SCOTT Pittman feared one of the most thrilling goals of his career would count for nothing after Livingston were forced to replay Crusaders this month.
But the midfielder has now set his sights on scaling the heights again as the Lions seek to complete a Welsh and Irish double in the IRN-BRU Cup when they host The New Saints on Sunday.
A mistake in fielding Alan Lithgow when he should have been suspended meant a return trip to Belfast for the League One leaders last week less than a month on from Pittman’s dramatic 95th-minute winner in the first encounter.
When the West Lothian men repeated their victory over the Northern Irish champions, it set up a quarter-final meeting with the runaway Welsh title holders.
And, after raising their game twice against the Irish, Pittman is hopeful they can do it again when they face a team who have racked up 17 successive years of Champions League experience.
The 24-year-old told Capital City Press: “It did feel a bit weird for the players, having to go back to Belfast to play Crusaders again. It was a case of deja vu for us.
“But it was something that was out of our hands and we just had to get on with it and get through.
“I think we showed our character and professionalism to win for a second time and get the job done again.
“It was a great moment, personally, to score the winner in the first game and there was a wee bit of a fear that it would end up counting for nothing.
“Scoring with the last kick of the ball isn’t something I had done before. It was a great feeling.
“There were a good number of fans that made the journey over and it was good to enjoy that moment with them.
“And now we’ve got this quarter-final to look forward to.
“It’s exciting. It’s something different for the boys, playing against a Welsh team. It will be a tough game but one we’re looking forward to.”
TNS have won all 14 of their league games this season, scoring 52 goals and conceding just seven to open up a commanding 15-point gap at the top of the Welsh Premier League.
Livingston do not have the same comfort but are still top of League One after winning nine of their opening 12 league matches, including six of their last seven.
Pittman added: “Our aim is to get promoted this season, that’s our main aim.
“But everyone likes a cup run, it’s good for the fans and for the club, so hopefully we can get through to the semi-final.
“We’re on a good run just now and we’ve picked up a few clean sheets, which always helps. We’re confident we can win.”