Cumbernauld Colts boss relieved by return to winning ways

Cumbernauld Colts co-managers Craig McKinlay and James Orr
Cumbernauld Colts co-managers Craig McKinlay and James Orr

Cumbernauld Colts co-manager Craig McKinlay is hoping his side are over their early-season slump.

The Broadwood side went into the new season looking to build on their highly impressive debut Lowland League campaign in which they finished fourth and qualified for the revamped Irn Bru Challenge Cup.

But losses in their opening two fixtures to Gretna 2008 and Dalbeattie Star and a cup exit at the hands of Hamilton Accies’ under-20 side wasn’t the start they had in mind.

However a 5-0 thumping of Preston Athletic last Wednesday and a 3-1 win at Selkirk on Saturday has since got them back on the winning track.

And as they prepare to welcome league newcomers Civil Service Strollers to Broadwood on Saturday McKinlay is relieved to see his side return to something closer to their normal level of performance.

He said: “Wednesday saw us get our first win of the new campaign and right from the off it was far more like us.

“The players played with a real hunger to get us up and running after the disappointment of the previous week or so. We were dominant throughout and it’s no exaggeration to say we could have scored another four goals.

“We played some really good attacking stuff and more importantly we were able to get a clean sheet which is significant considering the poor goals we have conceded recently.

“It was vital that we followed up that victory with three points down at Selkirk on Saturday and while we didn’t play anywhere near the same level as we did against Preston the main thing was to get the win.

“We were pretty comfortable throughout in spite of them getting a goal back in the second half. We played within ourselves to be quite honest and the tight pitch didn’t really suit us but we got through it and it’s important we take that momentum forward now to our next game against Civil Service.”

Colts’ early season woes haven’t been helped by a lengthy injury list but that is beginning to clear up slowly but surely, giving McKinlay and fellow co-manager James Orr more selection options - although they haven’t ruled out adding to their squad in the nexty couple of weeks.

McKinlay said: “We still have a few lads out with Reece Glackin joining the injury list after receiving a broken nose in last week’s game and Mikey Morris breaking down again on Saturday with his broken toe.

“But we are confident we will get stronger as the season progresses with some of the new signing showing signs of what is to come with the quality they bring.

“We also have players returning gradually now which will only make us stronger as these were big players for us last season with Andy Selkirk now available, Jamie Broadfoot managing to get a couple of 20 minutes under his belt in the last two games and Ross Ballantyne edging closer to return.

“Ross Kavenagh has made a really encouraging start to his time with us as well as Owen Ronald and Craig Murray getting their first goals for the club in Wednesday night.

“James and I are also working hard to add a couple more players to strengthen our options in defence before the end of the transfer deadline.”