CUMNOCK will play their first match on real grass since October when they face Arthurlie at Dunterlie Park on Saturday.

Peter Leonard’s side last faced a grass pitch on October 28 when they demolished Craigmark Burntonians 5-0 in the Junior Cup. All eight games since have taken place on Townhead Park’s artificial surface.

The winter weather has played havoc with the junior schedule but home games have come thick and fast for Cumnock with their latest a comfortable 3-1 win against defending Super League Premier Division champions Glenafton Athletic.

Now, the Nock gaffer is preparing his squad to face strugglers Arthurlie. Leonard told the Chronicle: “It will be our first game away on grass since October. It’s a heavy park up at Dunterlie and we will need to be at our best.

“[Saturday] went a lot better than the Saturday before. We worked hard during the week, changed our shape a little and altered the personnel.

“We brought in [Jamie] Hilton and had [Stephen] McKenna back after his suspension.

“Confidence was lacking a bit at the start. Glenafton took the lead against the run of play and the heads went down for about five minutes. After the equaliser we totally dominated the game.

“We’ve got a lot of pace in the team, we weren’t able to use that against the Talbot because we were closed down so well. Both Hilton and Samson were brilliant on Saturday and we really benefitted from McKenna’s experience.”

Despite picking up 10 points in their last four league games, Leonard insisted he was firmly focused on keeping Cumnock in the top division and not letting his eye drift too high up the table.

He added: “No, I’m not at all looking up the table. You look at just winning against the teams around you, they become six-pointers. We’re not getting carried away, we’re taking each game as it comes along. We’ve not set any targets on where we can finish.

“We’ve still got to play teams in the top four. We’ve played Kilwinning twice, but we still have to play Pollok, Beith and Talbot again. Those games are the ones we’ll judge how far we’ve come.“