Scottish Cup: Penalty losers Hurlford United need picked up

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Hurlford United manager Darren Henderson celebrates a Stewart Kean goal
Hurlford United manager Darren Henderson celebrates a Stewart Kean goal

Hurlford United manager Darren Henderson knows his ability to spur on his team is about to be tested.

The junior side were dramatically eliminated from the Scottish Cup, losing 13-12 to Stirling on penalties.

"It's just going to be tough in the next few days to lift their heads," Henderson told BBC Scotland.

"We need to move on because there's so much to play for in the league. We're still in the two major cups in the junior league as well."

West of Scotland Premier Division side Hurlford, who qualified for the Scottish Cup through being the 2013-14 Scottish Junior Cup winners, often looked like they would be the ones to progress in a tie played out over 210 minutes of football - and that was before the penalties.

Highlights - Stirling Albion 2-2 Hurlford (aet 13-12 pens)

Henderson's men drew 1-1 with the Binos at Blair Park before the replay at Forthbank finished 1-1 after normal time and 2-2 after extra-time.

Losing meant Henderson missed the chance to host one of his former sides in the fourth round - Raith Rovers.

"Results like the one against Stirling dunt you a wee bit, but you just keep moving on," said the former midfielder, who also spent time playing for Stranraer, Hamilton Academical and Ayr United.

"We've got our junior cup to retain, so a lot to look forward to. Winning the league would be another dream for us.

"We finished third last year and we're looking to progress this year. We've had a bit of a slow start but we're a match for anyone.

"It's a tough, tough league. Irvine Meadow are at the top just now - they've won six games out of six and are flying. It's up to us to claw back the bit that we're behind at the moment but I'm sure we will."

Henderson, 48, made more than 500 appearances in the Scottish senior leagues over a 24-year playing career.

And he does not want to rule out the possibility of getting the chance to manager further up the tiers.

"As a player I always wanted to play at the best level I could and it's the same as a coach," Henderson added.

"I've been very lucky at Dalry and Glenafton and now have a great opportunity at Hurlford. It's local for me, I live in Kilmarnock.

"So over the past few years I've enjoyed it. If things happen for me, then great. If not, I'm enjoying myself here."