By DYLAN INGLIS
at Victoria Park
NEWMAINS were down seven players – but coach Billy McGhie feels five sloppy goals cost them against Thorniewood.
Michael Barton’s goal had seen United pick up their first point of the West of Scotland League campaign after drawing 1-1 with Royal Albert in midweek, despite Craig Gupwell and Craig Gupwell seeing red.
But with the pair suspended and the likes of Gary Campbell, Dominic Cherrie and Lee Nichol also absent they finished empty handed against The Wood.
Despite their depleted squad Newmains had a positive opening 45 minutes – but some defensive errors at the other end handed the visitors a 2-0 half-time lead.
First team coach McGhie was disappointed with the nature of goals his side gave away.
He said: “We lost the goals at the wrong times. One was at the end of the first half and one was at the start of the second.
“We had a talk in the dressing room and it’s been down to mistakes again.
“I actually think we gifted all five goals – that team never had to work for a goal.
“Just now the football’s been good but we’re struggling to score at one end and gifting goals at the other. Hopefully that will stop sometime soon.”
Newmains had initially passed up several chances to take the lead in the early stages.
But The Wood soon sparked into life as Alastair Small opened the scoring on the half hour mark.
Newmains saw a controversial penalty decision waved away – then conceded from a spot-kick with the last kick of the first-half as Darren Bowie slotted home.
McGhie said: “It was a blatant penalty kick but when I asked the referee for his explanation he said our man was going down before their boy barged into the back of him.
“You’ve got to take the referee’s thoughts on board, even though I don’t agree with them.”
Small bagged a killer third early in the second half before Sean Power pulled one back for Newmains after 57 minutes.
But Bowie grabbed his second before Dillon McLaughlan wrapped up the points for the Viewpark side.
United face a trip to Dumfries and Galloway to face Kello Rovers tomorrow (Wednesday, kick-off 7.30pm) then welcome Port Glasgow to Victoria Park on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).
McGhie added: “It was a bit of a depleted squad against Thorniewood but in the first half we actually turned up and played quite well.
“We just didn’t take our chances when we had them.
“There were a lot of players who hadn’t had much game time so they’ll be in the thoughts for Wednesday night’s game at Kello.
“There were things to give us hope going into that match and we have players who can come back in and play as well.”
Tickets for the Port Glasgow clash are £5 adults, £2.50 OAPs and under 16s go FREE.