FRASER DUNCAN admitted his tactical switch didn't pay off as Sauchie were put to the sword by local rivals Camelon.

The Reds boss set his side out in a 3-4-1-2 in the first-half on Saturday with Jordan Wright, Stewart Houston, and Jon Tully making up a back-three.

His hand was forced by captain Kyle Turnbull's suspension, but Sauchie struggled to get going as Gordon Herd's Mariners made them pay for missing a host of chances.

They improved after the break when he reverted to four at the back, but ultimately Craig Donaldson's strike was in vain as the hosts ran out 3-1 winners.

"With not having Kyle Turnbull, as he was suspended, left-back is a difficult position to fill when you've not got the people to do that," Duncan told Advertiser Sport.

"Normally, I would put Stevie Dolan in there, but he's done a lot for us upfront and we needed him there.

"We changed the shape because we wanted to have a bit more going forward and, if I am being honest, it probably hasn't really worked out for us.

"We should have had enough going forward as we had David McCaughie, Stevie Dolan, and Craig Donaldson playing just in-behind them.

"That's three really good players who can create something and you saw that when we created good chances in the opening ten minutes.

"After that, we've just switched off and drifted out of the game and it's not good enough."

Donaldson's performance was one of the few standouts as Sauchie's three-game unbeaten run came to an end.

It was bitterly disappointing for Duncan, who feels too many of his players failed to match live up to their recent showings.

He said: "We have not taken our chances and we have switched off at vital moments in the game. It's not good enough and too many guys have had off days.

"When you look at a team of 16 players you can afford for one or two to have an off day, but not four or five. That's too many for us to cope with.

"Some of the boys like Lee Dawson worked their socks off and worked really hard. Stevie Dolan was the same.

"But, some of the boys need to dig them out. Craigy Donaldson was outstanding; he was good on the ball and getting into the positions we wanted him to get into.

"Even the likes of Jon Tully, who's had a great start to his time here, had a poorer day when you really need him to have a good game.

"We told them in no uncertain times at half-time that it wasn't good enough and we came out in the second-half and started the game well.

"We got the goal and had them camped in their own half.

"But, we got the goal and it seemed like we just felt 'oh, we are going to get back in the game'.

"You've got to keep driving as no one is going to come and hand you a result on a plate.

"Our boys are too expectant for that to happen. It needs to be better and we need to work harder as right now things are not good enough."

On a positive note, former Bo'ness United striker Mark Mooney came off the bench for his first minutes in a Sauchie jersey after recovering from injury.

It will take some time for the hitman to reach match sharpness, but Duncan hopes he can finally be the one to address their concerns in front of goal.

"We need that killer instinct from a striker and it was good to get Mark Mooney on the park, who will throw himself about," Duncan said.

"He is a good four or five weeks away from match sharpness so we have got to work hard over the next couple of weeks.

"He will bring us that killer instinct and we are still going to look for another to do that as we need another striker at the club."