PAUL MAXWELL has called upon his Ashfield team-mates to make use of their long trek North in the Scottish Junior Cup to help get the famous old Possil club’s season back on track.

The four-time Cup winners – albeit their last success was after a 3-0 defeat of Kilwinning Rangers back in 1910 – are up and on the road early tomorrow morning to face fallen North Region giants Sunnybank and experienced campaigner Maxi wants the bus trip to bring back the feelgood factor to Saracen Park’s dressing room.

The veteran insisted: "Things looked very promising when we kicked off our league campaign with a victory over Johnstone Burgh but we have gone on to underperform big style by losing five of our next eight fixtures.

“Yet other than a 5-0 pasting by a very good Gartcairn side , it’s no exaggeration to say we could and should have taken something from the other games which have all been lost by the odd goal.

“That in itself is damned frustrating and there were definite signs in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat away to Bellshill Athletic that our poor run of results is draining any remaining confidence out of the guys.

“Failing to take advantage against a team whose goalkeeper was sent off is simply not good enough yet neither is the realisation that the Bellshill players wanted it more than us.

“Having this break from league action is a very timely one and provides the opportunity for a bit of team bonding that will hopefully stand us in good stead going forward.

“I have nothing but fond memories of my first ever Scottish Junior Cup campaign as a teenage Royal Albert striker when we beat Nairn St Ninian's up there and the players enjoyed a few beers together as well as the obligatory fish suppers on the way back home.

“It would be nice to sample those same feelings again but any boost to spirits can only come about by winning the Cup tie because it can be a long journey home if we haven’t done the business.”

Ashfield gaffer Robert Docherty swooped this week to sign up ex-St Johnstone and Blackpool striker Keigan Parker from Forth Wanderers but Maxi was non-committal about forming a striking partnership with the feted Senior ace.

He added: “Keigan has come on board and looked very sharp in training but only the gaffer knows if the plan is to blood him against Sunnybank.

“I didn’t want to come across as making excuses earlier but we have been beset with injuries all season and the result is I have played a number of games at the heart of our defence and I’m happy to slot in there again if needed.

“And were our regular centre-backs to be fit I cannot expect to be pushed into our forward line considering Paddy Cullen, Stevie Dymock and Billy Stevenston are all vying for the jerseys.

“Anyway, it might be one for the record books if he does ever pair myself and Keigan together as we must have a combined age of 75.”

Petershill can hardly be termed as having an away day in heading down to face Port Glasgow and it would represent a major shock if the Super First Division leaders were to fall at their Parklea hurdle.

Glasgow based clubs were afforded more than a fair share of home ties in the Second Round draw so it will be intriguing to see if they make this advantage tell, particularly in and around Govan where Benburb are hosting the visit of Craigroyston while St Anthony's take on higher league opponents in Yoker Athletic.

Glasgow Perthshire can hopefully account for Kinnoul while Vale of Clyde appear too strong for visiting Arbroath Vics and only yesterday another Cup contest came to the city after Royal Albert were compelled to switch their tie with Pollok to Newlandsfield.

The Albert gaffer James Nesbitt revealed: "Drains have collapsed under our Tileworks Park and the game had next to no chance of going ahead while our attempts to fix up a neutral venue came to nothing.

“Our club officials contacted the SJFA and it was said we should switch the game to Newlandsfield because otherwise next weekend ’s Sectional Central League Cup Final between Pollok and Clydebank would be called off .

“I don’t know what’s more annoying: our losing home advantage or people totally dismissing our chances of earning a replay.”

PLAYING TOMORROW: (Kick Offs 2PM unless stated):Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Round(2.30PM). Shotts Bon Accord v Muirkirk,Newmachar Utd v Dyce, Lanark Utd v Dalkeith Thistle,Longside v Carnoustie Panmure,Vale of Clyde v Arbroath Vics, West Calder Utd v Scone Thistle,Tranent v Easthouses Lily,Rob Roy v Carluke Rovers ,Lochee Utd v Armadale Thistle, Hill O’Beath v Buckie Rovers,Lesmahagow v Arthurlie,Auchinleck Talbot v Forres Thistle,Dufftown v Oakley Utd, Forfar Albion v Haddington Athletic, Kilsyth Rangers v Stoneywood Parkvale, Aberdeen Sunnybank v Ashfield, Kilbirnie Ladeside v PenicuikAthletic, Glasgow Perthshire v Kinnoull, Hermes v Blairgowrie,Forth Wanderers v Irvine Vics ,Fauldhouse Utd v Bonnyrigg Rose, Irvine Meadow v Broxburn Athletic.St Rochs v Bellshill Athletic, Neilston v Downfield ,Dundee East Craigie v Newtongrange Star,Troon v Stoneyburn, Montrose Roselea v Coupar Angus,Port Glasgow v Petershill,

Rossvale v Edinburgh Utd,Wishaw v Arniston Rangers,Thorniewood Utd v Dundonald Bluebell, Maud v Harthill Royal,Broughty Athletic v BathgateThistle ,Rutherglen Glencairn v Glentanar,Craigmark v Cumnock,Cruden Bay v Banks O’Dee,Crossgates Primrose v Newburgh,Kilwinning Rangers v Larkhall Thistle,Brechin Vics v Boness Utd ,Girvan v East Kilbride Thistle,Gartcairn v Whitehills ,Kennoway Star Hearts v Clydebank,Camelon v Hall Russell Utd,Whitletts Vics v Jeanfield Swifts, St Anthonys v Yoker Athletic, Ardrossan Winton Roverrs v Dunbar Utd,Lochore Welfare v Spey Valley.Dalry Thistle v Glenafton ,Beith v Inverness City,Royal Albert v Pollok,Vale of Leven v Luncarty,Cambuslang Rangers v Stonehaven,Benburb v Craigroyston,Blantyre Vics v Lochgelly Albert,Aberdeen University v Johnstone Burgh, Thornton Hibs v Cumbernauld Utd, Aberdeen East End v Blackburn Utd,Sauchie v Largs Thistle,Hurlford Utd v Nairn St Ninians.Dundee Violet v Forfar West End, Musselburgh Athletic v Darvel,Lugar Boswell v Linlithgow Rose, Buchanhaven Hearts v Whitburn,Annbank Utd v Colony Super First Division.Renfrew v Shettleston, Maryhill v Kello Rovers,. Central Second DivisionDunipace v Newmains Ayrshire District League. Saltcoats Vics v Maybole.