Neilston co-manager Derek Carson claims it would have been ‘criminal’ had his side not walked away with all three points in Saturday’s seven goal thriller with Girvan.

Mark Blakey won it for Neilston in added time at the end of the second-half despite the Brig O’Lea side looking comfortable with a 3-1 lead at the break.

Neilston would have been keen to respond after last week’s derby loss to Arthurlie and strengthened their squad during the week with John Middleton joining on a one month loan from Beith.

Neilston started well and dominated the opening stages as Middleton made his debut, but his side would fall behind after 17 minutes when Callum McDade opened the scoring after a gift from Neilston keeper Robert Tiropoulos.

Carson’s men reacted well to falling behind, however, with Craig Patterson getting on the end of Allan Diack’s flick to level.

The home side continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded before the half hour mark when Euan Clark fired them ahead for the first time in the match before Diack added a third before the break to extend their lead to put them in the driving seat.

Girvan had the hosts on the back foot as they looked to hit back with Tiropoulos pulling off a fine stop to deny McDade his second of the day. The visitors managed to pull one back 70 minutes in after a scramble in the box before going to equalise after McDade slotted home from the spot with five minutes remaining.

The Farmer’s Boys looked to be heading towards a disappointing point until Dylan Fletcher was dragged down inside the box in added time with Blakey remaining composed to secure all three points.

Carson was full of praise for his side’s character and spirit after they initially threw away a two goal lead.

He said: “We made hard work of it. We said to the boys that any kind of victory would do us after last week. “We started off well then lost a stupid goal but came back into it and scored three good goals.

“At half-time I thought we’d go out and keep adding to the goals but we let them back into it.

“It would have been criminal if we hadn’t walked away with the three points. After losing like we did to Arthurlie last week it would have been easy for the boys’ heads to go down after conceding but they kept battling on.

“It puts us 16 points clear of Girvan so we can start looking up now instead of behind us. Hopefully the boys can take confidence from scoring four goals.”

Next for Neilston is a trip to James McGrory Park on Saturday where St Rochs await them. St Rochs won 3-0 in their previous meeting this season and Neilston head into this weekend just two points ahead of their opponents.