Arthurlie gaffer Duncan Sinclair insists he will only focus on the positives after watching his side crash out of the second round of the West of Scotland Cup in a battling 3-2 loss to Premiership side Irvine Meadow.

Lie made the short trip down to Meadow Park on Saturday with hopes of bringing a three-game losing run to a halt.

Sinclair’s men did start well against the Ayrshire side, with Jamie Docherty carving out the first real chance of the match in testing conditions.

The Dunterlie Park outfit built on their bright start as they opened the scoring nine minutes in, with an extraordinary wind-aided David Reid corner catching the Meadow keeper by surprise.

READ MORE: Individual errors blames as Arthurlie slump to third straight league loss

That only seemed to spark Irvine to life, however, as the hosts quickly levelled proceedings 10 minutes later, bundling the ball over the line after a scramble in the box.

Irvine thought they had turned the tie around minutes into the second half, only to be denied by the assistant’s flag.

However, they didn’t need to wait long to get their noses in front, with Craig Gordon unable to get a hand on Mark McLennan’s effort.

And the Premiership side extended their lead with 20 minutes remaining as Gordon was beaten again.

Sinclair rang the changes, with Tam McGaughey and Kieran McDade returning from injury, and Tony Etherson managed to pull one back for Lie to set up a nervy finale but the hosts held on to inflict a fourth straight defeat on the Barrhead team.

“Overall, I think we competed well with them,” Sinclair said. “We were right in it going into the second half but, with the swirling wind in our faces, we knew the second 45 was always going to be difficult.

“It was fairly even for spells but we get undone by two set-plays, which is disappointing.

“We didn’t learn our lesson from the first half, unfortunately.

“We didn’t play great at all, to be honest, but what we did do was battle. We battled away and made it difficult for a team a division above us.

“Despite the result and going out of the cup, there is a big positive to take from the match. We didn’t play well at all but we battled for 90 minutes against a good Premiership team.

“A performance like that shows us the battling spirit is there and is something we can call on in the second half of the season.”

Lie now return to league business this weekend as they play host to Gartcairn.

READ MORE: Arthurlie boss Sinclair says call-off could be a blessing

Sinclair added: “We haven’t played Gartcairn yet this season, so there is a touch of the unknown there. They’re a new team in the league, so we’re relying on a couple of reports we have on them.

“What we do know is it will be tough and we’re expecting a hard game.

“If we cut out the individual errors, then we should hopefully start picking up points.

“We seem to be turning a corner now in terms of getting players back from injury. Kieran McDade, Tam McGaughey and Josh Payne are all nearing 100 per cent. That brings us up to a decent-sized squad who are able to compete in the run-in.”

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