The Light Blues were worthy winners at Auchenhowie this afternoon as goals from Luca Gasparotto and Charlie Telfer gave them a comfortable 2-0 victory against Partick.
Indeed, the winning margin should probably have been far greater with the likes of Danny Stoney and Kal Naismith both missing good chances to net as well.
Gers are now third in the West Section having played three fixtures and they have four more ties to go.
The top two teams advance to the last four and although Airdrie and Annan lead the way, they have both played six of their seven matches.
Kirkwood’s team will host the Galabankies on Monday then take on Morton next Thursday as their campaign continues.
And the coach feels the maximum return in those outings would just about see his men through to the next stage.
He said: “I said to the players before kick-off that if they won their next three games including today they’d be just about there.
“Now if we can beat Annan and Morton next week I think we’ll be in a great position to get into the semi-finals.
“Our next two games are important and if we can get victories in both of them, I’d be hopeful of getting to the next stage.”
Kirkwood was happy with the result considering the game was moved on to the artificial surface at Murray Park and it was played in horrendous weather conditions.
Whilst critical of the fact his players should have recorded a more handsome success, he feels they did more than enough to come out on top.
Kirkwood added: “We were delighted to get the game on. The fact we have good facilities helped and credit to Partick for being willing to move on to a different park.
“We had to change our team to a degree because some of the young lads are just coming back from injuries and the physios didn’t want them to be playing on that surface.
“The lads who went on played very well in the first half and while they were wasteful with a lot of chances, it’s a good learning process for the kids.
“When they don’t take opportunities when they’re ahead in a game, they make it more difficult for themselves.
“It only became less difficult when we got the second goal towards the end and a team of any calibre can go up the park and nick a leveller if you don’t take your chances.
“In saying that, we were still the better team and we scored two good goals through Luca and Charlie. They were both good finishes.”