Kirkintilloch Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell hopes fear won't be a factor against Auchinleck Talbot

Kirkintilloch Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell is hoping a “free hit” can become a knockout blow when his side take on Auchinleck Talbot in the Kilmarnock Pie WoSFL Cup on Saturday.

Rob Roy have had memorable battles with Auchinleck in the past, including this 2019 West of Scotland Cup semi-final win

Maxwell knows his side will be massive underdogs against a club who have been the benchmark of the junior game for many years, but that doesn’t mean he thinks his side are incapable of causing a cup upset at Guy’s Meadow.

He said: “It’s maybe a free hit in the sense that we’re not expected to win, but we want to win the game. We want to be positive and hope our energy and tempo can cause them problems.

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“They’re in a great bit of form just now. They’ve beaten a Championship team in the Scottish Cup and we’re under no illusions how hard the task is, but we can rise to the occasion.

“We’ve done it before and let’s just hope we can put another good performance in.

“As long as the performance is positive, I can cope with everything else.

“We’re a young, progressive team but we’re definitely improving.”

And he’s looking to build on the positives from Saturday’s match at Hurlford, a 3-0 defeat which, Maxwell says, doesn’t really reflect how well his side played.

He said: “I’m disappointed with the result but not the performance. We were well in the game.

“Their goalkeeper was man of the match, which tells you everything.”

Rabs have history with Talbot, with some titanic battles in the past, most notably two years ago when Maxwell’s side stunned Talbot 4-3 on their own Beechwood Park in a memorable West semi-final triumph.

And while Talbot beat Rob Roy 2-0 in a league encounter at Guy’s Meadow in July, he believes his developing side can be a different proposition this time round.

He said: “The good thing about our younger players is that they don’t really know about the dominance of the Talbot over the past decade so they’ve not got that fear factor that maybe older players would have.

“Yes, they’re aware of how good a side they are, but we played them earlier on this year and matched them for long spells and I think we’ve improved since then.

“They will be clinical, a bit like Hurlford. If they get chances, they’ll take them. That’s what the top teams do."