Aberdeenshire AFA

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Newtonhill Prepare for Crunch Scottish Cup Clash in Livingston

Newtonhill captain Martyn Brooks wants to see a return to the days when teams fear playing clubs from the North-East as his side travel to Livingston to play Loganlea United on Saturday.

He believes Hill have had an impressive start to the season after they thrashed Don Athletic 5-2 to remain at the top of Division One (North).

Brooks hopes the league leaders’ recent form will send out a strong message to the West Lothian side.

He said: “I have noticed more and more amateur teams in Kincardineshire have signed players who once played for Highland League and junior sides.

“There’s no point in turning up to away games in the Scottish Cup with a defeatist attitude and we expect to play well enough to win on Saturday.

“It’s always great fun to have an away tie but we will also be taking the game very seriously.

“I’m looking forward to keeping my younger brother, Allan, in line and leading by example as this will be my first time I have played with him outside Aberdeenshire.

Loganlea United play in the Stirling and District Division One league and are undefeated in all competitions this season.

Brooks played for junior teams including Stonehaven, Banchory and Parkvale before returning to Newtonhill last year and admits he has been surprised by the standard of amateur football.

“It’s clear to see that some clubs are better organised and have better players than others but the lads deserve great credit for the start they have made,” said Brooks.

“I joined Newtonhill when I was 16 years-old so to have the opportunity to captain the side in Livingston will be a proud moment for me.

“Our preparation for Saturday has been good and I’m sure if we can fight hard then there’s no reason why we can’t bring home a result.”

Newtonhill have only progressed past the third round once but manager Kenneth Alexander is dreaming of having his best Scottish Cup run yet after thirteen years in charge at the club.

He said: “Ten wins out of twelve in the league is fantastic for any side but to score forty-nine goals and to do it so emphatically has been pleasing.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of ups and downs at the club since I have been here.

“At the very start of my reign we were topping the league table and challenging for silverware but then struggled for a few years.

“The squad is now getting back to a level where silverware is defiantly in our sights.

“Too many teams from Aberdeen travel to places such as Edinburgh and Glasgow thinking they aren’t good enough to challenge larger clubs but there is no way we will go down to Livingstone with that attitude.”

Newtonhill Secretary Richard Hay believes the Kincardine side can gain promotion to the Premier Division and challenge rivals Portlethen United and Luthermuir next season.

He said: “It would be a massive blow to the side if we couldn’t continue our consistent form and win promotion.

“To be leading a division that includes established teams such as Hazlehead and Johnshaven is great and hopefully we can carry this form onto Saturday.

“During my time at the club, I have always found any team south of Dundee always seem to be stronger than one’s from Aberdeen so it will be interesting to see how we cope.”