THE wheels may have just come off Shettleston’s bandwagon following a sensational parting of the ways with co-managers Peter Weatherson and Ryan McStay.

There are few can deny the famous old Glasgow outfit have looked on track for an instant return to the Super Premier Division ever since the close season appointments of the former Annan Athletic team-mates whose extensive Senior contacts have led to a number of highly-regarded footballing names opting to sign on the dotted line at Greenfield Park.

And there’s certainly been more to like about their methods than not with Shettleston currently occupying second top spot in the Super First Division standings, three points adrift of leaders Kilsyth Rangers from a game less played, despite the Town’s title charge momentarily hitting the skids with a 1-1 weekend draw at home to Irvine Meadow.

It’s understandable therefore for supporters to wonder whether the team’s momentum can be maintained without the duo’s hands on the tiller not least because their twin departures smack of discord behind the Town scenes.

And this speculation will only grow arms and legs if terracing whispers ring true that a handful of players, inclusive of team captain Greg McDonald, are also heading for the Greenfield exit gates.

As recently as Friday morning, an ambitious Weatherson had hinted of further dressing room additions being made when speaking to the Evening Times so for him to adopt the well-worn party line in regard to Sunday’s shock announcement simply doesn’t wash.

He insisted: “Ryan and I have agreed to leave Shettleston Juniors by mutual consent and we would like to take this opportunity to wish the club and players every success for the future, however we believe it only right that any further statement to this effect should come from club officials.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed teaming up together as managers and being able to work with so many good players in the Juniors and our aim is to see what other opportunities crop up before deciding on where we go from here.”

It seems likely the pairing will now be linked with the vacant post at Super First Division title rivals Clydebank yet what appears even more inevitable is erstwhile Bankies boss Budgie McGhie being touted as the prospective managerial replacement at Shettleston where he and long-standing No.2 Stuart Allison formed a central defensive partnership in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, Shettleston’s yielding up two precious points against the Medda who had led through a Graham Boyd penalty until a late in the day leveller from Jordan Morton proved anything but disastrous in the grand scheme of promotion things.

Long-time frontrunners Kilsyth Rangers had looked odds-on to extend their advantage atop the pile only for Kevin McBride’s goal to be cancelled out through substitute Lee McLelland bagging an injury-time equaliser for basement strugglers Maryhill yet arguably the biggest hammer blow befell Petershill in going down 3-1 at home to Girvan whose goals were notched by skipper Scott Dinwoodie and Michael Reilly (2).

Their defeat saw the Peasy drop from third to fifth place, overtaken by Girvan and the managerless Bankies who had Joel Kasabundi (2), Alan Vezza and Nikky Little on target in a resounding 4-1 victory over Blantyre Vics.

Former player Alan Jack, one-time Albion Rovers manager James Ward and ex-Kilbirnie Ladeside gaffer Stevie Swift have received mention as possible replacements for McGhie, however club officials appear in no hurry to have a new man at the helm ahead of this coming Saturday’s derby clash with Yoker Athletic.

The remaining title candidates are all in action against clubs from the Super First Division’s lower reaches, however none of them can bank on picking up the points on offer according to Maryhill chief John Hughes whose second bottom of the table side are hosting the visit of Shettleston.

He revealed: “I have someone who runs the rule over future opponents and the report back on Shettleston said they played everything through Weatherson so we’ll need to come up with an alternative game plan.

“On the plus side we can approach the game with no little confidence after a fully deserved share of the spoils against Kilsyth and hopefully we can raise our game to those same levels again.

“Anyone looking at the league table might think we’re no-hopers but nothing can be taken for granted in this Division where every team is capable of beating everyone else on their day.”


(Kick-offs 1.45pm)

New Coin Holdings West of Scotland Cup. First Round: Dunipace v Lanark Utd. Super Premier Division: Troon v Cumnock, Kilbirnie Ladeside v Pollok, Glenafton v Hurlford Utd, Auchinleck Talbot v Rob Roy, Kilwinning Rangers v Arthurlie, Largs Thistle v Beith. Super First Division: Irvine Meadow v Cumbernauld Utd, Kilsyth Rangers v Shotts Bon Accord, Irvine Vics v Petershill, Blantyre Vics v Rutherglen Glencairn, Maryhill v Shettleston, Renfrew v Girvan, Yoker Athletic v Clydebank. Central First Division: Rossvale v Bellshill Athletic, Greenock v Johnstone Burgh, Cambuslang Rangers v Forth Wanderers, Larkhall Thistle v Wishaw, Neilston v Lesmahagow, Benburb v Vale of Clyde. Thorniewood Utd v St Roch's. Central Second Division: Newmains Utd v Carluke Rovers, Port Glasgow v Glasgow Perthshire East Kilbride Thistle v Ashfield, Gartcairn v Vale of Leven, St Anthony's v Royal Albert. Ayrshire District League: Darvel v Lugar Boswell, Kello Rovers v Whitletts Vics, Muirkirk v Ardeer Thistle, Ardrossan Winton Rovers v Annbank Utd, Saltcoats Vics, v Craigmark, Dalry Thistle v Maybole.