There is more than one Lanarkshire Derby this weekend as tomorrow Blantyre Vics head to The Beltane to face last year’s Junior Cup Semi-Finalists, Wishaw. Earlier in the season when both the sides met at the KG Stadium, Blantyre romped to a 5-0 victory over their local rivals. This was the first victory in this fixture for the blues since April 2015.
The last meeting between the two sides at The Beltane, it was an epic. The homeside led 3-0 by the 70th minute, before Vics winger Sam MacKenzie came off the bench to score a brace. As Blantyre pushed late on for an equaliser, Scott Law made an unfortunate blunder between the posts and Wishaw secured the three points on the night.
This season has certainly been a let down in comparison to last season for Wishaw. After the loss of many of the players who led the club to the last four of the Scottish Junior Cup, they have suffered in the league. Being stuck in the relegation zone for a large part of the campaign, they have recently pulled themselves away from the danger zone and now sit 11th (6 points clear of relegation). Taking six points from Greenock this season will go down as one of their biggest accomplishments of the season, along with a victory over Port Glasgow and draws against Shotts and Gartcairn. They are a team that always seems to step it up against top of the table opposition - something that John Gibson’s side will be very weary of.
After last week’s decisive victory over struggling Maybole, The Vics will be filled with confidence going into this fixture. Although with recent defeats to Bellshill and Greenock, their promotions hopes hang in the balance - for every match from now until May, so they certainly can’t afford to drop points tomorrow.
This derby, combined with the rain that is forecast, is set to be a gritty and enthrallling.
Wishaw - 13/8
Draw - 4/1
Blantyre Vics - 5/6