The notion that St Roch's can be looked upon as a genuine Conference League A title contender is sure to appear less far-fetched if the Garngad outfit overcome table-toppers Bellshill Athletic on Saturday.

That's the considered opinion of Candy Rock team manager Paul Kelly, feeling understandably elated in the wake of his side chalking up a handsome 3-0 victory away to Craigmark last Saturday despite being reduced to 10 men for over an hour after Kieran Daw was sent packing for two yellow card offences.

An automatically incurred one-game suspension means the inspirational midfielder will sit it out when Bellshill put their unbeaten record on the line at the James McGrory Stadium, however Kelly's faith in his squad's strength in depth qualities has him relishing the prospect.

And his confidence remained undiminished after watching a cobbled-together line-up of fringe players and St Roch's Under 20s going down to a 3-2 friendly defeat by St Anthony's on Monday night.

Kelly insisted afterwards: "We needed that run out for the guys who haven't been playing regularly, in particular Barry Russell who is a cornerstone of our team yet hasn't kicked a ball for us all season because of a stomach muscle injury.

"The plan was for him to get 45 minutes against the Ants but he was feeling good and wasn't for coming off when the time came so we let him play on and he managed to get through the entire 90 minutes without mishap.

"No doubt, Barry will be sore for a few days but he’ll be all the better for finally getting some match time under his belt however he's not in our thoughts for the Bellshill game which is coming way too soon for him.

"Anyway there’s no need to rush him back if the likes of Brian McQueen, Paul Tierney and John Jay Reid continue to play so well as a defensive unit as they did in shutting up shop against what is a very strong Craigmark side.

"They have a number of decent players who are extremely well coached and will go on to pick up more points than they'll drop this season so it was a massive result for us on the back of a  terrific all-round team performance."

Veteran frontman Jamie Longworth teaming up well alongside Connor Hughes, both were on the scoresheet down at Dalmellington (Reece Glackin also netted) will have Kelly sorely tempted to go with the same pairing given the continuing absence of renowned hitman Aaron Connolly who is self-isolating.

The Candy boss admitted: "Aaron has been unlucky after looking impressive in what few starts he's managed up to now but thankfully Liam Coogins and now Connor have made a good fist of filling his boots.

"He was more recognized as a midfielder turning out for Rob Roy last season but since coming here was keen to have a crack up front and there's no denying his energy dovetails perfectly with Jamie, a very intelligent footballer whose positioning sense in and around the penalty box is a joy to behold at times."

Opponents Bellshill’s storming start to their WOSFL campaign - four wins and a draw in five starts - comes as no real surprise to long-in-the-tooth gaffer Kelly.

He added: “As is often the case when a manager moves between clubs, Derek Wilson’s joining Bellshill has seen him attract a fair smattering of the guys who previously played under him at Carluke Rovers and that togetherness and familiarity has clearly worked the oracle.

“Still going strong is striker Sean McKenna who has never been the most mobile of forwards throughout his career but a superb first touch and willingness to use his body to back into defenders has always made him handful play against.

“I know the former Cambuslang Rangers forward Ciaran Lafferty has been banging in the goals but Sean’s the real dangerman and we’ll need to deal with his threat.”

In other Conference A contests taking place, second-placed Renfrew will surely  find the pickings anything but easy to come by when playing host to the aforementioned Craigmark however third-top Muirkirk appear a shoo-in for the spoils at home to pointless bottom markers Ardeer Thistle.

Maryhill make the far-flung journey to Maybole searching for a third consecutive league win but hard not to think a tougher trip into Ayrshire beckons for Ashfield in going up against Annbank United while Glasgow University will be desperate to avoid a fourth defeat on the spin at home to Kello Rovers.

On the transfer front comes word of Darvel snapping up the highly-rated former Petershill and Clyde goalkeeper John Gibson while towering Rutherglen Glencairn stopper Terry Hewitt has rejoined East Premier outfit Sauchie where he played before moving to the Ru’Glonians.

Saturday December 5 (kick offs 1.45pm)
WOSFL Premier Division Cumbernauld Utd v Kilwinning Rangers, Largs Thistle v Rossvale, Clydebank v Rutherglen Glencairn, Troon v Rob Roy, Irvine Meadow v Darvel, Bonnnyton Thistle v Blantyre Vics, Hurlford Utd v Beith. 
WOSFL Conference League A Muirkirk v Ardeer Thistle, Annbank Utd v Ashfield, Maybole v Maryhill, Glasgow University v Kello Rovers, St Roch's v  Bellshill Athletic, Renfrew v Craigmark.
WOSFL Conference League B Port Glasgow v Wishaw, Forth Wanderers v Johnstone Burgh, Gartcairn v Irvine Vics, Neilston v Vale of Clyde, St Cadoc's v  Greenock, Lugar Boswell v Carluke Rovers.
WOSFL Conference League C Thorniewood Utd v East Kilbride Thistle, Lanark Utd v Glasgow Perthshire, Newmains Utd v St Anthony's, Kilsyth Rangers v Yoker Athletic.