ARTHURLIE boss Andy McFadyen has praised his players after they fought back to defeat Glasgow University and carry their unbeaten run into the new year.

The Barrhead team had to come from behind at the Excelsior Stadium, in Airdrie, on Friday night but a Gary Carroll strike and a brace from Gary Smith turned things in their favour and made it 16 wins from 17 games in Conference A.

Lewis Dibble put the hosts ahead just before the half-hour mark to stun the visitors but Carroll replied five minutes before the break and the teams went in level at the interval.

A half-time team talk from McFadyen and his coaching staff rallied the troops and they came out firing in the second period.

Smith made it 2-1 in the 78th minute when he capitalised on some hesitation in the home defence and lashed the ball home.

Five minutes later, he headed in Arthurlie’s third goal after a fine move.

The final moments were tense, after Calum Strang pulled one back for Glasgow Uni, but the visitors held on to give the Dunterlie Park faithful an early Christmas gift.

McFadyen told Barrhead Sport: “Coming from behind isn’t something we have had to do much, so it was a good reaction from the boys.

“We dug deep and got the equaliser before half-time through Gary Carroll, who has been magnificent for us, and Gary Smith got two vital goals in the second half.

“After a half-time team talk where we changed one or two wee things, the team did really well and we got forward more and were more aggressive.

“We needed to be better in the final third and we were. We didn’t play at our best in the first half but, in the second half, we controlled the game.”

McFadyen admits the 2021/22 campaign, which has also included some impressive cup victories, has been a huge success for Arthurlie so far but insists his players won’t be taking their foot off the gas in the new year.

He said: “That’s half of the season over and, if we can go 24 games unbeaten, then we must be doing something right.”

Arthurlie won’t be back in action until January 8, as the West of Scotland Football League enjoys a festive break, with the visit of Lugar Boswell Thistle pencilled in as the first game of 2022 for McFadyen’s men.