ARTHURLIE’S wretched run of form continued as league leaders Darvel prevailed on Saturday to make it four games without a win.

It was another disappointing day for Duncan Sinclair’s Barrhead outfit as goals from David Reid and Liam Mushet proved in vain against the Ayrshire side.

The result – hot on the heels of Lie’s Scottish Cup exit – leaves them seven points off third-placed Renfrew in the promotion race but with a game in hand.

It all looked so promising on Saturday, however, as The Lie seemed to have banished the demons of their 5-1 defeat at home to Beith the previous weekend when they took an early lead through Reid.

The Vale hit back through an own goal and Darren Miller’s penalty as the league leaders went into the break 2-1 ahead.

Allan MacKenzie’s early second half strike made it an uphill battle for the Dunterlie Park side and, although Mushet gave Arthurlie hope, they couldn’t find an equaliser in the closing stages

Despite the defeat, boss Sinclair said he was pleased with his players’ response to their Scottish Cup shocker.

He added: “Darvel are a good team and get the ball down, similar to us, but we started off well and scored a good goal.

“But we never got a chance to establish that lead.

“To go out and concede a goal in the first ten minutes of the second half and go 3-1 down makes life a lot more difficult for us.

“After that, we’ve totally dominated and scored another but, unfortunately, couldn’t find an equaliser, despite our chances.”

Arthurlie’s promotion hopes have taken a blow as a result of their recent run of form, with a defeat to Craigmark Burntonians and a home draw with Petershill giving Sinclair’s men an uphill task in their bid to earn the right to once again play in the top tier of Junior football.

However, he insists he can’t fault his players for the effort they have shown as they bid to turn things around – and remains confident their ambition should still be promotion.

Sinclair continued: “I asked for a response from the boys after last week’s debacle and I think we got that at training during the week and on Saturday. We’re just a wee bit disappointed with how we lost the goals.

“It’s a kick in the teeth because we should have taken something from the game.”

There is no time for dwelling, however, as attention now turns to second-placed Cumbernauld United – and Sinclair doesn’t need told that his side will be in for a difficult afternoon when the North Lanarkshire side visit Dunterlie.

He said: “Cumbernauld are the best team we’ve played in the league.

“We drew with them last year at their place, which was the night we both lost out on promotion.

“I think they’ll be fighting for the league title and it’ll be a difficult game.

“We got a response after last week and I’m hoping for the same response from the boys this week.

“I am confident we can give anybody a game at home.”

Kick-off for Saturday’s showdown with Cumbernauld is at 2pm.