Vale of Clyde manager Mark McKay has kept a promise to himself that he would walk away from his Fullarton Park role if the day ever came when he couldn’t take a single positive from his side’s performance.

Unfortunately, that watershed moment arrived midway through the second  half of last Saturday’s 3-1 loss at home to city rivals St Anthony's, whose goals came from Evariste  Bembo (2) and Warim  Omar, with Andrew Skinner netting what amounted to no more than a Vale consolation score from the penalty spot.

But the very manner of his side’s latest capitulation - and their fifth defeat in eight league outings - was the proverbial straw that broke McKay's back. Long before the final whistle, he had taken dugout assistant Gary McLean to one side and told him to assemble every one of the Tin Pail’s playing squad in the dressing room afterwards.

And there behind closed doors, the 39-year-old gaffer shook the hands of all his playing charges, gave an emotional  thanks for their many efforts on his behalf and informed them he was bringing his four-year managerial tenure to an end.

Last night an unrepentant McKay explained: "Watching on as we served up  a second-half showing that was as deplorable as it gets convinced me it was time to go.

“The players were just not delivering for me and the easy thing to do was to have a post-match screaming episode and throw the guys under the bus  but I have always believed the ultimate responsibility is mine because I pick them as well as dictating the shape we play.

“Vale of Clyde were not putting me under any pressure whatsoever in terms of results and club officials. Now, close friends such as Jim Wilson and John Morrison argued strongly that I should take a break away from the game and reconsider my decision but in my heart of hearts I just feel this is the right time to go.

”A new manager coming in with fresh ideas and a different approach might prove to be the best thing for the players and nobody but nobody would love to see them turn their situation around more than me.”

Seasoned journeyman McKay, who first emerged on the Juniors scene with now-defunct Bailleston before going on to play at Rob Roy, Rutherglen Glencairn, Cumbernauld Utd, Lesmahagow, Forth Wanderers  and Blantyre Vics, says he has no plans to bounce straight back into another managerial post.

He added: "Vale of  lyde was more often than not a seven-days-per-week  job because away from training sessions and matchdays I would get  involved with securing sponsorship deals or scouring the juvenile and amateur ranks for emerging talents.

“A lot of my friends reckon I did too much however being able to look in the mirror and say I gave it my all is a source of immense satisfaction.

"If there’s going to be spare time to fill then I will make a point of taking in games for pure enjoyment and I don’t want my presence on the terracings to be taken as a sign that I’m after some other manager’s job.”

The Tollcross outfit are inviting applications for their vacant managerial chair but there’s little likelihood of a new man taking up the helm before tonight’s short hop to face C Division promotion aspirants Petershill.

The Tin Pail clearly don’t have their troubles to seek but across they city comes news of a different sort of crisis afflicting Pollok, preparing to take on Largs Thistle without their commanding centre-back and inspirational  team captain Paul Gallagher, who is awaiting the results of a scan on the knee injury sustained during last week’s Premier Division encounter  against Cumbernauld United.

The potential exists for Gal to be confirmed with ACL damage which would almost certainly rule him out for the rest of this season and severely weaken his Glasgow club’s rearguard, already shorn of fellow stoppers Grant Evans (hamstring), Bryan Wharton (groin) and David Barron (work commitments).

Winger Gary McCann is contemplating between eight and ten weeks on the sidelines with a broken ankle is and another selection blow for Lok boss Murdie McKinnon as he looks for his charges to bounce back from their weekend defeat by Cumnock.

He revealed: "We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the news on Gal’s  injury is not as bad as first feared but at best he’s still looking at six weeks out of action, which is a hammer blow given Grant is a couple of weeks away from a comeback while Bryan could be longer still.”

The head-to-head of title hopefuls Darvel and Irvine Meadow is the pick of the top-flight contests while the Conference League's game of the day is undoubtedly the A Division clash of Bellshill Athletic against Shotts Bon Accord. 

PLAYING TONIGHT (Kick-off 7pm)

PDM Buildbase Premier League
Troon v Glenafton, Kilwinning Rangers v Cumbernauld Utd, Hurlford Utd v Cumnock, Blantyre Vics v Clydebank, Darvel v Irvine Meadow, Pollok v Largs Thistle, Benburb v Rossvale, Rob Roy v Rutherglen Glencairn, Auchinleck Talbot v Beith, Kilbirnie Ladeside v Bonnyton Thistle.

PDM Buildbase Conference League A
Whitletts Vics v Maybole, Lugar Boswell v Craigmark, Johnstone Burgh v Glasgow University, Lesmahagow v Forth Wanderers, Maryhill v Arthurlie, Bellshill Athletic v Shotts Bon Accord.

PDM Buildbase Conference League B
Thorniewood Utd v Port Glasgow, Royal Albert v St Cadoc's, Newmains Utd v Cambuslang Rangers, Gartcairn  v Glasgow Utd, Carluke Rovers v Ashfield, Renfrew v Greenock, Ardeer Thistle v Dalry Thistle, Ashfield v Newmains Utd.

PDM Buildbase Conference League C
Petershill v Vale of Clyde, St Anthony's v Neilston, Yoker Athletic v Ardrossan Winton Rovers, Lanark Utd v East Kilbride Thistle, Drumchapel Utd v Vale of Leven, Larkhall Thistle v Wishaw, Kilsyth Rangers v St Roch's.