THERE'S very little Sauchie manager Martin Mooney hasn't experienced in football – but even he can't remember the last time he won on the opening day of the season.

For 45 minutes, things were going all too rosy at Beechwood as the Dumbarton legend's era got underway in earnest.

A brace from summer signing Lee Dawson looked to have sent the Reds on their way to a maiden Premier Division win over their old foes Hill of Beath Hawthorn.

But, much like in last season's enthralling Challenge Cup tie, the visitors proved they were no slouches and took advantage of increasingly tired Sauchie legs to secure a point with two late goals.

The former East Stirlingshire assistant was mostly pleased with the day's showing, however, and believes there were enough positive signs to suggest his ideas are already beginning to sink in.

The 48-year-old told Advertiser Sport: "I've been thinking back and I actually can't remember the last time I won the first game of the season.

"I couldn't have asked for anything more from them in the first half and they were excellent. They didn't allow them to play and kept the ball down.

"On another day, it could have been three or four at half time because we were creating chances and limiting them to very little.

"They were doing an awful lot of what we asked from them.

"We spoke at half time about 2-0 being a funny scoreline and that we needed the third goal.

"But, to be honest, I am not saying they dominated, but especially in the last 20 minutes they were far stronger than us and were looking a bit leggy and jaded.

"Everyone was talking about the referee, but it wasn't his fault. We should have been able to see the game out.

"It felt like a loss and I was looking around the dressing room at the end and they were absolutely gutted because they had put so much into it."

Dawson was one of a number of players brought into the club by Mooney as he continues to prepare the Reds for life in the East of Scotland's top tier.

He hasn't been shy in dipping into his East Stirlingshire roots, bringing David McCaughie, Kris Faulds, and most recently Graeme McGregor to the Wee County.

Dawson, however, is one Mooney had been tracking for most of the summer and he was delighted to see his man make an instant impact on Saturday.

"He's a player who gives everything and even although he's a full back I played him further up the field," Mooney continued. "He gives us so much.

"He had a huge influence over the game with the two goals and I was delighted to get him.

"He's a local boy from Fishcross and I believe it is important to have boys in the squad who are affiliated with the area."

Sauchie return to action this Wednesday when they face Linlithgow Rose in West Lothian and Mooney is keen for his players to put in another positive showing.

He added: "We've got the chance to go again on a good surface and to hopefully pick up the points."