SPARE a thought for the two kit men on Saturday night who will rightly feel they are due a bonus if they can restore their teams' shirts back to life after 110 gruelling minutes spent in the mud.

One of the prime contender's for their ire will undoubtedly be Ant McTaggart. The little midfielder was at the heart of the battle from the first minute and his kit was more dirt than red by the end of proceedings.

The game ultimately ended in disappointment for the hosts with their South Challenge Cup run coming to an end as Hill of Beath Hawthorn held their nerve in the shootout.

"We couldn't have done anymore," said the Sauchie skipper for the day. "All the boys were absolutely brilliant from start to finish.

"It's one of those games where we are a bit frustrated that we didn't win it in the 90 minutes. We definitely had enough chances to win the tie.

"We can't fault anybody's effort and everyone put a shift in.

"Going out and playing like that, you can't ask for anymore. They might be in the top league, but I thought we battered them for 90 minutes."

Sauchie had flown out of the blocks in the game and were unlucky to not break the deadlock before the break – Ross Crawford, Iain Diack, and McTaggart himself all tested the visitor's resolve.

But, the Reds were undone by sloppy defending at the start of the second and had Craig Donaldson's composed finish to thank for sending the feisty tie to extra time and penalties.

The 25-year-old continued: "We started well and we were winning our battles. That's all you can ask for the boys is to turn up on a Saturday and give their all.

"We were just unlucky with the penalties.

"With everyone coming back fit and guys like myself back from suspension, you can see the competition for places.

"That will be vital for us going for the top five.

"You can see it in training with everybody back fit and there's much more intensity. There's arguing at training and everyone wants to do well."

Sauchie return to East of Scotland action on Saturday as they head to promotion rivals Bo'ness.

The sides fought out an entertaining 0-0 draw at Beechwood Park and McTaggart is convinced the Reds can still secure promotion.

He said: "We want to get in that top five. That's the aim and we are competing against teams with barely half of their budget.

"We battered Bo'ness here and there's no reason why we can't go there and get a win."