Paterson demands victoryin hometie
Jags denied away-day win by lateYoker equaliser
Alan Paterson insists this Saturday’s showdown with Lugar Boswell Thistle is a mustwin game for his side.
The East Kilbride Thistle boss wants to build on a promising run of form with three points at the Showpark.
Lugar are rock-bottom of West Region League One while Jags are hoping to break into the top half of the table.
Paterson will assess Thistle’s campaign at Christmas and decide objectives from there but is adamant that nothing can be achieved without being strong on home turf.
He said: “Our home form has been pretty decent in our time here and we want that to continue. The problem is the weather but we’re hoping that the pitch holds up.
“There have been a lot of freak results in this league so we will not take Lugar for granted.
“Christmas will be the time when we review where we are and have a better idea on our capabilities. But three points is a must for us on Saturday if we want to try and do anything in this league this season.”
Jags have Ross Smith and Callum McLean back but Jordan White and Reece Clarke are injury doubts.
Alan Paterson lifted the lid on his frustration after East Kilbride Thistle threw away a two-goal lead at Yoker Athletic on Saturday.
The Jags looked on course for a terrific victory on the road at Holm Park thanks to a goal in each half from Ross Gillan.
However, Yoker pulled one back through James Ross and despite being down to 10 men, levelled with a minute remaining when Gary Bissland struck.
The home side ended up finishing the game with nine men after picking up a second red card but there was no time for Jags to take advantage.
In the end, Paterson’s troops had to settle for a share of the spoils with the result leaving them in 10th place in West Region League One.
It was certainly a case of what might have been – and boss Paterson knows they should have returned to the Showpark with a fifth league win of the season under their belts.
He told the News: “The first half was quite even when we cancelled each other out and I don’t think there was a lot of quality.
“I thought we were playing within ourselves so at half-time I asked for a response and we scored early in the second half.
“We had chances to score more goals and to close the game out. We had three points in the bag.
“Yoker didn’t really cut us open but when you play against 10 men, you have got to make the ball do the work. We didn’t do that.”
Paterson added: “It was carelessness on our part but over the course of the game, I think a point apiece was a fair outcome.”
Yoker came close to opening the scoring in the 10th minute but a Steven Howie header was cleared off the line by Scott Gillespie.
At the other end, a Gillan header from on-loan East Kilbride FC defender Barry Russell’s free-kick drifted wide.
Jags stepped up a gear and created a couple of decent chances before breaking the deadlock five minutes before the interval.
A Chris Faulds cross to the back post was knocked down by Matt Gray and Gillan was on hand to poke the ball into the net from close range.
Jags doubled their lead within two minutes of the restart when Gillan curled the ball into the corner of the net from 25 yards, giving keeper Liam Campbell no chance.
That should have been that but Yoker built up a head of steam and made it 2-1 in the 66th minute.
An Allan Orr free-kick caused problems in the heart of Thistle’s defence as they were unable to clear the ball and it fell eventually to Ross whose shot was cruelly deflected off Gillespie, beating Ross Meldrum at his near post.
Yoker’s task appeared to become more difficult nine minutes later when Andrew Campbell saw red for dissent but, incredibly, they equalised in the dying minutes when Bissland drifted in from the left flank and slotted home.
There was time for Yoker’s Greg McBride to be sent for an early bath but little left for Jags to scramble a winning goal.
Expectation Alan Paterson
Red alert East Kilbride Thistle’s players celebrate Ross Gillan’s goal. Picture by Maureen Lennon
Frustrated Jags boss Alan Paterson