ROBBIE WINTERS came to the aid of Kilbirnie Ladeside last weekend but now he could pose a threat to the Ayrshiremen maintaining their unbeaten start to the season.

Injuries have ruled out front men Adam Forde and Kevin Turner for his side’s Valefield tilt with Super Premier league leaders Arthurlie forcing Blasties boss Stevie Swift into the decision to enlist the 40-year-old former Senior ace who had figured as an early season Kilbirnie trialist.

He showed up well coming on as a second-half substitute in the 0-0 stalemate however Swifty reckons his next sighting of the hitman will come on Saturday when his playing charges head for Newlandsfield aiming to stand toe to toe with Pollok.

The team boss said: “It’s no exaggeration to say we were down to the bare bones against Arthurlie with Adam, Kevin, Darren Miller, Ryan Haxton and Stevie Meechan all posted missing for a variety of reasons.

“Robbie agreed to come down and help us out and we owe him a debt of gratitude because he was aware nothing had changed and Kilbirnie were not in any position to make him a contract offer.

“But you could have knocked me down with a feather when a chat about his future plans afterwards revealed he is going in for talks with [Pollok manager] Tony McInally this week.

“It’s been well documented that Pollok have struggled with playing numbers themselves in recent weeks so I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised to see Robbie running out with them on Saturday.”

The visiting ranks will be considerably boosted by the return of Miller, Haxton and Meechan however Forde is looking at another month on the sidelines while latest signing Turner is rated extremely doubtful with a knee ligament strain..

Swifty revealed , “Kevin is the type who will play through the pain barrier so we’ll afford him every chance to declare himself fit however right now I’d rate his chances as slim at best and that’s a concern as his absence leaves us down to only one recognised forward on our books in Graham Boyd .

“He was supported by Kieran Brannon and Ian Gold against Arthurlie but we definitely struggled to break them down and I just feel the points would have been ours with more of an out and out goalscorer alongside Boydy.”

It’s a number of years since the words Arthurlie and league leaders were used in the same sentence however gaffer Robert Downs insists his side fully deserve their top of the table ranking ahead of hosting the visit of Hurlford United – last season’s Super Premier Division runners up.

He said: “The players deserve every accolade going for their displays up to now yet both Stevie Aitchison and I believe there is better to come from them.

“ And I’ve no doubt we will need everyone at the top of their game against Hurlford who have no shortage of top quality Juniors in their team and it’s easy to see why bookmakers rate them as a strong title challenger.

“Darren Henderson has put together an impressive squad but our own strength in depth is coming along nicely as shown by Gary Smith , Craig Palmer and back up goalkeeper Zander Cowie not needing to strip for the Kilbirnie game.

“Zander comes into the reckoning this week as Mikey White is working and a pre-arranged coaching course rules out Craig Holmes but otherwise we will be at full strength and the game can’t come soon enough.”

Key defender Gavin Rushford was sent off at Valefield and Downsy was himself removed from the dugout for a verbal altercation with whistler Gary Doherty but though insisting on his innocence, he refused to criticise the match official.

He added , “Too many managers are blaming Referees for their teams losing games and I’m determined not to be one of them.

“A lot of our club officials felt Gavin’s red card for a last man challenge was harsh but I seen it as justified and did not have any gripes.

“My own dismissal came from protesting about an elbowing offence on Steven Tart missed by the officials and the ref alleged I was 'overly aggressive' in putting across my point and sent me packing.

“I respectfully disagree with his decision but I’ll take my £50 fine on the chin rather than make a song and dance about it.”

On the comings and goings front comes word of Troon declaring a willingness to listen to offers for ex-Auchinleck Talbot front man Michael Reilly even though burly front man Sean McKenna is facing a spell on the sidelines after damaging a calf muscle in last week’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of his former employers Beith.

The Ayrshire holiday weekend left Irvine Meadow without a fixture which means supporters face a wait to see if gaffer Stevie Rankin follows up his interest in two prospective signings who took part in the 1-1 draw with Pollok.

One time Albion Rovers midfielder Gary Philips played from the start while occupying a place on the Medda bench was none other than ex-Queens Park ace Paul Harkins whose impressive stint as a Lok trialist earlier in the season included a hat trick netted against Shotts Bon Accord however a failure to agree signing terms may have opened the door for a move to Meadow Park.