NEWMAINS UNITED lost their captain after he suffered a freak accident.
But Paul Davies reckons this was no disaster on the pitch against a side he’s tipping for promotion.
Skipper Josh Anderson pulled out 24 hours before the game ahead of surgery on a hand injury.
United then found themselves on the end of a defeat at Keanie Park.
But after holding the in-form Renfrewshire side to a goalless first half Davies insists the 90 minutes was a huge step in the right direction.
Both he and fellow co-manager Craig Gupwell had been forced to question player commitment recently after a spate of late no-shows.
But Davies said: “For the first time this season I felt we had a team on the park that was going to compete.
“We had worked hard with players individually last week and for the first half we held our own against a Johnstone Burgh team who I believe will get promoted this year.
“A crazy five-minute spell at the start of the second half saw us go 2-0 down but I honestly now believe if we can field a strong 11 like that every week then we’ll have a decent season.
“This week we only had three call-offs before the game.
“One was Josh who had a horrific accident which saw him needing an operation on his hand on Saturday afternoon. We all wish him a speedy recovery.”
United next travel to Muirkirk on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).