Neilston manager Kevin Muirhead has challenged his players to find consistency next season after their First Division status was secured.

The Farmer’s Boys confirmed their spot in the second tier of the West of Scotland Football League for the 2023/24 campaign with a 1-0 win over Cumbernauld United last Wednesday night.

Ciaran Friel scored the only goal in the first half to extend Neilston’s unbeaten run to four games at a vital point of the season.

Muirhead was appointed boss in January, after Chris Cameron and Derek Carson stepped down, and immediately hit the ground running with some big victories before an inconsistent run of results left his team just above the relegation zone.

A poor run of form in April raised questions about Neilston’s ability to beat the drop but Muirhead insists that, once his team got going, it would take some stopping.

He told Barrhead Sport: “The task we set was to stay in the division and now it’s about building for next year.

“In the last four games we’ve averaged two points per game and, if you do that in any division, you’ll get promoted, so it’s about finding that consistency for next season and hopefully we can end up in the top half of the table, rather than the bottom half.

“We beat Gartcairn, Drumchapel and Blantyre and then we hardly had any games over eight weeks and, when we did, it was in the cup against Clydebank.

“We had lost that momentum and it felt like it took three weeks to try and get another match, which affected the belief in the squad.

“Once we were playing back-to-back and having midweek games, the momentum returned and we did enough to do it on our terms, rather than relying on favours elsewhere.”

The club held its Player of the Year awards ceremony at Crofthead Bowling Club on Saturday night, with attacking midfielder Olly Smith the big winner.

Among the honours he collected were Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year.

Neilston will hold its Annual General Meeting at the same venue on Tuesday, May 30, starting at 7pm, and all season ticket holders are invited.