Born-and-bred Neilston boy Adam Forde is hoping he can prevent his hometown team pulling off a major Macron Scottish Junior Cup upset on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Pollok hitman, now fully recovered from a hip injury which has kept him on the sidelines for the past four weeks is desperate to get the nod for a starting jersey when the Premiership big guns make the short trip through to Brig O’Lea for what promises to be an intriguing quarter-final.

Pollok are strongly fancied to get through but the famous old competition, now in its 134th year, is littered with tales of cup shocks and Fordy is aware supporters of the East Renfrewshire outfit fancy their chances of pulling off another.

He said: “I know several of their players and there’s no doubt Neilston are a team on the up so we are going to be at our best to survive what could be a testing 90 minutes.

“I was loaned out to Neilston back in the days when I was on the books at Stranraer and only played a couple of games but I could see then how the fans got right behind the team, particularly when going up against the big guns, and Saturday promises to be anything but a typical cup tie with so much at stake.

“I’ve been told Neilston’s officials are pulling out all the stops to enable the game to go ahead and that’s probably because the heavy underfoot conditions might prove a leveller on the day so we fully expect them to have a right go at us.”

Forde, who has endured a stop-start season with injury concerns, is understandably keen to play a part in helping Pollok secure a place in the semi-finals and believes he and his team-mates can rise to the big occasion.

He admitted: “ We’ve looked the part in some games and out of sorts in others but Saturday is when our A-game is most needed and we cannot afford any wobbles.

“If we can just get over this hurdle and buy time to get our best team on the pitch then I believe we will come on strong for the end of the season.”

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Acutely aware of the threat posed by Fordy and strike partners Stuart McCann, Chris Dallas and Iain Russell is Neilston co-gaffer Chris Cameron.

He said: “Pollok have striking riches at their disposal and could field all manners of forward permutations so I’m just glad Jordan Shelvey is cup-tied.

“We’ve watched them in action recently when several key players were missing but saw enough to realise they are a quality side. But nobody here is running scared of locking horns with them.

“Neilston as a club have never been in the Junior Cup semi-finals and we see this game as an opportunity to make a bit of history.”

Cameron’s dugout partner Derek Carson is due back from Dubai in time for the last-eight contest however not so fortunate is big stopper Euan Clark, previously with Beith, who is a definite non-starter after a hairline fracture of his ankle in the last-round victory over Rob Roy.

Cameron revealed: “Big Euan is a big loss but he had to come off in the first few minutes of the Rob Roy game and we coped well enough defensively and the guys have looked rock solid in recent weeks with Daryll Convery (son of the legendary Arthurlie striker Stevie) playing at the heart of our defence.

“It’s not a position Daryll likes but he’s doing us a real turn alongside Paul Doyle and it only remains now for Robbie Halliday (brother of Rangers full-back Andy) to prove his fitness for our backline to be in good shape.

“All this talk of defenders might have people thinking we are planning a damage-limitation exercise but nothing could be further from the truth as we are hoping to win the game at the first time of asking.

“Derek works alongside the Pollok midfielder Del Esplin who has made no bones about expecting Pollok to get through, but we’ll see come 4pm on Saturday.”


Yet another David v Goliath last-eight encounter is set for Recreation Park where runaway Championship winners elect Darvel await the visit of supposed cup minnows Broughty Athletic.

Not that Vale gaffer Mick Kennedy was exhibiting any delusions of grandeur when he spoke last night of his rejuvenated side’s opponents.

The three-time Scottish Amateur Cup-winning manager of Colville Parl said: “Complacency is nowhere to be seen at our club and we have done our homework on Broughty just as we would have done facing Pollok or Auchinleck.

“They are a side sprinkled with a number of ex-Dundee United Pro-Youth players as you might expect given they are managed by the former United midfielder James McCunnie and as well as good legs and energy, they are adept at keeping possession so we are in for a tough game.

“They won 3-0 when I watched them last weekend but their opponents were ultra-defensive as you might expect given they had previously lost 10-0 against Broughty so it was very hard to judge them.

”Our captain Stephen McDevitt misses out through suspension which is a blow because I feel our approach should be to make it an old-fashioned game and he would have relished that.

“That said we are confident with the players gelling well and we hope to give the good people of Darvel something to cheer about.”