SAUCHIE coach Greig Maitland lamented his side’s poor display as they failed to climb off the foot of the table.

Darren Cummings and Darren Petrie’s Reds were held by relegation rivals Whitehill Welfare on Saturday as they were punished passing up a host of chances after David Cross’ first minute penalty had given them the lead.

The Beechwood Park side toiled in the second-half with Simon White and Stevie Dolan going close only for Scott Wright to nod home a late equaliser.

Despite another painful showing and his belief that some of his players played in “their shell”, Maitland reiterated his belief in the squad to come good.

He told Advertiser Sport: “We can only do so much and when they cross that white line it is up to them.

“We tell boys how we would like them to play but it is up to them what they do when they go over that white line.

“Some boys are like that and when we need boys to roll their sleeves up and knuckle down some can do it and some can’t.”

He continued: “Training has been good and it has always been good but come Saturday I don’t know what happens.

“Some boys seem to go into their shell.

“I couldn’t tell you (why) and you would need to ask them.”

Sauchie were once again punished for slack defending as they failed to take the chance to clear the ball before Kieran Sommerville put it on a plate for Wright to score.

Generous defending has plagued Sauchie’s season so far and Maitland - who has been assisting the Darrens - believes it is proving terminal to their campaign.

“The signs have always been there (that we can turn it around),” he said. “That’s why we always stuck by the boys through the uncertainty of what was happening at the club.

“This is where we want boys to roll their sleeves up, knuckle down, and soldier on. There’s not a team who has carved us open and we are being punished for every mistake.

“We are gifting teams goals and it can’t continue to happen.”

He added: “We didn’t work hard as a unit whereas last week we did. When you score after a minute, you think the chance is there to kick on and score a few more, but it just didn’t happen.

“Then we fell deeper and deeper and we were caught out with a free header at the back post.

“It can’t happen and we are being punished with every mistake we make at the minute, which is hard to take.

“We believe ourselves that we have the ability in the dressing room to turn things around.”

Fraser Duncan returned to the club on Monday with Cummings and Petrie announced as his assistants.

Maitland’s future is less clear, however, and he said: “I will need to speak to Fraser and see what his thoughts are and then we will have a better idea.”