KILMARNOCK have signed goalkeeper Mark Ridgers from St Mirren on an emergency loan deal ahead of their home League Cup third-round tie against Hearts tonight.
The Rugby Park club found themselves with a keeper crisis after Jamie MacDonald went off injured against St Johnstone on Saturday.
Conor Brennan came on in the 2-1 win over Saints but he is cup-tied because he played for Stranraer on loan in the previous rounds, while on-loan Swansea goalkeeper Oliver Davies is injured and 18-year-old Devlin Mackay is on loan at Derby.
That left 16-year-old academy player Ryan Millar on standby to make his debut.
Scottish Professional Football League rules permit teams to sign goalkeepers outside the transfer window under exceptional circumstances and the Ayrshire club were granted permission to bring in Ridgers until January.
Boss Gary Locke told Kilmarnock’s official website: “It has been a very difficult 48 hours for us.
“I am grateful to Ian Murray and everyone at St Mirren for their professionalism and for allowing us to bring a player of Mark’s quality in under these circumstances.” Speaking about his move from a Championship club up to the top flight, 25-year-old former Hearts goalkeeper Ridgers said: “It was a bit of a whirlwind – I am really pleased to have joined Killie and to get the opportunity to play in the Ladbrokes Premiership again.
“Wednesday night is a good opportunity for me to show what I can do.”
Meanwhile, fellow former Hearts player Jamie Hamill insists he puts no added importance on to playing against his old club.
The midfielder signed for Kilmarnock for a second time in 2014 after being released by Hearts in the wake of their relegation to the Scottish Championship.
“I enjoyed every minute of my time at Hearts,” he said. “It is in the past. I am here at Kilmarnock.
“If it is a former team, or former team-mates, it doesn’t make a difference to my mind-set.
“I wish Hearts all the best because there are some good people there who I had close relationships with but it is in the past and hopefully we put them out the cup.”