United lost in space
Players unused to size of pitch
Newmains ran out of steam on Johnstone Burgh’s vast Keanie Park pitch and needed top saves from keeper Gordon Bruce to keep the score down.
The side managed by Paul Davies and Craig Gupwell had gone into the clash on the back of three wins and a draw in Mcbookie.com West Region League Two.
At the final whistle Gupwell sighed: “I’m just disappointed. I don’t think we can have any complaints because the better team won.
“It took us a wee bit of time to adapt to the size of the park. We’re used to playing on a smaller pitch and some of the legs looked a bit tired.
“But we’ve played on big parks before so it’s not an excuse. Sometimes you just get days where it doesn’t click for you.
“I can’t fault the effort from the boys. They gave it everything for the full 90 minutes but nothing fell our way.
“We just need to pick ourselves up and move on next week.”
United struggled in the first half as their midfield was completely overrun by Burgh.
They left gaps all over the bigger park, particularly in the wide areas, which Johnstone exploited.
Burgh’s pressure finally told on 20 minutes when Billy Davies smashed home after the ball had pinballed around in the box from a corner.
Newmains did well not to implode as the home side continued to attack and create chances.
Centre-back Davie Ross and keeper Bruce made a couple of crucial blocks and saves to keep the opposition at bay before the break.
Newmains played with a lot more urgency after the restart and prevented Burgh playing the same free-flowing football as the first half.
But they again relied on Bruce to pull off the big saves when the defence were exposed.
They rarely troubled the Johnstone keeper until a late onslaught which included Adam Robertson seeing an effort cleared off the line.
Gupwell said: “At half-time we told the boys to keep their shape and be more disciplined so we could dictate the game more.”
United are away again this weekend to Cardonald-based St Anthony’s, who crashed six past Saltcoats on Saturday and have won their last four games.
Gupwell said: “The boys have got a good confidence about them now. We need to use that confidence to bounce back. We can’t get carried away with ourselves.
“We’ve managed to go four unbeaten, which is a great record. We’ll take this one on the chin and it’s all about reacting well now, which I’m sure we will do.”
Carfin- based Jordan Electrics have agreed a deal which will see their name emblazoned on United’s managerial kit.
Mana g i n g d i r e c t o r Brian Jordan said: “We are delighted and very proud to sponsor Newmains United FC.”
Craig Gupwell said: “Their backing is hugely appreciated and we’re looking forward to working with Brian and the rest of the company.”
Tough tackle Andrew Mckenzie (right) battles for possession
New deal Paul Davies, Graham Robert, Douglas Mcfarlane and Craig Gupwell