Arthurlie manager Colin Reilly praised his players for their workrate after taking a giant step towards safety by defeating Kirkintilloch Rob Roy on Saturday.

The Barrhead team ran out 3-1 winners, despite having to play with 10 men for more than an hour.

It moves them five points clear of the bottom three in the Premier Division, with Reilly pleased by the improved fitness levels he has witnessed.

He told Barrhead Sport: “We’ve worked the guys really hard since we’ve come in.

"I don’t think they had the fitness levels but they’ve worked really hard, physically and mentally.

“We knew we were in this dogfight but the guys have been absolutely fantastic and stepped up to the mark. I can’t praise them enough in terms of their application.

“They don’t want a relegation on their CV, so everything we have worked on and tried to implement, they have really bought into."

Gary Smith put Arthurlie ahead from the penalty spot at Dunterlie after 26 minutes before team-mate Lewis Magee saw red just 60 seconds later.

Rob Roy equalised before the interval but second half strikes from Gary Carroll and Jordan Leyden turned things around and made it four home wins from five for Reilly.

“We tried to get in at half-time still 1-0 up after getting the red card and we would change the shape then but we never managed to hold out," said Reilly.

“We sacrificed one of our more forward-thinking players in Max Kerr and brought on Lewis Warnock to man-mark their number ten and just take him out of the game.

“We knew Lewis would have that in him. He’s a bit of a battler and gives everything. He was fantastic and done his job remarkably well.

“The home form has been fantastic. We’re in a good place now and, hopefully, we can carry that forward with our last two home games.”

Results elsewhere also went Arthurlie’s way on Saturday as they were the only team in the bottom six to win – and Reilly believes his troops were due some good fortune.

He added: “We just need to concentrate on ourselves and I always believe that you earn your luck, it’s not just given to you.

"They’ve put in the hard graft and they’ve earned that other results are going their way.”

Arthurlie host Hurlford United at Dunterlie this Saturday, with kick-off at 2pm.