LEVEL-headed Auchinleck Talbot defender Gordon Pope and manager Tommy Sloan this week warned there’s no way they will underestimate opponents Lanark United when the clubs do battle for the season’s first piece of silverware.

Unbeaten Premiership cracks Talbot meet their League One opponents in the West Region Sectional League Cup final at Beechwood Park on Sunday, ko 2pm.

They go into the game on the back of a 3-1 home league win against leaders Pollok, ironically the side Lanark defeated in the semi-finals last month.

Pope said: “It was a vital win for us as it narrows the gap on Pollok and since we will fall seven games behind in the league over the next two weeks.

“Overall it was a really good team performance and we deserved the win. It was just a pity we had to concede a goal late on.”

Pope is relishing the weekend game and said: “Cup finals are always big occasions and it’s great the game is at home as we should have great support.

“But were taking nothing for granted as Lanark beat Pollok in the semi-finals so they must be a decent team. However this we really want to win the first trophy of the season and hopefully we can do that.

“After this it’s only six days to the Cove Rangers Scottish Cup tie but we can’t even think about that until after the final.”

Meanwhile Sloan was encouraged with the weekend display but insists his team won’t be taking their foot off the gas anytime soon.

He said: “That was a great win for us, we played some good stuff and it was just a pity we didn’t keep a clean sheet by giving away a late goal.

“Lanark are a good team and are doing well in their league.

They have beaten Premiership teams on their way here, including Pollok, so we will not be underestimating them.

“Cup finals are great to be part of and players enjoy being involved in the games.

“But we won this trophy last season and really want to hold on to it. I might shuffle the team a bit.”