CRAIG GUPWELL admits Newmains allowed themselves to get dragged into a battle on Saturday.
United lost to a late strike from sub Blair MacDonald after the clash was moved to K Park.
Newmains crashed an effort off the post just before Thistle netted their winner in the West of Scotland League Conference C showdown.
But Gupwell reckons they were made to pay for being sucked into the type of game the home side wanted – rather than the one they’d planned for.
He said: “Although we’re all missing fans it was probably a good job supporters weren’t allowed to attend this game as it certainly wasn’t one for the football purist.
“I feel at times we got dragged into a style of play that didn’t suit us at all and the ball probably spent more time in the air than anything else.
“Throughout the game I felt we were the only team that tried to play a bit of football and when we did manage to get the ball down and play we caused a few problems.”
MacDonald scored with just eight minutes to go and Gupwell added: “Ultimately wasted chances is what has caused us to leave empty- handed.
“Losing the goal so late on was a real body blow and I’m gutted for the boys because they didn’t deserve to be leaving without anything.
“But we’ll take the positives from the game and the fact we are so disappointed shows we’re moving in the right direction.”
United next face a home clash with Glasgow Perthshire on Saturday (kick-off 1.45pm).