The uncertainty may be continuing over a start date for the West of Scotland Football League, however member clubs have reconciled themselves to getting on with preparations for the 2020/21 campaign in a number of pre-season friendly matches.

Saturday saw yet another round of localised matches played out to the backdrop of empty terracing slopes as compliance with SFA guidelines was observed even though strict adherence  only furthered the disconnect of dedicated followers throughout the West.

A rash of city-based clubs were to the fore on a sun-baked afternoon, with Pollok following up their 5-2 midweek victory over Maryhill with a tighter 2-1 winning margin against Ashfield, the narrow manner of which did not leave Lok gaffer Murdie MacKinnon best pleased.

Early goals from Adam Forde and Stuart McCann had the Newlandsfield giants set for a resounding victory however a mistake by new midfield signing Stephen McDevitt, his wayward back pass latched upon by Ashfield hitman Callum Graham, halved the home team’s advantage and acted to take the sting out of Pollok’s attacking sorties, much to MacKinnon’s chagrin.

He insisted afterwards: ”The sheer simplicity of our opener was akin to a goal scored on Playstation but there were not enough similar positives for my liking particularly in the final third where our finishing was nothing short of deplorable at times.

”We didn’t hit the target as often as our dominance in the outfield deserved and we absolutely murdered Ashfield at set plays but couldn’t find the net with a succession of clear-cut headed chances.

“To create so many openings without putting the game to bed led to our intensity dropping off second half yet we continued to create openings but unfortunately without any end result.”

Goals were easier to come by elsewhere in the city, with Liam Coogans and Aaron Connelly netting doubles to go along with a Kieron Martin counter as St Roch's went nap with a 5-1 success over St Anthony's in the annual memorial match for the late Mark Ritchie who formerly played for both clubs. 

Petershill ran out 2-0 winners away to Glasgow University with Kieran Campbell and Ronan Sweeney on the mark while Drumchapel United impressively thumped Arthurlie 7-1 and Shettleston earned a creditable 1-1 draw against higher-league Rossvale thanks to a last-minute Craig Thomson free-kick screamer cancelling out Anthony Higgins’ opener for the visitors.

Newcomers St Cadocs came unstuck in going down 4-2 at home to Hurlford United despite taking an early lead through a score from veteran front man Kenny McLean.

Busy midfielder Paul 'Taz' Mckenzie and Lewis Morrison (once from the penalty spot)  both netted twice for the Ayrshiremen before Dylan Dykes put a better complexion on the scoreline for Johnny Millar’s men.

In other games, Connor Bolger levelled for Neilston in eking out a 1-1 draw at home to Kilbirnie Ladeside for whom Ross Gilmour was on target and the names of Ricky McArthur(pen), Chris Safford, Chris Martin and Ross McFarlane were on the scoresheet in Johnstone Burgh’s 4-1 triumph over Renfrew while the title of comeback kings was bestowed upon Port Glasgow following a 4-3 victory over Vale of Leven.

First-half goals from Chris Jackson, Danny Patterson and David McNaught gave rise to thoughts of a second half stroll for the Vale however Paul Coyle’s young side roared back to seal a memorable win with counters from Brad Cooper(2), David McNeil and Johnny Gallagher.

Blantyre Vics recorded a 3-2 defeat of Forth Wanderers thanks to Sam McKenzie, Lewis McDonald and John Cunningham finding the target and a brace of goals by Evan Mailey, either side of a Mick McCann penalty-kick conversion, helped Glenafton overcome Craigmark by an identical  scoreline, while derby foes Cambuslang Rangers and Rutherglen Glencairn were locked 1-1 at Somervell Park where the Lang’s lead through  Scott McManus was cancelled out by a Rikki McIntosh penalty kick, awarded after Liam Gormley was felled in the box.

Meanwhile, ambitious Gartcairn’s close season signing coup in fixing up much vaunted pair Gary Harkins and Steven Saunders is already showing signs of bearing fruit after the much feted ex-Seniors netted along with Gary Arbuckle and Louis Kerr as the Airdrie based outfit chalked up a 4-1 win away to Cumbernauld United whose consolation score came from Tony Stevenson.

Meanwhile, off the pitch comes word reckoning a number of clubs may be on the verge of readjusting their preparations for the big kick off because of a two week Covid deferment to  the proposed start date to the season of Saturday 10th October.

And even the new Saturday 24th October deadline could be in jeopardy after a poll conducted by West of Scotland League officials revealed 70% of member clubs do not want to start the season without fans in attendance.

Friendly Results Glasgow University 0 Petershill 2, Pollok 2 Ashfield 1, Vale of Leven 3 Port Glasgow 4, Neilston 1 Kilbirnie Ladeside 1, Irvine Vics 2 Troon 10, Whitletts Vics 6 Creetown 3, East Kilbride 2 Beith 1, Kilsyth Rangers 3 Dunipace 2, Benburb 0 Partick Thistle 1, Cumbernauld Utd 1 Gartcairn 4, Shettleston 1 Rossvale 1, St Rochs 5 St Anthonys 1, Johnstone Burgh 4 Renfrew 1, Lugar Boswell 0 Kello Rovers 9, Drumchapel 7 Arthurlie 1, Forth Wanderers 2 Blantyre Vics 3, St Cadocs 2 Hurlford Utd 4, Cambuslang Rangers 1 Rutherglen Glencairn 1, Glenafton 3 Craigmark 2.