Arthurlie boss Duncan Sinclair has revealed that while he was delighted to see his side open their West Region Championship campaign with a 3-2 win over Kilsyth Rangers, he didn’t think they were anywhere near their best.

The visitors got off to the better start at Dunterlie with Lie struggling to string passes together in the opening period.

Sinclair’s side had to wait until the half hour mark for the opener with Jamie Docherty slotting it home from the spot.

It wasn’t plain sailing after that, however, with new keeper Craig Gordon forced to scramble in the box after a misunderstanding with his defence.

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Gordon was called into action once again moments later before Lie were awarded a second penalty after Tam McGaughey was upended in the area with Docherty stepping up once again to double the lead before the break.

Arthurlie were then made to pay for their lacklustre display just two minutes into the second-half when Tom Neil glanced a header home for Kilsyth.

The Gers levelled proceedings moments later thanks to Owen McGoldrick which brought an immediate response with the Lie management team ringing the changes.

With some top saves and the woodwork coming to Kilsyth’s rescue, Sinclair’s changes had the desired impact as there looked to be only one team now capable of grabbing the winner.

Barrhead News: Sinclair was pleased with Kilsyth win but insists team must improveSinclair was pleased with Kilsyth win but insists team must improve

Sub Paul Young reacted first in the box to force the ball home after a scramble and secure a big win against the only team to beat them home and away last season.

Sinclair said: “Three points to begin the season is ideal but we were absolutely rank rotten in the first-half.

“To go in at the break 2-0 up was really pleasing as we really didn’t play well at all. That was probably the worst half we’ve played since coming back at the start of the pre-season. We had a good chat with the boys and told them to up it. 

“I told them to protect the lead in the first 15 minutes but we go out and lose two silly goals to allow them right back into it.

“We really stepped it up after that, hitting the post twice, forcing their goalie into a few good saves and them having to clear it off the line. It’s a cliche but it was a game of two halves.

“I am pleased that we were able to grind out the result. You can’t win pretty all the time so the attitude was fantastic after we upped the ante in the second-half. There was positives and also things to work on so overall I’ll take the three points and move on.

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“That’s four competitive games this season so far and four wins so that is a really pleasing aspect of it.”

Lie now make the short trip to take on Irvine Victoria tonight with Sinclair admitting he will be forced to change his starting XI.

He added: “It’s important to now build on our winning start and keep the momentum going against Vics tonight. 

“There is a lot of boys tired after a solid few weeks of football so we will be rotating the team. We need to go down there and put in the kind of performance we know we’re capable of.”

Irvine Victoria v Arthurlie at Victoria Park kicks-off tonight at 7pm.

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