselves.”
One player that isn’t a stranger to Kilmarnock is Craig Bryson. The veteran midfielder joined the Ayrshire club from Clyde back in 2007 and went on to make 118 appearances before moving down south to Derby County. We caught up with Craig and asked him how excited he is to be heading back to Rugby Park.
“I’m looking forward to it. I had a great 4 years at Kilmarnock and a lot of the people are still there. The fans were excellent with me when I was there and it’s always nice to go back and see how it goes and hopefully we can get a positive result.
“There’s a few different scenarios that can happen if we go there win the game. But hopefully we can go there and win and qualify and get into the next round.”
Craig opened his scoring for The Warriors in Saturday’s 3-0 win against Fraserburgh. He’s not known for his goals, but we had to ask how that one felt.
“It was nice. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve suffered with an injury since I’ve came back to Scotland and I think it’s my first goal since I’ve come back up. So it was nice to see it hit the back of the net and fingers crossed it’s the first of many this season!”
Obviously we couldn’t leave it there, so we asked Craig on his targets for the season, either personal or for the team.
“The main thing is the team getting promoted to League One. That’s the be all and end all. It doesn’t really matter who scores or who assists or does anything like that. As long as we get the 3 points on a Sturdy or whatever. I think individually, every player should set themselves targets for what they want to achieve in the season and I’ll be no different, but I’ll just keep those to myself!”
Nicky Jamieson and Dan Higgins continue to be ruled out, but aside from that, Swifty has a fully fit squad to take on the Rugby Park team.
Match Entry: Match entry is by ticket only and you can purchase yours here. Game is all ticket, however for anyone who is not tech savvy tickets will be available to purchase at ticket office up until 2.30pm. Away support will be in Chadwick stand. Parking at Homquarry Road adjacent to Burnside Street.
Supporters Bus: The Supporter’s Bus leaves Ochilview at 1pm and you can book your place by contacting Andy McPhate on Twitter.
Travel Info: There is currently a number of road works on the A77, Kilmarnock north of Kilmarnock on both carriage ways. The A77 is the main arterial route from Glasgow towards Kilmarnock and extra may have to be planned in for travel. Please see Traffic Scotland