CUMNOCK boss Brian McGinty has admitted his frustration at his team’s struggle for consistency after they tumbled to a shock 2-1 loss at lowly Arthurlie on Saturday.

Goals from Max Kerr and Dale Simeon had the hosts, who had new boss Colin Reilly in the dugout for the first time, two up at Dunterlie inside the first 15 minutes – and though Grant Dickie pulled one back, and Kerr was sent off for a second yellow before the break, Nock were unable to conjure up an equaliser during a second half they dominated.

The result brought the Townhead Park side back to earth with a bump after the 4-2 home win over Troon three days earlier – in which McGinty’s men had scored three times without reply in the final quarter to secure a comeback win – though it didn’t take McGinty long to identify some common failings from both matches.

“The first half wasn’t good,” he told the club’s social media team, “but the first half on Wednesday night wasn’t good either.

“We had an opportunity to put a good bit of daylight between ourselves and Arthurlie today and we didn’t take it, so that’s disappointing for the first thing.

“It was a poor first half, but you can’t give teams a goal of a start at this level, never mind two goals of a start, and I think that’s where we fell down today.”

Next up for Nock is a trip to face another of the top flight’s relegation strugglers, Kilwinning Rangers, this Friday night – and McGinty knows his players face a battle against a Buffs side who put their four-match unbeaten league and cup run to the test against Glenafton at Loch Park on Tuesday night, after the Chronicle went to press.

“It’s one step forward, two steps back at the moment,” he admitted.

“You need to produce every week, every game, and we’re not doing that. I can’t remember the last time we won two back to back.

“You take the praise when you do all right, and you need to take the hits when you get bad results. It’s a bad result, but we just need to pick ourselves up and go again.

“It’s another big game on Friday, as they all are in this league.”

Kick-off at Buffs Park on Friday is at 7.30pm.

Watch McGinty’s post-match comments in full, plus comprehensive highlights, at the Cumnock Juniors channel on YouTube.