by BEN BANKS
at Rockburn Park
THE rain lashed down – but it didn’t dampen Newmains’ spirits as they made it two pre-season wins from three.
Michael Barton’s goal late in the second half sealed a victory in United’s final warmup before next week’s cup sections get underway.
The Victoria Park side made the most of a loose clearance from the Bellshill goalkeeper and Barton was on hand to slide his shot into the bottom corner.
Co-boss Davies was impressed with what he saw from his Newmains side against strong opposition while the heavens opened.
He said: “It was a good result. Before the game we said we were going to use this as a competitive game. I didn’t strip all the players. Four lads had to sit out it out which was a bit of a shame.
“Keeping a clean sheet away from home is very pleasing. We rode the storm in the first half. I think Bellshill fielded 21 players in the end.
“We’ve worked really hard in pre-season and it’s pleasing to see the clean sheet as much as the win as that’s what we’ve worked on.
“We changed our formation because hitting teams on the counter is what we’re going to have to do this year. If we do that, we’ll be ok.
“Last week we competed with Larkhall in the first half. In the second half we made lots of changes and probably weakened the team slightly.
“It’s one of the reasons why I went with the tactic of keeping guys on the park for as long as possible against Bellshill.”
United face a trio of teams in the league above them in the cup sections. They open up with an away trip to Lesmahagow on July 27 before Lanark visit two days later. A journey to local rivals Carluke Rovers rounds things off on July 31.