East of Scotland League, Conference B

SAUCHIE were left to rue a last-minute defensive mix-up as their promotion hopes were dented courtesy of a 1-0 defeat at Bo'ness United.

In terrible conditions at Newton Park, Iain Diack's depleted side looked to have held off the advances of Max Christie's men to secure a valuable point.

But, the Reds failed to clear their lines from a hopeful punt up the park and were duly punished when former Sauchie player Craig Comrie scored the winner with the last kick of the ball.

The defeat was a bitter blow to the Beechwood Park side, who were once again down to the bare bones with the lineup plagued by injuries and illness.

"Without being disrespectful to anybody or to any of the teams, it was probably the worst game of football I have ever watched," Diack told Advertiser Sport. "It was completely ruined by the weather.

"The wind was so strong that from the first minute it kicked off it was just a battle for most of the day.

"For me, a draw would have been a fair result.

"But, we switched off. They just hit a long hopeful ball upfield and, rather than clearing it, we put it into touch.

"There was no quality whatsoever from either team. I am not being disrespectful to either set of players because the conditions were just horrendous.

"We just had to try and play the conditions and we did. Both teams handled the conditions as best they could.

"I just feel we certainly deserved a draw and we will just need to take that on the chin."

One of the few plus points from Saturday's defeat was the performance of Ryan Conville, who debuted in the middle of the park after making the switch from Kilsyth Rangers.

He slotted in beside Ant McTaggart as the Reds lost key players David Cross and Terry Hewitt to injury before the game. Conor Langton was also missing due to suspension.

Diack, who was ill all week, said: "Credit to the guys who came in. They worked hard and put in as good a performance as they could.

"Ryan, Ant McTaggart, and Dylan Taylor all played really well and used their energy all over the park."

The defeat lost Sauchie crucial ground in the race for the top-five and Crossgates Primrose's win over Tranent opened up a four point gap between the sides in fifth and sixth respectively.

The Reds do have a game in hand, however, over the Fifers and have the easier run-in, starting with 11th placed Dunipace on Saturday.

Diack said: "We will dust ourselves down and go again against Dunipace. That's the main focus, we are not looking beyond that game."