SAUCHIE stalwart Iain Syme has challenged his team-mates to "stand up" during their crucial relegation run-in - before warning demotion would damage the whole club. 

The Reds face a testing two months of football in their bid to secure their place in the Premier Division next season with Fraser Duncan's men currently occupying the final relegation place. 

They have given themselves a fighting chance since the club legend returned in the autumn and Syme knows upcoming fixtures against fellow fighters Dunbar United will prove crucial. 

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"Every single person needs to stand up," Syme, 33, told Advertiser Sport. "No disrespect to the boys in the league below but it is not the same. 

"You are not going to your Linlithgow or your Bo'ness and crowds will dwindle. It will be harder to attract a higher quality of player.

"We really need to be in that top league and that's where I want to be playing my football." 

Syme played his part on Saturday as Sauchie enjoyed a welcome break from league action when they dumped Blackburn United out of the League Cup at Beechwood. 

A David Cross penalty opened the scoring, before John Queen finally made a decent spell of pressure from the guests count by notching an equaliser. 

Fresh from stern words from boss Duncan and assistant Davie Beaton, Sauchie flew out of the traps in the second-half and an early Aaron Bryson goal was enough to seal their progress. 

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Penalty expert David Cross netted another in Saturday's win over Blackburn United Penalty expert David Cross netted another in Saturday's win over Blackburn United

"We started the game off pretty well and we played some football and got in their faces," former Bo'ness United player Syme said. "We went ahead and then had a couple of opportunities but nothing clear cut.

"We then just took our foot off the gas a wee bit and let them back into the game. 

"They scored a decent goal and then we went into our shells and it's the same old story. When our backs are up against the wall, we seem to do that.

"Whether that's down to confidence or what has gone on before at the start of the season, I don't know. 

"The gaffer then had a few stern words with us all at half-time and the boys also spoke amongst ourselves and knew it wasn't good enough."

He added: "We came out very brightly and got a good goal through the young lad, Aaron. He's done really well and he has come into training and is always willing to learn.

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"Then again we eased off and that seems to the be the story of the last few weeks. We put teams to the sword then go into our shells. 

"You can't afford to do, especially against a team like Blackburn. No disrespect to them, but to stay in this league we are going to have to beat better teams than them.

"We need to go the full 90 minutes and that's something we need to learn quickly."