COVE Rangers striker Jordan MacRae is hoping his latest hat-trick will help net him a starting place in tomorrow's Breedon Highland League clash with Lossiemouth at Balmoral Stadium.
Jordan scored his second treble since moving to Cove from Nairn County in the summer in the 3-1 victory over Aberdeen University in the Morrison Motors Aberdeenshire Shield.
The 19-year-old is praying that will persuade manager John Sheran to keep him in the starting line-up for the meeting with Lossie.
He's had to be content with starting on the bench a few times because top scorer Mitch Megginson and veteran hitman Paul McManus have also been in top form in the league soccer far.
Jordan said: "Everyone prefers  to be in the starting side.
"I've not always been in there so far,  so scoring  a few goals can only help my cause.
"I also felt I did well when I came off the bench in the Aberdeenshire Cup fjnal (Jordan set up a goal for Mitch as Cove beat Banks o' Dee 4-1) so hopefully I will get more starts in the weeks ahead."
Jordon has underlined his determination to be a first pick for Cove by travelling through from his home, near Inverness, to play for the under-20 side on Monday nights to maintain his match fitness  after the weekends when he was on  the bench.
He has scored a few in those matches too.
"I knew when I came to Cove I would have to fight harder than ever before for a place," said Jordan, who has now scored seven times for the club in all competitions.
"It's why I've been happy to turn out for the under 20 side as well.
"I want to be in the best shape I can possibly be in to take any opportunities that come my way."
Jordon certainly did that in the victory over the University side at Hillhead.
He scored two well taken goals before the interval then topped off a good night's work by making it a treble from the penalty spot.
Jordan was particularly pleased with his second, a powerful header from a brilliantly flighted cross by midfielder  Daniel Park.
Jordan said: "It was a proper team goal.
"The build up was fantastic and the cross from Parky was perfect and made it every easy for me to do the rest."
Jordon praised the students for making them earn the right to take on Formartine United in the next round.
"They worked very hard and looked a good team but I think our class showed in the end," he said.
Cove have also every league game so far, but Jordan says there is no chance of them facing Lossie tomorrow thinking the points are already in the bag.
He said: "We know we will need to be at our best.
"As we saw against Aberdeen University it doesn't matter who you play, they are always capable of making it very tough for you.
"Every side coming to Balmoral this season will be desperate to become the first to beat us there in the league.
"There is no chance of us taking Lossie lightly."