STAND-IN skipper Vasu Reddy admitted Glenrothes face one of their most crucial ever matches today.

They square up to Stew-Mel in a Gilvenbank basement battle which could have far-reaching implications for both sides.

The Fifers have yet to register a victory this season, while the Inverleith outfit only got off the mark last week at the expense of capital rivals Carlton.

And Reddy believes another defeat for his side could pave the way for relegation - even this early in the campaign.

To make Glens ‘ task even more difficult, they will be without cub captain and international all rounder Safyaan Sharif, who is preparing for tomorrow’s Scotland v England ODI in Edinburgh.

Reddy declared: “It is a hugely important weekend for us.

“It is truly a must-win fixture - anything other than that could leave us with little chance of staying in this division.

“Of course we will miss Saffy and we are also without Jamie Penman - so it will be a case of pulling out a result somehow.”

Form-horses Forfarshire will start as favourites against RHC Lions, however skipper Umair Mohammed stressed: “They are a greatly improved side who have proved they are very difficult to beat since being promoted.

“They are especially dangerous on their own turf at Barnton.”

Pacesetters Grange make the tricky trip to Arbroath, who will be keen to get their title assault back on tracks after the unfortunate abandonment at Carlton last time out.

The hosts are without the Burnett Brothers, Shaun Christie and Bryce Carnegie.

In come Adam Brewer and Blair Carnegie.

Arbroath captain Marc Petrie said: “Every match is big - but Grange have that bit extra.

“They have been in fantastic form this season with their whole squad contributing.

“But as usual, I want us to focus on ourselves and our own performance.

“We know if we play to our capability we can earn the result we want.

“Availability has been a big issue this season but I have great belief in our squad depth and the coaching system we have at our club.”

Elsewhere, champions Heriot’s will be fancied to take the scalp of Watsonians at Goldenacre.

And the Aberdeenshire v Carlton tussle at Mannofield could be too close to call.