FRIENDSHIPS will go out of the window when experienced Ayr United midfielder Robbie Crawford gears up for a derby with a difference.

Crawford is relishing the prospect of taking on an Auchinleck Talbot side featuring his old team-mates Gordon Pope, Mark Shankland, Craig McCracken and Gareth Armstrong in Saturday's William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round clash with Auchinleck Talbot at Beechwood Park.

The 24-year-old was a key player in the 3-0 third round tie against Beith Juniors and expects yet another test in the live TV game, which is heading for a sell-out.

Now after seeing off the Premier Division champions, he is relishing the prospect of taking on the Scottish Junior Cup holders.

He said: "I know Gordon, Mark, Craig and Gareth well from having playing alongside them at Ayr and there will no doubt be some wind-ups before the game but friendships will go out of the window for 90 minutes.

"The Beith game in the previous round was tough and Auchinleck Talbot are one of the biggest sides in Scottish junior football but hopefully we can do a professional job and get through, having a good Scottish Cup run is important financially for the club. It should be a good game. We have a big incentive to go through as we will be in the last 16."

Meanwhile Ayr fans will be boosted by the fact that top goalscorer Lawrence Shankland is in line to return from an achilles injury, which saw him miss the last two games, including Saturday's 1-0 defeat away to Inverness Caley Thistle.

However Ayr United boss Ian McCall is expecting a stiff test against junior kingpins Talbot, who have remarkably won 25 out of 30 games this season, drawing two and losing two. They have chalked up eight wins on the spin and will go all out to spring an upset.

McCall said: "It will be very tough and we'll be playing a strong team as we did at Beith. Talbot are very good and are a junior team in name only. We will have to be at our best for the game. Their manager Tucker Sloan has been very successful. There's a good opportunity to reach the last 16 but Auchinleck Talbot will be saying the same thing."

Of Saturday's defeat, McCall said: "We made a couple of mistakes but Inverness shaded it."

Alan Murdoch and Andy Geggan will almost certainly make their return and the boss says there's a "good chance" Shankland and Liam Smith will return from injury."