The idea was that cramming in matches over the festive weekends would enable secretary Kennie Young to avoid a fixture log-jam prior to the Lowland League play-offs in April. However, the plan came unstuck on the first weekend of 2021 when the entire WOSFL card fell victim to the biting wintry conditions.

A fair smattering of games did indeed go ahead in Scottish Football’s lower league levels but none in the WOSFL where ice-bound pitches caused the postponement of six Premier Division contests and it is likely to be seven as there is little chance of tonight's Rutherglen Glencairn v Hurlford United fixture getting the thumbs up.

A further two postponements carried over from the Xmas weekend now gives Young the headache of fitting in nine matches and he would be excused for wondering if it was worth all the effort.

So too must seasoned defender Mark McLennan, who along with his Irvine Meadow team-mates had trained on Hogmanay morning in preparation for hosting the visit of Rob Roy on Saturday.

The 29-year-old team skipper admitted to a mixture of frustration and disappointment after hearing of the match postponement.

“The gaffers Colin Spence and James Latta could have put on sessions on both Hogmanay and New Year’s Day without hearing a single murmur of complaint," he said. “Both of them were very successful and long-serving players with Auchinleck Talbot and it would be fair to say they have instilled a Talbot single-mindedness and focus to our dressing room which looks to be bearing fruit.

“Everything we do on the training ground is very high tempo and competitive in the extreme because they want us to carry that same winning mentality into our league matches.

“Buying into their ideas is the reason we are handily placed in the table and I feel confident we can kick on from here and figure in the title race.”

Spencer and Latta made a few low-key changes personnel wise this season, but none better than 21-year-old striking sensation Connor Boyd, says McLennan.

“Connor has made a quite sensational start to his first season in the Juniors and had caught the eye even before he scored a hat trick in our 3-2 victory over Blantyre Vics last weekend," he said. "He’s lightning quick across the ground as well as being a willing worker for the team and he only needs a little more confidence in his abilities to be the finished article.”

Introduced off the bench against Blantyre was former Meadow hitman Eddie McTernan who left during the summer months to join Arthurlie.

“No sooner had Eddie put pen to paper than Arthurlie resigned from the WOSFL so he had been out of the game until recently when the gaffers talked him into training with us." McLennan said. “He’s the same lively Eddie and did not need any settling-in time so it was only natural that he then started to figure on our bench and he certainly looked his old self in the brief outing against the Vics. His coming back into the picture is a massive boost as he has the pace and finishing skills to be a top drawer striker.”

Yet another couple of big characters making playing returns are Pollok skipper Paul Gallagher and Auchinleck Talbot goalkeeper Andy Leishman. Gallagher has gone out on loan to Albion Rovers and would have relished going up against one of his former clubs Queen's Park on Saturday but for the game being called off, while Leishman has been loaned out to a BSC Glasgow side already boasting two Talbot team-mates in Jamie Glasgow and Craig McCracken.