FRASER Duncan was left ruing Sauchie's profligacy as a flurry of missed chances proved costly in their defeat to Broxburn Athletic. 

The Reds lost for the first time this decade after a late Josh Grant goal proved the difference at Livingston's Tony Macaroni Stadium. 

It was a bitter blow to Sauchie in their bid to beat the drop and, while admitting Broxburn were the better side after the break, a frustrated Duncan was disappointed by a string of missed opportunities. 

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Duncan told Advertiser Sport: "We went into the game with high hopes because we have been doing so well lately. We were up for the game and our plan worked well in the first-half.

"If you look at the best five chances of the half, they all fell to us. If we are being honest, we should have taken a couple of chances. 

"At half-time, we were confident we would keep things going in the same manner and win the game.

"Broxburn came more into the game and made it more difficult for us and then they scored the sucker punch in the last five minutes. 

"We had managed to withstand a lot of pressure from them but we probably just couldn't get through the last bit of spell. 

"Missed chances was the big thing for me and we didn't take the ones we had."

The defeat was only the fourth since Duncan and assistant Davie Beaton returned to the club in October, with Sauchie's form noticeably improving as they look to avoid the trap door from the East of Scotland's elite league. 

And Duncan made it clear his side would have to avoid giving away cheap goals during the relegation run-in after Grant's winner came as a result of indecision at the back. 

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Sauchie star David McCaughie admitted some of the side had endured an off day in the defeat Sauchie star David McCaughie admitted some of the side had endured an off day in the defeat

"Broxburn are a good side and they have some really good players and you can't take that away from them," he said. "If we could just have held out for that last five minutes, we would have been pleased with that.

"We switched off at a corner and didn't win the header when the ball came in. For the guy to get three touches before taking the shot wasn't good enough and the boys have been told that.

"We have really stepped it up since the winter break and the boys have picked up points where no one expected us to get them." 

The Reds enjoy a break from Premier Division action on Saturday and there's sure to be no love lost when they welcome Blackburn United in the League Cup. 

It comes just two weeks after the sides clashed in controversial fashion after a league tie was abandoned due to snow and Duncan admits his boys are determined to set the record straight. 

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He said: "It's a great one for us because with the game being called off the other week there is a bit of a burning desire to go and beat them. 

"It's a cup game and we might mix things about. There's a few guys who deserve their chance and deserve a run out. 

"We want to do well and want to stay in the cup competition as long as we can. We will be trying our best to get through in the tie."