Only when people look back at the end of this season can the significance of Conference B title challengers Neilston's early-season decision to boost their firepower be judged.

More than a few eyebrows were raised when Brig O’Lea co-management duo Chris Cameron and Derek Carson opted to acquire feted Pollok striker Adam Forde (on loan) after the Farmers Boys stormed out of the blocks to post three wins from their opening three league starts, scoring 12 goals in the process with the loss of just one.

But four and a half hours of football later with another 14 goals chalked up and Neilston sitting atop the tree approaching Christmas, their early call for further weaponry is looking inspired to say the least.

A 4-1 defeat of Wishaw followed by 5-1 wins over both Irvine Vics and Vale of Clyde has the look of a pretty profound endorsement ahead of this Saturday’s crunch top of the table clash away to second-placed Greenock.

Former midfielder Cameron admitted: "Having four quality strikers at our beck and call has always been an aim of Derek and so we did not hesitate for a moment when an opportunity arose to land someone of Fordy’s qualities.

“He is a class act and though Kieran Brophy, Jamie Docherty and Dylan Fletcher have shown themselves to be no slouches when it comes to finding the net, Fordy will both complement them and strengthen our attacking hand.

“Already he has bagged three goals to his name from a couple of appearances and might have added to his total against Vale of Clyde but for a strain injury that forced us to take him off at half time as a precautionary measure with the Greenock game in mind.

“Hopefully he will be fit to play a part down at Ravenscraig but it’s not as if we will be devoid of a penalty-box threat if he misses out.”

The 25-year-old frontman, enjoying a second stint with his hometown team after having previously been loaned out when on the books of Stranraer, is desperate to help Neilston to title success.

He revealed: “I was gutted when Pollok pulled out of the WOSFL so I approached Murdie (Lok manager Murdie MacKinnon) for permission to play with Neilston and much to my relief, a deal was brokered that suited all parties.

“I probably wouldn’t have pushed for a move had it been any other team because of the chance to play alongside the many friends I have in the Brig O’ Lea dressing room, or under Chris who was a team-mate when I was here before.

“He and Derek, also a former Neilston player, have used their knowledge of the game to put together a decent side that from what I’ve seen are looking as good as any at Conference level however we’ve yet to face the likes of Greenock, Johnstone Burgh and Port Glasgow whose results have all been impressive.

“They will provide stiff challenges and you also have to respect St Cadocs, whose playing squad boasts an array of ex-Glenafton players as well as Chris Dallas, at the start of this year my striking partner at Newlandsfield, so it’s going to make for an odd feeling if he and I now find ourselves lining up in opposition.”

Meanwhile, one hears there is little likelihood of  WOSFL beaks  attempting  to impose sanctions on Premier Division big guns Darvel following the Coronavirus enforced postponement of last weekend’s clash away to Irvine Meadow.

The heavy fines and points deductions penalties recently inflicted by the SFA upon Kilmarnock and St Mirren were a direct consequence of both clubs admitting to rule violations however this is apparently not the case at Darvel where fully 14 players were asked to self -isolate  by Track  & Trace personnel upon being informed that at least three of the ambitious Ayrshire outfit’s playing squad had  tested positive.

Times Sport understands one of those to test positive was injured and had not been at training in the previous week therefore it could be alleged the Ayrshire outfit are a victim of the associated risk caused by the WOSFL season going ahead with part-timers, whose day jobs are away from football.

Recreation Park gaffer Mick Kennedy insisted, “It was no secret that we had several regulars such as our central defensive pairing of Daryll Meggitt and Cammy Eadie set to be posted missing through injury and the upshot was a lot of people were putting two and two together and coming up with wrong assumptions

“Darvel still had 15 fit bodies on Saturday morning and truth is we were  desperate for the game to go-ahead  as we felt the advice from Teat & Trace was flawed however we spoke with the people at Irvine Meadow as well as WOSFL Secretary Kenny Young and erring on the side of caution was thought the best way forward .

“Last night further advice was received from Test & Trace negating the need for self-isolation so we are gearing ourselves up for a training session ahead of the visit of Clydebank this coming Saturday.”

I was privileged to play under some wonderful managerial characters during my Junior career and up there with the very best of them is former Kilwinning Rangers boss John Evans who sadly passed away this week.

In terms of silverware successes, John is probably better known for spells in charge of Ardeer Thistle however his achievement in steering a struggling Buffs to the 1990 Scottish Junior Cup last eight cannot be underestimated.

He was never a coach as such however his pre-match dressing room talks, laced with moments of real humor, were nothing short of inspiring as John would demand his players go out and do the business for the people in his hometown, especially  his  beloved wife Ruby… or else he would have no supper on the table.

Different and memorable in equal measure, yet there can be no denying John’s words did the trick in extolling that particular dressing room to give their very all for him and one cannot help but feel his neck of the Ayrshire woods is going to feel a lot emptier from now on.

Saturday December 12 (kick-offs 1.45pm)
WOSFL Premier Division Rossvale v Cumbernauld Utd, Kilwinning Rangers v Hurlford Utd, Darvel v Clydebank, Troon v Rutherglen Glencairn, Beith v Irvine Meadow, Rob Roy v Bonnnyton Thistle, Blantyre Vics v Largs Thistle.
WOSFL Conference League A Ashfield v Ardeer Thistle, Renfrew v Annbank Utd, Muirkirk v Glasgow University, Kello Rovers v Maybole, Maryhill v St Rochs, Bellshill Athletic v Craigmark.
WOSFL Conference League B Vale of Leven v Forth Wanderers, Johnstone Burgh v Port Glasgow, Vale of Clyde v Gartcairn, Greenock v Neilston, Wishaw v Lugar Boswell,  Carluke Rovers v St Cadocs.
WOSFL Conference League C Yoker Athletic v Thorniewood Utd, East Kilbride Thistle v Newmains Utd, Glasgow Perthshire v Drumchapel Utd, St Anthonys v Kilsyth Rangers.