Cove Rangers’ goalscorer Leighton McIntosh feels his side have the quality to make the step up from League One.
McIntosh, who netted the leveller for Cove in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Airdrieonians, knows victory in the return leg on Tuesday night puts them one step closer to promotion.
The former Dundee and Peterhead forward struck in the second half at the Balmoral Stadium, after an unfortunate own-goal from Ross Graham had given the Diamonds the lead.
The two sides will do it all again on Tuesday night and the Cove players are well aware of the stakes.
McIntosh said: “It’s a huge game for the club and the boys know what it means. If you look at the squad, there’s tons of experience and quality.
“We’ve done well, just coming up and getting a play-off spot. We played a Championship team this season in Alloa and did well – we’ve definitely got the talent for the Championship.
“Anyone who comes here – the boys are used to winning and we’ve got good attacking players. Right until the last minute, we’re always trying to create something.”
“I’ve just come in this season, but I’ve seen boys are used to winning things. We’ve got big momentum coming up the leagues and we really want to take that into the Championship.”
The winner of tomorrow night’s game will advance to face either Montrose or Morton next week. League One side Montrose hold the advantage after a 2-1 win at Links Park on Saturday.
Cove delivered a more vibrant performance against Airdrie on Saturday than in the meeting between the two sides a week previous, after finally getting a midweek free of games.
McIntosh added: “The amount of games we’ve had is crazy, but the boys are professional. They’ve looked after themselves well.
“It was good to get that week to refresh – a lot of the boys didn’t really train on Tuesday to get our legs back. Personally I feel better for it.”
There was little to separate both sides on Saturday, which should come as little surprise given how close they have been in the league this season.
Rory McAllister and Mitch Megginson combined for Cove’s best chance of the first period, with Megginson collecting a return ball from his strike partner and squaring across goal. Unfortunately there were no takers in a blue shirt and Airdrieonians were grateful to clear.
The visitors had an opportunity through Calum Gallagher to take the lead, but he jabbed wide from a set-piece.
He played a key role in their opener on 55 minutes though, taking Paul Paton’s pass and whipping a ball into the area, which hit Graham and looped over goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie.
But Cove refused to be bowed and had an answer 10 minutes later. Megginson drove in from the right and fizzed a ball into the six-yard box; it rebounded off a crowd of bodies for McIntosh to slam home from close range.
McIntosh curled an effort wide afterwards and McAllister hit the base of the post as Cove sought to take a slender advantage to Airdrie.
As it was, the two sides remain as close as ever heading into a decisive evening tomorrow.
McIntosh added: “I thought we controlled the game to be honest. I’m disappointed not to be going to Airdrie with a win, but obviously we’re still in it and still level. There’s everything to play for.
“I had to make a decision whether to stay wide or go in (for the goal).
“I made the decision to go in and (was in the) right place, right time to tuck it in.
“We had some great chances. On another day they go in. We need to keep that intensity going into the next game.”