A POOR performance from Sauchie Juniors as fixture congestion finally catches up with them as a heavily rotated squad just couldn’t compete.

The Reds were back at Beechwood Park, after their 4-1 win away to Syngenta in the League Cup on Wednesday, as they hosted a Dundonald Bluebell side that were just two points behind them in the league.

Both teams started the game brightly with Dundonald having the best chance within the first 10 minutes as they rattled the crossbar from 35 yards out.

Sauchie struggled to get any tempo into their game and a poor short corner kick between Sam Davidson and Sam Collumbine resulted in Dundonald being able to counter quickly.

Sauchie were able to break down the counter, but Dundonald were awarded a soft free kick just outside the box.

The initial cross was delt with well by the Sauchie defence as it was headed out, but the second ball in went straight to Ross Brown who pivoted and smashed the ball on the half volley into the bottom corner.

With Sauchie chasing the game they still struggled to string more than a couple of passes together.

The best chance in the first half for the Reds came when they hit Dundonald on the counter as Collumbine drove up the middle of the park on the fast break.

With the man advantage and with three forwards in front of him Collumbine chose to not use any of them and fired a very tame shot at the keeper which summed up Sauchie’s half.

With 10 minutes to go Dundoanld’s number nine, Paul McManus, turned Iain Syme far too easily and forced Chic Bell to make an excellent save just inside the six-yard box.

Five minutes into the second half and a through ball over the top by Dundonald caught Sauchie flat footed and Jon Tully couldn’t match McManus’s pace, but the strikers finish was poor as Bell smothered the ball easily.

With just over an hour played Dundonald doubled their lead as Sauchie were unable to clear the ball properly as Dundonald’s Barry Sadbanda slipped the ball through to McManus who got the goal he deserved as he calmly slotted the ball past Bell.

With 30 minutes left, 2-0 down and no signs of improving manager Fraser Duncan made a triple substitution as first team regulars he had been resting were called upon.

It wasn’t enough, however, as despite the triple substitution having an immediate positive impact as Sauchie started to be play better football, Dundonald dug in deep and defended well to see the game out as it finished 2-0.

Speaking to the Advertiser Sport after the match Duncan said: “We’ve not been good enough.

“We have rearranged the squad a fair bit and we have given four or five people a run out and given them a chance to get back into the team and it’s not worked out.

“Two games a week has really caught up with us.

“We’ve rested some guys trying to look into next week, it just shows you that we have a strong squad, but it needs to be stronger.”

Between cup run success and having to play rearranged league games from the start of the year Sauchie have had two games a week for most weeks in the last couple of months.

Reflecting on the match Duncan, added: “You’ve got to make it difficult for teams like Dundonald. Make it difficult for them to come to Beechwood and get three points, but we’ve rolled over today.

“We’ve put the white flag out and said we’re tired and you can’t do that in these games.”

SAUCHIE: Bell, Syme, Carroll, Tully, Docherty, S.Collumbine (Comrie), Dickie, S.Davidson (Morgan), Kavanagh, Crawford (Cracknall), Kelly (Smith). UNUSED: E. Collumbine, S. Davidson, Greenhorn, Hutchinson