ECSTATIC former Ardeer Thistle boss Derek Gemmell admitted he had experienced a real "Roy of the Rovers" moment when his heroic deeds helped the Stevenston team chalk up a vital win seven days after suffering a record defeat.

Gemmell (41) has not been involved in the game since stepping down from his dugout duties with the League Two club two months ago but was stirred into action as the Stevenston team prepared to host Three Towns rivals Saltcoats Victoria in a League Two game.

They were still hurting after a humiliating 18-0 loss away to Lesmahagow a week earlier and bounced back in style by winning 2-1.

Gemmell, also a long-serving player with the club said: "I had a call from the former manager Peter Kean on Saturday morning, saying they were a bit short of players so I decided to dig out my boots as I knew they were struggling. I care a lot about the team and was sitting watching Soccer Saturday the previous week when the result came through.

"I must have played 150 to 170 games for Ardeer over the years and really enjoyed the chance to get involved. I turn 42 next month but still enjoy playing. The team played well and that must be the first time I have scored two goals in game - as a midfielder I don't get many and it was all the more special for me as it was in a derby match and you always like to beat your derby rivals. It was a Roy of the Rovers moment for me.

"I played alongside my old team-mate John Colligan, who also came down when he heard we were looking for players. That was a good win for us and hopefully we can build on it."

Asked if he would answer the call to play again, Gemmell said: "I will be available this week and just whenever I'm needed."

Victory saw them leapfrog Saltcoats Vics into second bottom spot.

However Thistle on Saturday have a tough assignment as they host third-placed Ashfield.

But they will take confidence and momentum into the match following the weekend win.