ROB ROY boss Stewart Maxwell says he may be forced into taking a leaf out of Craig Levein’s book and playing without strikers in the Kirkintilloch outfit's Scottish Junior Cup opener against Glenrothes.

The two former Cup winners lock first round horns at Guys Meadow and an already depleted Rabs…with close season forward line addition Gary Carroll set to sit out the next month with damaged knee ligaments…are facing up to the prospect of injury blows also depriving them of hitmen Kevin Watt and Willie Sawyers.

Maxi revealed: “Kevin took a sore one after colliding with an advertising board during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Pollok and is having to wear a protective cast as a precautionary measure.

“He was in a lot of pain but refused to come off until the closing stages and is now facing a race against the clock to be passed fit for the Glenrothes tie.

“And it only adds to my striking headache that big Sawyers is in the same boat on account of a heavy tackle leaving him with a badly swollen ankle so as things stand we don’t have any fit strikers among our recognised frontmen.

“If push comes to shove then we can always promote Shaun Fraser to play further forward but our situation is far from ideal going into a game of this importance.

“We made it all the way to the quarter-finals last season only to lose out to Bonnyrigg Rose and another decent cup run is certainly not beyond us.”

The Rabs boss owned up to being anything but despondent over his side dropping two league points at home to Pollok.

He reflected: “We didn’t start well as you might have expected with Carroll and Stefan Law posted missing on top of Danny Boyle failing a late fitness test.

“Pollok were definitely on top for the opening 45 minutes yet our makeshift defence with 17-year-old Danny O’Halloran outstanding in central defence held them at bay until conceding a goal from a set-piece right on the half-time whistle.

“During the interval we took the gamble to throw on Sawyers even though he had only managed one training session on his recovery from a long-term injury and his physical presence made a telling difference.

“The ball was no longer coming straight back at our defence and he posed a lot of problems for their backline so it was no real surprise when Watt scored a good goal to get us back on level terms.

“The final quarter of an hour saw goalscoring chances passed up at both ends of the pitch and I don’t believe either team came away happy with a point apiece at the final whistle.”

Commanding stopper Boyle was earmarked for a playing comeback in a friendly match against Petershill last night when Maxi intended to pair him alongside new centre-back signing Mikey Morris, ex-Kilwinning Rangers.

Maxi admitted: “The young lad O’Halloran has the makings of a real find, however there has been a crying need for us to strengthen defensively since the season was in its infancy and Mikey ticks a lot of boxes in this respect.”

Elsewhere on the transfer front comes word of Pollok close season signing target Darren Miller putting pen to paper for ambitious Vale of Clyde whose manager James Skinner has also agreed a loan deal taking Rutherglen Glencairn forward Njabulo Ndlovu to Fullarton Park.

Glens boss Willie Harvey’s delight with new striker signing Liam Gormley (four goals in two appearances) has resulted in Fraser Team’s departure to Cumbernauld United whose weekend announcement that team captain Terry Hewitt is on the open to transfer list will have raised eyebrows.

One also hears of one-time Rangers midfielder Anthony Marenghi moving from Hurlford United to Maryhill whose former player Lee McLelland is allegedly on the signing radar of both Shettleston and Forth Wanderers.

And back onto the Junior scene is Auchinleck Talbot playing legend Bryan Slavin who has been appointed as the new manager of Ardrossan Winton Rovers where he has wasted no time in installing Drew Walsh and Mark McCann as his backroom team.


Scottish Junior Cup first round: Maryhill v Irvine Meadow (kick-off 7pm).


(kick-offs 2pm unless stated )

William Hill Scottish Cup first round: Glenafton v Threave Rovers, Brora Rangers v Girvan, Banks O’Dee v Huntly.

Scottish Junior Cup first round (2.30pm): Culter v East Kilbride Thistle, Dunipace v Dunbar Utd, Rob Roy v Glenrothes, Glasgow Perthshire v Dundee North End, Rutherglen Glencairn v Kirrie Thistle, Arniston Rangers v St Andrews Utd, Ardeer Thistle v Yoker Athletic, Penicuik Athletic v Livingston Utd, Kello Rovers v Arthurlie, Longside v Devoronside,Troon v Renfrew, Bonnyrigg Rose v Shettleston, Lochee Harp v Bo'ness Utd, Tayport v Cumbernauld Utd, Burghhead Thistle v Shotts Bon Accord, Thornton Hibs v Ellon Utd, Kilwinning Rangers v Saltcoats Vics, Musselburgh Athletic v Newburgh Thistle, Ardrossan Winton Rovers v Banchory St Tiernan, Broxburn Athletic v Fraserburgh Utd, Rosyth v Dundee East Craigie, Pumpherston v Cambuslang Rangers, Aberdeen University v Kirkaldy YM, Irvine Vics v Maybole, Lewis Utd v Bathgate Thistle, Rossvale v Greenock, Hill O’ Beath v New Elgin Newmains Utd v Annbank Utd. Super Premier Division: Pollok v Hurlford Utd, Kilbirnie Ladeside v Clydebank. Super First Division: Kilsyth Rangers v Darvel, Petershill v Largs Thistle. Central First Division: Forth Wanderers v Lesmahagow, Neilston v Benburb, Wishaw v St Roch's, Port Glasgow v Blantyre Vics. Central Second Division: St Anthony's v Lanark Utd, Vale of Leven v Johnstone Burgh, Carluke Rovers v Bellshill Athletic, Royal Albert v Ashfield, Gartcairn v Vale of Clyde. Ayrshire District Division: Whitletts Vics v Lugar Boswell, Craigmark v Dalry Thistle.