Petershill title bid boosted by new boy Smillie

Scott Smith and Willie Patterson have geared up for the biggest test of their joint managerial reign at Petershill by boosting playing resources.

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Striker Ryan Smillie will join Petershill after moving from Kilbirnie Ladeside. Picture: Colin Templeton
Striker Ryan Smillie will join Petershill after moving from Kilbirnie Ladeside. Picture: Colin Templeton

Back-to-back seasons as runners-up in the Super Premier Division have made the close pals all the more determined to go one better in their fourth season at the Springburn helm.

The disappointment of making a losing start to their 2013/14 campaign - going down 3-1 to champions Auchinleck Talbot last weekend - has resulted in a bold double signing approach.

A bid to entice versatile defender Paul McMenamin to move across the city from Pollok has so far been unsuccessful.

But much sought-after striker Ryan Smillie has agreed to a transfer deal bringing him on board from Kilbirnie Ladeside.

Smith is confident Peasy supporters will be excited by the goalscoring abilities of ex-Queen of the South front-man Smillie.

He said: "I believe our pool of strikers is the strongest Willie and I have worked with in our time here. For too long Stephen McGladrigan has ploughed a lone furrow for us in the scoring stakes but now we are better equipped with Chris Mackie and Ryan to share the burden.

"Ryan is of a similar ilk to Stephen. He has a reputation as a cool finisher and is blessed with frightening pace, so we are all looking forward to seeing him in action."

A hitch with his release papers prevented 21-year-old Smillie from debuting in the 4-1 midweek defeat of Vale of Clyde when seasoned campaigner Mackie threw down the gauntlet to his latest challenger for the No 9 jersey by netting a hat trick after coming on as a second-half substitute for McGladrigan.

The Wishaw-based newcomer said: "It was disappointing to be denied the chance to play but at least I had the opportunity to see my new team-mates in action.

"They played excellent football particularly in the second 45 minutes. I came away very impressed and thinking I will need to be at my best to stand any chance of holding down a regular jersey.

"The competition for places will be stiff but I'm certainly not running scared over that prospect."

Pollok, Lanark United and Glenafton were all credited with a signing interest when Kilbirnie made Smillie available for transfer last month and by a quirk of coincidence he could be in line to make his Peasy debut at home to the Glens today.

But he may have to settle for a seat on the bench after Mackie's scoring heroics.

The Petershill co-bosses face a further selection poser now that inspirational skipper Ryan Jordan is available for selection after serving out a six-game suspension.

For certain he will come into contention for a starting jersey against the Tommy Bryce-steered Glenafton, however ex-Glasgow Harp youngster Jordan Chisholm performed admirably while Jordan was sidelined and probably deserves to retain his place.

An answer to this selection dilemma may have come about through midfield battler Jordan Murch being stretchered off in some discomfort against the Tin Pail.

The chances are he will sit out today's affair, thus opening the door for Chisholm to be promoted forward into a holding anchorman role.

Elsewhere on the comings and goings front, Auchinleck Talbot have confirmed the acquisition of promising youngster Mark Armour from Bonnyton Amateurs.

Lesmahagow's latest buy - striker John McStay from Wishaw - is hoping to build on his dream debut when the Gow take on Greenock at Craighead Park. McStay netted twice in the 5-1 midweek win over Port Glasgow.

Arthurlie, who have signed goalkeeper Patrick Doherty, continue to be linked with rugged Kilbirnie defender Shaun Dillon. St Anthonys have captured experienced defender Sean Stirling who was on Glasgow Perthshire's books last season.

Meanwhile, the sixth Legends Charity Match between ex-players of Pollok and Arthurlie takes place on Sunday, September 1 at Newlandsfield Park (kick-off 2pm). All money raised will be shared by two good causes - The Corey Can Trust and The Brightest Star.


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