Chris Cameron praised 10-man Neilston after their narrow 1-0 win over Whitletts Victoria on Saturday before insisting they will only improve as the season progresses.

A superb second-half strike from Ross MacKinnon handed the Farmer’s Boys the opening day win at the Brig despite Cameron and fellow co-manager Derek Carson being forced to field a depleted squad.

Neither side were able to offer much going forward in a fairly even, scrappy and forgettable first-half.

The match came to life after the break with the visitors upping the tempo in search of the opener as Kyle Pirie was called into action in the Neilston goal.

READ MORE: Derek Carson not reach too much into Neilston's Sectional League Cup losses

The hosts were reduced to 10 men on the hour mark when Ross Hucknall, who had been booked minutes earlier, received a second yellow after a tangle with a Whitletts midfielder.

From the resulting free-kick, MacKinnon fired home a stunning effort from all of 25-yards to secure all three points.

With holiday and work commitments taking their toll, Neilston were forced to name just two players on the bench with Cameron admitting he was just delighted to get away with the win. 

Cameron said: “We had a tough week in the Sectional League Cup in terms of squad numbers and that rolled into the league, so we’re just delighted to get the win and the clean sheet to get our league season up and running.

Barrhead News: Neilston had Ross MacKinnon to thank after his second-half free-kick sealed the points on the opening dayNeilston had Ross MacKinnon to thank after his second-half free-kick sealed the points on the opening day

“We didn’t play well to be honest as both teams cancelled the other out but three points is, of course, the main thing.

“We only had 13 players on Saturday so it has been very difficult to say the least. The effort and the commitment as usual was great from the boys.”

Neilston are now set to travel to Somervell Park tonight to take on Cambuslang with Cameron excited to be able to choose from an almost full squad.

He added: “We’ll have 19 players available tonight against Cambuslang so I’m hoping you’ll see the best of us in this one.

READ MORE: Neilston bosses taking positives from Talbot defeat

“We had eight important players missing on Saturday so we went into that not caring about the performance, but just focusing on the three points and we thankfully got them.

“We have seven games in August so it’s a good start and hopefully we can build on it.

“With 19 in the squad there will be some players who won’t make the bench but that’s a good problem for myself and Derek to have. We’re all buzzing for it.”

Read all the latest from Barrhead Sport