Last season in the Scottish Cup, Huntly goalkeeper Stuart Grant suffered a debut defeat in the national cup competition. Stuart came off the bench in a three-nil defeat to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale in the third round replay last season but after helping his side to a 2-1 win in Girvan he enjoyed the experience a lot more this time round.

“I’m really happy with that, conditions were terrible to play in but it thought I did alright and I felt my kicking has even improved since last season. The conditions were horrendous in the first half with the wind and the pitch was really uneven.”

The RAF serviceman who returned to the club earlier this month kept his side in the game with a number of impressive saves and paid tribute to the coaching and competition he’s received since coming to the club.

“Nigel Burgess has been fantastic with me since I originally came in last season, both  me and Andy (Pennycook) both look up to him and he’s a good coach – he even had us in for a session of combat training a few days before the tie to work on reactions and quickness. There’s always a good competitiveness between goalkeepers and we have that here with Andy and myself. He’s a good lad and I’m happy to play behind him and vice-versa.”

After a seven-nil defeat to Buckie Thistle the week prior, the 25 year old was in for only his third start for the club in behind of a makeshift defence which was put together after a number of absentees.

“I knew from last week I was getting the chance so I was just preparing properly in the week leading up to the tie and I know now I have to keep up the performances to keep my starting now.

Doug (Baxter) said in the dressing room we’ve not had a settled defence this season and we had to change the entire back four from the Buckie game and I thought we did really well as a unit It’s a tough league and I’m learning a lot while I’m playing and that’s the same when I’m playing in the Aberdeenshire League with some of the younger lads and I’ve still got a lot to offer.”

As a Welshman playing in a cup competition in Scotland, the Cardiff-born goalkeeper admitted it was a great experience for him.

“Although I came off the bench for the last five to ten minutes in Edinburgh last season that Saturday was my first proper taste of Scottish Cup football and I really enjoyed it.”

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