CONOR KELLY says Sauchie can't let Saturday's defeat effect the team's positive start to the season.

Sauchie were defeated 4-2 by Linlithgow Rose in what was their first defeat of the league campaign. Three first half goals for the visitors gave Sauchie a mountain to climb but they reduced the deficit to one thanks to goals from Jack Docherty and Ross Kavanagh.

Unfortunately for the home side when they were pushing for the equaliser they were dealt a sucker punch by a devastating counter attack to put the game out of their reach.

Kelly told Advertiser Sport: "I thought we didn't start well [in the] first 20 minutes. I don't know if we were a wee bit naïve or if they caught us off guard.

"I thought they were going to play football but they started playing long balls and they caught us out a few times.

"After the first half an hour I thought we settled into the game and we were the better team, especially in the second half.

"I thought there was only one team [that was] going to win it and they just get a goal on the break and it just knocks the stuffing out of us a wee bit and took our momentum.

"But we can definitely take positives from the second half especially."

There was outrage from the Sauchie bench for a potential foul in the build up to Linlithgow Rose's first goal and Kelly believes his side were on the receiving end of some poor decisions.

He continued: "100 per cent it is a foul but sometimes you don't get those decisions when you play the so-called bigger teams.

"I thought a couple of decisions didn't go our way that could have lead to us getting chances and [instead] lead to them getting chances but that's just what happens."

Kelly had a hand in both goals and is feeling good after a good pre-season.

He said: "I'm feeling fit, I've came back, got myself fit in pre-season.

"Playing out wide but I enjoyed it, I was getting a lot of the ball and getting a lot of joy taking men on and putting crosses in.

"I'm happy to get the assist, just disappointed not to get the three points."

Kelly used to play for Linlithgow Rose and joked: "It's always good to play against an old team, it's hard for me not to play an old team in this league."

Sauchie now must prepare for their first Scottish Cup tie against St Andrews United on Saturday and Kelly says it's crucial this defeat does not disrupt their progress so far this season.

He said: "We can't let this affect us, we've got to just get back in on Tuesday, work hard and prepare for a massive game on Saturday, Scottish Cup is massive for the club. We had a great run last season and hopefully we get another one this season."