By DAVID ROBSON
at Holm Park
PAUL DAVIES reckons Newmains paid the penalty for being denied THREE spotkicks against Yoker.
Ref Scott McGregor snubbed United’s appeals but Davies was convinced all three incidents inside the box were fouls on his players.
Athletic ran out winners after that and co-manager Davies said: “We were denied three clear penalties.
“Even the management team at Yoker said they were all fouls – especially the first two.
“Our job is hard enough coming up against a difficult team. If we had been given then converted all three we would have come away with the three points.”
Davies insists his team could still be proud of their performance against a side challenging for promotion to League One at the first time of asking after being relegated last season.
It was only United’s second game in a month and Davies said: “Despite the result I’ve seen a huge improvement and all credit to the boys for putting in the shift. Yoker are a good side.
“Our league has been very stop-start. We have played a week then been off for another. We’ve had more time off in the last couple of weeks than we usually do which doesn’t help.”
United didn’t make life easy for themselves and found themselves behind after only eight minutes.
Dominic Cherrie’s attempts to clear a cross ended in disaster as the defender smashed the ball into his own net, leaving goalie Martyn Meek with no chance of making a save.
Meek, sponsored by Irving Joinery and Daryn Meek, then kept his side in it for the rest of the first half as he pulled off a string of fine saves to deny Yoker.
Newmains looked more determined after the break and played better football as they strung together some nice passes and defended well.
They were rewarded when they clawed a goal back in the 50th minute after a great ball from Nicky Ray-Watson opened up the defence and found Tony Duffy.
New signing Duffy, sponsored by 2 Fast 2 Photo, stayed composed in front of goal and placed the ball in the back of the net with ease.
It was his third goal in just his second game since joining from Forth Wanderers.
But the joy was short-lived as Yoker took just eight minutes to re-establish their lead through Gregor Cree.
United struggled to pick themselves up from the setback and couldn’t find the clinical touch in front of goal as they wasted a number of opportunities.
Athletic then killed off the game with 16 minutes left when Stephen Miller netted.
Davies praised No1 Meek for his heroics and added: “Meeky is an excellent lad to have in and around the training ground and he’s a top keeper.
“It could have been a lot more if it wasn’t for him.”
United play at their Victoria Park home for the first time since August this Saturday when Annbank United visit (kick-off 1.45pm).