Duncan Sinclair admits he was more relieved than anything else after his Lie side continued their excellent league form with a 2-1 win against Craigmark Burtonians. 

Arthurlie have been in dominant form in the league, winning five consecutive matches for the first time since 2010, but they crashed out of the Scottish Junior Cup last weekend and Sinclair admits he was worried that their shock exit could put a dampener on their good run.

The gaffer had little to worry about, however, with the Dunterlie Park club getting off to a flier thanks to Andy Barrowman’s diving header opening the scoring after just three minutes.

Sinclair’s men didn’t have it all their own way early on, though, with the difficult conditions playing their part, allowing the visitors to come close 20 minutes in. 

Barrowman should have had his second after debutant Mathew McLean’s long throw-in evaded everyone in the box to the find the former Birmingham striker but he just wasn’t sharp enough as it rolled narrowly past.

Arthurlie were pushing for their second as the first-half was coming to a close with Barrowman and Hal Bohme both testing the Craigmark keeper before Del McNab eventually did double Lie’s lead with a great volley on the stroke of half-time.

The home side were just as dominant in the second-half with the wind against them and had a number of good chances to extend their lead. 

And with five minutes remaining, they were made to rue those missed opportunities when the visitors reduced the deficit to set up a nervy finish. 

But Sinclair’s men looked comfortable as they saw it out to put the Scottish Cup disappointment behind them with another deserved league win to remain six points behind league leaders Rutherglen and Benburb.

And a relieved Sinclair said: “I’m very, very happy with those three points. We did play really well before letting them back into it at the end but we are delighted with the win in the difficult conditions.

“I only had a brief word with the boys about the cup exit. I spoke it about briefly and about where we want to be and what we want to achieve. We all know league points are vital, though, and a reaction was needed. So I have to give full credit to them - they took it on the chin, went away and worked hard for the win.

“I said to them before the match that I really didn’t care about the performance. I didn’t care if it was 10-0 or 1-0, the three points was all that mattered on Saturday after the cup loss.”

Arthurlie are back at Dunterlie this Saturday with a tough match against Cumbernauld United - a match which Sinclair reckons presents the perfect opportunity for his side to test themselves.

He added: “I believe Cumbernauld are going to be up there challenging for promotion at the end of the season, so it’ll be a good chance for us to find out how far we’ve come. Playing against the top teams and testing yourselves is what you want to be doing so I’m looking forward to it on Saturday. It’ll be a good benchmark.”