Neilston co-boss Derek Carson heaped praise on his ‘much-improved’ side after a hard-fought point against Kilsyth Rangers on Saturday - and insists they will only get better.

Both Carson and fellow manager Chris Cameron were left disappointed after last Wednesday’s 3-0 loss away to Cambuslang Rangers and while three points against Kilsyth was the order of the day, they were both much happier with the performance against a good Kilsyth outfit.

Carson’s side took the lead against the run of play just before the break with Dylan Fletcher sneaking in behind the defence and lobbing the advancing keeper. 

But the visitors levelled proceedings minutes into the second period with Scott Upton first to react following a scramble in the box.

READ MORE: Neilston put squad worries to one side as they secure opening day win

Neilston restored their lead on the hour mark when a long ball from Kyle Pirie in goal found its way to Paul Stewart who flicked it on for Fletcher to slot home.

The hosts couldn’t quite hold on for all three points with Chris Reid rising highest from Upton’s corner to nod it beyond Pirie for a share of the spoils.

“The big thing for us was that it was a massive improvement from last week’s loss to Cambuslang,” Carson told Barrhead Sport. “The standards weren’t good enough in that one at all. We spoke about that at training and we definitely got a reaction from the boys at the weekend. 

“We’re still only playing at about 80 per cent of our capabilities right now due to fitness levels with boys coming back from staggered holidays and work commitments so a draw was a fair result. I’m happy to be sitting on four points and to still be undefeated at home. 

Barrhead News: Carson was pleased with his side's 'massive improvement' in Gers drawCarson was pleased with his side's 'massive improvement' in Gers draw

“Once we see the boys all reaching the fitness levels we know they can get to I think we will only get better. Not having a midweek match worked out well this week so that we could get the boys in for a couple of training sessions to work them hard ahead of Saturday.

“We haven’t quite clicked yet with holiday and work interruptions. There’s boys in there who have had too much game time in a short space of time and some with not enough. Once they all get on the same level and up to speed we’ll be flying.”

Next up for the Brig side is a trip to take on high-flyers Irvine Victoria who sit second in the table after an unbeaten start to their campaign.

Carson added: “Irvine Vics will be tough as they’ve started well and picked up a few big results. First and foremost when playing down there, you need to win the battle. We need to prepare to win that otherwise it will be a long 90 minutes. If we can win the early battle and get on top then I think our quality could take over and see us get another three points on the board.”

READ MORE: Carson not reading too much into Sectional League Cup losses

The Neilston supporters bus will leave Brig O’Lea at 12pm on Saturday for the trip to Irvine.

Elsewhere, Neilston have been drawn to take on West Region League Two side Yoker Athletic in the first round of the Macron Scottish Junior Cup.

The home tie is scheduled to be played at Brig O’Lea stadium on Saturday, September 14. 

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