THE chance to make history awaits three East Lothian football teams on the Road to Hampden.

Dunbar United, Musselburgh Athletic and Tranent Juniors will fly the flag for the county in the first round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

The Seasiders have home advantage against Highland League outfit Clachnacuddin, while Scottish Cup football is played at Olivebank for the first time as Musselburgh host Newtongrange Star.

Tranent head west to face Kilwinning Rangers for a spot in the second round of the prestigious competition.

Kevin Haynes, Dunbar manager, felt his team were underdogs in the contest with the Inverness side.

East Lothian Courier: Dunbar United host Scottish Cup action on Saturday. Picture: Gordon MaitlandDunbar United host Scottish Cup action on Saturday. Picture: Gordon Maitland

The Lilywhites sit 14th in the Highland League – two tiers above their East Lothian opponents.

Haynes had been able to do his homework on the opposition and said: “I have been quite fortunate and managed to get a couple of reports from a manager up in the Highland League.

“They have played them previously and I have got reports on how they play and shape up.

“That should stand me in good stead and hopefully they have got nothing on us!”

Dunbar made their debut in the competition last season, knocking out Broxburn Athletic and Camelon Juniors before losing to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale in a replay.

There are no replays from the first round onwards in this year’s competition and Haynes was challenging his side to write their name in the history books.

He said: “It is the one tournament you want to do well in and progress as far as you can.

“You can end up playing the cup favourites or the side you supported your whole life.

“As a player, that is where you want to be playing – against the best opposition you can play against.”

Meanwhile, Joe Hamill, Musselburgh’s player/manager, also highlighted the importance of the competition to both the club and the town.

East Lothian Courier: Musselburgh Athletic host Scottish Cup football for the first time. Picture: NewsquestMusselburgh Athletic host Scottish Cup football for the first time. Picture: Newsquest

He said: “It is huge for the club.

“They get money, which is massive at this level.

“Also, if you progress you hope for that chance of getting a league team.

“Penicuik Athletic did it against Stenhousemuir, Bonnyrigg Rose did it against Dumbarton and Broxburn at St Mirren.

“Something like that would be ideal but, for ourselves and Newtongrange Star, we need to win this tie first.”

Playing with home advantage and competing at a level above their visitors, Musselburgh come into the game as favourites in the eyes of many.

Hamill’s side are also boosted by recent victories over Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, Penicuik Athletic and Preston Athletic.

The former Hearts midfielder told Courier Sport that the game was there to be won for both teams.

He said: “Newtongrange had always been one of the top Junior teams.

“They are a massive, massive club and they have just gone down a league below us but that means nothing on the day.

“They have got good players, a good squad and it is a one-off game, a cup game.

“People somehow play differently in cup games, especially big cup games. It is a 50/50 game.”

East Lothian Courier: Tranent Juniors travel to Kilwinning Rangers. Picture: NewsquestTranent Juniors travel to Kilwinning Rangers. Picture: Newsquest

Tranent’s trip to Buffs Park marks Colin Nish’s second game in charge of the county side.

The former Hibernian and Kilmarnock striker knows all about the competition, having scored for four clubs in the tournament over the years.

Now, he is looking for the Lowland League side to overcome Kilwinning.

He said: “I think the Scottish Cup adds something a wee bit different from league football.

“It is a big occasion, no matter the round.

“You want to get through and look forward to the draw.

“Every time you play, you want to win, but in a cup game, you want to get through to the next round and have something exciting to look forward to.”

Nish took charge of Tranent for the first time earlier this month following the surprise departure of Calum Elliot.

A 2-2 draw with East Stirlingshire in his first match in charge was due to be followed by a trip to Millfield to face Haddington Athletic in the Challenge Cup.

But the derby contest was called off following the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

Call-offs across the country meant that Nish was unable to have someone watch their Scottish Cup opponents, who overcame Rutherglen Glencairn to reach the first round.

However, he has been busy watching videos of their opposition in a bid to gain the upper hand ahead of this weekend.