Saturday afternoon is set to be a day of celebration at Jubilee Park, whatever the result.
Moneyslane host Glentoran Seconds in the second round of the Intermediate Cup (kick-off 1.30pm) in a game that has once again hit home the levels of their rise through the Mid-Ulster divisions.
“It’s probably the biggest home fixture in the club’s history,” said boss David Johnstone.
“When you see where Moneyslane has come from in recent years, it’s quite a journey to host Glentoran Seconds. Not many clubs have undergone such a progression. It’s a brilliant day for the club and makes all the hard work worthwhile. Everyone at the club is very excited about it.
“We have to be confident. We were underdogs last season and we still are but we are a stronger team this year. Confidence is higher as well, given our recent run.”
That run has seen Slane lose just four of their last 27 outings, two in the league to Valley Rangers last season and Windmill Stars this season. They also lost to Downshire in the Irish Cup and Banbridge Town in the Bob Radcliffe but other than that, it’s been a pretty perfect few months for the village side.
“To lose just four games in 27 is a fantastic run at any level of football,” said Johnstone. “By my reckoning we have scored in and around 120 goals in that time as well so we’re full of confidence that we can score. We just have to try and keep things tight defensively.
“They will be young, fit and good on the ball but we’re hopeful that we will have the edge in the physical side of things. “We won’t be expected to beat them so it’s a game we will enjoy with no pressure.
“The bigger Premiership clubs have big squads and can’t take all their players with their first team so it’s almost a given that there will be older players. They can have a huge impact on the game.”
Slane will be without the ineligible Adam Stewart, who signed after the competition deadline, while Ritchie Nesbitt could be out with a groin injury.