GREENOCK head to Neilston tomorrow for a match which is vital for both sides.

The ‘Nock may be mid-table in the Super League First Division, but they are well aware that having played more games than the sides below them, they are some way yet from retaining their status in this league for another season.

Meanwhile, Neilston, having played three games fewer than Greenock, sit just one point above the relegation zone.

Bizarrely, it is Greenock’s first trip on the road for more than two months, with their last away fixture being the 4-1 win at Largs on 3 January.

Since then, they have played five matches at Ravenscraig, with mixed fortunes.

So manager Martin Campbell is not too bothered by a change of scenery.

He said: “In a way it will be good to get an away match for a change, especially as our form away from home has actually been quite good this season.

“There’s no doubt this is a big game, as I suppose they all are at this crucial time of the season, and I just hope we don’t gift Neilston the kind of goals we conceded the last time.” Campbell was referring to an astonishing match when the sides met at Ravenscraig in late November, when Neilston ran out 6-3 winners, during which they hit Greenock with a four-goal blitz in a crazy 13-minute spell in the second half.

The ‘Farmer Boys’ are battling to avoid dropping back down into the district leagues just a season after winning promotion to the Super League set-up.

But the club currently faces an even bigger fight, with council bosses in East Renfrewshire — who took over the running of the Brig O’Lea ground 50 years ago — wanting to build houses on the land and move the club elsewhere in the town.

The plans are being resisted by Neilston, who argue the ground at Brig O’Lea is part of the local heritage and has been used as a recreational facility for the community since 1825, and by the local football club for well over a century.

With its quaint slope, it is certainly one of the most atmospheric junior venues, and it must be hoped that tomorrow will not be the last time Greenock will play there.

However, they will travel to Neilston with a somewhat depleted squad.

Sean Doherty remains injured, Martin Orr is unavailable due to work commitments in his new job, and striker Allan Docherty has a pre-planned weekend away.

But manager Campbell still hopes tomorrow’s game won’t be postponed for a second time this season, after it was called off when it was originally scheduled for 7 February.

He said: “We tried a bit of a new formation in our last match against Cumbernauld and it worked well, so I am looking forward to getting the opportunity to run with it again tomorrow.” Kick-off at Brig O’Lea is at 2pm.

Greenock Juniors are sponsored by SAVEHEAT and the Lighthouse Bar.