Oct 21 2010 By Fraser Wilson
QUEEN'S PARK boss Gardner Speirs is hoping experience, for once, won't be an issue as the Spiders head east for Saturday's Scottish Cup clash with junior giants Bo'ness United.
It's a trip into the unknown for a number of the Hampden faithful less accustomed to the raw quality of the non-league level.
But Speirs - whose side are easily one of the youngest in the SFL - is well aware that one asset his players do possess is a first hand knowledge of the junior game.
Queen's regulars Paul Harkins, pictured, Adam Strain, Paul Burns, David Anderson, Michael Daly, Jamie Longworth and Craig Smith were all plucked from the juniors while Jack Henry was loaned out to Rutherglen Glencairn last season.
All of which could come in handy when the Spiders go head to head with East Superleague champions Bo'ness at tiny Newtown Park on Saturday.
Speirs said: "We know Saturday is going to be a difficult game as we have had Bo'ness watched a couple of times.
"They won the east region Superleague last season and you have to be a good side to achieve that.
"They have experienced players many of whom have played at senior level. They are strong but they like to get the ball down and play football.
"I'm pleased that we have a fair amount of experience of junior football in our side. Those players will know how difficult this is going to be and they'll know what to expect.
"I would like to think those players would be able to help the others if the going gets tough on Saturday."
Asked if he thought there was much of a difference in class between the third division and the top junior leagues, Speirs replied: "That's a hypothetical question but what I would say is that most of the players we have signed from the junior leagues have acquitted themselves well here.
"But on Saturday it will simply come down to which team is better on the day."
Bo'ness themselves aren't short of senior experience with ex-Dunfermline, Dundee, Hamilton and Partick Thistle stopper Derek Fleming in the ranks along with former Stranraer midfielder John Fraser and ex-Partick defender Will Snowdon.
The Scottish Cup second round clash provides a welcome distraction from league business with the Spiders struggling in third bottom place in the third division.
Saturday's 4-2 defeat at Elgin was the latest in a string of inconsistent results for the Hampden men.
Speirs said: "We were disappointing on Saturday and we really want to make up for that this weekend.
"We need to build some consistency in the league but first and foremost our attention is on the Bo'ness cup tie.
"It's nice to get a break from the league and the more breaks you get then it means the more cup ties you are involved in.
"The Scottish Cup is an opportunity to play teams from outwith our division and everyone at club enjoys the glamour of this tournament.
"We have had some memorable matches in recent years and it would be nice to give ourselves a chance of another one."
Queen's keeper Adam Strain misses out again with a knee injury and Gordon McPherson continues in goal.
Speirs will give late fitness tests to David Murray, Paul Harkins and Richard Sinclair, all of whom played for the reserves on Tuesday evening.