United lost in space

Play­ers un­used to size of pitch

Wishaw Press - - SPORTS -

John Nolan

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.”

Gerry Mcwil­liams

Tough tackle An­drew Mcken­zie (right) bat­tles for pos­ses­sion

Sara Pa­cia­roni

New deal Paul Davies, Gra­ham Robert, Dou­glas Mcfar­lane and Craig Gup­well

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