ARDEER Thistle are on the cusp of West of Scotland Football League Third Division safety.

The Stevenston side picked up a stunning 6-3 victory in a Friday night thriller away to local rivals Dalry Thistle on May 10.

A David Henry double and Jack Gibbons strike gave Ardeer a 3-0 lead at Merksworth Park, and despite their lead being cut to two on no fewer than three occasions, Thistle quickly restored their cushion each time - twice thanks to Stewart Morgan and once courtesy of Greg Kean.

The win means Thistle are now just one point away from securing their place in the league next year - and they can beat the drop if they avoid defeat against Lesmahagow tonight (Wednesday).

Manager Sean Kenney was pleased with the result, particularly as it came off the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Greenock just two nights earlier.

“We kind of knew on the run in we weren’t going to win every game," he commented,.

"There was going to be a time we’d have a setback and we’d need to react to it.

“The boys were absolutely brilliant. We spoke a lot about type of character, type of person, it wasn’t about the big picture or what could happen – it was more about putting Wednesday night right.

“We weren’t at the standard we have been at [against Greenock], and it was about how we would be when something went against us.

“But every time Dalry scored, we scored. I thought the character was superb.

“It wasn’t complicated. We just wanted them to show that it does mean something, and on Friday night the boys' attitude was spot on.

“We wanted to do it for the fans as well. We outnumbered the Dalry fans even though they had a decent crowd.”

Despite the huge boost of Friday night's derby win, Kenney was quick to emphasise that the job is not done for his side just yet.

He added: “We haven’t done it. We were really happy and I was proud of them and how they bounced back.

“I was just happy to do that. It wasn’t a case of job done or anything like that – we know we are going to have a big week."

And even if they don't secure safety against Lesmahagow tonight, Thistle can confirm their fourth-tier status for 2024-25 by picking up in their final match at home to Lanark United on Saturday. 

“I quite like that we have the chance to do it ourselves, in front of our own fans," Kenney continued.

"We are not waiting for anyone else to drop points.

“I think Wednesday can be a special night.

“This season already we’ve taken more points from them than we have Port Glasgow.

“Our frustration has been that on our day we can go and compete with anybody – we’ve taken points off that top three.”

Both Lanark and Lesmahagow have already secured promotion, the Yowes going up as champions - but Kenney says he's not expecting any let-up.

He added: “Lesmahagow are a really good team. The run that they’ve put together since we beat them up there has been superb.

“They’re not going to want that to drop. It’s one thing they are promoted, but they’ll want to keep that run going, because it sets you up for next year.

“We’re thinking the same: get the job done and keep our positive run going.

“It will be a really hard game. It’s there for anybody but it’s one we are capable of winning.”

Tonight's match with Lesmahagow has a 7.15pm kick-off at Ardeer Stadium, with Saturday's game against Lanark getting under way at 2pm.