IAIN DIACK was full of praise for his injury ravaged Sauchie Juniors side as they got back to winning ways away at Dalkeith Thistle.

With only 13 fit first team players, Sauchie produced a battling performance to hand the Midlothian outfit their first home defeat of the season.

New boy Ross Crawford scored the Reds’ winner and the side’s rearguard stood firm despite a second half onslaught to seal all three points and leapfrog Dalkeith in the table.

Diack told Advertiser Sport: “We were back to ourselves on Saturday after last week’s bad day at the office.

“The boys were really on it and more like themselves. Their work rate and play was really pleasing.

“It was probably a game of two halves. We were better in the first half and thoroughly deserved our lead. But second half, as you’d expect, they came out fighting and created two or three chances.

“One was cleared off the line, Darren Dolan made a great save, and both Terry Hewitt and Stewart Houston put in excellent blocks.

“There was a wee bit of apprehension going into this week after last week and we just couldn’t put our finger on what went wrong.

“On Saturday the boys looked backed to their best and it was all really pleasing.”

Having lost their first game in five last weekend at home to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, the Reds headed to the King’s Park without five first team regulars including Conor Langton and Willie Wells.

Despite the injury crisis, they flew out of the blocks and could have been two or three up by half time.

Diack said: “What made the win all the more pleasing was that we only had 13 players fit.

“Even then, Craig Donaldson was on the bench but has had issues with his hamstring.

“Guys like Darren (Cummings), Conor and Willie would all have been in contention to start on Saturday.

“They were all big misses for us even in terms of just having options for us.

“We stuck together with our backs to the wall and to get the victory was excellent.”

The Sauchie winner was slotted home by Crawford following a free flowing move between the striker, Darren Petrie, and Mark Finlayson.

The former Camelon hitman has had to make do with cameo appearances from the bench since making the switch to Beechwood Park, but made his first start on Saturday.

And Diack was full of praise for the striker.

He added: “The goal was a lovely combination between the three boys and then Ross showed great composure to take a touch and slot it home.

“He’s been great since he came in and has to bide his time. Stevie Dolan has done well up top and I’m not one just to discard somebody because we have a new boy.

“Ross knows that he would have to earn his place and his start was merited on Saturday.”