STAND-IN Sauchie captain David Cross stepped up to ensure his side would keep a point at Beechwood Park on Saturday.

The Reds hosted Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts for their first home game of the year which ended in a 1-1 draw.

It was a poor day of football for Sauchie who struggled throughout the game until the Swifts had a man sent off in the last 20 minutes.

Cross, speaking to Advertiser Sport, said: "We came off a good result last week so we were confident we could come back here and get the three points, but we started a bit slow and that just sort of carried on throughout the game.

"We made it hard for ourselves. A point isn't the worst, but we thought we could come in here and get the three points."

He added: "It was just a bit of a nervy start and once you have a bit of a nervy start things get a bit slow and a bit harder for you, boys are trying things they wouldn't normally try."

Despite Sauchie's poor team performance Cross had a superb game as he cleared the ball off the goal-line twice in the first 15 minutes to give the Reds a fighting chance.

Speaking about the first clearance, Cross said: "The first one actually did come off my arm, I tried to pretend it came off my face, but nobody seemed to shout for it so I must of did a good acting job there to hide that."

With Will Greenhorn's loan spell ending, and Scott Davidson and Mark Finlayson not being available through injuries, midfielder Grant Dickie was enlisted to help Sauchie's makeshift defence.

Cross said: "We were a wee bit shaky at the start and we weren't pressing as far up the field as we could have been.

"We keep saying we are defending well but keep conceding one or two goals a game, so we need to cut that out."

Cross, who has taken up the captain's armband in the absence of Davidson, has been improving throughout the season and manager Fraser Duncan said he would be his player of the month for December.

Reflecting on his own performances this year, Cross continued: "The start of the season didn't quite go the way I wanted it for myself.

"I was, kind of, in and out and playing out of position, but then I just found my feet halfway through the season and have just pushed on."