by GREGOR HYNDS
PAUL DAVIES reckons Dominic Cherrie handled things brilliantly after the midfielder was thrust into goal.
Cherrie took over the gloves against Lesmahagow after No1 Martyn Meek was sent off in a clash midway through the first half which also saw the home side reduced to ten men.
It was goalless at that stage and 1-1 at half-time before The Gow ran out 5-1 winners in the opening League Cup section clash on Saturday.
Co-boss Davies was shocked at Meek being given his marching orders by ref Derek McNee but reckons Cherrie performed heroics in the circumstances.
Ahead of tonight’s second game at home to Lanark United (kick-off 7pm), Davies said: “I don’t know about the red card as the referee didn’t explain why Martyn got sent off at the time.
“The way I saw it was Martyn was trying to break up the fight but then he got sent off. It’s always hard for an outfield player to go in goal but Dominic played as well as any keeper could.”
United had started on the front foot and took the game to the hosts, who had reached the final of this competition last season.
After going 1-0 down shortly after the incident United hit back to level through Martin Janik before the break.
The Gow – promoted to League One last season – stepped things up in the second half.
After conceding soon after the interval a late burst of goals from the home side put the game out of reach for United before the Gow saw a second man given his marching orders late on.
The four-goal margin was tough on United as decisions went against them.
Frustrated Davies insists his newlook side didn’t disgrace themselves.
He believes the display bodes well for the coming league season which starts at home to Saltcoats on Saturday.
But he admits that didn’t stop the margin of defeat being tough to take.
Davies added: “We were very comfortable at times, even after the sending off. At half-time I told the boys I thought we could still get something but things changed and legs get tired.
“We came off with a 5-1 defeat but it was never a 5-1 game. The perception, though, is Newmains have been beaten 5-1 again and it’s hurting.”