IT'S ironic that Thorniewood and Lanark will meet in a friendly tonight after battling each other for the signature of Willie Kinniburgh.

The Wood won the race for the former Motherwell and Partick stopper, much to the delight of boss Andy Frame.

However, he denied rubbing salt in Lanark's wounds when confirming Kinniburgh, 29, will make his debut for the Super First Division outfit in the Robertson Park clash.

Frame said: "Willie's work commitments with the police had prevented him making a go of his two previous cracks at Junior football with Irvine Meadow and Cambuslang Rangers. But now they have eased considerably.

"He's going to be available just about every Saturday and the prospect of someone of his experience in the heart of our defence is a massive lift.

"We had intended fielding Willie in our friendly against Luncarty last weekend but his Commonwealth Games duties put paid to that idea.

"So it's now vital he gets 90 minutes under his belt against Lanark. They were keen to sign him, as were other clubs, but the fact he lives nearby worked in our favour."

Thorniewood came back from two down at Luncarty to draw 2-2 draw with goals from Stephen Mullen and former Dundee kid Gary Duggan.

Frame, however, was hit by a double injury blow.

He explained: "A collision between Craig Ferguson and Charlie Grant has left Craig with knee ligament damage.

"On the upside, Charlie's injury appears to be heavy bruising. We're hoping he can make a quick recovery."

Lanark United gaffer Brian Johnston wasn't too surprised he'd lost out on Kinniburgh.

He admitted: "We just can't compete with the budgets available to the higher-league sides. Willie is not the first player we have missed out on.

"The rewards on offer elsewhere contributed to four players moving on from last season's playing squad.

"Danny Burns went to Arthurlie, Liam Mushet to Shotts Bon Accord, Gary Gow to Carluke and Thorniewood also snapped up Davie Collins.

"Travel reasons led to Andy Ward and Scott Galloway signing for Benburb.

"It's a feather in our cap that we have still managed to accumulate an 18-strong pool.

"They include outstanding prospects Cameron Lawson, from Raith Rovers, former Stirling Albion signing Ally Robertson and keeper Ryan Mailey from Vale of Clyde.

"Ryan O'Donnell, of Cambuslang Rangers, Blackburn United's Mikey Miller and David Stillie from Forfar West End have also come on board."

The Yowes boss added: "We still need some out-and-out experience which is why I tried to sign Kinniburgh."

Tonight's other friendlies include Rutherglen Glencairn v Forth at the Clyde Gateway Stadium, while Wishaw face Hurlford United at Blair Park.

Meanwhile, Kilbirnie Ladeside striker Michael Moore has announced he is retiring from the game at the age of 33.

The bank manager had 288 games for Stranraer. He was also with St Johnstone, Ayr, Dumbarton and Hamilton.