Arthurlie blew away any summer cobwebs at the weekend as they began their pre-season fixtures with a narrow 2-1 defeat to a young St Mirren XI at a sun-kissed Dunterlie Park on Saturday afternoon. 

It’s fair to say that many in attendance would be strong advocates for summer football given the weather but be assured the majority of players wouldn’t, one especially who had to leave the ground in flip-flops due to his feet swelling up so much with the heat that he couldn’t get his shoes on.

To the match itself and after a bright start from the young Saints, the game’s first real chance fell to the hosts. 

Scott Nicol and David Reid combined well down the left flank with Nicol firing over a low cross that saw Daniel McKay hit the target only for the Saints keeper to take it comfortably.

Six minutes later a ball over the top found Jamie Docherty on the right where he angled a great header over the keeper to the back post but there were no takers as the chance was squandered. 

Up the other end, the Buddies tested Lie debutant Craig Gordon before going on to take the lead just before the half-hour mark when Kieran McDade made a rash challenge in the box to give the referee no option but to point to the spot with Lewis Jamieson slotting it past the new keeper.

Gordon, who impressed on his debut, was called into action again as the first-half drew to a close, making another good block to deny the visitors a second goal.

At the break Arthurlie manager Duncan Sinclair introduced Lee Roulston for Ross Urquhart but the half was a mere three minutes old when Josh Jack doubled St Mirren’s lead with a stunning effort.

Barrhead News: New Lie keeper Craig Gordon impressed between the sticks, denying one penalty as well as a number of efforts from the SaintsNew Lie keeper Craig Gordon impressed between the sticks, denying one penalty as well as a number of efforts from the Saints

Gathering on the left, he got to the diagonal of the area before guiding it past the outstretched Gordon and into the net via the far post.

Straight after the second goal came the expected raft of substitutions from Lie, including the introduction of James Marks who would make an impact moments later.

The young Saints went close an hour in but it was sub Marks who got the third goal of the afternoon with a fine headed effort to reduce the deficit.

Two minutes later Connor Bradley was adjudged to have brought his man down inside the area with another penalty awarded but this time Gordon got down well to save the effort as it finished 2-1.

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Lie boss Sinclair said: “I thought we played really well considering we had a number of new faces and had to deal with a few injuries beforehand.

“We were playing against a lot of younger boys but I said to my lads before it that it doesn’t matter what size or age they are, they’re still there to beat us. 

“We were still aggressive and played to a good tempo without going out there and kicking young boys up and down the park. 

“I was happy with our shape and what I seen in terms of attitude and work ethic throughout. It gives us a lot of food for thought for tonight’s friendly against Pollok.

“You never want to lose but it was a good test for us and a worthwhile exercise.”

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