CUMNOCK Juniors are looking for a new manager for the third time in nine months after Murdo MacKinnon stood down following Saturday's derby defeat to Glenafton.

MacKinnon's departure, after just six months in the Townhead Park hotseat, was announced by the club on Sunday evening. 

The news broke barely 24 hours after Nock were beaten 2-1 at home by their local rivals - a result which gives Glens a potentially crucial shot in the arm as they battle to retain their place in the top flight.

In a statement posted on the club's social media feeds on Sunday evening, MacKinnon said: "It is with deep regret that I announce that I am stepping down as manager of Cumnock Juniors.

"Cumnock Juniors is a great club, with great people involved behind the scenes. It has been an honour to have managed a club of such stature and standing at our level of the game.

"After detailed discussions with the club over the last month, I have come to the conclusion that I have taken the club as far as I can. 

"This is a decision that has not been taken lightly or been easy to make.

"Having taken the club to a position of relative safety, and having met the key objectives for this season, I feel it is best to give someone else the opportunity to rebuild the team for next season.

"I informed the club that I was happy to complete the season with the team to allow for some continuity and planning to take place. Understandably, the club wish to pursue new leadership immediately."

MacKinnon was appointed as Nock's new boss at the end of September, succeeding former St Cadoc's manager John Doyle, who spent just three months in the role following the departure of Brian McGinty last June.

The ex-Pollok boss leaves with Cumnock in ninth place in the West of Scotland Football League's Premier Division, with 35 points from the 25 matches they've played so far. 

Nock won seven, drew seven and lost seven of the 21 matches they played under MacKinnon's leadership in all competitions, including home and away wins over Benburb and a notable 3-1 victory away to reigning champions Beith - though his record also included losses to Auchinleck Talbot in the second round of the Junior Cup and to Troon on penalties in the first round of the West of Scotland Cup.

"I wish the club, committee, players and supporters every success and thank them for their support during my time," MacKinnon continued.

"Finally I would like to thank my colleagues Stevie Aitchison and Greig Mitchell for their efforts and hard work. They have been amazing to work with and given their all for the club.

"I look forward to coming back to Townhead Park in the future to watch the team and see some familiar faces. Away the Nock."

Cumnock's first match in the post-MacKinnon era is at home to Darvel on Saturday, March 30.