DARREN PETRIE is getting sick and tired of saying the same thing every week, but that's exactly the situation he found himself in once again.

The Sauchie co-caretaker manager was left to rue defensive lapses from his side as they were dumped out of the Challenge Cup by Civil Service Strollers.

A Josh Morris brace either side of half time did the damage as Graeme McGregor's equaliser proved in vain.

Petrie told Advertiser Sport: "It is heartbreaking and after every game now we are coming in and saying the same thing about cutting out mistakes.

"There wasn't much between the two sides and if anything on the ball I thought we were more dangerous.

"But we gave them their two goals and the other way about we are having to work hard for our goals.

"No one is giving us mistakes which we are giving other teams and it is starting to kill us right now."

Petrie and his charges could feel rightly aggrieved when referee Stewart Luke missed a blatant handball by a Strollers defender.

But, the former Dundee United man was refusing to point the finger at the referee and instead bemoaned his own side's generosity.

"Over the last three weeks there have been massive signs of improvement from where we were a month ago," the 24-year-old said.

"Mistakes are killing us and it is becoming a theme now. But, we just need to get out of this sticky patch and I think we'll be fine.

"There were two incidents in the game where we should have had penalties, but that is up to the referee and there's no point in moaning as he's not going to change his mind now.

"From our own point of view, we need to cut out those mistakes and make our own life easier."

He continued: "It is a frustrating time just now especially for Daz (Cummings) and I. It's a learning curve for us and the players."

One shining light for the Reds was the performance of Jeremiah Otonti, who debuted after being promoted from the Wee Sauchie.

The 18-year-old looked a constant threat down the right and Petrie was singing his praises.

He said: "The young boy Jerry (Otonti) did well up front after we threw him into the deep end.

"He worked hard and created things.

"You can tell when someone looks like a player and he is still young so it will be good to keep him and and about the squad."

The big games keep on coming for Petrie as Sauchie travel to Edinburgh United this weekend for the third round of the Alex Jack Cup.

And the injury hit Reds should be boosted by the return of several key players, but will continue to be without Conor Langton and Lewis Small.

Petrie said: "We will have big Stevie (Dolan) back from suspension and Craigy (Donaldson), who was a big miss on Saturday.

"Lee Dawson felt his knee in the warm up and he had to be pulled out even though he was set to start.

"So we have injuries all over the place but we will get there.

"Between injuries and people going off on holidays, golf days, and weddings, we've never had the same squad to choose from.

"Hopefully, Saturday will be the first time that we have a squad to pick from that we want to play."