Evening Express

Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup: Watt says Banks o’ Dee are buzzing for Turriff semi

Michael Phillipson duels with Inverurie Locos' Ryan Broadhurst in the first round.

Banks o’ Dee co-boss Jamie Watt says confidence is high going into tonight’s Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup semi-final with Turriff United.

Dee have won every game since an early season Scottish Cup exit to junior powerhouses Auchinleck Talbot and have already knocked Inverurie Locos and Aberdeen reserves out of the Shire Cup.

They beat Newmachar United 15-1 in the North Regional Cup at the weekend ahead of tonight’s match at the Haughs, and Watt said: “Obviously it was a bit of a mismatch on Saturday. They’re struggling near the bottom of their league.

“I told the boys to go and do a professional job, and they never took it easy. 15 goals is a bit ridiculous.

“Since the start of the season, we’ve only lost one game, to Auchinleck, and the boys have been absolutely buzzing.

“Confidence is high, but we’re taking each game as it comes.”

Superleague Dee have a habit of beating Highland League opposition, with champions Cove Rangers the only Highland side to beat them last term.

Watt said: “We’ve got boys who enjoy playing in the big games.

“Every time we come up against a Highland League club, it’s another challenge and a marker for them.

“A lot of our team know they could step up, and the Highland League sides know we’re a good team.

“There are reasons we play at our level – geography is one of them.

“But when Highland League teams come up, the boys have never let us down.”

Watt, who manages Dee with Tommy Forbes, has had Turra watched ahead of tonight’s last four tie and sees parallels between both clubs’ use of young players.

He said: “I’ve heard good things about Turriff. They’re a good young team.

“It’s a Kris Hunter team, and you know, no matter what, they’ll be up for it and won’t roll over.

“He’ll know we’re going up for a result and won’t underestimate us.

“They’ve got a bit of experience in Ross Anderson and Davie Ross helping the young boys. By all accounts, they’ve got a lot of potential.”

Watt added: “If you look through our team who beat Aberdeen, seven or eight are Albion boys who’ve come through the ranks.

“Five or six could still play in the development leagues.

“It’s not like we’re going about signing these guys for money.

“People like Mikey Philipson are turning into absolutely class players.”

Dean Lawrie is out for Dee as he recovers from a pulled hamstring.