It could prove difficult if not impossible to hear the trademark chant of Petershill in their pomp – “Easy The Peasy” - echoing around the James McGrory Stadium and for two very sound reasons.

One is down to it not being heard as the very strong likelihood exists of hosts St Rochs having a bumper home crowd in attendance to loudly cheer on the Candy against their long standing city rivals.

The second and arguably more compelling justification comes from the current St Rochs outfit starting away this season like one of those teams you only write off at your peril, flying high as they are in the Conference League  C standings, three places and two points better off than their more celebrated Springburn visitors before a ball is kicked.

For St Rochs boss Paul Kelly, the clash of his third top of the table side against sixth placed Petershill is the latest test of whether his players can last the pace in an obstacle course of a league title race that has the Peasy and others such as Wishaw, Neilston, Drumchapel Utd and Glasgow Perthshire forming an orderly queue to trip the Candy up.

Early  hammer blows inflicted by a formidable Neilston coming away from the Garngad with a 2-0 triumph that followed on from a curtain-raiser 0-0 draw against Vale of Clyde have been all but suppressed by St Rochs reeling off four straight victories in a row.

And now the seasoned Kelly, formerly assistant manager at Petershill Park under Willie Patterson, is convinced a further addition to that winning run will endorse the growing belief that St Rochs have what it takes to go the distance.

He revealed: “Covid restrictions meant we experienced a lot of difficulties early doors in terms of playing numbers and our pre-season was nothing short of shambolic with only 12 or 13 players available for pre-season friendly matches and training sessions.

“The outcome was certain individuals were sharp out of the blocks while others needed more time to adjust particularly after they were away from the game for so long because of lockdown.

“We were therefore ill-prepared for when the season was underway and suffered as a consequence however the guys haven’t looked back since getting over that hump and have played decent football in some games as well as showing great determination to come out on top, as with Larkhall in midweek."

Kelly added: "Petershill have likewise recovered from a poor start and are showing much better form in this ultra-competitive C Division so today’s game has all the makings of a cracker.

“Playing in front of our own supporters puts the onus firmly on us to make the running and try and win the game but I’ve no doubt Petershill’s need to  pick up all three points coming here is arguably greater than ours so you can bet on Martin Lauchlan setting his stall out accordingly.”

A taking of the spoils by St Rochs will promote them to second top spot, leapfrogging Neilston (without a fixture as the odd team out among 15), however hopes of going atop the pile must be slim at best seeing as impressively undefeated frontrunners Wishaw are strongly fancied to prevail  at home to the only pointless club in League C’s pecking order, Yoker Athletic.

Second  place is similarly the realistic aim of Petershill supporters but this scenario coming to fruition is dependent on the two sides immediately  above  them in  the  standings (and both a point  to the good), Glasgow Perthshire and Drumchapel  United  sharing the spoils in what is shaping up as an intriguing  Keppoch Park head to head.

The Shire moved onto the same 12 points mark as the Drum after goals from Craig Munro  and Jordan Fraser chalked up a 2-1 midweek defeat  over  Ardrossan Winton Rovers  but will find the pickings, even with home advantage, harder to come by against opponents boasting a100% record    from 4 outings to date and with a squad containing high caliber playing types Darian  McKinnon, Chrissy Craig, Bob Campbell and Gary Muir.

Meanwhile, hopes are high over in Tolllcross of Vale of Clyde following up their first win of  the season on  Wednesday night, a 3-1 success at home  to Yoker with Andy Skinner, Ross Girwood and Liam Doherty on the mark, by overcoming East Kilbride Thistle at Fullarton  Park.

Word on the comings and goings front has Premier Division strugglers Rossvale snapping up Ayr United prospect James Dolan while the  Bishopbrigg club’s 6-1 midweek hammering of Kilbirnie Ladeside has brought about the departure,  after a mere six competitive games tenure, of Blasties gaffer Martin Ferry.

PLAYING TODAY: (Kick Offs 2PM):P.D.M. Buildbase Premier League. Blantyre Vics v Rob Roy,Cumnock v Irvine Meadow,Cumbernauld Utd v Darvel, Clydebank v Largs Thistle, Rossvale v Pollok, Glenafton v Benburb, Beith v Hurlford Utd , Rutherglen Glencairn v Kilwinning Rangers, Bonnyton Thistle v Auchinleck Talbot, Kilbirnie Ladeside v Troon..PDM Buildbase Conference League A.Maybole v Girvan, Glasgow University v Maryhill, Craigmark v Lesmahagow, Shotts  Bon Accord  v Muirkirk, Whitletts Vics  v Bellshill Athletic,Lugar Boswell v Johnstone Burgh, Arthurlie v Irvine Vics, Forth Wanderers v Saltcoats Vics.PDM Buildbase Conference League B. Thorniewood Utd v Royal Albert, Cambuslang Rangers v Dalry Thistle, Port Glasgow v Carluke Rovers, Kello Rovers v Gartcairn, Ashfield v Ardeer Thistle, Glasgow Utd v Renfrew,St Cadocs  v  Newmains Utd.PDM Buildbase Conference League C. Glasgow Perthshire v  Drumchapel Utd,, Vale of Clyde v East Kilbride Thistle ,Ardrossan  Winton Rovers v Lanark Utd, Vale of Leven  v  St Anthonys,St  Rochs  v Petershill,Wishaw v Yoker Athletic ,Larkhall Thistle v  Kilsyth Rangers.PDM Buildbase Division Four.St Peters v Kilsyth Athletic,Harmony Row v Harthill Royal,Campbeltown Pupils  v  Glenvale, BSC Glasgow v Finnart.