By KEVIN CRAIGENS
THIS game kicked off at 2pm – but Craig Gupwell reckons Newmains didn’t turn up until half-time.
United suffered their second defeat on the bounce after conceding all four goals before the break.
They bounced back in the second half as a more spirited showing saw them keep a clean sheet.
But by then the damage had been done and now co-boss Gupwell expects better in the final two games of the season.
He said: “We looked a different team in the second half which begged the question: Where was that in the first 45 minutes?
“It’s a case of getting the boys to turn up for the full game and not just the second 45 minutes. So it leaves us with something to build on.
“The boys have shown they can do it in spells so we need to see them do it from the first whistle now. We are looking for them to give it their all and play for pride.”
Newmains were made to pay for failing to clear their lines as Thorniewood moved above St Anthony’s in League Two on goal difference.
A hat-trick from Gary Stewart and a goal from Chris Dolan sealed the win before Newmains put their house in order and tightened up at the back to stop the home side from extending their lead any further.
Gupwell admits they need to improve going forwards too after failing to score. He said: “Other than set-pieces we still didn’t look like opening them up. We just missed that wee bit of quality in the final third.
“We haven’t looked like scoring in the last two games and we need to start taking some of our chances.”
Newmains face a midweek home clash against St Anthony’s on Wednesday (kick-off 7pm) before hosting Thorniewood on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).
United have moved up into third bottom on goal difference ahead of Saltcoats Victoria in recent weeks and Gupwell wants them to finish there outright.
Gupwell added: “We have two games left, both at home. If we take three points from one of those games we will be taking it out of the hands of Saltcoats.
“We don’t want to be relying on favours from other teams to pull us out of a hole. I told the boys after the game they need to feel positive on Wednesday because over the season we’ve actually done well at home. We need to be in the right frame of mind and prove people wrong again.”
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