Raging Arthurlie boss Duncan Sinclair blasted the referee after his side were reduced to nine men in Saturday’s 2-1 loss away to Craigmark Burntonians.

Lie were looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Petershill but Craigmark had other ideas as they opened the scoring inside the first minute.

A speculative long ball over the top evaded Liam Mushet, Niall Reynolds and keeper Craig Gordon to allow Greg Vernon time to nip in and grab the unlikely opener.

Playing against a swirling wind, Arthurlie struggled to get going in a dire first 45 with the hosts peppering Gordon’s goal at every opportunity.

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On a rare venture forward into the final third, Lie’s Jamie Docherty and Tam McGaughey both came close as the visitors finally began to put up some resistance.

But their resolve didn’t last long with Craigmark doubling their lead four minutes before the break with a stunning 35-yard strike from Aidan Connor nestling into the top corner and leaving Gordon rooted to the spot.

Much-improved in the second-half, Arthurlie thought they had found a way back into it when Lee Roulston bundled it home only for his celebration to cut short by the assistant’s flag.

Sinclair’s side eventually pulled one back just after the hour mark thanks to McGaughey but any joy was short-lived when almost immediately after the restart Reid was shown a second yellow for dissent.

Barrhead News: Sinclair’s side were reduced to nine men at Station Park as they fell to a second league defeatSinclair’s side were reduced to nine men at Station Park as they fell to a second league defeat

Card happy, the ref brandished eight yellow cards in total to a bemused Arthurlie side with the Dunterlie outfit continuing to push forward in search of the equaliser.

Lie were reduced to nine men with six minutes to go when sub Connor Bradley received a yellow for complaining about time wasting before being shown a second yellow seconds later to the disbelief of Arthurlie’s management team as it finished 2-1.

Sinclair said: “That was ridiculous. I don’t like to go on too much about referees, especially in defeat, but he had an absolute nightmare in the second-half.

“He booked eight of our players for dissent and went on to send off two of them. That completely ruins the game and doesn’t give us any chance at all. It was beyond a joke. 

“We made it 2-1 with 20 minutes to go and looked like getting right back into it before David Reid was sent off for a second booking which took away any momentum. 

“Connor Bradley, who had just come on as a sub, received two bookings within 10 seconds for complaining about time wasting.

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“We went for it with nine men and had two good chances but we just couldn’t take them unfortunately. 

“It was just a very disappointing afternoon.”

Lie now turn their attention to the Scottish Junior Cup this weekend as they play host to Premiership side Beith, with Sinclair adding: “Beith are a very good team but it’s at Dunterlie so we’ll be going out there to turn our form around.

“We’re on the back of a few bad results so we need to go into it in the right frame of mind.”

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