A spell at East Fife was a huge part in the making of James Penrice as a footballer, but the Partick Thistle full-back says there will be no room for sentiment when he returns to Bayview on Scottish Cup duty this afternoon.

Two years ago, Penrice spent the second half of the season on loan with the Fifers, and he loved his time at the club working under then manager Barry Smith.

But while he looks back fondly on his six-month spell at the club, it is the exorcism of a more recent memory that Penrice is more interested in today.

The 20-year-old, like the rest of his Thistle teammates, desperately wants to make up for a disappointing Irn-Bru Cup defeat at the same venue earlier this season.

“I really enjoyed my time at East Fife,” Penrice said. “I loved every minute of it.

“I didn’t play for Thistle in the first half of that season after making my debut, so I had to get out and play football. East Fife gave me that chance and we went on a great run.

“I’m looking forward to going up there again. The last time we were there earlier in the season it didn’t go too well, so it’s good to get a chance to go back and get the win that will take us into the next round.

“The difference in the team since that day is massive. If you put the two line-ups side by side you would see that, and there has been a lot of new faces that have come in.

“I think we’re in a better place now than we were when we went there earlier in the season. At that point, I think we were quite easy to beat, so hopefully we can now put things right.

“I still keep in contact with some of the boys there like Kevin Smith, the captain, who was massive when I was there. He scored some really important goals.

“I still see Pat Slattery from time to time too, but we’ll be looking to go there on Saturday and play them off the park.

“I haven’t been speaking to those boys this week, we’ll get Saturday out of the way and then hopefully I’ll want to be talking to them at the final whistle.

“I’ll never forget my time there, it was a big part of my development as a player.”

It is not only revenge that Fitzpatrick and his teammates crave from this trip to Methil, but also a chance of redemption in the eyes of their supporters for a first half of the season that fell far below expectations at the outset of the campaign.

“It would be great for the club to get a cup run and the fans would enjoy it,” he said. “That’s in our minds, that we want to do it for them, because we’ve not really been at our best this season to say the least.

“When the manager came in it wasn’t quite clicking for him, but now it has. We aren’t getting too far ahead of ourselves, but hopefully we can go on a run in both the league and the cup too, because it would be great for everyone.

“There’s a massive difference around the place from where we were around the end of last year.

“To still be unbeaten this year is massive for us. It gives us confidence that we can push up the league and have a right go at the cup.

“It’s up to us on Saturday to make up for the first part of the season by showing East Fife that we’re the team in the higher division and by putting a show on for our supporters.”