GREENOCK Wanderers host their rearranged BT National League Division Two fixture against Aberdeenshire at Fort Matilda tomorrow in what is a re-run of a match from 17 January that had to be abandoned due to an injury to referee Damien Timpson.

Timpson tweaked a calf muscle that rendered him immobile, resulting in the game being halted after 48 minutes with Wanderers behind 33-0.

The league competition rules provide that a match must run at least 60 minutes before a result is binding so the locals wriggled off the hook and remarkably get another crack at the Dons tomorrow.

Aberdeenshire are the surprise package this season and after a poor start to the campaign are now acknowledged to be one of the top sides.

They are currently sitting in fifth place having won 13 and lost five of their games.

They lost their first four matches of the season but have only been beaten once since late September, when they were edged out at Stoneyhill by table-toppers Musselburgh in January.

Their run has included wins against title challengers Falkirk, Howe of Fife and Hamilton and, although a long shot, they still have an outside chance of sneaking into a promotion spot come the end of the season.

With that in mind they will travel to Greenock intent on ensuring their promotion challenge remains on track and that means, ominously for Wanderers, they will go for a try-scoring bonus point victory and registering as many scores as possible in case the points differential proves vital when the prizes are being handed out in April.

The contest in January was a one-sided affair and the visitors dominated the first half, going in at the interval with a 33-point lead.

Wanderers managed to steady the ship and had not conceded any points from the 25th minute onward but they were well beaten by then and the likelihood was that more scores would have followed as Shire threatened to turn pressure into points.

For Wanderers head coach Graham Knox, the time has come to experiment for next season but he will have to be careful to ensure that any youngsters introduced at this stage are not subjected to any embarrassing high-end defeats that might affect their confidence going forward.

Tomorrow’s fixture and indeed the Falkirk game scheduled for 28 March have the potential to go awry if the locals do not compete and produce a strong and spirited performance against two ruthlessly efficient teams.

In terms of selection, Wanderers will understandably choose their strongest possible side but, with some players unavailable, coach Knox has gone with an eclectic mix of youth and experience.

At one end of the scale under-18s starlet David Smith retains his place at open side flanker after an excellent debut at Whitecraigs a fortnight ago and he is joined by veteran scrum-half and former club captain the evergreen Kevin Murray at scrum-half.

Murray has done it all at Fort Matilda and, although the scintillating acceleration may be but a dim and distant memory, the former Glasgow District Union star has tactical acumen in abundance and he will bring his experience to the fulcrum tomorrow and look to spark the backline into action. Fraser Reid gets recalled on the wing and Martin Lavelle, who has shone in several positions this season, is selected at centre alongside Michael Frizzel in what is a strong-looking Wanderers back division.

President John McDougall said: “Aberdeenshire are very much the in-form team in the league just now and we are aware that we will have to be at our best to compete with them.

“Our forwards and front five in particular will have to win a sizeable chunk of possession if we are to test them, but we are entering the game in a positive frame of mind and will focus on our own game plan in an effort to impose our will on the contest.

“It is probably the toughest game we have left and is a real challenge and one the coaches’ and players are relishing.” As always the sound bites from Fort Matilda are positive but from an impartial observer’s perspective it is hard to see beyond Aberdeenshire winning handsomely tomorrow, thus ensuring that their promotion challenge rolls on.

Wanderers of course have a chance but a victory for the locals would be a major surprise and would effectively kill off any slender hopes the Dons had of achieving promotion.

In the circumstances the visitors are unlikely to be complacent and are a club very much striving forward and on the back of considerable momentum are strong favourites to take the spoils.

Post-match the entertainment continues with the live screening of the main rugby event of the day, the Calcutta Cup clash between England and Scotland from Twickenham.

The game against the Auld Enemy kicks off at 5pm and all members and guests are invited along to enjoy the match in thee comfortable surroundings of Wanderers’ Octavia Terrace club rooms.

Wanderers are sponsored by Texas Instruments.