FORMER Hearts duo Christian Nade and Ryan Stevenson are proving one of the top partnerships in the McBookie Premiership and they hope to help Troon FC challenge for major silverware.

Midfielder Stevenson scored his second goal in just three games since joining the Seasiders on Saturday as they defeated Kilwinning Rangers 2-1, gaining a measure of revenge following their 3-0 loss at Abbey Park back in August.

And after reaching the last 16 of the national trophy for only the second time in their history they now face Cambuslang Rangers away next month.

Stevenson said: "We played at Hearts in 2010-11 and we there for a year together. I spent every day with Christian, trained with him every day and playing on Saturdays."

Added striker Nade, who joined early in the season: "If you play with a player you like that makes my job easier. Ryan spoke to me about Troon before signing."

Stevenson said: "I took some time out from football to spend time with my kids and my family. I understand what Christian is doing and he understands what I do. We work well together. It was a a major thing for Troon to get him in as he was a really big player at Troon, he has scored some goals but that's his job and that's what he does. The fact that Christian was here helped persuade me to come."

Looking ahead to the tie, Nade said: "It will be really hard, it's a cup tie but it would be good if the club were to come through. You can't think about the trophy now - you just try and win the games."

Stevenson added: "We will take each games it comes. Every tournament I am in I want to win. Obviously we have a chance in the Scottish Cup as we are in the last 16.

Boss Jim Kirkwood was pleased with the win and said: "The weather conditions were awful but the pitch was fantastic and that is credit to everyone at the club. Our groundsman Gus Hollas is not in the best of health but the guys who are helping out have stepped up to the mark.

"Second half we deserved the victory as we were the better team. At 2-1 in the 94th and 95th minute they had three or four corners in a row and crosses into the box. The guys were putting everything at it and that's a really pleasing part of our game. Our aim is to stay and we have a points total in the mid 30s that should be enough."

Troon on Saturday face Irvine Meadow away and Kirkwood added: "Meadow have bounced back by drawing with Beith and beating Petershill but we must go there to win the game."