NEILSTON co-boss Chris Cameron believes his side have proved once again that they can compete with the best after running Rutherglen Glencairn close on Saturday.

The Farmer’s Boys were knocked out of the Strathclyde Demolition Cup on penalties against the Premier Division outfit after drawing 1-1.

Neilston enjoyed the better of the chances throughout the afternoon as Euan Clark nodded over from close range and both Conor Bolger and Dylan Fletcher failed to hit the target from promising positions as well as two efforts being cleared off the line by well-placed visiting defenders.

The game was very much end-to-end as both sides looked to find a winner and avoid the lottery of a penalty shootout, and the visitors must have thought they had done just that on 87 minutes when Fraser Malcolm headed in.

Neilston were throwing everything at their opponents and grabbed a dramatic equaliser when Ross MacKinnon’s cross into the box dropped to the feet of Darren Jones who slammed the ball home.

The game headed for penalties and the hosts were immediately in the driving seat when Bolger converted and Hay kept out Tommy Lone’s effort, however, missed spot-kicks from Jones and MacKinnon meant that the Premier Division side advanced.

Cameron admits there was nothing between the teams and hailed their character as they came back from late disappointment to grab a leveller.

Speaking to Barrhead Sport, he said: “We were pleased with the performance and the application. I thought over the piece we were the better team.

“We showed great spirit to come back with a couple of minutes to go and get the equaliser to take it to penalties. From there you are unfortunate to lose in sudden death.

“I never felt at any point on Saturday that the boys felt they were playing a Premier League team and were up against it. We just took it as any other game and went out to win it. It shows how far we have come in a year or two.

“We played Beith in the Scottish Cup earlier this season and were really unlucky to lose a late goal. We’ve now played Rutherglen and there was nothing in it at all. We’ve got Cumbernauld in a couple of weeks and that’s another cup tie with a Premier Division team where we’ve got nothing to fear in playing them.”

Neilston return to league duty this weekend when they take on Wishaw.