By KEVIN CRAIGENS
At Victoria Park
PAUL DAVIES reckons Paul Donaghy proved hard work does pay off.
Striker Donaghy bagged a double as Newmains picked up their first points of 2019 against ten-man Annbank.
Craig Scott and Martin Janik also netted and co-boss Davies reckons Donaghy deserved his rewards.
He said: “I’m delighted for Paul. He’d been struggling with his confidence in front of goal recently.
“But against Annbank he got two goals after working really hard. He is a top lad and deserves his man-of-the-match award.”
United went into the clash four points behind the Ayrshire outfit. But their cause was helped when Annbank were reduced to ten men inside ten minutes.
Donaghy headed Newmains in front only for Adam Lawrie to level after he capitalised on a sloppy passback. But Donaghy grabbed a scored before Scott made it 3-1 from outside the box.
Annbank got themselves back into the game as Jack Taylor made it 3-2 only for Martin Janik to restore Newmains’ two-goal advantage.
It was Newmains’ first league win since October but Davies reckons their season needs to be put into perspective. He said: “We have come so far in such a short space of time.
“Maybe the expectation levels are a lot higher than they really should be. We spoke before the game about how, instead of arguing on the pitch between ourselves, we should believe in our own ability.
“We asked the players to take responsibility for themselves. They did that and there was no arguing or in-fighting. It was very positive and encouraging. They were really in it together.”
Newmains also benefited from a change in formation as Davies and co-boss Craig Gupwell opted for a No10 role instead of a holding midfielder.
The switch paid off despite the weather-beaten Victoria Pitch cutting up drastically. Davies added: “Before the game we brought the boys in early to have a chat with them.
“Over the past couple of weeks the system we were playing wasn’t working. Last week I felt Carluke last week had a game plan and we just tried to get in between their lines to make it difficult for them.
“It kind of backfired on us so against Annbank we decided to change things a little bit. Within that formation we had set out a game plan before kick-off.
“In what were really difficult conditions I felt we played really good football.”