Lawson looking for Formartine to show their big game confidence

Paul Lawson, Jerry O'Driscoll and Russell Anderson.

Formartine United player-manager Paul Lawson wants his players to show their big game belief against rivals Cove Rangers in the Aberdeenshire Shield tonight.

The second round tie is expected to go ahead this evening at North Lodge Park with the temperature rise of recent days helping thaw out snow and ice.

Lawson and his players will take encouragement from beating rivals Cove in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup final in November.

He said: “We definitely will (take confidence from it) because the cup final was one where everyone was going on about our previous record against them and we knew ourselves it wasn’t great.

“It gives the boys the belief that they can perform on the big occasions and hopefully we can do that again.

“At the end of the day if you want to win trophies you’re going to have to come up against Cove at some point.

“If we have ambitions to win anything whether it is in the early rounds or the latter stages we know we’ll have to get by them.

“All the boys are looking forward to it, it’s another big game and you play football to be involved in big games.”

Despite recent poor weather the Pitmedden outfit have been on a fine run of form with four wins in a row. Lawson says confidence is high and they are targeting a semi-final spot.

He added: “Confidence is a big thing and we had a setback against Inverurie in the league.

“But we have started to put a run together despite the stop-start nature of games being on and off and we want to keep that going. It would be great if we could do that and get into the next round.”

Cove boss John Sheran will be without captain Eric Watson, Jonny Smith and the suspended Jamie Masson.

He believes his players will be motivated by the pain of last month’s 1-0 Shire Cup final loss to United to spur them on tonight.

Sheran said: “I’m sure the players will feel a little bit of that.

“It is in their character – they don’t like losing.

“If you put any team in front of them they want to go and win that game.

“So it will just be routine, and it will be great to be back playing.”

Having not played since their 4-0 win over Inverurie Locos on December 2, Sheran is also wary of his players lacking sharpness because of their lack of recent action.

He added: “I think not playing does have an effect because we have only had one game in December.

“We do expect there to be a bit of rustiness there.

“But it will be good to get back.”