For Kane Winton, helping Banks o’ Dee into the Scottish Cup second round was an unlikely success to savour.
The Dee captain helped the Junior outfit beat Highland League Forres Mechanics 4-1 at Mosset Park in round one.
It was a game Winton didn’t expect to play in because just weeks earlier the Spain Park skipper was in hospital after suffering a collapsed lung.
Winton was only given the all-clear to train again last week, but managed to get into Tommy Forbes and Jamie Watt’s team to face the Can-Cans.
After his health scare the midfielder enjoyed their victory that little bit more.
Winton said: “It’s been a really tough six weeks for me. Six weeks ago I was sitting in hospital.
“I had a minor operation after having a collapsed lung.
“After that it’s been a really tough few weeks. I trained for the first time in the six weeks last Wednesday.
“I felt OK, if not a little bit off the pace. It was a big ask to come in on Saturday, but I felt up for it and as ready as I could be.
“It was great to come in and try to help the guys. I’m one of the more experienced players in the team and as captain it was great to be part of Saturday’s win.
“It was frightening what happened. It was a tough time for my family, they got quite a scare.
“I was in hospital for a week, but they all came up and helped me through my recovery.
“It was a difficult time and I’m just chuffed to be back playing football and back to normality.
“After the last few weeks I enjoyed Saturday that little bit more. It was one of the best
feelings coming off the pitch with everything that had happened.
“It was fantastic to have come back into the team and be part of a great victory.”
In recent seasons Banks o’ Dee have shown their quality against Highland League opposition in the Scottish Cup, Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup and Aberdeenshire Shield.
Winton was pleased to take another Highland League scalp and added: “We knew it was going to be a tough game because Forres are a good, competitive Highland League side.
“I thought we did well against them.
“In the first half we didn’t play some of our best football. But we did OK and competed and then we stepped it up in the second half and our quality shone through.
“I think overall we should be really pleased. We’ve got a really strong team. There’s a balance in it with experience and some great young players as well.
“In the big games we usually rise to the occasion and give a good account of ourselves and Saturday was another example of that.”
Dee reached round three of the Scottish Cup two seasons ago before losing out to Ayr United.
In round two this term they’ll play away at League Two Edinburgh City on the weekend of October 19.
Winton said: “The Scottish Cup is a fantastic competition for the club to be involved in.
“I think it’s the boys’ favourite competition to play in.
“You get the opportunity to compete with teams that you don’t usually play and we want to see how far we can go.”