Dec 5 2011 By Fraser Wilson
GLASGOW PERTHSHIRE coach David Preston insists the loss of ex-Partick Thistle star Andy Gibson won't derail the Possil side's incredible title charge.
On-fire Shire have made a blistering start to the Central League First Division campaign, winning all 11 of their matches so far to sit nine points ahead of Shettleston in second.
But star-man Gibson won't play again until well into the New Year after damaging ankle ligaments last month.
The ex-Jags, Stranraer and Stirling Albion midfielder signed for his local side in the summer after stepping down from the seniors and has been an integral part of their perfect start to the league campaign.
But Preston said: "Although Andy will be a miss we are not a one-man side and, in fact, we've won the last two matches without him.
"It's been an excellent start to the season and it's all down to the players' hard work. We have a brilliant team spirit and our frontmen are scoring goals for fun.
"Just as importantly, our defence has been outstanding and we have conceded just five goals in those 11 league matches.
"There's no danger of this group of players getting carried away though. They know the 100 per cent record won't go on forever and that we are a target for the rest of the teams in this league.
"But they have handled the pressure really well up to this point and we will just carry on as we are without putting too much strain on them."
Gibson was one of a handful of summer signings which turned the Shire from also-rans to runaway leaders this season.
Striker Paul Craig was another important acquisition after spells at Ashfield and Petershill and has formed a deadly partership with JP Craig and Davie Kirkwood.
Experienced defender Sean Stirling was recruited from Greenock and has helped make an already stubborn defence even more resolute.
"People have accused us of buying the league and that's absolute rubbish," blasted Preston.
"We haven't spent a penny - we haven't paid one player.
"Andy decided to go junior because what he was being offered by senior teams wasn't worth it - he is just as well of playing for us for nothing because there's no travel involved.
"He wants to give a little back to manager Billy Adams because he helped him reach the professional ranks 10 years ago and it's working out well for everyone."
Perthshire put their 100 per cent record on the line when they make the short trip to Yoker Athletic this Saturday.