ADRIAN Hanson says Crossgate Primrose's late equaliser on Saturday was "soul destroying" for his Sauchie side.

The Beechwood Park club had taken the lead in a scrappy game thanks to Ross Crawford's tidy finish.

But, they failed to see the result out with the Fife side netting a contentious 87th minute penalty to secure a share in the spoils.

The Sauchie assistant manager told Advertiser Sport: “There was not much football played on Saturday and it was a scrappy game. It showed that neither team had had a game for a couple of weeks.

“We probably edged it slightly. But, to lose a goal at the time we lost and in the manner we lost it was just soul destroying.

“It’s never a penalty in a million years. However, we gave the referee a decision to make when we should be able to see the game out

“That’s the galling thing for us.

“The referee was about fifty yards away and he gave it. The linesman initially said it was a free kick, but then seemed to change his mind.

“You work hard and every point that we get is going to be absolutely priceless.

“So to lose two in that manner is just a right kick in the teeth.”

The draw was Sauchie’s third in four games as the Reds struggled for consistency during a stop-start December.

They next face Dundonald Bluebell – incidentally the last side they secured all three points against in a 3-2 November win – and will be boosted by the return of several key faces.

Terry Hewitt, Craig Donaldson, and Cameron Cairney are set to return to action as Sauchie travel to Fife to take on the league's second placed side.

Hanson said: “In the first few months of the season, we lost a couple of goals through naivety and poor decision making.

“But, the boys have turned a corner and that’s gone out of their game.

“The Christmas break has probably come at the worst possible time for us as we were doing well.

“But, we will get back into training and put in the right preparation ahead of Saturday’s game.

“To have Terry, Craigy, and Cameron back is a huge boost for us.

“I don’t want a wee malaise to set in and we want to get back on the horse again and put points on the board.”

The draw leaves Sauchie fourth in the East of Scotland Conference B with less than half the season remaining.

They still have three games in hand over third placed Bo'ness United.